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Thread: PDRacer microcruiser

  1. #1
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    Default PDRacer microcruiser

    I've been building my next CRUDE boat and am far enough along now that all the "should have" comments won't matter to me. I know I have built this boat out of non-marine materials and methods and that's how I wanted to build it. Although this is still JUST A PUDDLE DUCK, it is the most detailed boat I have attempted so far.

    For those who don't remember, my boat building dreams started when I read Robert Manry's Tinkerbelle boat book. That book and his little boat made me dream of building a small boat with a cabin. I even went to see the actual Tinkerbelle boat in Ohio. I then found out about Matt Layden's designs and bought the Paradox plans and Don Elliot's build manual. Then I found the Ocean Explorer that is similar to a PDRacer with a small cabin for sleeping and bought those plans as well. I never really started on any of those designs.

    Then came the magic moment when André-François Bourbeau shared a picture and some details on his own design of a ParaDuck (Paradox-like PDRacer) named Gorfnik.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/92281245@N07/20188577740/




    This sail-from-inside little microcruiser was exactly what I had been looking for. I immediately started collecting all of the posts with the details of this boat and soon I had some plywood and glue and started making one for myself. Since I knew I was going to make mistakes on this boat and I don't have much "extra" cash, I'm building this one cheap just like my previous boats. I do have dreams of making another one of this design built much nicer but figured I should get a little use out of my cheap build and then will have a full-size model for when I make a nicer one with better materials.

    Here's what I got built so far. It has not yet been float tested but I plan to test it out (without the sailing parts) very soon.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/92281245@N07/21817700475




    Eventually there will be free plans available for this design. I had been putting everything I could find about this boat into a PDF book but then, when the original designer offered to help out with the plans, I sent him the files and I have been focussing on building instead of sitting at the computer.

    Any interest here?

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian
    Last edited by Sea Dreams; 10-03-2015 at 04:55 PM. Reason: link to pictures

  2. #2
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I'm sure there will be some naysayers, but I'm a fan and would like to see more. I'm a big fan of Paradox, bought plans, and built a mockup of the interior from appliance cartons mostly just to confirm it would be hopeless for my aging 6'-6" overweight body. My only question so far...is the PVC pipe only temporary to test the tiller line angles? I'd much rather see metal like conduit if you're on the cheap. Good luck with your project!
    Everything changes . Everything is connected . Pay attention

  3. #3
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    If you're having fun, you're doing better than most. I like the spirit of these boats, and being so small and simple and cheap, I can't see complaints about making them disposable.

    Here she is -- go to "share" and pick up the "BB Code" to paste here.


    -Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by WHYankee View Post
    I'm sure there will be some naysayers, but I'm a fan and would like to see more. I'm a big fan of Paradox, bought plans, and built a mockup of the interior from appliance cartons mostly just to confirm it would be hopeless for my aging 6'-6" overweight body. My only question so far...is the PVC pipe only temporary to test the tiller line angles? I'd much rather see metal like conduit if you're on the cheap. Good luck with your project!
    I assume you mean the PVC pipe holding the eyebolts in line. Yes, that whole thing (including the strips holding the pulleys) is just a test to see how the steering will work from inside. I was going to use steel pipe but might try the conduit on this build. I am REALLY considering this a test build to see how I will like the design and let me make my mistakes on less expensive materials. I do plan to make a much nicer build with a much prettier interior and maybe even epoxy next time. I haven't figured out what it has cost me for this one yet but I used a little over 5 sheets of plywood. 5 should have been enough but my cheap plywood needed doubled up in several spots like the bottom and the deck.

    From sitting and laying inside this boat (still on the workbench) I can already tell this is going to be a very comfortable little boat. I can't wait to actually try this boat out on the water.

    As I said, I have passed the book writing on to the designer but I just put what I have at the moment in my dropbox folder so I could share it here. I'll eventually delete that file so if you want it, get it quick. The finished version should be better. Some of my drawings are not exactly right yet but I think I included all of the original posts and pictures so there is as much information in that file as I have at this time on this design.

