** For a Raingutter Regatta
Each Rainspout Sailboat kit comes with 1 hull, 1 mast, 1 rudder and a sail. These Raingutter boats can be built the same day they are raced, or taken home to build or built as a group during a meeting. The hull is 2 1/2" wide, and the sail is 2 1/2" wide.The hull is made of Dow Corning Styrofoam. This foam is a "closed cell" foam. The foam does not absorb water. The sail is made from Tyvek. The boat does not tip over easily. You'll love these boats for your next Regatta!
The boats are shipped in bulk, they are not individually packaged.
We recommend having the kids make the boats the same day that they will
be raced. The boats can be finished in as little as 30 minutes. A little
sanding, crayons or felt tip pens, and you are ready to race.
If you are going to use the boats in the OCEAN, LAKE, POND or a POOL. Just tape two nickels to the bottom of the rudder. In most cases the boat will be "self righting".
The sail may even be printed on!!. Just use your PC make a design or a picture. Tape the top edge of the sail to an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet paper, and print it!
Note: We include one instruction per 10 boats. If the kids are taking the boats home to build. We will include one instruction for each boat. Please let us know.
Note #2: From the late 60"s til 2018 we used a 3/16" Birch dowel for the mast. We now use a 1/8" bamboo mast. Three of our new masts, weigh as much as one Birch mast. The lighter the mast on any sailboat, even 100 foot yachts, the better. Less chance of tipping.
** 50 years ago S&W thought the word "gutter" sounded like dirty water moving in a ditch. So we use the word "Rainspout" instead.
Square Lake Sailing
A note from Ray Kathol, owner of S&W Crafts.
S&W Crafts has been making Rainspout Sailboats for over 50 years. I built my first real boat in 1963 when I was in the 9th grade. I have raced catamarans, little 8â€™dingys, and a friend's 65â€™ offshore yacht. In January 2003, I was at a Cub Scout Pow Wow and saw an extra wide â€œRaingutterâ€ built by a man named Carter. Itâ€™s interesting how 53 years of sailing experience and 50 years of making Rainspout Sailboats can combine in one moment, to come up with the idea of Square Lake Sailing. In February 2003, I built the first Square Lake. I took the Lake to another Cub Scout Pow Wow to test the idea. It turned out better than I ever expected.
Read everything I have written... twice. Imagine your group, and your Yacht, sailing into the sunset across the Square Lake.
BUILDING A SQUARE LAKE
Building a Square Lake is actually very easy. Most building supply stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) will cut the wood to size for you. You will need:
- One 1" x 12" piece of Pine eight feet long.
- One 2" x 4" eight feet long.
- One 2" x 4" ten feet long.
Ask to have the ten-foot long 2 x 4 cut into two (2) eight-inch long pieces and one (1) eight-foot long piece. Screw the Square Lake together. Then take it apart. Paint all sides of each piece and reassemble the Lake. Use some caulking between the boards when reassembling to make the Lake watertight. Buy or make two 30-inch tall sawhorses and you are ready to sail!
Note: The alternate images show the Square Lake on two â€œoutfeed roller standsâ€ that I got at a place called Harbor Freight. Home Depot sells them too. They worked OK, sawhorses are just as good.
The buoys that the boats sail around are small red and white fishing floats. Attach these to a fishing weight with some string. Have two buoys with the red side up.
SHAPING A SQUARE LAKE BOAT
It is very important to ROUND OFF the sides of the boat! Water has â€œsurface tensionâ€, and if you leave the sides of the boat flat the boat will â€œstickâ€ to the sides of the Lake. Some sandpaper [#80 grit] is all that is needed to shape the boat. S&W Crafts has great shaping sticks
that work well on the boats. Some crayons or felt tip pens can be used to decorate the boats and in about 20 minutes the boat is ready to race!
It's recommend that the boats be built the same day that they are raced. Unlike a Pinewood DerbyÂ®
Car that takes many hours to shape, sand smooth, and paint.
The mast seems to work best near the front of the boat. Try different locations yourself. A little tape will help hold the sail to the mast. Sharpen the mast to help it go into the foam better A smaller sail, or a lower sail, a shorter mast, a rounded rudder? Who knows what will work best? Sailors have been building Americas Cup boats since 1851 and are still trying to figure out how to do it right!
SAILING ON THE SQUARE LAKE
The great thing about Square Lake Sailing is the many variations available to you.
A favorite kind of race is to have two boats starting at opposite ends of the Lake and the Skippers blowing on their boats to get them to the other end in the least amount of TIME (you will need two stopwatches and a time keeper). There will be 4 buoys in the Lake that the Skippers will be instructed to pass: the Red buoys to Port (left) and the white buoys to Starboard (right).
Somewhere in the middle of the Lake the skippers meet head-to-head and face-to-face, blowing in opposite directions. Since they are being timed, the Skippers of each boat will find that cooperating with each other, so they can pass as quickly as possible, will result in a faster time for both boats.
If a boat tips over (AND THEY WILL!), itâ€™s OK to use your hands to turn the boat right side up.
You could also have two boats sailing as a team. The total time of both boats determines the winner.
You could also have an adult and a child making the boat together, and then sailing as Skipper (the child) and Crew. One boat at a time is sailed around the buoys and across the Lake. The Crew blows on the boat to turn it around and goes back around the buoys and across the Lake.
Writing the timed results on 3x5 cards makes it easier to put them in order.
This type of race is a great way to RECRUIT new members to your group.
Example: Itâ€™s early September and you have invited parents and their children to an information night. The kids are making the boats while the parents are getting a â€œtalkâ€ about the youth group. Then, the racing begins. If there are a lot of people at your recruiting night, you could have the younger ones start their boat in the middle of the Lake to save time.
Since the boats are timed, Square Lake Sailing works well at Day Camps or even at week long camps for older kids. The boat with the fastest time is kept on display with their time posted for all to see. Sailors will â€œchallengeâ€ (just like the America's Cup) to be the fastest boat.