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Launching my Puddle Duck Racer

all together

I expect I will fuss with the rig and fine tune the various bits, but the boat is essentially complete. I'll put her on the trailer and bring her out to the lake.

It's an odd feeling completing a boat, sort of happy but sort of sad too.

backing the trailer

Put her on the trailer and brought her to the boat ramp. I have a launching pass for the season.

There is a skill in backing a trailer up and I've not had much practice yet. That will come... Hopefully.

I live near Lake Erie on the Canadian Side and launch in a protected bay. Lake Erie is very fierce and can be quite dangerous. There are more wrecks in lake Erie than in any of the other Great Lakes.

all together

I eventually managed to get the trailer backed up, luckily there was not much traffic at the ramp.

The little boat slid off the trailer and was finally floating after almost 4 years of construction.

I put the car away and jumped in. Nick had her quietly waiting at the dock.


The ramp is protected and the wind was light and shifting. I managed to ghost and paddle to the end of the docks where I picked up Nick and away we went. I would have rowed but I pulled out my oar socket. I'll bolt it in, I had only used screws and that is obviously not enough. Paddling with the oar worked just fine and moved the boat easily.

The boat has a very nice feel. I was quite surprised with the overall experience. I though of this boat as a toy more than a sailing dinghy and it's proving me wrong.

First it moved forward in very light wind and pointed up almost 45 degrees which was surprising.

It also feels steady and not at all tippy. That is not a surprise though.

The wind was about 5 knots and this was a very pleasant breeze to sort out the first sail. The boat moves well but weight distribution is important. Too far forward and the bow plows in and pretty much stops you. Too far back and the transom goes under and that slows the boat too.

This light air was not much of a test for the sail and mast but it worked very well for the conditions. I am delighted with the boat.

There is something magic about a first sail. The day was glorious, the boat worked better than expected and other than a few tweaks, ok quite a few tweaks the boat is good. It was just plain nice.

It must be an incredible experience to be a boat designer seeing a more complex boat on the water for the first time. Also a bit of tension waiting for the problems to occur.

emails: Christine

Small Print: I'm not an expert in anything. Just because I try something does'nt mean it's right. Be safe and have fun.