    Gorfnik book as of 9-30-2015

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

    P.S. Thanks for posting that picture Woxbox. It says I'm using an outdated browser so Flickr isn't working right for me anymore. I'll have to update the browser here.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by WHYankee View Post
    I'm sure there will be some naysayers, but I'm a fan and would like to see more. I'm a big fan of Paradox, bought plans, and built a mockup of the interior from appliance cartons mostly just to confirm it would be hopeless for my aging 6'-6" overweight body. My only question so far...is the PVC pipe only temporary to test the tiller line angles? I'd much rather see metal like conduit if you're on the cheap. Good luck with your project!
    Forgot to mention, both André-François (the designer) and myself are not real tall. I think André-François posted he is 5'6" and I'm only slightly taller. This design would need changed to fit a taller person like yourself. The cabin probably would need raised and maybe lengthened. If I sit up very straight, I can just touch the hatch with my head. Sitting more comfortably, it seems perfect for me.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  6. #6
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I love it. I overbuilt a Michael Storer Oz Racer RV as a minimalistic camp cruiser. I never imagined that I would get that much fun from weekend mini-adventures. She is comfortable to sleep in, more capable than a floating box should be, moves in the lightest of breezes, and has pounded (literally) its way forward in confirmed 30+mph winds, rows well enough in flat water, and slides into the back of my van with no effort. It's like a swiss army knife, not the best tool for whatever you are doingtumbleweed 2.jpg, but seems to do them all. I am almost done with a Ross Lillistone Phoenix iii, but imagine even after it's built, Tumbleweed will still see a lot of use.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    So much ridiculousness.

    awesome.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  8. #8
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    ^ Ha ha,good point. I concur. Sometimes some people forget about the FUN factor involved, and though fun may be different for everyone, i see little harm slapping together a wee boat from disposable materials, used in an enviroment where no one will get into serious trouble, and have a grin on their face all day long.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    As the at first reluctant, but now proud, owner of PDR hull #77... I have to say: that is one of the ugliest boats I've ever seen. And I love it!! I'm sure you'll get endless joy from her. To paraphrase John Welsford (another savvy designer who has designed a version of the PDR)... an expert is just a beginner who's racked up some experience. Kudos on the nice progress, and do share some InUse fotos as soon as they occur.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    ^ Ha ha,good point. I concur. Sometimes some people forget about the FUN factor involved, and though fun may be different for everyone, i see little harm slapping together a wee boat from disposable materials, used in an enviroment where no one will get into serious trouble, and have a grin on their face all day long.
    This. SO so so so so THIS. Spot on.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Thanks everyone. I don't have a truck or trailer right now and this plywood box is too heavy to drag up over the hill to the little pond so I still haven't floated it. That is giving me time to work on the sailing parts and some finishing touches.

    I put a small shelf under the front window and put a couple solar yard lights in holes on that shelf. They charge through the window and automatically turn on when it gets dark. Not a lot of light but enough to see inside the cabin at night. I also put one in the front deck to help light the forward inside section. I considered (and still might) silicon a glass bottle or jar bottom in a couple places up front to light it during the day like a deck prism but free. That front section is dark and, if done right, I think it could be mounted flush to the deck.

    I agree with the FUN FACTOR. Not the prettiest boat but a simple rectangle box gives a lot of interior space. I can imagine using this little boat as a kind of mini camper even on dry land with a truck or even a small utility trailer. A lot heavier than the tent I used to carry on backpacking trips but MUCH more comfortable unless you count the wall tent I sometimes used when size and weight didn't matter. That one, with an army cot and standing room, was like a nylon walled bedroom.

    I'll post more updates when I finally get to try this ugly boat out for real. I got hull #960. With close to a thousand confirmed builds, I'm not the only one to build the PDRacer. Since I live too far away from an ocean to worry about big waves or tides, this little boat will probably be just about perfect for my own uses. If not, maybe the next one will be.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  12. #12
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    couple questions, why is the cabin so short? why not bring it up to the mast? why not full width? will you walk along the side decks? what is the reasoning behind the sloped front to the house? aerodynamics? sheding heavy seas? dashing good looks? why not go vertical or rake the windshield forward to minimize washout during periods of heavy rain?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    couple questions, why is the cabin so short? why not bring it up to the mast? why not full width? will you walk along the side decks? what is the reasoning behind the sloped front to the house? aerodynamics? sheding heavy seas? dashing good looks? why not go vertical or rake the windshield forward to minimize washout during periods of heavy rain?
    I am trying to copy the original Gorfnik design but I had many of the same questions. The height of the sides was chosen to give enough room for your feet and legs especially while laying down.



    The cabin height is kept just high enough, with the added height of the hatch, to give enough room to sit up inside with the hatch closed. Since it will often be sailed without the hatch, the height is kept even lower. Lowering wind resistance is the main reason for the height and length being so small. The length gives enough room to bend your knees while sitting on the seat with your head outside. The front deck is where the hatch gets stored and the folded hatch can then be used as a table for cooking.



    The angle of the cabin again reduces wind resistance and gives added interior space. Apparently it also could act as a back rest for sitting outside if conditions are good enough. A passenger might even ride up front but I don't know if that has been tested yet.

