Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Anything related to Raingutter Regatta racing and event coordination.
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Da Graphite Kid
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Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:29 pm

I know that Raingutter Regattas are traditionally run in raingutters but we have had not-so-good results from doing so. We have run a Raingutter Regatta for three years now in our Cub Scout Pack. The first and second years we used two different styles of raingutters that were both plastic are were hard to support so that they would lay flat and level. The boats often grabbed the lip of the raingutter or 'grounded' themselves during the racing. So last year I took it upon myself to build two 'raingutters' out of wood that had straight sides. Everything would (pardon the pun) have been fine except that the wood I used was still a bit wet and when everything dried out after assembly, they were twisted. With no time to build more - even if I could get straight lumber - we sealed and used these. We had to clip the lower corners of the sails off the boats so they would not rub against the sides of the wooden 'raingutters'.

I'm looking for a better alternative for this year. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to build better a better raingutter 'track'? I've thought of capping the ends of a ten foot section of 4 or 6 inch diameter PVC pipe and splitting it lengthwise but lack the means to cut it so. Suggestions?

Da Graphite Kid



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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by PwEngineer » Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:00 pm

Da Graphite Kid,

I feel really bad that you can't find "lipless" raingutters at your hardware store :cry:. They work so well for us. We just lay them flat on the tables (takes at least 2) right next to the edge - one on either side. The little rise at each end from the end cap has not made any difference. Now for those who race long-keeled BSA boats the shallower water may cause them to rub on the bottom.

As for lips, they can be defeated by putting simple "bumpers" on the boats as mentioned on my website http://www.lastufka.net/lab/boats/

I think that if one has to resort to building a channel for this race, it is no longer an inexpensive event. Along with the piloting aspect, I think the low cost is another factor that gives this event great potential.
Last edited by PwEngineer on Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.


Michael Lastufka

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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:42 am

Michael,
We went with the split 4-inch PVC course this year. I had thought about doing this but could not figure out how to cut the pipe straight and even (side to side) without building some sort of fixture. I asked one of the Mechanical Engineers here to figure it out and he did. He still hasn’t told me how they did it but since the pipe was at no cost to the Pack, I couldn’t turn it down. A few ‘V’-notches cut in some pieces of 4 X 6 and we were ready to race!

This course worked extremely well. We leveled the tracks and poured in the water. Nothing leaked and no boats got hung on the sides or bottom.

Since this worked better than the wooden or plastic gutters we have used, I think that we will stick with this design for next year and hereafter. Now, before next years race I’ll have to add a little paint and add a large sail in the middle and I think that we will be ready.

Da Graphite Kid
:D



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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by BluesFish » Mon Jan 12, 2004 4:46 pm

I used PVC rain gutters for ours. They have straight sides on the top 2or 3 inches. I used the standard caps but drilled one end of each and mounted a pvc valve for draining into a bucket at the end of the race. For supports I made 5 brackets of 1/4 inch plywood that were cut to accept two gutters spaced far enough appart so that each one is near the edge of the table.
The plywood supports are held in place on 2X4s with blocks mounted so they fit snugly in place. It's simple, easy to make and works great for us.


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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Susan » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:10 pm

One of our den leaders is in the building industry. He got one of his vendors to make us lengths of "seamless gutter" for our derby. It works great and sits flat on the table. And as others have said, the price was right since it was free.



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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by TurtlePowered » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:59 am

Da Graphite Kid wrote:I know that Raingutter Regattas are traditionally run in raingutters but we have had not-so-good results from doing so. We have run a Raingutter Regatta for three years now in our Cub Scout Pack. The first and second years we used two different styles of raingutters that were both plastic are were hard to support so that they would lay flat and level. The boats often grabbed the lip of the raingutter or 'grounded' themselves during the racing. So last year I took it upon myself to build two 'raingutters' out of wood that had straight sides. Everything would (pardon the pun) have been fine except that the wood I used was still a bit wet and when everything dried out after assembly, they were twisted. With no time to build more - even if I could get straight lumber - we sealed and used these. We had to clip the lower corners of the sails off the boats so they would not rub against the sides of the wooden 'raingutters'.

