With all the sleek prams and skiffs in Duckworks to ogle over, I can’t explain why I’m so smitten with the Chugger by Steven Lewis (Duckworks Projects 2002). It’s a basic box-shaped boat but I think it has a certain utilitarian elegance; an opinion not shared by my wife, by the way. I explained to her that the Chugger is not a fine-boned, sensually curved, yacht club prima-dona but rather a pug-nosed, thick-waisted boat slapped together in a weekend of flying PL and plywood – beautiful!

In order to satisfy my urge to have one, and to pass the long New Hampshire winter days, I whipped up a 2d AutoCad drawing and a balsa model. I modified Lewis’s design slightly by shortening the cabin top which increases cockpit space while retaining enough room for a 6’+ bunk. I also allowed for a steering bulkhead – I like the idea of using a small-horsepower outboard with controls. This allows for stand-up steering which increases visibility and moves the weight of the crew toward the middle of the boat which improves trim under power.

click image for large version

The attached .jpeg (click image above) of the plans are 8 ½ x 11 – if someone is interested in making a model, the .jpeg can be printed, cut-out and traced onto balsa to make a model. I’d also be happy to email anyone the full-size CAD file if requested. I used 3/32” for the sides, top and bulkhead and 1/32” for the bottom. In addition I used small stock for the rub-rails and to add gluing area to the panels. I used Titebond II – I want her to stay together if she sees tub duty.

Rick Malagodi