AlexN’s wonderful description of building a OzRacer (formerly Oz PDR) and heaps of other stuff.


It is the first boat he has built and Alex is not necessarily taking the quickest way. But he is reporting daily about his building and his ruminations on different subjects.

It is a very popular boatbuilding item on the OZ woodwork forum. There have been around 13000 views of his thread already and it is jumping by a couple of thousand each week.

Says Alex:

I recently acquired a set of plans for the Mk 2 OZ PDR and the GIS from Duck Flat. To get onto the water as quickly as possible, and allow saving up for the Goat, I decided to build the Duck first.

Michael has very kindly offered to move some related posts that I’ve made elsewhere into this (more relevant) thread, but as a quick summary (from memory), the following things have – or haven’t – occurred to date:

Probably asked Michael far too many questions, as many of his answers were right there on his and BitingMidge’s sites already;

Rang up a lot of Sydney plywood merchants in attempt to find a marine plywood that isn’t too heavy *and* that I can afford;
Rang up a number of timber merchants in Sydney re “affordable” clear oregon or wrc – it seems that there really isn’t, nor hoop pine neiver;
Costs for even such a simple boat as the Duck appear to have almost doubled in two years, even accounting for changes in materials – ouch!;
Changed expectations of cost to be more realistic, revised building starting time estimates;
Found some useful oregon in my wood cache;
Discovered (quite coincidentally – no, really!) that some simple alterations in our house will also “liberate” a large amount of secret-nailed WRC cladding boards, many over 2.1 m in length and knot-free :);
Acquired a bundle of excellent milled-to-size Paulownia timber at a good price, thanks to a suggestion from Nick Pullen;
Will make two rigs: the standard sprit boom and the lug, starting with lug;
Mistake when ordering Paulownia – overlooked inclusion of timber to make up standard mast: oops!
Bacon saved by Michael: suggested glassing the mast to make up the difference in density (stiffness) between paulownia and oregon, plus increase length of long internal block slightly …

And that’s how it starts out.

Alex has an Aeromodelling background and his idea of tolerances has blown the rest of us away. He is working to less than a millimetre, whereas most of us are happy with about 6! Lots of discussion about tools too, even though you don’t necessarily need many for a PDR or a Goat Island Skiff for that matter.

Please don’t get the idea I am being critical … Alex is building the boat the way that gives him satisfaction – and you can hear it in his posts.

Info on the OZ PDRacer sailboat Plan ($20 and abundantly detailed)


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