8ft OzRacer-RV – simpler build, more space and better for kids or adults

All OzRacer RV news accumulates on this page – builds, mods, freebies

OzracerRV (formerly Oz PDRacer Mk3 - doesn't comply with rules so now is its own class.

$20 for detailed plans for the OzRacerRV simple cheap sailboat available from my agents.

  • 98 pages including timber lists in imperial and metric
  • building instructions with full detail of all building methods
  • Simpler building method using duct tape to temporarily assemble the hull.
  • full method for making a decent sail out of polytarp and
  • rigging directions.
  • Sent direct to your email address

The OzRacer RV overcomes the minor shortcomings of the OzRacer Mk2 to make it even better!

  1. SIMPLER BUILD using innovative methods derived from our Quick Canoe design
  2. FEWER PARTS to cut out – about half the parts of the OzRacer Mk2
  3. PERFORMANCE with the foils, spar and sail designs that won the PDRacer worlds in 2009, 20010, 2o11
  4. LEEBOARD to create more space inside the boat instead of centreboard
  5. BETTER FOR KIDS OR ADULTS TO SAIL – a second mast position allows a smaller sail more in line with the strength and reach of a child.

Comparing the OzRacer Mk2 and OzRacer RV sailboat plans

Here are all the main hull components.  The deck consists of three rectangular pieces

Small number of plywood parts for the OzRacer RV sailboat. Simpler than before

The OzRacer RV has the full length side tanks that we would have liked to have used for the Mk2. However at that time we were very sensitive to minimising the number of sheets of plywood. The Mk2 only uses three and the RV does add one sheet to bring the total up to four.

This makes the Mk3 a little heavier than the originals so performance will be a little less. We still recommend the OZ Mk2 for those oriented toward performance.   But the RV isn’t a slouch.  Rick Landreville’s prototype won the PDRacer worlds in 2010 when we had named it the Mk3.  That’s three years running that OzRacers derived boats won the PDRacer “Worlds”.

The leeboard option has so many advantages, but it does lead to a slight imbalance in the helm characteristics.  It means that there is a bit of extra weather helm on one tack (leeboard to windward) and a shade of lee helm on the other tack (leeboard to leeward).  This leads to a little extra drag from the rudder.

But it is much more worth it to keep the middle of the boat more clear.

Leeboard increases interior space in the sailboat cockpit.

OzRacer Mk2 left.  OzRacer RV right – clean interior

OzRacer Mk2 compared to OzRacer RV (formerly mk3). Simple sailboat is now improved.

The long side tanks make a couple of options possible. They mean that it is very easy to move the centreboard case off to the side to be inside the buoyancy tank. This opens up the middle of the boat considerably.

When racing this probably is a moot point because the sailor will be sitting behind the centrecase area anyhow and in most conditions sitting on the side deck. However for more laid back sailing or when taking another person out it frees a lot of area up and allows the “crew” to sit much more comfortably and also be close enough to the controls to take part in the running of the boat.

Quick boat hull construction using duct tape to hold panels in place

The biggest change is to use the methods we have developed for the Quick Canoe Series. It is similar to stitch and glue but instead of laborious stitching the hull is initially held together with Duct Tape. This has reduced the amount of timber framing used which added a lot of labour with the MK2.  The RV goes together with epoxy fillets.  Some have used the thick PL Premium glue with success to make fillets and so far that alternative seems durable.

OzracerRV boat plan has method for using duct tape instead of wire or cable ties/zip ties.

We have found that epoxy filleting is cheaper than timber in Australia and most of Europe where timber prices are much higher than the Americas and certainly saves time and solid timber costs anywhere in the world.

The other big advantage is the boat is held together on the outside only with no intrusion into the inside.  This means there is not stitching to get in the way of fillets … a completely clean interior shown here on one of our very simple Quick Canoes where we pioneered the method.

Assembling boat hull panels with duct tape gives a clean interior unlike stitch and glue method where you have stitches inside the boat to contend with.

Two Mast Positions for better ergonomics sailed by child or adult

OzRacer RV - simpler leeboard version of the OzRacer. Not a PDRacer without modifying it.

The mast position has been retained from the Oz Mk2.  But a wider foredeck and a second mast step further back allows for a junior 4.7 rig (50 square feet) to be put into the boat.  The sails are so cheap made of polytarp there is no reason to not have two sails.  One for kids, the 4.7 and one for adults (or a bunch of kids sailing together) the original 82 square feet.

The two mast postions are shown in the photo below.

two mast positions on the OzRacer - one for adult sized sails one for a sail more suitable for children. It is not a class legal PDRacer

It sounds like a lot of sail, but the rectangular form of the boat gives high stability that is completely surprising to experienced sailors.  I didn’t know the square shape would make soooo much difference.

The open front compartment, which is not used for buoyancy, doesn’t need to be sealed from water intrusion as the buoyancy tanks are purely down the sides of the boat.  So the mast or masts can be stepped in either location.

