Introduction to the class rules

Keeping Bottom 10" Of All Hulls Alike

The class rules are aimed at keeping the bottom 10" shape of all the boats the same, and we modify the other variables with the boat such as the sails, fins, rigging etc. This makes our competitions a blend of both sailing skill, and boat building skill. The hulls are the most complicated and time consuming part to build, so it is very important to keep them all alike. If the hull shape was allowed to vary, regardless if it actually improves performance, the older hulls would be viewed as obsolete, causing people to feel like they had to build a new hull to stay competitive, which destroys the concept of this racer.

The hull shape tolerance range (see below, and more info) is loose enough that it is easy for an amateur to build, but tight enough so that there will be very little variance between hull shapes. We measure and check our hulls for racing so there are no questions later as to the status of a hull and to make sure that there are no hard feelings between duckers. Openly measuring our hulls & adhering to our class rules shows respect to the effort other duckers have contributed to our community.

We also have a unique rule that keeps both class legal and non-class legal boats participating together in the same event. See Rule 7 below and on the rule explanation page.


Additional Goals of The Rules

Also a goal that an average person can build a complete boat from scratch, for a reasonable price, compete in the annual world championship race and have a reasonable chance at winning with that boat. Boats built from common plywood can be made lighter, cheaper and just as smooth compared to fiberglass or carbon fiber meaning our class will always be affordable to the average ducker.


Non-Racing Purposes

A Puddle Ducker is someone who has a PDRacer hull number, and there is no requirement that you must race your boat. There are many duckers that do not race, or only race casually. When building your boat, you need to try and be class legal. If you make a mistake and it is later measured out of tolerance, that is OK, you tried and that is what counts. Because we retain our hull numbers, if you later wanted to race without the delayed start, you can simply build another hull and move your number over to it. For non-racing (non-stunt recognition) purposes, you can do anything you want with your PDRacer. Basic concepts about being class legal.



PDRacer Class Rules


Defined Hull Shape:

PDRacer Defined Hull Shape

This is our defined hull section, this is the perfect shape of a finished boat, however most of us use this as the cut plan of our side panels. The tolerances are setup so that you can use this as your cut plan. The hull panel is 8' long. The hull panel is 18" high (however a 16" hull seem to be preferred by most). minimum required is 10" high. The station marks are 12" apart, from left to right (stern to bow) they are: 6", 2-5/8", 5/8", 0", 0", 1", 2-3/8", 4-3/8", the last point is 6" from the end, it is 6" up from the base line. For a metric conversion of the Defined Hull Shape [click here]

NOTE: The length of the hull depends on the height of the sides. For more info, see How to cut the bow angle



1 - The hull must match the lower 10" of the defined hull shape

A - The "end points" are the corners where the bottom meets the bow and stern transoms.
B - The distance between the end points may be as long as 91" or as short as 89-7/8"
C - The proper way to measure the rocker shape is from a straight line between the "end points" on a finished boat.
D - The station marks are measured from the stern end point, which is offset horizontally toward the middle by the formula (length - 90" / 2)
E - The rocker shape of the finished hull must fit within the defined tolerance range below.
F - The rocker shape is to be in the form of a curve
G - The boat must be sailed so the bow angle is normally facing forward.
H - Having a hull number does not guarantee the hull is class legal



2 - The hull must have flat parallel sides, flat bow and stern transoms, and a flat bottom

A - The chines and hull edges may be rounded, maximum of 1" fillet as per this drawing
B - The stern transom may be partially or fully open, however the sides must still be the full height.
C - Slots for fins are OK.
D - The sides must contintue to be parallel, the sides & transoms must continue to be flat, even above the 10" line, except for a gunnel or hiking wings (or other similar shaped extension) with the following restrictions:
    must be above the 10" line
    must be perpendicular to the side of the hull
    must not extend more than 6" beyond the hull
    must not be thicker than 1.5"



3 - The hull must be 48" wide

A - The beam has a 1" tolerance (makes for minimum 47", max 49").



4 - The hull must have enough emergency flotation to be self rescued

For more info about flotation, see: Emergency Flotation



5 - No external flotation chambers (such as pontoons, cut waters, amas etc.)

A - Mast head floats are exempted from this rule, and are OK to use.



6 - No lifting fins (hydro foils)

A - All fins must be vertical
B - Maximum of 1.5" wide fins (centerboards, keels, rudders etc)
C - Fins may extend forward or aft of the hull, and may extend vertically above the gunnel.
D - Fins may be attached to the sides of the hull.



7 - Don't screw with the hull shape

A - Anyone with a registered class legal pdracer who is participating in the event, has the right to request the measurement of any pdracer hull which is also participating.
B - Nobody shall impede, prohibit, or otherwise try to restrict (or make un-cool) this right of any puddle ducker.
C - If a registered hull is found out of tolerance, that hull can still participate, however it must delay it's start until all the class legal hulls have crossed the start line, the results of that hull are not counted, and that hull is not listed on the score card.



defined tolerance range

Defined Tolerance Range
Station 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 over to bow
Above 2,7 0,7 0,2 0,2 1,2 2,5 4,5 2,2
Ideal 2,5 0,5 0,0 0,0 1,0 2,3 4,3 2,0
Below 2,3 0,3 -0,2 -0,2 0,6 2,1 4,1 1,6


Official Rule Interpretations

David "Shorty" Routh is the founder of Puddle Duck Racer sailboat class, sole administrator of the class & rules, and sole owner of the
PDRacer trademarks. I have made my best effort to keep the rules as simple and easy to read as possible in laymen terms. If you have a question about the meaning of the class rules, try looking through the following pages:


Additional Class Rule Information:

How to cut the bow angle
How to Measure A Hull

Basic Concepts About Being Class Legal
Rule Explanations Page
Suggesting Rule Changes

Bid Event for World Championship
World Championship Hosting Guidelines



Posting rule questions to forums

I do not participate in online discussion forums. You are welcome to post rule questions to forums, however you may get a variety of answers that may not be correct.