Lake Charles, LA (299)
I read a post on TrailerSailor.com in February 2004
and Ken Abrahams (first World Champion, also from Lake
Charles)had just finished his. I finished mine in
March 2004 and raced the rest of the season coming in
3rd overall. The PD is a very easy boat to build,
launch and sail. I can have mine in the water in less
than 5 minutes when I get to the launch as opposed to
15 to 20 minutes setting up my Jarcat 6 meter.
Hull #7 "Ducky"
SA: 62.5 sf
Floation: air boxes bow, stern, port and starboard
Chicago, IL (1248)
#39 S.S. Pubert
I'm 26, live in Chicago, and I work as an educator at the Museum of Science and Industry. I first sailed with a family friend back when I was a kid, and hadn't sailed much since then but always wanted to get back into it. So I started looking to buy a boat, and while searching around online for a boat to buy, I found information on boats that you can build, and have been hooked ever since.
My boat has a leg-o-mutton sail, it's about 55 sq. ft. I have a leeboard that's currently in a sliding case, but I'm going to be switching it soon to make it a kick up version. The hull is a standard 18" hull with side airboxes
Kennesaw, GA (968)
#104 Three Sheets to the Wind
I am 38 years old, live in Kennesaw, GA, I am a college professor, and I wanted to find out what puddle-ducks were all about. Besides, I also wanted a challenge and figured flying in and building a boat in two days for a two day event would be a crazy enough challenge to interest me. I was right! It was fun to build a boat, use it in a race, and then give it away. My wife really appreciated the giving it away part as she thinks we have too many boats as it is (I disagree!).
I will have to gestimate the measurements not having the boat anymore. I used a sprit rig of maybe 50 square feet. The daggerboard and rudder added up to about 5 square feet of lateral resistance (could be wrong). My boat had side floatation chambers, a fordeck with storage underneith, and a spray rail forward that reall kept the water out of the cockpit.
Salem, OR (2418)
(#5 Cultus Hehtheht)
Andrew Linn, 43 years old, born and raised in Oregon. Former US Marine,
has two Associate degrees, a BA, and a Masters. I live in Salem, the
state capitol, and work for Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, a youth
employment and education organization that puts at-risk your to work in
the forests and on public lands in Oregon.
I am first and foremost a canoeist but got into sailing at the age of 40
through stories from an aged uncle - the only other sailor my family has
ever produced. I have built several canoes, a D4, 2 PD Racers (#5 and
#67) and caused another to be built (#27). I am into Puddle Duck Racers
because I like the freedom and experimentation of the class. I looked
into building a San Francisco Pelicans, but the class rules were too
strict. I have sailed my PD Racers with a Chinese Junk, Lug, Crab Claw,
Lateen, Leg-o-Mutton, and Batwing sails.
My first boat, Cultus Hehtheht #5, sailed with a 52sqft Chinese Junk rig
as her primary sail and used a lodgepole pine tree as the mast (12ft
tall, 2.5 inch base tapering to 1.25 a tithe top). It had 16 inch
sides, fore and aft airboxes, and swinging leeboards on both sides so I
could raise the windward one and drop the leeward one.
My current boat, Rumpus #67, sails with a 54sqft Ruston Batwing I sewed
out of ripstop nylon. It has a 10ft mast made out of a 1.25inch closet
rod stuffed inside a 1.25 inch PVC pipe. It has 14 inch sides, side
airboxes, a 20x22 plexi-glass window in the bottom, and twin bilge-keels.
I have been in on this from early on - February 2004. After so much
communication with Chuck and Shorty and the rest, how could I not go?
$300 bucks in airfare is cheap compared to a lifetime of sailing alone.
