Monday, June 3, 2013

Make Your Own Backyard Sail Boat Race

Want a fun water activity for the kids and doesn't require bathing suits?  This is it!  We created this little activity for my cousin's three boys to play with on Easter because we knew it would help them get out some energy without getting dirty!
We nicknamed it the Rain-gutter Regatta!

Materials Needed:

  • 2 plastic rain gutters.
  • 4 Raingutter caps
  • 1 4"x1" plank of wood
  • 2 Wooden Dowels
  • 1 Package of Craft Foam
  • Sharpies for decorating
  • 1 Can of White Spray Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Water

We began by creating a template for the boats on printer paper and tracing it onto a piece of 1"x4" wood, of course you could always freehand this too (that's how we made our template).

Then cut along your line using a jigsaw.

Make sure to angle the saw blade so that your boat will be streamlined!
Man + Power tool = Happy Man

Et-hem somebody should be wearing safty glasses, and somebody with the camera forgot to tell him!

You can see here that the sides angled in.

One boat done, more to go!  After cutting out the boat make sure to sand all the edges down with some sandpaper.

We created a large fleet in case the "big boys" wanted to make boats too.

Next up was painting the boats a basic white, the plan was to have the boys decorate them using Sharpies so they would be ready to be submerged in water in just minutes.

Spray that paint baby!

I apologize for forgetting to take pictures of building the mast, Ben used his drill to make a hole for the mast about 1/3 of the way down the boat and then glued in a wooden dowel from the craft store.

We decided it would be wise to test this out in advance, so Ben made sails for a boat using foam rectangles I bought at the Dollar Tree by simply punching holes using a paper hole-puncher and then sliding it onto the mast.

We prepared our plastic gutters by attaching the end-caps to the back and filling it with water.

Through trial and error we discovered that our grass is not level and the water congregated at one end of the gutter.

But we put the boat in anyway to see what it did.

The fun part is using your hot air to propel the boat along!

You'd better watch out or local animals might think this is a drinking trough for them!

After testing the water, Lucy nominated herself as the official supervisor.

On the day of the big race we set up a crafting table for the boys complete with a range of colors for the Sharpies and crafting foam.

The boys got really into it!

Who doesn't decorate with a lollipop in hand?

As we learned from before it is important to put the rain gutters on a level surface; Ben showed the boys how to use the level.

Then it was time to bring out the rain gutters!

The boys loved helping and showing off their mad muscles!

Even my "lil" brother got in on the action and helped fill them up with water!

Next it was time to test if the boats floated - check!

Get Ready, Get Set!


Okay, and cheat a little bit by pushing your boat...

The boys had a blast playing with this and loved taking their boats home with them to play with in the bathtub.  To tell the truth though, they did end up splashing each other, but hey it's only water!


  1. Thanks for sharing. It looks like fun. It's hard to tell who had more fun - the big boys or little boys. :)

  2. Visiting from the Summer Bucket List party ... what a fun idea! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. LOVE your tutorial ~ all the pics are awesome! I think this would be way fun to do with my cub scouts too! Thanks for sharing at the Summer Bucket List Party =) Marcy @ day2day SuperMom

  4. This is such a great idea. It looks like everyone had a ton of fun.

  5. What a great idea! Our kids would have loved something like this when they were little.

  6. Featuring this awesomeness on my blog tomorrow! THANK YOU for sharing and linkin up to our Summer Bucket List link up! Hope to see you again this Sunday! Feel free to grab a featured button :) XOXO

    Kristine -The Foley Fam {unedited}

  7. Dropping by to let you know I'm featuring you tomorrow! Check it out at =) Marcy @ day2day SuperMom


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