Puddle Duck Racer Sailboat Class - Newsletter 9
Shorty's Soap Box
We are coming up on 9 years that I been promoting the PDRacer class. Because I have been doing this long enough, I can see regular patterns that cycle. November and December is our slowest time, probably because of all the holidays and family stuff going on. January is typically the start of building season for us, after the slump of the holidays, the number of new hulls being registered starts rising now and keeps increasing to a peak in July. Along with the ramp up in registrations, I start getting a repeated question "who else is active in my area...". Normally I only talk in fluffy fun positive ways, but this month I am going to give some tough love while perched on top of my soap box.
Who is active in your area?
I don't know, and furthermore I am not going to go find out for you. The way it works is I have done my best to provide all the tools to enable YOU to connect with other local duckers and go do something in person with them. I maintain the central membership list so you can look up everyone who is in your local area, I provide tons of free boat building instruction so you don't have to buy plans, and the money I raise from donations and selling HIN plates I buy advertising to bring in other new members to make our club grow, and use the funds to keep all of the resources here available.
Posting this question to various online boat building forums is not going to answer it either, because the vast majority of duckers do not participate in forums. Puddle ducking is about getting out there and doing our motto in person. Even back when I used to have an official class forum, most duckers never participated in it. (BTW - it was closed, we do not have an official class forum).
So if you want to live life and get together with other duckers to enjoy the real world (with the very short amount of time we have), then you need to contact other local duckers, figure something to do that y'all think is fun, and GET OUT THERE AND DO IT.
After you get out there and do something, send me some pictures and text and I'll do my best to tell everyone about it. All new articles cycle through the site map page, are announced here in the monthly newsletter, and all of your articles are listed on your individual profile page. If you look through the member list, you will notice that the number of articles you submit are listed next to your name. The effect this has is that people interested in our club will look through the member list to see what local duckers are doing, see you have submitted a number of articles, click on your name and read all about what you are doing, and it will motivate them to build a boat themselves and get involved with what you are doing.
Organizing a Puddle Duck race is too complicated
All you need to do figure a time and location that you want to go sailing, and then email everyone else in your area and invite them along. Thats it. Maybe bring a waterproof jar that has something to eat, so after the race you can toss out an anchor, tie the boats together and have lunch. You'll probably only get a couple of other duckers together in the beginning, but if you keep at it and try to have a group sail or event atleast once a month, soon your local fleet will grow and you will have all sorts of activity.
Many racing clubs have rather complex organization structures, but you have to understand they are also aimed at having social gatherings and that is one of the ways they meet & interact. If you like that structure, that is great, but you don't HAVE to have that structure.
Typical messabouts are very heavy into food and other activities. This is largely because they don't race and the main activity is putting your home built boat on the beach with everyone else's and looking at them. Over the years, messabouters wanted to do something more than just look and talk about boats, so the introduction of pot luck food and other stuff has evolved in messabouts. So those type of events also tend to seem rather complicated. Again, if you like that sort of stuff thats great, but you don't HAVE to do any of that to go puddle ducking.
A Kick In The Pants
There are a bazillion ways you can race or go sailing together. I have organized a bunch of events and trips with my friends, and we have had a TON OF FUN! If you want to go have fun, I've done my best to provide you with the tools to enable you to do the same. All you need to do is -- contact your other local duckers, and get out there to be cheap, creative, and have fun on the water.
Puddle Duck Racer News
2012 World Championship Location and Info
In Pittsburgh it is still pretty cold, they are brewing up a huge world championship event. How to build demos are planned and at least half a dozen have signed up for the next hatch on 23rd April. Ken Sherwood is now editor of the Moraine Sailing Club News letter and if you look at Moraine Sailing Club web site and find the Jan/Feb issue of their newsletter there is lots of great stuff getting the the MSC members enthused.
They are currently planning for 50 ducks to attend and the Park authorities are going to clear brush along the lake shore to make accessible, a longer beach due to the greater number of duckers that are planning to attend. They had 16 Puddle Ducks last year for their bid event, and if you look at the member list in that area, you will see there is a huge density of pdracers in that vicinity. Their blog is linked on the World Championship Page, and of course you can contact John Bridges directly.
Everglades Challenge 2012
Scott did an overnight test cruise with his ECDuck and is continuing progress and discovering more tweaks to work on. See the latest articles and videos of the test trip at the Everglades Challenge 2012 page.
To talk about the boat and effort, see Team EC Puddle Duck forum:
Everglades Challenge 2012 SDDP Race
Gene Berry and Patrick Johnson are getting ready for the SDDP race and have some new articles up. Gene is building a new cabin version pdracer and Patrick describes some of their plans for the upcoming SDDP race. For more info, see the Everglades Challenge SDDP Race page
2012 PolySail PDRacer Calendar
There are just a couple left, so if you are interested, get them while you can. The proceeds from the calendar sales support the class and fund a lot of the advertising that I purchase to help promote our class. Duck Stuff
ECDuck Shirts & Stuff
Scott created this neat graphic to use on shirts as a fund raiser for the class and also so we can cheer him along. If you get one and are participating in the upcoming SDDP race, how about sending in photos of you wearing your shirts in your articles?