OzRacer RV sail boat … the OzRacer for the rest of us


Rick’s building photos on flickr


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36 thoughts on “8ft OzRacer-RV – simpler build, more space and better for kids or adults

  1. Murray Stevens says:

    Mik, like the redesign a lot! I think the side tanks are a better place for the buoyancy compartments and I like the open space under the front deck for anchor, bailer etc. Are all seams fiberglass taped inside and out as well?


    • Hi Murray,

      YOu could put timber (19 x 19, 3/4 x 3/4) in all the corners. It might be necessary to laminate the chine logs to get the curve if the timber was heavy/stiff or to use thicker/heavier timber, put it on straight and plane to shape – but this last method would add a lot of weight.

      But I see substantial time savings if epoxy fillets or glass tape are used – and money savings almost everywhere but North America. This way the only part of the boat that needs timber framing is the deck and I do the normal trick of using the gunwales as the place where the deck lands so some of the timber has dual function anyhow.

      Rick Landreville did his boat with fillets made of PL Premium. I can’t regard this as anything but experimental – as a designer I have to make sure my methods work 100% – so if people want to try something else that is OK … but their own risk. If they want to contact me I can suggest some places for using screws with alternative glues. You don’t need any screws with epoxy fillets or epoxy and glass tape.

      Best wishes

      • Rick Landreville says:

        Hi Michael;

        I did the fillets with polyester autobody filler, Bondo Long and Strong. This product has long strands of chopped fiberglass in it and is compatible with polyester resin. I precut 2″ fiberglass tape, then brushed on a thinned mix of resin in the area to be filleted. Then layed in the fillet using a plastic spreader shaped like a big tongue depressor. Then I immediately layed the tape into the fresh putty and followed it up with another coat of resin.
        The advantage for doing it this way, is that all the supplies are available at any big box store, or auto parts store in North America, at a fraction of the price of epoxy. If I had a reliable source of inexpensive epoxy, I would prefer to use that, but at $150 per gallon for epoxy, I’ll use polyester. (Can’t ship chemicals across the border to Canada after 9/11 without huge paperwork and costs, or I would by my epoxy from Chuck at Duckworks)
        Rick Landreville.

      • Thanks for that Rick,

        I got the details all muddled up.

        Of course I still think epoxy is best for both longevity and to reduce the maintenance, but your setup has certainly seemed to be strong enough!


  2. Hi,

    I have been contemplating building a PDR (non-class legal) boat for a while.

    My main purpose is to have a small, light-wieght and economical boat to take and teach my kids to sail in. I was excited about the OZRacer because I was brought up on boats with centerboards and didn’t really think that the leeboard design would appeal to my true sailor senses.

    However, I saw a post this morning for the OZRacer RV and I have to say that my mind is made up. I can live with the disadvantage of a little helm and would love the extra space in the cockpit. I like that the leeboard is contained in the air box, as it doesn’t really show on the outside of the boat.

    I have looked and looked and don’t see a link in the blog post for instructions on buying this plan. I am really excited to get the plans and start building, so please let me know where I can buy the RV plans.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Ben,

      I am finishing off the plans and I hope I will have them for sale on Duckworks in a couple of days.

      I will put a link on this page when I put them up on Duckworks. They will be $20 or maybe $30. So not too pricey.

      Anybody who wants a plan leave a comment and your correct email address in the form and you will be kept up to date automatically when I announce that the plan is finished. It is about 85% there.

      Best wishes

  3. Pavel Gourkaloff says:

    Definitely interested. Just bought the MkII plans – will be starting the build in May. Will be waiting for the MkIII plans eagerly

  4. Ben Russenholt says:

    Just updating my email address for nitification on the plan release.

    Waiting patiently.

  5. Ben Russenholt says:

    Hate to be a pain but how are the plans coming?

    • Thanks for the hurry up Ben 🙂

      Almost all of the hundred pages is ready … just sorting out the basic hull assembly info.

      That section could be a few days … that is about 30 pages worth – about half written.

      Best wishes

  6. Ben Russenholt says:

    No problem! I was just keeping you on you’re toes. Thanks for the update ad keep up the great work.


  7. Just leaving a comment to get on the plans announcement list.

    Built your once-upon-a-time legal Oz PD racer 3+ years ago and love it. Looks like the RV has everything I love about the old one, but with fewer bruised knees!

    Plus I can use all my existing bits and get it on the water that much faster. Win-win!

  8. The full plan is finished. I sent it out to my agents on Friday.

    You can start bothering them now



  9. Ben Russenholt says:

    THANKS very much. The plans look awesome. Read them over a few times and can’t wait to get building.

  10. Adrian Keech says:

    I’m looking at this boat for a safe introduction for kids and I can’t help thinking it will very be difficult to recover from capsize if it goes over with the leeboard on the high side. Have you given any thought to this and can you recommend a correct procedure for capsize recovery in the 50% of cases that this might happen?

  11. Adrian Keech says:

    Thanks Mik, that’s a great solution. With the righting line it looks easier to recover than the Mk2 – less of a stretch. I reckon my 7 year old girl should be able to get it pointing the right way up – very important for her confidence!

