Sailboat #2: A Puddle Duck Racer #1: Why a PDR? First steps...

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Blog entry by Napaman posted 11-22-2011 04:55 AM 11608 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Sailboat #2: A Puddle Duck Racer series Part 2: Sides to Panels...week 1 continues... »

Why a Puddle Duck Racer (aka A PDR or PD Racer)? Check out this great resource on the pdr site:

A few weeks ago I made a big decision…to put my Weekender Sailboat (see blog on 1st sail boat here: ) on TEMPORARY HIATUS to build a PDR. My Weekender build has gone well overall considering that I have never built a boat…and I am learning a lot…but I find myself going on and off the build for months at a time. This summer I got a lot done…but then once again the coming of school put me on hold with all the duties of teaching consuming me…with the time off it got me back to thinking how badly I just wanted to get out and sail.

Over the summer I met a gentleman who was getting ready to launch a little sailboat he built himself…we talked for quite a while and he said that his little boat was his 15th boat and how he loved staying small so that he could get out on the water quick and easy. I was excited by his enthusiasm…and the knowledge of the Stevenson Weekender being known for an easy build for beginners (within reason) and easy to launch quickly…

But watching him launch his little boat and seeing him scoot across the water on the Napa River which is 5 minutes from my house got me thinking about how it would be nice to be able to sail sooner…and with a tiny boat to be able to run right over and launch right after work…also the napa river is perfect for this size boat…where as my Weekender I would have to go down closer to Vallejo to be able to sail comfortably…or further during my learning phase to a lake…

So as school started and I wasn’t finding the time to build…i was finding the time to look around on the internet…I found the site…and just like when I found the Stevenson website a couple years ago I started looking at builder photo after photo…this site really did talk about a 2 week build…

Well it has been a couple weeks…and I am really enjoying the build…with a small boat the progress is HUGE…and with all I have learned on the Weekender I am putting to good use on the PDR. Tonight I clamped down the boat bottom—-so that the ply can bend…and tomorrow I will officially glue it down—-so I will have a completed hull in 3 weeks…and I may be able to row this thing in a week—-but with spars and sail a few more weeks…

This is a boat that would be great for anyone…

Here is the link to the site where I learned a lot:

Photos below: Below—(A): This is the outline of the hull. What makes this “box” boat a PDR is the first ten inches in the class rules…above 10 inches your boat may change…some people go crazy and put little cabins…again…you must stay with this hull shape to be a PDR…

(B): First you take 1/4” ply sheets and cut 16” wide panels (you need 4)—Hannah is starting to draw “station lines”.

(C) From the station lines you mark off points and attach nails…then a bendable piece to loft/draw curves onto the first panel.

(D): Next the 4 panels are cut out…two will be the outside edge of the boat…and the other two will be 7” inside to act as more support, a bench top—-but most importantly will form an air box along each side of the boat…some people put the air boxes on each end…but my research showed me that the side air boxes are the safest…

(E): With the 4 panels all cut I clamped them together and faired their edge to be the same…some people cut all 4 panels together at once…I chose to do each one separately.

ANd to my Weekender fans—-DONT WORRY…I am excited again…and want to get out and build…and I am super fortunate that my wife is supporting me…she gets the logic—-built this one quick…and then sail it to learn on…and then when the weekender is done…I will have some more sailing under my belt…

Next up—-THE PANELS…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

7 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35154 posts in 4640 days

#1 posted 11-22-2011 05:19 AM

Cool Matt.

Great progress.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4317 days

#2 posted 11-22-2011 06:29 AM

My goal is THREE blog entries tonight to catch you all up on weeks 1-3…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View degoose's profile


7245 posts in 3594 days

#3 posted 11-22-2011 07:52 AM

I am going to the next blog…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View lew's profile


12510 posts in 3995 days

#4 posted 11-22-2011 01:43 PM

Nice Job!

See you have the entire crew helping you!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3913 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 04:40 PM

Great progress, Matt.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4219 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 06:22 PM

Nice story behind this, Matt.

You’ve got a great helper.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3952 days

#7 posted 11-24-2011 05:12 AM

AHHHHGGGGGG, it was easier to resist the Weekender as it sounds like a pretty large build but now you’ve come up with this super interesting project!!! Do I dare check out the website?!?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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