A little history and activity of Puddleduck 747By Ron Thomas #747 "Priarie Splendor" (1ar)
I built the hull and the major parts of the Priarie Spendor last fall in my Kentucky front yard. I didn't have any holding devices except a C clamp or two and the ground wasn't 100 percent level. As a result the boat isn't 100 percent in line either but as this spring has shown, it has been a practical and active duck.
I equipped the Priarie Spendor with a kick up rudder that was constructed in Richard Helms workshop near Somerset, Kentucky. Richard is a fellow ducker and he instructed me on nhow to turn the tiller on his wood lathe.
After several failures with masts, the most diffiult part of construction for me, I settle don a pne inch steel hollow pipe or conduit, with 1/2 inch of the same material for the boom. The duck taped standard poly tarp sails worked tolerably well but seemed to require a lot of new duck taping after every trip. I finally opted to buy a 35 square foot sail from Shell boat works in Vermont. I had also mad ethe rudder more secure by buying the gudgel and pintels . The mast is passed through a round foredeck hole that is almost the same diameter as the pipe. It then rests in three two by fours that have been drilled through one and into the second one. The arrangement has withstood 25-30 mile and hour winds in dry land tests.
For waterproofing I used gobs of gorilla glue and while the substance basically did the job, it left unsighly and hard to remove residue. For late work on the deck and mast I did turn to Tight Bond III and have found it easier to work with. I have mounted oarlocks on the boat and purchased six foot wooden oars. The length seems about right for this boat. The most surprising area (in a good way) about the boat is its buoyancy . I believe it will support 700 pounds easily and it doesn't have foam blocks or etc. The drawback has been a suitable leeboard that will hold and offer the best stability for crossings and tackings. The boat doesn't sail wellwithin the 10 o'clock, 2 o'clock paramenter into wind but I am a self taught sailor and entirely in this boat.
I am enclosing a couple of pictures from a place called Clear Creek, a Federal area near Cave Run Lake, Kentucky. I highly recommend this site because it has a comfortbale ramp, is relatively shallow in the launch area, and has enough area size for good length runs down wind. it is also largely un crowded.