PDRacer vs Puddlecat

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by misteringer, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. misteringer
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    misteringer Junior Member

    I have been looking at building my first boat. I am 15 but my Dad has been designing and building boats all his life so he could offer me help where I need it. I have a VERY limited budget (around $400 USD) but I am prepared to stretch it a bit. So far I have found two boats that i like (PDracer and Puddlecat) but I don't know much about them. I prefer the puddle cat but I am concerned about how much it would cost to build and how hard it would be, but it also looks like it would perform better. The PDracer looks like a simpler and cheaper build, but it also looks slower, and in my opinion uglier. If anyone can help me decide it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum,

    that should be more than enough to build a simple sailboat. No need to spend a lot on fancy hardware, keep it simple. I have built a number of small boats for well under $200, kayaks, dingy sailors, ever several small cats and trimarans, etc. salvage as much wood as you can, search out good deals, use lumber left over from construction projects, etc. remill the wood on a table saw and you can select out the best stuff for the boat, costs will be minimal. Use Tyvek (house wrap) or polytarp for sail cloth to get you started, and once you have something you like you can buy sail cloth and sew your own, or buy a used sail and rig from a similar sized boat.

    If you want to race the boat in a fleet the PD racer would likely have a local fleet and you can get together with other people building the same boat.

    Otherwise there are lots of low cost and free plans suitable for a first build, available on the internet. try these,

    http://svensons.com/boat/

    http://boatplans-online.com/catalog.php?category=smallsail

    http://www.spc.int/coastfish/en/publications/posters/boat-plans.html

    my building partner and I just built the great little 16 ft tri, with polytarp sail, in about 3 days with about $200 worth of wood and plywood, plus other materials, (not counting the paint, which I got for free..left overs).
     

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  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    more pictures
     

    Attached Files:

  4. NoEyeDeer
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    NoEyeDeer Senior Member

    The designer's website says this about the Puddlecat: "I designed the PuddleCat 8 primarily for use in small lakes or streams close to home."

    This implies it would be a liability on the Hauraki Gulf or Manakau Harbour, which is where I assume you'll be wanting to sail. The PDRacer's seem to be able to handle rough water quite well.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Both boats can only be considered protected waters craft. Semi protected waters can be "played" in, though skipper skill will come to bare if conditions aren't optimum.
     
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I think Petros suggestion is the good one. The little multihulls handle adverse conditions more safely than dinghys.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It's difficult and not very fair to compare a 16' tri against an 8' concrete mixing tub.
     
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Nah - its easy. Better ! :p
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yes, the comparison is easy, just not very fair. It's like comparing my 65' ocean racer against a Catalina 22. I can cruise (under sail) at 20 knots, a Catalina will need to sail off Niagara Falls to reach 18.
     

  10. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    the point is his budget is $400, for about half of that I built a nice sturdy 16 ft trimaran using resawn lumber and low cost marine plywood and left over paint. It is fun, responsive and can carry up to 4 aduts, plus lunch, and even camping gear. He could build one that is even better equipped, depending at how good he is as salvage and scrounging up materials with more money than I spent. If his dad builds boats, he might already have a shop full of used boat stuff sitting around.

    Or he can build an ugly box...er...PDracer for about the same cost. with rather limited performance, capacity and for use in sheltered waters.
     
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