Re: Duck Picture

Posted by Laszlo on Oct 12, 2007


I leave my gaps just tight enough to get a fair, symmetrical shape. Too tight can make it hard to get rid of twists and can give localized unfairness. On previous boats this has meant a gap of up to 1/8 of an inch. The Duck 12, though, seems to want a fairly tight fit. I don't know if it's because of the precision-cut panels or the degree of twist and bend over a relatively short length, but that's how it worked out. If your wood is happy to yield a fair shape with wider gaps, I'd say go for it.

One thing that's important to a tight fit is to bevel the panel edges, as discussed on page 13 of the manual. It's especially important where the side panels sit on the bottom panels.

Another thing is to drill extra holes in the chine corners of the forms. As delivered, they can only take wires from the bottom or the side, not both at once. For the 12, it doesn't really matter at the center forms (where the curves are gentle), but the 2 end forms have a gap unless you wire the side and bottom panels (because the curves are more extreme at the ends). On a 10, this would probably apply to the center forms, too, since the boat is shorter.

The way mine went together I think it would have been better without that bottom bit of the transom. I still haven't glued it in yet and I've been considering deliberately nipping it off. The wineglass shape is pretty but my wood doesn't want to bend that way. The prototype I paddled at Demo Night had the original, non-wineglass shape, and it worked fine. Still thinking about what to do with that.

As far as your frustration level, all I can suggest is to slow down and see where it's coming from. My guess is that it's because things aren't going along as smoothly as you expected them to and you're falling behind on some kind of schedule because of that. My advice on that is to realize that the manual is a serving suggestion put together by people who have built hundreds of boats. It's like those cooking shows which never show the prep work, nor do they show the chef ever making a mistake or dealing with a setback. The best cooking show I ever saw was when Julia Child dropped the turkey she ws preparing onto the floor. She just picked it up, washed it and continued on.

We need to do a similar thing. Setbacks will happen and the boat will take longer to build than we expect. By the time we get good at the job at hand it'll be over and we'll have to be learning some other new skill. Even if we've built nice boats before, a new design will challenge us in new ways. So get rid of any notion of deadlines, if you can, make haste slowly and remember that until the glue is cured, problems are easy to fix. Afterwards they take a bit more work.

Finally, the pains of boatbuilding happen only once per boat, but the joys of using a good-looking, lightweight boat that you made yourself last a long time.

Good luck,


In Response to: Re: Duck Picture by Christine on Oct 11, 2007