Building Green Machine

Hi, Shorty

Since I was a little guy I liked things that would fly or float. As a kid, I built a lot of solid model air planes and boats, usually carving them out of Balsa or pine. I live very close to a state park that has a very large bay and a lot of boating activity, I use to think how great it would be to have a little sail boat that I could sail every day after work. Thinking about it, the boat had to meet a few criteria.

1 - The boat had to be easy to construct out of ready available materials.
2 - It could be built in a garage or basement work space.
3 - It could be easily car topped and launched.

After looking at a lot of boat designs, I finally settled on the Bolger Brick as the design that would fit those three criteria. Before starting the Brick build, I warmed up by building a little fishing boat called The $12.00 boat from plans in a 1966 issue of Popular Science. It was a small jon boat built from 1/4" ply and 1x4 pine shelving. Over the last couple of years, the Brick with it's 59 sq ft poly-tarp sail has served it's purpose, providing me with a boat that does everything a more expensive boat does, it just does it a lot slower. With it's 24 inch sides, it ain't easy to row, it's heavy, not easy to car-top, but it gets the job done.

All along, I guess I was becoming increasing aware that I was going to need a more portable boat that was smaller and lighter. Enter "The Green Machine" The simple 18 PDRacer.

I started out building the simple 18, with front and rear air boxes, The boxes provide the space for camping equipment an space in the rear for a battery for my trolling motor. I used Luan, from the big box store and a lot of titebond ll and a couple tubes of liquid nails. One of the building technique that worked well for me during assembled of the hull was the method of applying the fiberglass sheet rock tape along every seam. I still remember the picture of the red brick delaminating.

As a former model airplane builder, I use to cover Styrofoam wings with balsa wood, using tite bond, The glue is brushed onto the surface of the Styrofoam until it dries, then the balsa was applied with a hot cloths iron applying enough heat until the dried glue polymerized. I used the fiberglass sheetrock tape. After the glue has dried the tape can be creased to fit around the chines, when the heat is applied, the tape will follow a curve. A couple more coats of tite bond is applied to fill the weave of the tape, with a coat of liquid nails completely filling the weave. It ain't poxy, but I don't think it will leak!

The mast is a 16 Foot Bolger design, for your favorite sail the 59 sq ft. Leg o Mutton, I got my sail from Dave, what a beauty. See, no new innovations, but a lot of fun! Still dreaming about this summer.