    The cabin width leaves side decks where things like a stand up paddle or yuloh is stored as well as the mast and sail and solar panel.





    It looks like the original designer put a lot of thought into this microcruiser. I'm sure the fact that he also owns a Paradox boat had a lot to do with the design. One good thing about the PDRacer boat and building cheap is you are free to build it just about any way you want. If it don't work, fix it on the next one. Experiments and failures are not that expensive.

    You also need to use the side decks to stand on in order to do a capsize test.



    Here's what the designer said about the capsize test.

    Quote Originally Posted by André-François Bourbeau on another group
    I could not capsize Gorfnik while standing inside the cabin no matter how hard I
    tried. Even standing straight up on the side did not capsize it, which means it is safe
    to walk to the front of the boat while holding on to the cabin, then the mast, as I
    already knew.

    To finally get it to go over, I had to stand on the very edge of the side and lean my
    entire weight as far out as I could while pulling on the cabin and rocking.

    Because of the square sides, the secondary stability is nil and the boat went over
    quickly once it crossed the balance point.
    more on next post

  14. #14
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    More quotes about the capsize test.

    Quote Originally Posted by André-François Bourbeau on another group
    Important note: I would never have been able to crawl onto the bottom of the boat without the help of the Yuloh support, which is in the same position as the swim step when the boat is upside down.




    Quote Originally Posted by André-François Bourbeau on another group
    From there, it was quite difficult for old me to grab one of the leeboards and pull the boat back right side up. The problem was that the Linex boat bottom is quite slippery.

    What made it possible was the 3/8 inch runners which form an edge on the sides, so it is important to install these during construction.


    Quote Originally Posted by André-François Bourbeau on another group
    Also, without the extra leverage provided by the leeboard rope, I would not have succeeded. In fact, it would be better to leave these ropes a foot or two longer, or even better, to install permanent 24 inch ropes which would dangle freely from the tip of the leeboards




    Quote Originally Posted by André-François Bourbeau on another group
    Once the boat was upright, I did not have too much trouble getting back in the boat thanks to the swim step. Here again, I feel it would be near impossible to do so without the swim step, especially once past the age for gymnastics.

    The boat is a bit wobbly with water in it, but still feels reasonably stable. It is quite a job bailing out the 6 inches or so of water which sits in the boat once upturned. Which is why I added a large square pail to my gear since. In this test, after emptying out half the water, I found it easier to paddle the partly filled boat to shore and empty it there by pulling it over onto it's side, like with a flooded canoe.

    I did not test capsizing with the mast and sail on, because I was afraid the mast would bend if it hit bottom. And I did not have another boat as support to go try it far from shore. Maybe next time.

    In conclusion, I believe it may be possible to self-rescue Gorfnik from a capsize. But I would not want to try it in the heavy seas it would take to flip the boat over in the first place. But probably an option for young athletic persons. As a final note, this test gave me a great deal of confidence in Gorfnik's stability. Made me feel good about preparing the trial cruise.
    Like I said before, looks like he did a lot of thinking when he designed this boat. Like Paradox, there is a lot of extra details that have a purpose. That's why I wanted to copy it as close as I could. Once I actually get to try it, I'll probably find things I will change if/when I build this design again.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  15. #15
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    My sole experience here is having sailed a PD in the Texas 200 from a position of no prior experience in that boat, so.... FWIW.... My concern is that a PD needs to be commanded by a sailor ready to get his/her body exactly where needed NOW, although this need predominates on a down-wind course, and your design offers no barrier for that. But would the cabin interfere otherwise with knockdown-prevention ergonomics? -- Wade
    Last edited by wtarzia; 10-17-2015 at 09:26 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I could see building a Goose like this. I might diddle with it a bit, maybe pointify the front end to about half the beam of the standard Goose, and then add the cabin like you've done. With a really simple rig and a leeboard like you've got, I bet it would make a lot less leeway than a Paradox and still offer much the same attraction.

    Looks like a fun project.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by wtarzia View Post
    My sole experience here is having sailed a PD in the Texas 200 from a position of no prior experience, so.... FWIW.... My concern is that a PD needs to be commanded by a sailor ready to get his/her body exactly where needed NOW, although this need predominates on a down-wind course, and your design offers no barrier for that. But would the cabin interfere otherwise with knockdown-prevention ergonomics? -- Wade
    I haven't actually even floated this boat yet. I'm basically in the NO EXPERIENCE club as far as sailing goes so this will be the first boat I hope to really sail. I did get a one sheet boat to move with a sail but I wouldn't call it sailing.