    Do you have dimensions for the smaller sail LOM sail? I’d need to make the smaller sail for the kids as we sail on the ocean here on the Gulf of Arabia. I will make both sails but figure a way to use the longer sprit on both sails. I think I will probably sail this boat as much as I sail my Wayfarer. I will let you know how it copes with the choppy seas here in Dubai.

    BTW – metric cutting list has a couple of errors I think – I used the imperial.

    • Howdy Adrian,

      The thing that gives confidence is practice! That way we get a hang of what we can do – particularly important with kids. I am not sure just how light a child can bring the boat upright by themselves – I am pretty sure an average 12 year old would and I would think 12 or 13 is OK for unsupervised sailing with some rules – providing they know how to swim, know never to leave the boat for ANY reason( except for standing up and walking home) and always wearing a lifejacket.

      As far as getting back on .. some go over the side as in my video above. Others have slid up on the bow. A foot loop can be added sure … but still needs several trials to make sure it actually works.

      Did you have any feeling for what was wrong with the metric list?

      Keep bugging me about the smaller sail. I’ll get onto it soon … but the squeaky wheel gets the grease!


    • Hi Adrian,

      See my reply to your other posts here

      OzRacer RV sailboat

  12. Adrian Keech says:

    Thanks Mik,

    I might be wrong but the metric cutting list has obvious differences in quantity to the imperial list. For example:

    Bow transom deck cleat – looks like it should need 3 pieces of 1.5 m instead of 1 piece of 1.5m

    The foil staves call for 7 pieces of 7ft in the imperial but 7 pieces of 7 meter in the metric – I have assumed this should be 7 pieces of 2.1 meter?

    Im confused about the amount of epoxy listed on the follwing page. There is conflicitng advice. At top you say 8 liters if coating OR 4 liters if not coating and at bottom you say 1.5 liters (5 pints) if not coating – can you clarify?

    Otherwise the plans look good.

    • Thanks Hugely Adrian,

      A couple of others reported it too. So I fixed the problem and sent the new plans versions to my agents earlier this week.

      That is the great thing about plans in the internet age. A designer gets quick feedback so it is easy to improve the plan.

      Thankyou everyone for pointing this one out!


  13. […] There are two versions of OzRacer.  The original, slightly more performance oriented version the Mk2 for solo sailors with occasional crew (photo right) and the OzRacer RV with more space in the cockpit. […]

  14. […] the OzRacer RV for more family oriented sailing on right – two adults can fit comfortably and there is a […]

  15. Hi Michael,
    Can you estimate how long it would take a complete novice to build this boat?



    • Hi Chris …

      The fastest one has been about a week … but that is by Rick Landreville, who is builds crazy fast.

      The reality is that people seem to take about 2 to 6 months to build the OzRacer RV doing work on weekends and evenings when they can.

      So it is highly variable. There are some short cuts … like buying a sail from Duckworks or Polysail International rather than making it yourself but somewhere in the above time frame is most common.

      • Thanks Michael,
        I downloaded the plans yesterday. I’d better get started before the world begins to freeze again. Once I’ve cracked this, I’m hoping to move onto one of the cruisers.

  16. […] starting point for the structure is a simple box – much like one of my very nice sailing  OzRacer box shaped boats.  This is also the building frame.  It doesn’t look cool at all … […]

  17. Hello Michael:

    I love this boat and your design. I am getting ready to start assembly. I have just two questions if you would help me out.

    1. The plans said to cut out the foredeck 565mm x 1265. The measurement from the front of the boat to the forward bulkhead, where the foredeck will be attached, is 546mm. This is a difference of 19mm. Is this to allow for cutting to fit?

    2. Also, why do we attach the top cleat on the fwd bhd to overlap extend past the ply edge by 3mm (1/8″)?

    This is my first goat and I would like it to very well.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Frank,

      The foredeck has to be a bit longer to allow for the ply thickess at the bow and the angle of bevel of the bow. You need a bit more than seems obvious from the side panel drawing.

      The excess on the cleat is because of the angle the back of the foredeck meets the bulkhead … it is coming down from higher up .. so you need a little bit of material to bevel.

      Best wishes

  18. Hi, Michael– I love the Ocean Explorer, though I think a 10-foot version would be the sweet spot for me. However, it’s more realistic that I try for the OZRacer RV–I’m getting old and it may take time to convince my husband this is a good idea… Now, I have a 91-sf lugsail that I built a few years ago for a Michalak boat that never got built. The dimensions are very close–do you think it would be okay for the OZ-RV?

    Also, I’m only 100-lbs, so would I be able to keep control of this boat? We built a 6-foot Bolger Tortoise years ago with a small lugsail, and I wasn’t really large enough to keep it balanced–it wanted to sail under! Could I use a slightly heavier plywood, install plenty of timber internal chines, or maybe sit on a sandbag? Thanks for your advice– Gretchen

    • Sorry about the neglected reply. For some reason the email that is supposed to notify me of new comments isn’t working.

      I would need to check the dimensions of the lugsail you have on hand to see if it will match the RV.

      The OzRacers and the other boats derived from the Bolger Brick have huge stablity. Plus, with the RV, the sail will reef.

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