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My Puddle Duck Racer goes 3-D

back chine gets trimmed

The strip of wood (the chine logs) on the back panel sticks out beyond the bottom of the boat because the bottom does not meet the back at a right angle and my chine log is at a right angle, so it needs to be trimmed. There are various angles where the sticks meet so a few places have to be fitted. I used a combination of plane and belt sander. This occurs because I used a square piece of wood and the back and bottom meet at an angle. I could have cut the wood at an angle but this is easier.

The sides and the box and stern have been glued. I am using epoxy thickened with a mixture of silica and sawdust. The whole assembly is pretty wobbly at this point but the corners are well glued. Although I use epoxy, many people have tried Polyurethane Glues such as PL Premium. It works well particularly if there are screws to clamp the pieces. Read my page on PU glue.

The front and back panels are ready and I lay everything out flat in position. I then glue and clamp the pieces in place. Not too hard but the angles need to be square. I checked before I let it set.

Some people use screws that get removed after the glue has set.

Puddle duck racer has a bottomI squared the frame, and carefully put the bottom on but with no glue yet. I made sure the bottom was still square then put a few temporary screws in to check the fit. Since my bottom is oversize I don't have to worry about lining it up perfectly.

Once the bottom was temporarily screwed on I checked the alignment. Then I removed the screws at the front end of the boat and glued about 4 feet. First I painted the surfaces with liquid resin, then added the thickened stuff. I put my screws back in but not overly tight. Epoxy likes to have a loose clamping so that it is not starved of glue. I used my foot to pull down the bottom while I screwed the temporary screws in. I could have used weights. I then went to the back, removed the screws there, put my glue on and replaced the screws to tighten the back end. Doing the assembly this way helped keep the boat less floppy and alligned properly. I'm working alone so it's not easy to just lightly drop the bottom on without disturbing the sides. At this point my boat was 3-D and I was entitled to apply for a hull number. I sent an email to Shorty with a photo of the boat assembled, he's the designer, and he sent me back my hull number. I have hull number 457! My boat will be called Kwaker Jack.

For a list of international PDR builders check out the official website.

In the world of Puddle Duck Racers, once you have assembled your basic hull you say it is 3-D. You then take a photo and send it to Shorty at the pdr official website and he assigns you a hull number.

When I screwed the bottom on, I used little squares of plywood to prevent the screw from marking the bottom. After allowing the epoxy to set up I removed the screws and the little plywood squares. Some had gotten glued on but I used an old chisel and knocked them off.

Cutting bit on router
I used the router with a cutting bit and a guide bearing to cut the bottom even to the sides.

I used my Makita router to cut the bottom to size on the sides since they are at right angle. The front and back I cut with a japanese saw. I then used the orbital sander to smooth out the cuts. I now have a bottom that fits perfectly.

I expect I will round the edges slightly because I plan to use very thin fiberglass cloth on the bottom and bring it over to the sides about an inch. My boat club is quite rough on boat bottoms.

Being an old fart who has tinkered all her life, I'm lucky to have a good collection of tools. This is not necessary for building a Puddle Duck Racer. If I had to list the basic minimum required I would say, a jig saw, screw driver, a caulking gun if you plan to use pl premium glue, a drill is nice, a random orbital sander is nice, a small block plane is useful to trim the angle of the boards to fit the boat together but I suppose you could sand it with coarse paper, clamps and more clamps, a measuring tape, a square, rubber gloves for epoxy, painting supplies. It's useful to know someone who has a table saw to cut down lumber and help make masts and spars. Access to a computer is also useful because there is lots of info online and many Puddle Duck Videos on Youtube.

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emails: Christine

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