Bastrop, TX (148)
#42 Q&D PD
66 yrs old. Sailed several months (appx. 2,000 miles) from Corpus Christi to Bahamas and back with my wife and two boys in 1970. I have built seven small boats and owned, rebuilt and repaired some more. Proas are my passion and PD's are my toys. My 10 yr old grandson is my occupation. The Commercial Building Construction business provided my family its sustenance and kept me off the streets. I live in Bastrop Texas but my heart is still in Corpus Christi Bay. I currently have three PDR's and will be building a "light" version shortly. I have no rational explanation for getting involved in PDR's but I sure have had some fun and look forward to a lot more. Other than the two "loaners" my #42 bilge keel has a Sunfish 75 sf lateen with or without a roller furling 40 sf jib mounted on a 5' bowsprit or a 64 sf sail board sail that I used at Magnolia and a unique 153 sf sail that I will unveil at a later date.
After both of the Magnolia messabouts that I have been to, I have a feeling that I tried to do too much and did not visit and get to know the people that I admire so much. I woke up Sunday morning on the beach about 7:30. The weather was perfect with a gentle breeze. I was feeling rested and peaceful then raised up and saw the wonderful proa that Skip brought sailing up and down the beach. That was my 66th birthday and life could not be any better.
Memphis, TN (842)
I am a second generation boat builder. I learned about boat building from my father who was a master craftsman. Thank the Lord for stitch and tape because I could never match the kind of detail that went into his skin on frame building. I have lost count of the number of boats we built. I love to build but I also love to sail and it is a difficult balance. I would love to build a large sailing houseboat to live on when I retire and make the trip through the great lakes and down the east coast. I am married, 26 years, have 3 daughters and 3 granddaughters. I currently live in Memphis, Tn. And work in Information Technology for a major food business.
My PDR has a 55 sq ft Marconi rig of unknown origin that I bought from Ebay. I have a dagger board of 3.5 sq ft that fits through my center seat which is unique of all the ducks I know of but for old fat people is quite comfortable and makes the hull very stiff. My previous rudder was just 3 sq ft and I thought it was a good kickup design but the blade of 2 layers of 1/4 inch was not up to the task. I am currently looking for 1/4 aluminum plate to replace it. The hull was stitched together and then glued with PL and then I put 3" tape with epoxy on the outside. I wasn't sure that this would holdup for long but shows no sign of weakening. The center seat is glued in place with only PL. I am using chain link fence top rail with 1 1/4 closet pole inside for a mast. I don't recommend this mast and am building a wood one which I will post details of on the Yahoo Group as soon as it is finished.
Greenville, SC (1111)
#85 Mary E
It was great to meet you also. I have a feeling some day you're going to take the Longest Road Trip record. Any more on the HIN decal?
Here is the info for the article:
Tim Cleary, 48 yrs old, works in the financial services profession and lives in Greenville, SC. I sail mostly on the North Industrial Park Drainage Canal that cartographers mistakenly call Lake Cunningham and on the State Highway Department Borrow Pit that cartographers mistakenly call Lake Robinson. My Puddle Duck Racer, hull #59, has minimal freeboard (11 inches sides), is extremely cat-rigged (the mast is mounted directly over the bow stem), has a Marconi sail (68 sq. ft.), has a side board for lateral resistance, and no rudder (steered by weather helm to turn to windward and the leeward oar to turn to leeward).
I came to build a PDR when I decided that the small catamaran I was sailing was just too uncomfortable, so I started looking for a sailing dinghy that could be cartopped. I came across Shorty Pen's list of board boats, which led me to look at the Puddle Duck. I thought, hey, I can build that and then have a hull I can experiment with. If I'd bought a production boat I wouldn't have wanted to start drilling holes and making cuts on it. So I went ahead with the PDR.
Conroe, TX (198)
#80 Broken Record
Sure, thanks for doing a write up. I'm 26 and live in Conroe, Texas. I only get to build everyonce in a while, and that is usually with my two year old "helping". I am a civil engineer by trade, and right now I'm doing home inspections. I got started with this group before the PDR was conceived. I participated in the 2003 $50 boat race. I didn't build my first PDR untill recently because of my lack of building time as noted above.
