Quacker Box Goes Sailing

Before this PDR, I built three other somewhat more complex boats. Since then, I kept seeing how much fun these people were having sailing PDRs at messabouts. I felt like I was missing a fun form of boating, so I decided to build one. I started by buying an old Sunfish-clone rig for the planned Duck build because I had read good things about them and I don't like making spars.

I ordered PDR plans from Storer, Welsford and Michalak. I also studied PDR stuff on the web. I decided that the Storer and Welsford designs strayed too far from the original intent of the PDracer; that of being a simple build. I decided to build a 16 inch high flat top PDR with nine inch wide side air boxes and a 20 inch bow deck. I used the Michalak Cat Box design for the rudder and inboard adjustable dagger board.

I used thin 3/16 Ultraply XL plywood, Titebond III glue, and fiberglass and epoxy on the bottom. The red exterior house paint was a mistake mix from Home Depot for $7 a gallon. I used mostly left over lumber and hardware from previous boat builds and building my boat barn. I bought a Polysail kit from Dave, which was easy to build, except I had trouble with the sewing. The sail turned out to be about 59 square feet when finished.

I built the Quacker Box over a 3 month period and have 40-50 hours invested. I really enjoyed how the build allowed for creativity. Many of the design decisions were made on the fly and frequently were based on making what I had on hand, work.

When we launched on January 21, 2012 we had boatbuilding friends there to witness the occasion. Although the wind was very light the Quacker Box sailed well with no boat or rigging problems. It is amazing how a PDracer can make sailors and spectators smile.

We look forward to taking her out again in windier conditions. We plan to add a forward facing helm seat with an opposite facing passenger seat like Dave Sanborn's Duck Soup #287. We sailed the Duck Soup at a messabout and really liked the arrangement. I will also have to convert the rudder to a push-pull tiller.

I can see myself building another PDR for my wife, sometime in the future. We can have his and her PDRs and can race!