More Messer Models
click here to read or make comments about this  article
designs by Warren D. Messer - Seattle, Washington - USA
If you like to build paper models of boats, you will be glad to know that Mr. Messer has made available a series of PDF files which can be printed and cut out to make scale models. Here are two new ones.

The O&P Pod

I have wanted to design a peapod hull for a long time, and have started and stopped working on the project several times during the past couple of years. Each time ended in frustration with the shape of the cutout models. Something was wrong with the way I was approaching the design with the tools and methods I used. I could come up with a hull by using the free internet design programs, but none of them gave me the flat panel printouts I needed to test the design. I don't design boats that need frames to be built on, and when you measure and loft one of my designs on level plywood, they fit when constructed. It wasn't until I started the multi-panel Laura designs, that I was better able to work though the relationships of the curved panels to each other and the complete hull.

I took parts of the various Laura designs and copied them onto a new drawing, and stretched and tweaked them around to get closer to a final concept of what I wanted. That took about eight models to get to a workable (looked like one anyway) double ended hull shape. Then I worked on it only in my spare moments while building the Laura Bay. With building the Laura Bay out of the way I had more time and a large supply of "Red Baron" pizza boxes to make the models from. Finding cardboard long enough can be a challenge when I'm doing a lot of model making. The 15.5ft Wendy Bay and 14ft Plyzar (both require matching up printout pages) were even more of dilemma until I found some 6ply poster board at a local office supply store. The O&P Pod took twenty one more printouts and models after the first eight attempts, to arrive at a final design that I'm happy with. But the model I'm happy with now may have slight differences later when the prototype hull is build, and again when the plans go on sale.

The O&P stands for the Owl and Pussy Cat from the nursery rhyme, and the first hull may be pea green too. It's also a play on words from the standard term of "peapod" for a small double ended hull. It took awhile to get the sheerlines to fall in place, and to get the volume I needed in the stern quarter. Some of the traditional peapods had an equal distribution of volume between the bow and stern halves. I wanted to add more to the stern area for extra weight carrying capacity for either a passenger while rowing or when sitting in the aft section while sailing. At about model number 15, I made major changes to the volume of the hull and had to redo the fit and lengths of all the panel sections. Visual changes to the overall appearance of the bow and stern curvatures for the "right look", were worked on at this time too. From above the O&P looks like a baby Pacific SeaCraft 37 or a Baba 30, but the stern is not as full below the rail.

click image for model suitable for printing on 14" paper.

I enjoy holding the O&P Pod model on the tips of my fingers and just looking at it. This model is the best fitting hull I have made to date and if you follow the instructions for assembly that come with it; you should have something to hold up and smile about too. I did discover that in the conversion process from program drawing file to PDF file, that the models are smaller than designed. I almost went back to redesigning the hull until I made some comparison measurements between models from different file types; then I was able to breath a sigh of relief. I like pizza, but not every day. ;)

I am conflicted about which boat to build next; the O&P Pod or the PUD-g. I have to wait until I expand the barn to build either the 14ft Plyzar and the 15.5ft Wendy Bay. But do not worry, both of the latter hulls will have PDF models out soon to download, build, and add to your growing fleet.

The 6.75 PUD-g

This design is a departure from what I had told myself about not working on any more short boats. Most people are looking for a boat somewhere in the 10 to 14 foot range. This isn't even close to that ideal. But I gave it a go anyway for the following reasons.

The design came about after I had gone up to Bellingham, Washington, to look at a 34 foot steel sailboat. As I was waiting for the broker to show up, I made a quick stroll up and down the docks looking at the other boats sitting at their moorings. As I walked along, I kept seeing all the yacht's tenders stacked in their dock racks in neat little rows. I then became more interested in them than their mother ships.

There were prams, skiffs, and dinghys; some homemade and some production boats. I was amazed at how short they were and how little volume they carried at their beams and ends. Some of the more stylish ones had tiny little wineglass transoms which carry no load until the boat is 6" deeper in the water and freeboard is at a premium. For a lot of them, twelve inches of freeboard sitting empty was stretching the point.

I decided when I got home to see what I could come up with that was small enough to fit on the fore deck, but still carry the captain and at least one crew member, plus supplies from the docks to the mothership. I wanted to keep it short, somewhat narrow in the beam, and with low enough freeboard to be out of the way of either the main boom or the headsail on the mothership.

A short narrow boat needs it's volume where the hull meets the water so to speak. So I made sure that I carried the volume all the way down in the stern. A wine glass looks pretty, but doesn't carry the weight well when more than one person is in the boat. I puffed out the volume in the bow area to give more displacement forward to keep the nose up and the extra flare helps lift her up in waves and keep some of the spray out. I also gave her some freeboard to keep the seas out when loaded down with crew and supplies. Sitting on the dock, her height at the beam is about 16" and this should help keep her dry. There is enough "V" to the bottom that I don't think she will need a keel strip to keep her going in a straight line. If you want to add a short one along the last two feet of the keel, be my guest as it can't hurt and can only help. It looks like six foot oars would work very well and could be stored in the hull with no overhangs.

I did rake the transom a little, and put a bit of a curve in the sheer. Nothing says she has to be practical, and homely. To get the most useful room out of the hull, I'm going to use the moveable middle seat with double oarlock stations; and maybe add a sailing option using the thirty six square foot Optimist rig. You should be able to find "slip sleeve" sized tubing at to make the mast, boom, and sprit into take-a-part sections.

Let me know what you think of the boat after building the model. If I get enough interest, I will construct the prototype and make it a full series of stories as I did with the Laura Bay.

Thanks again for your comments and ideas.

Warren Messer
Red Barn Boats
P.S. The PUD-g stands for Personal Utility Dingy-model g. ;)

Plans for Warren Messer's designs are available from