My PDR has twin keels about 3" at the middle. I think the keels look cool and they make it easier to drag the boat around. I had a hard time tacking at Magnolia, but that may just be my lack of skill. I had a bat wing sail untill the winds at Magnolia literally blew it apart. I will have to build a new sail then work on my keels again. My mast step also broke at Magnolia. So I will rebuild that too. I'm still deciding on my flotation design so that will be incorporated into the rebuild. These are fun little boats.
San Antonio, TX (153)
#31 (unnamed and destroyed)
#33 Sea Flea
David "Shorty Pen" Routh
Tempe, Arizona (1109)
#3, Bucket Ears
Message #1465, 12/19/2003
Love the idea of you writing an article about the race & PD phenomenon.
From the other stuff you have posted, I think it would be great to see what
it looks like from your perspective. There really is so much to the club
other than just a boat design or a set of specifications & rules. I am
such a horrible writer (and speler) that I don't think that I could
accurately describe the culture which we live in.
Age - 37
town of residence - Phoenix, AZ (used to be Houston TX).
profession - Mr. Mom (stay at home dad) & Girl Scout Leader
a brief description of what brought you to the Puddle Duck Racer, and
anything else you feel is relevant. -- friendly boat building oriented atmosphere, like a
classic messabout but to expand it with a fun way to compete against each
Rig type -- classic bolger 59 leg of mutton sprit.
But brought (and didn't use) 4 sided sprit of 83 sqft, but it also looks
like square headed marconi.
type of lateral resistence -- offset centerboard
and any other details you want to share, or point out to the world. - I
think Andrew Linn was wearing a G-string under his bathing suit, me
mentioned something about that just before we flew to Houston.
Waukegan, IL (1327)
#102, Frankenduck's Monster
Harper, TX (243)
Article for Duckworks
Chuck Leinweber has asked me to do a write up of the Puddle Duck Racer World Championship Race, and of the Puddle Duck Racer phenomenon. He suggested that I include a thumbnail bio of each of the participants. Thus, I would be very grateful for any information you would care to give me.
Ideally, I am looking for: Age, town of residence, profession, a brief description of what brought you to the Puddle Duck Racer, and anything else you feel is relevant.
I would also like some basic information on your PDR: Rig type and area, type of lateral resistence (daggerboard, leeboard, what have you), and any other details you want to share, or point out to the world.
Did I mention how great it was to meet you and the rest of the Puddle Duck Tribe at Magnolia Beach? It was. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
581 members (pdracer)
Bill Giles had hauled his boat most of a thousand miles from Memphis, Tennessee, to Magnolia Beach, Texas. He had the boat in the water and was standing next to it when the Friendly Guy approached.
"Is that a boat?" the Friendly Guy asked. "It looks like a shop project that didn't work out. You don't really intend to take that out into the bay, do you?"
Bill explained patiently that, Yes, the Puddle Duck Racer was a real boat, and Yes, he had already taken it out into the bay, and No, it really wasn't a mistake.
The Friendly Guy continued to ask skeptical questions, and Bill began to consider offering to give him a ride out to the middle of the bay and pushing him overboard... And then the Friendly Guy couldn't hold back the smile any more, and introduced himself as Andrew Linn, fellow Puddle Duck Racer builder and sailor. Andrew didn't have his boat with him, but then, he had come three times as far as Bill had, and he hadn't been able to figure out how to conceal an eight foot boat in his carry on luggage. Pleasantries were exchanged, and before very long Andrew was out on the bay in Bill's boat.
You'd think that when the participants in a race travel an average of 850 miles to attend (to say nothing of the rather demented spectator who drove an aging Jeep Wrangler over 1200 miles just to WATCH) that there would be a fair amount on the line, that the prize or the prestige of the event would be significant. In this case, you would be dead wrong. The Puddle Duck Racer World Championships are, if anything, deliberately NOT significant or prestigious; significance and prestige would just get in the way.