I'm looking for a better alternative for this year. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to build better a better raingutter 'track'? I've thought of capping the ends of a ten foot section of 4 or 6 inch diameter PVC pipe and splitting it lengthwise but lack the means to cut it so. Suggestions?

Da Graphite Kid
Could you have run better with slightly less water? Maybe you would not have caught on the lip then.



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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:25 am

TurtlePowered,

I don't think that would have helped. Maybe if we could have run the races with more water in the raingutters it would have put the bottom edges of the sails above the level of the sides of the raingutters. This was more of a problem than the hulls of the boats catching on the top edges of the raingutter. The first two years, we used two different types of plastic raingutters, as we could not find any of the metal ones. We were unable to support the plastic raingutters in a way that kept them level from end to end while supporting the sides so they didn't spread out when filled with water. Since the plastic raingutter spread out width-wise when filled with water, we could not fill it to the brim as the sides of the raingutter in the middle were at a lower level than the sides of the raingutter at the ends were. The raingutter would be shaped kinda like this () instead of []
With the PVC 'track' we had none of these problems.

By the way, if you use the PVC to build a Raingutter Regatta track, make sure that the piece you cut is straight to begin with. I recently bought some 2" PVC (for another project) and it was warped. I don't know if the 4" PVC can even be warped but thought it best to warn everyone.

Da Graphite Kid
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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by pineheadwidow » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:15 pm

We had a lot of success in calling a company that specializes in making aluminium gutter. We called and asked if they could make us 2 specific lenghts of 6" aluminium gutter. The cost was nominal but they ended up donating it to us once they found out what it was for.

Hope this helps.



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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Rainman » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:59 am

Our Raingutter Regatta is this weekend. For years we have used old gutters and have to deal with boats hanging up.

This year I went to the local plumbing supply store and bought a 20 ft section of PVC 4" dia. ($1.25 ft). I decided 20 was too long so I cut it in half.

Cut the section in half using a bandsaw and cut the end caps in half.

I'll cut out some wood to "cradle" the 1/2 sections and mount to saw horses.

The only thing I've found with the 4" diamater pipe is that the water level will have to be high, if your using standard BSA keels.


This years Raingutter Regatta is outside (Yeah I know, its late October) but we are doing it in conjuction with our "Fall Adventure". While the Tigers are racing the rest of the boys will be going around to different stations, like bobbing for apples, orienteering for candy, pumpkin toss and haunted trail.

We'll have a very large campfire too.

Jeff


Part of Richmond KY Pack 376. Midland Trail District.

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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:27 am

Rainman,

We've found that we can fill the 4" PVC 'gutters' right up to the brim without problems. We also keep some extra water on hand to top them back off with should some get blown out.

I was able to make a jig to split our PVC and did so with the caps already glued on. With five tracks being made we had to figure some faster way of doing this. One of the new tracks went to our Pack and the other four went to the District to lend out to encourage other Packs to hold their own Rangutter Regattas. We used the basic RR design from the 'How-To Book'. Of course we cut half circles to hold the PVC pipe and made modifications to hold a sail or flag pole with. Got the whole family involved so we had a Good Turn for the summer. If it weren't for a real bonehead paint decision on my part they would have been perfect. One of these days I'm going to get pictures of everything and get them posted out here...


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Re: Raingutter Regatta Track Designs

Post by Teeeman » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:27 pm

… we used lipped plastic gutters, hanging wasn’t too bad… we had the water level high…

the flexible sections were caulk-glued to 2X4 beams…

the wood came from a dumpster dive at a construction neighborhood (with permission)…

I priced out acrylic sheet to build a 8’ gutter that is see through, it was around $50 for single gutter… haven’t bought nor built one yet for just that reason.

sorry of no additional help…

Like Michael L says, maybe spread the word on bumpers?


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