banner for puddle duck racer boat

Christine makes a Puddle Duck Racer

Here are links to other steps of the Puddle Duck Build

I'm finally on the last stage and hope to finish her soon

photo of puddle duck racer

I'm back working on my Puddle Duck Racer. The boat is dusted, leveled and made ready.

I've been working on this boat for almost 3 years on and mostly off! It got caught in getting a house ready for sale, moving, making a new workshop and finally getting set up. I plan to finish it in the next 10 days. I have ulterior motives because I want to start building a new boat this winter.

photo of puddle duck racer

I placed my mast partner and it was tricky figuring out the angle of the mast and making sure it did not lean one way or another.

I will leave the partner just screwed on for now in case I want to change the angle of the mast.

deck support

After fitting 2 front braces, I epoxied them to support the front deck. It was quite rigid but I don't think it would take the weight of someone jumping on the middle part.

I spent a happy (?) hour sanding and after cleaning up I glued a piece of wood to the inside of the front. This is where I will put the stainless steel eye to tie the boat up. The backing will help support this.

warming epoxy

My epoxy had been quite cold in the last few weeks and had begun crystallizing.

After a day of sitting in front of the woodstove, most of the white crystals are gone and the epoxy is clear again.


This is what my future looks like. Most of the structural work is done. I still have to make a couple of fillets and fill in some of the fiberglass weave, but otherwise it is sanding and fairing for me.

I think this is going to be a 10 feet boat. It looks ok at 10 feet but any closer it is not perfect.


This is as far as I'm sanding the interior. Far from perfect but any more sanding and I will be going to wood in some places. I need to add another coat of epoxy if I want to continue. I think I don't want to do this for the interior.

It is sound, solid and I expect waterproof. A couple of good coats of paint will smooth it some.


I've taped the gunnels off because I will varnish them. The outside is yellow, inside white and decks yellow. Happy bright colours for a happy boat.

I chose the colours by going into the leftover paint box and seeing what I had.


A first coat of paint is on. It is tricky to get the inside of the seat and under the bow. Finally I put it on the floor and got into the boat to paint.

I put the yellow with a foam brush and it was not a great success! Oh well, there are more coats to come.

I have some stuff to put on the white floor to make it less slippery. It's by Brightside and you mix this gritty powder, actually microbeads, to the paint. I did this for my Skerry and it made the boat much less slippery.


My PDRacer gets a second coat of paint on the inside and deck.

I've changed the white by adding some cream coloured paint. It's not so stark.

Small roller worked much better to apply the yellow.

Finishing the bottom

adding runners

I have a couple of coats of paint on the inside and it's still soft so I turned the boat over and started working on the bottom. A quick sand and I glued a couple of runners. These will protect the bottom when the boat is on a hard surface.

I just cut up a 2x4 and used that. I don't care if it is not good wood or if there are knots.

It took me a while to figure out how to clamp it.


I opened up the daggerboard hole with my router. The top was open but I had not done the bottom yet.

I let the runners set for a couple of days before removing the clamps so the wood would get used to the shape. After putting a bead of thickened epoxy I smoothed out the fillet with a tongue depressor and added a layer of fiberglass cloth. Tomorrow I'll put a second layer over the runners and a final coat over the bottom.

router bit

I think my router trim bit is one of the most useful of all. It is really useful: 1/2" (Dia.) Top Bearing Flush Trim Bit

Painting the hull of my Puddle Duck


I spent a whole day sanding the outside of the hull. It is as good as it's going to get. After dusting well my Puddle Duck Racer finally gets its first coat of paint. The hull is pretty rough still.

Well I've added 2 other coats of paint and it still looks just as yellow. I've sanded the daggerboard and the rudder and I'll paint them next. As soon as the boat paint has hardened enough I'll turn it over for a couple of coats on the inside, the few clear spots will get varnish and I'm on the home stretch. I've ordered pintles and gudgeons from Racelite. Shipping fees from other suppliers are very high to Canada, they are the best price for me.


I got my first coat of varnish on the gunnels and on the sprit. I added a bit of stain to even out the colours. The varnish, which is a Helmsman spar varnish, was wicked to apply. It really liked the yellow plaint and would spread on it almost as if it was actually attracted to it. Luckily I plan to put another coat of yellow paint so the border between yellow and varnish will be even.

The puddle duck is a cheerful little thing and I'm really looking forward to trying it out next spring.


I've completed the painting. It's definitely a 10 ft boat! This is where I regret not having spent 100 more hours sanding and making it flawless. I have to remind myself that this is really more of an experiment than a serious boat. Plus I have a Scamp to work on, a Tanzer to prepare for sale, a tender to repaint and a Skerry to touch up for spring. There are spots of no slip additive on the floor and the side.

The puddle duck is a cheerful little thing and I'm really looking forward to trying it out next spring.


emails: Christine

This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view.