Monday, December 28, 2015

Pulling the Puddle Duck: An assessment

Well, it's finally getting late enough in the season that it's probably time, despite the ridiculously warm weather we've been having, to put our little Puddle Duck Racer "Dharma Duck" ashore for the season.
Yeah, it's the end of December and it's 70 degrees.

First, the good news:  The construction we used in the little PDRacer has worked.  All the seams seem sound, and the old school seam protection, saturating canvas with TitebondIII and doing a dutch mend on the seam (as an alternative to fiberglass) shows no signs of wear or deterioration, despite months in the water.  The interior, which has been flooded with rainwater periodically likewise shows only a tiny amount of checking on the plywood, and no leaks at all.  All in all I'm happy.

Dharma Duck now ashore, all seams tight, and free of fouling.

Despite a major Zebra Mussel invasion this summer and fall, the bottom paint has worked well, with absolutely zero sign of the beasties stuck to the hull or the leeboard.  All in all, we're really pleased.

A few things we DIDN"T anticipate:  Despite the intact paint and seams, the boat (like all wooden boats) will absorb a fair amount of moisture.  So in pulling the 120 lb. boat we shortly discovered we were lifting something more like 200 lbs. out of the water.  No grief, but we wound up sliding the hull along one of the pier boards (happily wet and slippery with rain) to get her ashore.  Even so, the canvas seams and bottom paint took almost no grief.

except. . . .

Except we failed to notice the 1" high protruding nail that had worked it's way up from the dock boards.

Yeah, that's a gouge.
Ow.  So we got a nasty 2 1/2' gouge in the bottom.  I'll patch it when we repaint for spring, but I felt badly for our little duck.  It's okay, we'll give her a nice new coat of bottom and interior paint in spring for the splash and all will be well.

All in all our little PDRacer project has been a great one:  Its been a lot of fun, was easy and entertaining to build, and makes a great tender for "Floating Empire."

Waiting for Warmer Days

More later.  Hope you all survived the Holidays.


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