Musing of Duck'nDive Hull Number 606

Hello Shorty

A short essay on my duck adventure and knowledge gained during the weekend. Please forgive my lack of sailors' references as I am a weekend sailor and amateur boat builder.

I was in the fortunate position to put the PD Racer through its paces this weekend in one of our local South African dams. Thanks to you with the design as the boat performed well above my own expectations. I would like to thank Scott Widmier for the distance measurements for the mast and daggerboard case location. It works like a charm.

The wind gods cast their good fortune and I had a great Sunday testing my and the boat’s abilities in 8-12 knot winds. With a 6m2 windsurfer rig I was well occupied with rudder and sail control. When testing the stalling point I could sail tight into the wind and still keep sufficient forward momentum. Too tight and the bow would slam into the waves with the boat coming to a wallowing stop resulting in a very wet sailor and regular bailing.

As soon as I let off on the rudder and got the boat out of irons I could feel the increase in speed and with the correct crew position, bow slap would become less pronounced with a much drier ride. Hiking was not really required unless the wind picked up on a broad reach requiring moving my upper body slightly outside the boat. I had anticipated that this could happen and attached a homemade tiller extension which made control over the rudder easier.

The greatest satisfaction was had when the sail was correctly set and I could hear the wind sighing across the sail surface, the hull was overtaking the bow wave and the mast creaking in its step in protest to the strain.

The stern wake was smooth indicating that drag was at a minimum. During running reaches I would sit flat on my backside inside the cockpit and just enjoy the gentle rocking motion as the boat slipped over the waves, paying attention to the rudder mostly as the sail was presented to the wind and cleated to get maximum area for a down wind run home.

I spent three hours sailing, practicing tacks, gybes, getting out of irons, reading tell tails and making mental notes of what has to happen to get the best response from the boat.

On Saturday I had two novice sailing friends take the boat for a spin, excuse the pun, and they really enjoyed and was highly impressed on the maneuverability and stability. Their comments was something in this order that although they had sailed with other people the duck gave them first hand experience in the art of sailing with the nessecary level of forgiveness to make any sailor feel comfortable

I have some photo's which are very grainy as they were taken by cell phone, which I will forward, once downloaded

Sailing regards
Chris Oosthuizen