ECDuck - The Build Continues 5

Hi Shorty,

It has been a little while since I sent you an update. Thanksgiving is a busy family time at the Widmier household which pulled me away from working on the ECduck. Of course, time spent with the family is always golden and this year was especially fun as we went to Tampa to pick up my Suncat from the factory after getting a nice bottom job. Along the way, my family and I went kayaking along the Hillsborough river where we saw some magnificent scenery and a lot of wildlife including 13 alligators some of them quite large! Turkey day around our table with friends was wonderful and, for once, I managed not to stuff myself and go into hibernation for the rest of the day. I also got to see Richard Fry who was in town visiting family. He helped me rig my Suncat with the newly cleaned and mended by sailcare sail and we had an absolutely wonderful long-distance sail on Lake Allatoona.

I did manage to sneak down to the shop this weekend to spend some time on the ECduck. I spent around 7 hours sanding the hull and deck, collected 5 pounds of sawdust for future thickened epoxy projects, sent 3 pounds down the shower drain, and left 10 pounds spread throughout the workshop. Glad I put in an outside door complete with good seals between my shop and the rest of the house! I also sanded both leeboards shaping them into real nice foils if I do say so myself as you can see from the pictures. Yesterday, I vacuumed and cleaned the shop (vital for a good paint job) and put the first coat of yellow paint on the hull. My color choice was somewhat limited due to the fact that I wanted to use Interlux Brightside paint as it self-levels (nice brush stroke free finish), it very tough, and covers in fewer coats. Of the available colors, yellow was by far the most visible on the water as I have witnessed at many a long-distance cruise. This hull color combined with the orange sail should make my diminutive boat very visible on the water. I put the second coat on this morning and, hopefully, will be able to rotate the hull and start painting the deck hatteras off-white this evening. I didn't want the whole boat to be yellow and I have used and liked this easy-on-the-eyes off-white color on other boats including a couple I still have. Speaking of paint for other boats, I think the racing stripes and, possibly, the hull number will be painted in red as I have some red interlux brightside leftover from another boat project. It will be a bright boat!

This Thanksgiving break I also cut out cabin sides and put them in place on the boat. After several minutes contemplating the results from my shop chair, I decided that I would go with a dodger instead. I can make it fairly strong, have large plastic windows, keep it lightweight, and be able to fold it down to reduce windage when not in use. I ordered the snap on/off bimini side mounts from Duckworks that I used and liked on a previous boat ( so that the dodger can be easily removed and stored for transport. I also ordered some bright yellow cloth from seattle fabrics that should match the hull rather well and, again, increase the visibility of the boat. I will use 3/4'' electrical conduit to construct the dodger frame both because it is easier to get and cheaper than aluminum or stainless steel.

I have also spent some time thinking about a name and submitting my ideas to the brain trust. To me, picking a correct name for the boat is crucial as I have a superstitious belief that the boat will take on the characteristics of the name you give it. Accordingly, I started by looking up words such as "persistence" and "perseverance" as both of these characteristics will be needed in order to successfully sail a PDRacer in the EC. Neither word is very appealing though so I started looking up these terms in other languages with Norwegian being my primary language of interest due to living in Norway for four years and because they were famous open-boat sailors. Neither word yeilded a good solid Norse word. However, I did find a nice and consistent word for conquer and conqueror. Both those words in English and Norse have a definition of "overcome challenges to reach an objective." Appropriate I think. Conquer is "Erobre" and conqueror is "Erobreren." My think tank over at yahoo has pointed out that the name may not come over the radio that clear especially when calling the coast guard (something I am counting on not having to do) but I have a feeling I could just say bright yellow 8' boat and they might be able to find me. I could also refer to duck 104 since that is my hull number. I am still taking input but will put a name on the boat after she has been tested in the water.

Speaking of launching, I plan on launching the boat on Saturday, December 3rd at Galts Ferry Landing park sometime before noon weather cooperating. Before that can happen, I need to attach the leeboards and the rudder as well as finishing the painting of the deck.

Thanks for your note that appears on the Duckworksmagazine donation page for the ECduck. ( I have already taken advantage of Chuck and Sandra's sponsorship of $250 for this attempt but am hoping for some additional suppport. I am paying for most of the build myself and I will also be putting my life and health on the line for this attempt. I am hoping Duckdom will step forward with monetary support for the entry fee and travel expenses for Team Duck.