From Al Zuger in Brooklyn, NY who is extending the envelope of operating his PDRacer.
So I finally took my little ducky out in a real bay yesterday. I went down to the south shore of long island about an hour out of the big city, and man was it ever nice!
Up until now i Have only taken it out near my shop on a small estuary of the east river. It is still a lot of fun, but the wind is unpredictable and the tidal current can be very strong. Not to mention there is a decent amount of barge traffic. (though the tug crews get a pretty big kick out of the little guy and are very friendly)
This time i was out with my friend who grew up sailing, and skippers a 40′ charter cat in the Caribbean (dirty job but someones gotta do it!) and we had a blast. The wind was good and strong with puffs that really made the duck get up and go. Hiked out a few times it felt like we were up on plane! I had been out with two before but only in lighter wind and always fighting a current, so in contrast this was unbelievable. No one around there had seen anything like it, and the passers by couldn’t believe it when one person hoisted it off the car, then 10 min to rig and we were off. My buddy loved it, and wants one as his dinghy on the big boat. I keep getting more and more impressed with the simplicity and ease of the design, and can confidently say that i have caught the bug!
One thing i have found though, is that especially with 2 full sized adults in a strong breeze tacking back and forth, is that it is hard not to get tangled in the tiller. I’m gonna make a second rudder box with a pivoting tiller and see how it works soon. I don’t think it would take much to get the handle up out of the way a bit, and make it easier for me get under it without having to go so far forward on every tack. Just an idea.
Gotta say I’m super impressed, and haven’t had this much fun with something in a while! I have to start my Goat this winter, as I’ve been checking out the charts and waterways around here and have found a bunch of little islands and waterways perfect for weekend long beach camping expeditions with my fiancee.
(Callsign- that is indeed a girl in the boat with me, but just so no one gets the wrong idea, she’s a good friend, and Sasha, my girlfriend, and as of very recently fiancee, took the picture. Sash is quite entertained by and supportive of my newfound obsession with boat making and sailing)
Al has well and truly got the bug and is building a Goat Island Skiff now.