PDRacer

For more info about the PDRacer boat and free plans, see:
http://www.pdracer.com/ - For high performance Oz PDRacer plans, click HERE.

Well, I promised Shorty that I would build one of his PDRacers and join the fleet for some of the races to be held in this area. I didn't think it would take too long and besides it looked like fun. I just got a new set of tools (on John Cupp's advice) which included a brad driver, so I figured I would use that for really speedy construction

I decided to use Yellow Pine plywood for the boat since it is a little tougher than Lauan. In the photo below, I have marked out the rocker of the sides and have a batten sprung to mark a fair curve.

I decided to use the PL Concrete Crack & Masonry Sealant as I had heard Mike Goodwin recommend it, and it seemed to be all the local HD had in stock.

Here, I use the Delta brad driver to attach the chine log to the side. The tool worked great, but I did have to use a drywall screw or two, especially at the ends.

After the sides and the bulkheads were assembled, I started sticking stuff together. I dry assembled each joint first with drywall screws, then opened them up and caulked. I started with the forward bulkhead....

...Then went on th the bow transom. Notice the clamp holding the sides in position so that I could get it in place. This job could have used a helper.

The PL does not set up too quickly, but I had to get the bottom on before I left it in this stage:

To put the bottom on, I turned the side and bulkhead assembly over and put a bead of PL on the transom...

...then I held the bottom down with my knee while I put a couple of drywall screws through it into the transom. That done, I propped the bow end of the bottom piece up so that I could caulk the rest of the mating areas:

After everything was ready, I removed the prop and let the bottom down to it's proper postion and got busy with a few more screws and about a million brads. This was a full sheet of ply and I went back later with the cordless saw that came with the Delta Six-Pack and trimmed it off.

I chose to make a polytarp balanced lug for the sail on this boat partly because I was familiar with it and partly because I knew it would not require a very long mast or spars. I glued up a 2-1/4" x 2-1/4" blank about 12 feet long for the mast out of some clear Southern Yellow Pine I had lying around. That happens to be a piece of 2 by and a piece of 1 by. It had a bit of a curve in it after the glue had set up, so I tapered it by taking off the concave side of the curve. This made it pretty straight.

In the next picture, I am marking for the champfer which will make the stick eight sided:

Here I am using the Delta saw to cut one of the corners off the mast blank. I should say that this set of tools has proved to be quite useful. The quality is excellent and the price reasonable. The other tool that I really like from the set is the cordless sabre saw. With a good blade, this thing really does cut - not on a par with a good corded model, but it is so handy that I use it all the time.

The main reason I wanted to make a round mast was to try out a trick that I had heard about on a discussion group: turning a sanding belt inside out and using a drill to finish the rounding process. After I sawed the corners off, I used a hand plane to approximate a round shape. After it was about 32 sided or so, I cut a disk of wood about the size of the mast, put a 3/8" bolt through it and chucked it in the drill. It would only spin in the belt which sanded the disk rather than the mast. I figured that I needed more friction on the driver than the mast, so I made a larger disk and bingo! It worked like a champ:

For this job, you need a drill with some guts. A slow speed model is good too. I happen to have two work benches in my shop, each with a 4" vise. I clamped the blank in both of these for stability and ran up and down it with stops to rotate. I found it quite easy to keep the belt centered on the disk.

Shortly after finishing the boat, I went to Conroe for my first race. In this picture, I am rigging things up. You can see the darts in the sail - a-la Jim Michalak - but I think they went a bit too far into the center of the sail. I got some shape, but perhaps a bit much for the conditions. It was quite blustery that day, gusting in the 20's anyway, and I later broke my leeboard and capsized. That whole miserable story is told by Shorty.

As you can imagine, the sailing was fun in those conditions. I made my boat with less freeboard with the idea of having better upwind performance than the others and beating them all! In the weather that day, I just got wetter than the rest - both by capsizing and from water coming over the sides, bow and stern in the choppy water.

Oh well, there is another race this Saturday and I have a brand new leeboard.......