A Savvy, Cost-Efficient PDR designBy Teresa Smith -Galoob #913 "PING" (1ar)
For those already familiar with having built a PDR ,or several, by now, you may have recognized this design when it was first posted on some Facebook cites this Fall. We may not have chosen this Plan, as much as it chose us! The Plan was readily available, online, and complete with illustrations, Materials List, and Step by Step Instructions for beginner level PDR builders.The Plan is included on a website for Polysail International, and was an invention of PDR designer, David Gray. Overall, it's a good Plan to follow, clear in directions a majority of time, and once understood, is impressive in it's Thrifty aspects. The designer does make it clear, the PDR plan is for a quick build, "camp" boat for kids and adults to enjoy a few season's use out of it, and makes no promises of the boat being of long-lasting quality. We understood that.
Our materials purchase was not of the Best quality woods and materials, at least in our initial purchase, though, not the worse either. Once my husband and me began to rip pieces , just like we'd seen in the directions,and set them aside in an orderly fashion, somewhere, along the way, husband Mike "switched gears".
He first was very impressed with the designers concept of cutting the Blades out of the interior side panels. Admittedly, so was I. The side panel Frames were also unique, and we became enchanted with the design. We worked as many hours as we could on the project, in an effort to finally put it together, and see how that would evolve and conclude for us. Then, an Irony began to develop. Overall, the design was for the construction of a cheap, fast, easy PDR, which initially did appeal to both of us. The Irony set in when my partner, Mike, became infatuated with the creative and clever aspects of the design, mainly over those Side frames that also served as Blades Material. He began to invest much more labor and love, even better quality materials into the project.
Fast forward to in my keeping a LOG on this project and posting every step of the way onto the PDR facebook cite, capturing photos of each and every step, which was a real life-saver, as fellow facebook friends would critique our work along the way, and stepped in just in time! One responded to a post following our work on attaching the sides , asking what were we intending to Fill the sides with, as the sides, being left an open slot, could fill with mud, and debris? A definite material was recommended, we stuck with a similar quality styrofoam, that I painted with Kilz on the non-shiney surfaces. It fit like a puzzle, so nicely into the side frames and outer walls. I liked the looks of how it all came together, plus it was like walla-there ya have it-the sides were at least all painted by then! Mike, however, did'nt like it. He holds little Faith that it will stand up to wet conditions , and over time, the styrofoam will remain wet , and rot, even causing the wood to rot out. He preferred that, actually it be left with Nothing in that space, would have, in his mind, been better than material that can rot and cause damage. I think, however, that at the same time, for now, anyway, he also prefers that finished look that I was admiring, when we first put it all together. For now, we have kept the boat that way, and proceeded to attach the bottom., completing the entire frame.
The boat is being finished with only the best materials we can access, and with a big investment of Time, with Mike constantly sanding, planing, repeat. Be nice to get her done sometime this Fall and get to try it out! In the meantime, any shortcuts are unthinkable, as of that first infatuation with the genius design ! We like to imagine , we never read that part that says, "Camp Boat" with a Five Year shelf life. In our wildest imaginations, we imagine her to be exactly what we set out to create,styrofoam sides, or not. She;s PING the Asian duckling that set out on adventures on the Yangtze River, only to be lost , and found again, and always cherished, despite her awkward and misfit character., she "completes us"!
Much appreciation to those who really added to our boat building experience in such positive ways-quite a few, came out of the woodwork, to help us along with donations, of materials, time, and positive support. We have built things before, including boats, and never have we experienced such wonderful support from friends to strangers! We feel truly blessed and a big part of something larger than ourselves that will just keep increasing exponentially among PDR builders and fans, now located worldwide! We look forward to the little boat that could take us a Long way , as it has already, from that very first day that we made our first purchase of lumbar, to the final finishing steps that draw excitement and pride from those fellow builders and fans that understand .
Lets go sailing!!