Mast Repair (Part II)

A few weeks ago, I repaired the top of my mast.  The fix was pretty straightforward, I took a bit of Titebond II, some sawdust and some wheat flour and used it to replace a big chip out of the top of my mast.  I then wrapped the whole thing with Fibatape and glued that down as well.

I wasn’t at all sure that it was going to work, but I did hope to get at least one more sailboat outing out of it.

In that regard the repair was a complete success.  I took most of my kids on what was probably the best sailboat outing of the year.  The strong winds also made for an excellent test of the repair, as I pushed the boat about as hard as I could. Continue reading “Mast Repair (Part II)”

Mast Repair

As I mentioned in my article on the camping trip to Scofield Reservoir, I broke the top fitting on my mast in the trailer on the way up to the camp site.  It was, of course, my own fault.  I was in too big a hurry packing up the trailer.  We were behind schedule and we had a lot of gear and boys to get on the road.  The lag screw on the top of the mast simply wasn’t designed to have those sorts of unequal forces applied to it.  I spent a bit of time trying to decide how I was going to fix the mast (or maybe make a new one), and then I decided that the thing to do was to fix the mast the same way I fix all of the problems that I have had with Nephi’s Courage, use more Titebond II! Continue reading “Mast Repair”

Puddle Duck Racer Refit — Leeboard

I am not a naval architect, but designing boats is sort of fun.  My pdracer is inexpensive enough that I am more than happy to experiment, and at some point I am hoping that experimentation includes some racing.  To me, that’s the beauty of the Puddle Duck Racer.  They are easy and inexpensive to build, but there is nothing stopping you from treating them like a real sailboat. Continue reading “Puddle Duck Racer Refit — Leeboard”

Puddle Duck Racer Refit — Gunter Rig

Nephi’s Courage sports a nifty gunter rig, and I really like it.  The rig allows me to sport a ridiculous amount of sail area on spars made from 12 foot 2×6 boards.  Yes, 12 foot spars don’t fit in the boat, but they do fit well on top of my minivan.

Of all of the design decisions I made when building Nephi’s Courage the decision to use a gunter rig was by far the most nerve racking.  I’d never sailed a gunter-rigged boat before.  Heck, I had never even seen a gunter-rigged boat before.  I had no idea how the rig would work in real life.  Fortunately, I live in an age and time where I do not have to rely on just my own knowledge and the knowledge of the boat owners in my area.  Once I started thinking about a standard sloop rig with spars that were less than 12 feet the gunter rig started to look like the right solution.  However, it wasn’t until I started watching videos of Mirror Dinghies that I started to believe that a gunter rig might actually work in real life.  Now that I have sailed one for a season I am sold. Continue reading “Puddle Duck Racer Refit — Gunter Rig”

Puddle Duck Refit — Rudder

I built my puddle duck racer with a Michalak-style kick up rudder, and I still think that was a pretty good choice.  However, the place where I typically launch is shallow for a good distance, and I did not take the time to install a lanyard that would allow me to pull the rudder blade up manually.  So my rudder dragged the bottom a lot.  I didn’t care last summer, because sailing is more fun than fixing rudders.  I hoped that I could make the rudder last the season, and with a bit of emergency repair it just made it.  I definitely needed to fix the rudder before I could take the boat sailing again though. Continue reading “Puddle Duck Refit — Rudder”