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

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Murray Stevens

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, 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… Read more »
Pavel Gourkaloff

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

Ben Russenholt

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

Waiting patiently.

Ben Russenholt

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

Ben Russenholt

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



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!

Ben Russenholt

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

Adrian Keech

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?

Adrian Keech
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… Read more »
Adrian Keech
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… Read more »

[…] 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. […]


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


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




[…] 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 … […]

Frank Darguzas
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… Read more »
Gretchen Graner
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… Read more »