Inspired by the view of dozens of small sailboats taking to the bay every weekend, I have decided to build my own boat. My somewhat limited skills, such as they are, seem a perfect fit for the puddle duck racer.
The PD Racer is probably one of the simplest sail boats you can build, essentially being a plywood box with a sail attached. In theory, I will learn some important lessons in carpentry and boat construction which will allow me to progress to a more complex and capable hull for my next build.
The puddle duck is basically a 8’x4′ box made from plywood with 1 inch pine chines (small beams the plywood is glued onto). All the provided plans are provided in imperial measurements, but the panels from my local hardware store are metric (2400mm X 1200mm). This means my boat will actually be 38mm shorter than design (8 feet = 2438mm).
To begin, I need to cut out the ‘sides’ of the boat. After a few measurements and lines marked in pencil, a skinny piece of plywood is clamped to evenly spaced nails along the bottom hull curve. This provides a nice even curve to trace along.
After cutting out the first side, I use it as a template to trace out lines for the remaining pieces. The jigsaw makes short work of the 6mm plywood.
By this stage, I felt enough work had being done and it was time to call it a day. The next step will be clamping all the sides together and sanding them back, then cutting up 8′ long strips of timber to become the frame.