Puddle Duck Racer

Puddle Duck Racer
Current Specifications
Crew 1-2
Type Monohull (Scow)
LOA 8 ft (2.4 m)
RYA PN 140.0
Designer David "Shorty" Routh (PDRacer.com rules)

A Puddle Duck Racer or PD Racer is an 8 foot (2.44 m) long, 4 foot (1.22 m) wide, 16 inch (40 cm) high, spec series, racing sailboat or day sailer. It is a one design hull shape with wide options in other areas. Billed as "the easiest sailboat in the world to build", the scow hull is a simple box, usually built of plywood. A sideview of the hull dimensions can be seen to the right. PD Racers have a Portsmouth Handicap rating of 140.0 and their USSA code is PDR.[1][2]


History and scope

The PD Racer was designed by David "Shorty" Routh, and was influenced by the $50 Sailboat Race, The Moth Class, Gavin Atkins's Mouse Boat group, Jim Michalak boat designs, the Phil Bolger "Brick" design, and a number of other box boats. While the hull designs of the Puddle Duck Racer and the Bolger Brick look very similar, the only similarities between them are the rectangular perimeter shape.[1] The PD Racer design was first published & released on July 7, 2003, the first PD Racer hull was built in January 2004. Despite the design's young age, as of September 23, 2010 there were 500 PD Racers registered globally, primarily in the United States, but with growing fleets in other countries also, such as Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, and South Africa on a total of five continents with a scattering of other locations such as Hong Kong, Switzerland and Africa. The top three areas that are home to a large number of puddleducks are Texas, the Okanagan Valley (located in British Columbia, Canada) and Australia. To register a hull and receive a hull number, the basic hull (four sides, and two airboxes (or chambers) attached to a plywood bottom) must be assembled (called "going 3D" by the builders). Puddle Duck Racers generally are built with two airboxes (either two at the front or back, or two on the sides (if they are built on the sides of the boat, they provide a practical seating area for the crew, making it easier to navigate without the hassle of seeking for visibility around your sail)) that are designed to keep the boat afloat if it were to capsize and can act as useful storage area for emergency paddles or other items. With two world championships under its belt, and many regional competitions, the series looks to continue growing at a steady rate.[3]

Puddle Duck Hatch

During the weekend of April 28–30, 2006, there was a "Puddle Duck Hatch" held in Summerland, British Columbia. Organized by PD Racer enthusiast Gordon Seiter, the event, gathered various groups from the area to build PD Racers on Friday and Saturday, and then race them on Sunday. The build was sponsored by various local merchants. 10 boats were built at the hatch, which brought the number of registered hulls to 99, and hulls 100 and 101 "went 3D" during the same time in other locations, bringing the hull count to 101.

In May 2007 a second Hatch was held and five boats were built. 2008 saw the name of the event changed to the Summerland TimberMart Hatch and saw five more boats built.

In Fall of 2010, Summerland, British Columbia will be hosting the 2010 Puddle Duck "World Championship" Race.


The original PDRacer.com sanctioned dimensions to which a PD Racer must conform; the lower 10 inches (25.4 cm) of the hull, not counting foils, must match the given dimensions.

With a focus on a simple design that uses low cost materials, PD Racers are meant to be accessible to as wide a variety of people as possible. All the materials needed to build the boat can be found at a well stocked hardware store. While the boats are required to conform to a specific shape for use in class racing, the hull can also be used for recreational sailing, paddling, and motoring.[1]

The PD Racer is unique in several aspects; its lack of sailing rig specification allows for any design of mast or sail, allowing builders a unique ability to express themselves through the rig they design and build. Additionally, PDRacer hulls are numbered after photographic proof is given that that hull has been completed rather than assigned by the plan number a builder is given. Since many people may order plans and never build the boat, photographic evidence gives a much more accurate estimate of boat numbers.[1][3]

Class rules

The full set of class rules (along with an FAQ) can be found at PDRacer.com http://www.pdracer.com/class-rules/

Popular Configurations

The most popular version of the PDRacer is the "End Airbox" design. This configuration has float tanks known as airboxes towards the ends, being the bow and stern. Free plans on the PDRacer.com called the "Simple 18" can be used to build that version. The second most popular version is the "Full Length Side Airboxes", where the air boxes are located down each side. This version can be made by making 4 side panels and attaching a bottom. There are also a number of free plans available for other types of boats, see the free plans page at PDRacer.com. A major point of the class is to design and build your own configuration, because the boat really is just a simple box with a curved bottom.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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