Now, it should be understood that three and four hundred mile journeys are not uncommon at messabouts; that is just the nature of the boat building community. It also seems that there are always one or two persons at every such gathering who have travelled further. By those terms, two time Champion (2005 AND 2006) David Sargent's 300 mile "commute" from Lake Charles, Louisiana, pretty much makes him "local" in this company. But Bill Giles hauled his boat down from Memphis, and Tim Cleary car-topped his boat more than 1100 miles from Greenville, North Carolina. Scott Widmier split the difference between hauling a boat and flying by flying in from Kennesaw, Georgia and building a boat (in all of two days!) in Texas; class founder David "Shorty" Routh flew in from Tempe, Arizona; Phil Keck flew in from Chicago; Andrew Linn came all of the way from Salem, Oregon.
The question remains: Why? John Wright (who brought THREE PDRs to Magnolia Beach; his own "Q&D PDR", and two "loaner" boats built to Shorty's specification for the use of the fly-in types) has commented that the PDR is not so much a boat as a "cultural catalyst", something that avoids the "Pretty, Polished, Perfect, Pompous or Pretentious" in favor of, as Grahame's Ratty says, "Simply messing about in boats." It is also true that the experience of hiking out to windward as your boat crashes along with a bone in her teeth is pretty much the same at 5 knots as it is at 15 or even 25, and the magic of sailing a boat you built yourself is pretty much the same whether the same whether the boat is an 8 footer or a 30 footer.
Shorty designed the Puddle Duck Racer (PDR for short) in late 2003 as a follow up to a $50 boat race; his mantra for the design and the extremely informal organization that has grown up around it is, "cheap, creative, and fun." To date, the PDR has been an unqualified success. When the first PDR championship was held in August, 2004, 16 of the boats had been built; a year later, there were 52. As of the 2006 championships this May, there were 104 (and it was up to 106 by the end of the weekend); the Yahoo message board for the group (pdracer) has more than 550 members.
Shorty touts the PDR as the "easiest boat in the world to build", and while the certainty of that statement worries me, it is certainly the simplest boat to build that I know of. Or at least it would be, if there weren't so many design possibilities. The class definition consists of a table of offsets and a few simple rules that pretty much stop once you are ten inches above the extreme bottom of the boat. This has led to a bewildering array of bilge keels, daggerboards, leeboards, and centerboards, as well as a wide range of deck configurations. The rigging rules are REALLY simple: Anything goes. The most common sails are Sunfish-style lateens and sprit boomed leg-o-muttons, but there have been gaffers and lugs and Chinese lugs and spritsails and gunters; there are rumors of crab claws and more exotic flip tackers, and there is a three masted square rigger in the works (to say nothing of the fellow who starts talking about powering a PDR with a Savonius wind turbine just before he passes out from lack of sleep...).
The Yahoo group is a big part of the reason for the dedication PDR builders have to the class; it is at least as much a club as a racing class. A recent post stated, "I didn't come here to WIN, I came here to RACE," which typifies the attitude of many of the members; certainly no one OBJECTS to winning, but no one really minds not winning very much. It is certainly a VERY egalitarian and friendly club; membership depends on taking an interest, and nothing else. It is easy and entirefly appropriate to consider everyone else on the board a friend, and the prospect of meeting several internet friends in one session was a significant attraction of the race; Andrew's "Friendly Guy" stunt was based on the entirely valid assumption that the fellow he was harrassing was ALREADY a friend of his, he just didn't know WHICH friend, yet.
Thanks for assistance to all of the PDR skippers who were at Magnolia Beach: Dave Sargent, Phil Keck, Scott Widmier, Andrew Linn, John Wright, Bill Giles, Tim Cleary, Andrew Creamer, Jason Nabors, and David "Shorty Pen" Routh