Building a Puddle Goose  
By Bob Alston - Elko, Nevada - USA

What do you do when you realize the boat you just finished won’t really do what you wanted? I mean really? What do you do? I built my first “duck” (hull #55) because I didn’t know if I would enjoy sailing or not. I built the second one (hull # 68) just to prove I could build a “Duck”. I started thinking (a bad thing for me to do) about the load this boat would have to contain: me, I weigh 300 lbs +, my wife’s Lab, Ripley, (55 lbs), and my wonderful Lady, Kate. If Ripley was ever still over 6 seconds while she was awake, I don’t know of it. Now what? Oh, by the way, I have never been on, or near a sailboat. Kate, when she was in college, dated a guy with a sailboat, and enjoyed sailing, but I had never been near one. I didn’t even know anyone that knew how to sail. Okay, I still built them. I knew diddley about sailing or woodworking when I began (I still don’t, but more later). I was looking a various plans when I realized I just barely knew enough to build a PDRacer. I wanted a boat that would do everything. Sail, row, put a motor on it, cruise, fish, sightsee, just about anything I wanted to do, it should do. (Ha ha ha, little did I know). I bought a few plans, downloaded a lot more, and still I did not find what I was looking for. Then I saw on Short’s site, ( just what I was seeking. He was building a 12 foot version of the PDRacer, from cardboard. I liked just what I saw, and after asking him a few questions, began to build one. Now, I would enjoy reminding you I had never been on a sailboat, much less ever sailed one, and, here I am building my third darn sailboat. I decided I would build one with floatation tanks on the bow and stern, and put them in, oops. I then realized I would not be able to put a motor on it. (Drat!!)

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PDR #68, Katies Puddle Duck Too

While this was going on, the lake thawed out, the weather warmed, and I put PDR #68, Katies Puddle Duck Too in the water, and tried to go sailing. If you can think any mistake that could be made rigging a sailboat, you can be certain I made it, and probably twice. While that story needs to be told, let’s leave it for another day.

This story is about building a Puddle Goose, the 12 foot version of the PDRacer. None of my “great” ideas really worked out in practice, not one. (Now I know you have never had that happen to you, but this is me) So, here I am with a hull, a bow transom and bulkhead, a stern bulkhead , and the reality that I still do not know anything about sailboats. By sheer luck, I stumbled across Peter Hyndman and Michael Storer’s tale of building the Oz version of the PDR. It was really an eye opener to me. These gents knew how to build, and document sailboats. I knew I didn’t know anything about the dratted things, so I contacted Michael and asked if he would design a Goose for me, and a very long story very short, he did. Of course, you might know most of what I had done was not to the design specs of his version. When I tore most of the prior wood out, I really got a lesson in boat building. Well, the junk I had installed is out, and as they used to say on TV, now let the adventure begin.

You know what? I was going to send some pictures of before the change and during the removal of parts; however the smart card they were on was accidentally destroyed. Oh well, that’s life among the Alston’s.

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The slightly used, never in the water, stern bulkhead for a Puddle Duck/Goose Racer.

Is there anyone out there interested in a used (slightly) never in the water, stern bulkhead for a Puddle Duck/Goose Racer?
(To be continued)