Puddle Duck Racer


After a year hiatus in boat building, I just had to build again. This time, I decided to build a no compromise racing boat. The obvious answer was a Puddle Duck Racer.

Here it is. At this stage the boat is far enough along to get a hull number, so what you see is hull number 56.

The wood is Arauco plywood. A plantation grown Radia pine. This is not only a serious racing boat, but it's a materials test platform. I want to see how this wood holds up.

The backing plate for the rudder is a 2x4 rabbited and glued onto the transom. It is boxed with 1/4” ply then framed. The framing is all 7/8th in. cedar. Yes you are right, it is over engineered I get a little carried away sometimes. :) Oh yea, don't ever buy a nail gun. I think she weighs an additional 10 lbs in finishing nails.

The panel is installed onto the frame reinforcing the rudder box and creating three air chambers. (three great places for rot to start) I'll cut access panels into the two outer chambers and ventilate the center box. All of the interior panels will be inclined 15 degrees. Hopefully the slant will make for comfortable seating regardless of the tack.

The leeboard mount is a 2x6 rabbited and glued onto the port side.

It is boxed like the rudder area


I painted an open weave fabric onto the hull with the first coat of paint.

The first coat of paint didn't quite fill the weave of the fabric. Hopefully the second coat will make for a smoother finish. I've been told that I could have run a hard smooth surface over the fabric when the paint was wet, and made for a smooth finish. I might try that when I cover the topside.


Here she is on Lake Powell at the 2005 Lake Powell Messabout in Boats. Her name is “Sittin” She sailed quite well, but I miscalculated the CE of the sail and so mounted the leeboard too far forward, the result is she has a really bad weather helm. The good part about that is that she tacks in a heart beat!

The Rudder failed twice in different locations. Once when pushing her out and the rudder got stuck in the mud, and the other when on a broad reach with probably a 15 knot or higher wind. In both instances failures occurred on titebond III glue line. In the second instance a cedar board in the rudder failed as well. I was able to replace it with a piece of oak on site. Both failures were repaired on scene using PL Premium. Conditions never got severe enough after the second repair to test the durability of the repair

I think she is a fast boat, but I'll have to wait till I can race another Puddle Duck to find out.

There is more to do, hatches and such, so I will post more pics as the boat progresses