PD Racer: Build Begins

As mentioned previously, a reasonable person could question whether or not this was a shantyboat, but for me, it’s a pretty cheap way to spend a few nights on the river.  Sounds like a shantyboat from where I sit.

So far in my life I think I’ve finished three boats, and started perhaps 4 others, an average that puts me up there with a pretty good major league hitter, but isn’t a number I throw around in boat building circles.  I’ll give myself credit for “just doing it”, then sometimes realizing my idea just would not work in my life I change course and I “just don’t do it.”  I’m the only one keeping count, so I’ll banish the thought from my head.

I self confess all this, as I am venturing forward on another build, this time a Puddle Duck Racer.  To keep it Shantyboat in style I’ll make it a mini-liveaboard, too.

Here’s a link to the free Scow 244 plans.


I’ll change the hull to match PDR standards, as shown on the excellent PDR site.  Jerome, the designer, tells me I didn’t need to do this, as though the dimensions he provides appear different in the plans, basically they aren’t.  They are within the standard.


Note:  I am using the free plans, which are quite good, but I also bought the other version of the plans, both to make it easier for me, and to support the work of the designer.  I appreciate the thought behind the class rules, don’t charge for plans to keep the price within the reach of everyone, but I make enough money to support a designer when I use his/her ideas.

I went to two local big box hardware stores and the 1/4 plywood they had was god-awful stuff.   I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it.  There were so many voids and plugs, and 1/4 inch is pretty thin.  Instead I bought two sheets of marine ply, which were about $56 a sheet!   Beautiful product, though.  So the sides and forward deck and the two ends will be built from the good stuff, and I’ll see if I can find decent acx anywhere for the rest.   $130 for two sheets of plywood are certainly outside the thinking of a PDR.

So the cutting has started, or I tried.   I’d taken the morning off, but got a call from work, so I head in before a single cut is made.  Did I mention I tried to start boats before?


I did lay down a little graphite! Make your guidelines every foot for the length of the board, then measure up from the bottom to determine the set points that help you create the curve.   Once done, I put some nails at those points and used a bendy piece of trim to get a good curve.

My workbench for the day is a potting bench I made for my wife.  And yes, those are cymbals hanging on the fence.  Yard art.


How long will it take to build this boat?   Hmm. I’ll think on that and get back to you.  Will I finish this one?   I’m going to try.

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