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My Puddle Duck Racer Project

Here are links to other steps of the Puddle Duck Build

Adding flotation chambers on the
Puddle Duck Hull

The Puddle Duck Racer is a very stable boat. When it capsizes it can be tricky to right if it is not buoyant. These lage side tanks allow the boat to lie high on its side and when it rights itself there is almost no water to bail out.

The Classs Rules do not specify any particular style of buoyancy. This is left to the individual's fancy. Some people have put them front and back. Coupled with leaboards instead of centreboards the entire boat is free of obstacle and roomy.

PDR flotation

I had cut 2 additional "sides" wwhen I cut my sides to make flotation chambers. These panels were cut to the same size as the sides also with wood strips attached to the bottom and front and back. I used old underlay plywood I had around. It is nowhere near as nice as the baltic ply and has only 3 layers. I'm hoping that the strain on the inside panels will not be so great as on the hull. I expect the flotation chambers will help make the hull stiffer and support the deck. The underlay was warped and I will have to struggle to make it straight before I attach the deck. Here the 2 sides have been glued and screwed temporarily. I had measured and marked the bottom front and back so I only had to line up the marks to the panel and attach them.

PDR port

I'm putting slightly larger inspection ports in the side than I did on my Skerry. I found in my Skerry that it was tricky to get my camera and other junk in the dry compartment because the port was too small. These are about 6 inches across. I supported the edges with fiberglass cloth. I don't trust the plywood much. The inside sides are only underlay and not very strong.

When it came to cutting the holes I remembered that I had intended to cut the holes BEFORE I installed the panel, it's much easier to cut that way. Great memory!

The inspection ports are attached using a whole lot of little nuts and bolts. I'll do this at the end after the inside is painted.


After putting in the seat I was not happy with the floppyness of the flotation chamber sides so I went back and strengthened it. I did not intend to add much support in the flotation chamber but the luan that I used on the inside wall is slightly flexible. The foam adds a great deal of rigidity to the luan and adds no weight at all. I cut the foam with my table saw. It's amazingly tricky to do. The blade slices it very easily but the foam sticks and seems inclined to bind. I almost had a kickback a couple of times. I switched to using a knife instead. Not as accurate but safer.

emails: Christine

This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view.