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.