The first was a “soap boat on a gutter river” back yard fun project created by Lowes. The idea is to turn soap into sailboats before racing them down a gutter. Simply send water down the gutter with a garden hose and voila, instant river.
This is a good back yard summer project, or a good project for a homeschooling family. It’s a very hands-on way to learn about water pressure, flow, angles, and the way that changing any of these parameters affects the speed of the boat. Here’s one Mom’s description of her sons responding to the project.
Of course, gutter races aren’t exactly new ideas. Local area Cub Scouts have enjoyed “Rain Gutter Regattas” for years.
In a Rain Gutter Regatta the scouts create derby boats, then race them down a gutter. These are sailboats on wheels, and this time the power comes from a fan placed at one end of the gutter track.
We actually found a video of Tampa’s Cub Scout Pack 45 hard at play during their 2012 event. Check it out:
Vinyl gutters are the safest and cheapest type of gutter to use for this kind of project. (We love vinyl gutters. Just not on houses. Aluminum gutters are better for houses.)
You can use vinyl rain gutters for other projects, too. Here are a few of the ones we’ve covered here on our blog.
We will of course keep you informed as we find more cool things to do with gutters. Until then, happy sailing!
We are a trusted Tampa Bay Area seamless aluminum rain gutter contractor serving Wesley Chapel, Land O’Lakes, New Port Richey and the rest of the Tampa metro area. Call us for a free estimate on new gutters, gutter cleaning, gutter repair, and gutter guards.