    There is a little room side to side to adjust the weight distribution but not sure if it is enough. Front to back there is not a lot of room to quickly move much.

    My plan is to start out on fairly calm days and try to avoid any chance of flipping over at least until I know what I am doing and how the boat works. I have no plans to take this boat to any of the big races unless it is just a Puddle Duck race close enough to home. Having never tried this or any other PDRacer before, I can't say how good of an idea it would be to enter this design. My understanding is it is for protected waters only but who knows. If it does flip, it goes all the way over since the cabin fills with water when it gets to the always open, screened window in the back. Don't know if a mast float and maybe even adding styrofoam to the cabin walls would help or if this shape of boat is just as happy to be upside down as it is right side up. Again ... no experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
    I could see building a Goose like this. I might diddle with it a bit, maybe pointify the front end to about half the beam of the standard Goose, and then add the cabin like you've done. With a really simple rig and a leeboard like you've got, I bet it would make a lot less leeway than a Paradox and still offer much the same attraction.

    Looks like a fun project.
    As good as I think and hope this design is, I know there will be lots of things you could change to make it better especially if you don't care if it is a class legal Puddle Duck. One change I plan to make (if I do make another one someday) is to round all the corners a lot more than I did with this one. Mostly to make sealing the joints easier without the sharp corners but also to help take away some of the boxy look. I'll also do a lot more inside the air boxes before the deck is in place to make sure every place that needs strengthening for screws or bolts gets it. I want to incorporate some simple wiring and LED lights built right in to the frames and support boards and make a special place for a small 12 volt battery and/or some normal (or rechargeable) flashlight batteries. If only used for short trips, flashlight batteries combined with low power LED lights would probably work fine and weigh a lot less than even a small lead-acid battery. I would like a USB charging plug to keep small electronic devices charged up. The forward half of each air box is not currently being used for anything other than floatation and there is no access to it. There is room enough for any water to make it to the part you can get into but I'm thinking that might be a good location for a PVC pipe of flashlight batteries incorporated right into the air box or some other item that needs securely stored but doesn't need to be easily accessed.

    One other thing that I really want but don't know if I'll ever do is to add an underwater window to the boat. Just can't bring myself to chop a hole in the bottom and then trust a piece of plastic to keep me dry especially considering the abuse a boat bottom is very likely to get.

    That's another reason that building cheap can be a good thing. I can work out where things need to be on a boat that I haven't spent a lot of time or money on. Maybe it is different when you work from real plans but I kind of doubt every little thing is detailed on paper. Where to hang your roll of paper towels is something that I want to have figured out before I build the real boat. This "practice build" should allow me to know exactly how I want to build the next one AND give me a full size model to take measurement from.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

    P.S. I have lots of other ideas for this boat but shouldn't share them for fear of encouraging others to try foolish things. I'll give you a hint ... weather here is getting kind of cold.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I don't know if André-François Bourbeau is done with his trip to Florida testing the Gorfnik boats yet but he did post a few new videos.



    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSQ...-BZtTVA/videos

    Here's Andre's description from youtube

    Gorfnik is the generic name of an 8 foot homemade plywood sailboat which I designed (based on a PD Racer hull) as a tiny camper to go cruising in protected waters. It was the first sailboat to cross the Everglades Park through the Nightmare passage, a trip which included 11 days without getting out of the boat. The original Gorfnik also successfully sailed the Saguenay Fjord in Québec. Three Gorfniks later sailed the Harris Chain of lakes in Florida. This playlist records some of the adventures of this unique sailboat.

    -Can be sailed from inside
    -Forward facing comfortable seating
    -Protected from cold winds
    -Stable enough to cook on, even while sailing
    -Space enough to carry gear for several weeks of cruising
    -Very easy to build by anyone handy with tools in a few weekends
    -Free plans

    Hope you enjoy this playlist. Build yourself a Gorfnik, it's fun!

    André-François
    I can't wait to get my own Gorfnik copy out on the water. It must be a pretty good boat if he spent 11 days without leaving it. He should have some tales to tell about this trip.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  19. #19
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Are free plans available for "Gorfnik"? If so, how do I get a set of plans?

    John

  20. #20
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by jamo View Post
    Are free plans available for "Gorfnik"? If so, how do I get a set of plans?

    John
    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/ko...orer/index.htm Plans for sale for a different take on PD racer/cruiser.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by sailnstink View Post
    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/ko...orer/index.htm Plans for sale for a different take on PD racer/cruiser.
    I have those plans and they are NOT like Gorfnik. They are nice plans but it is not a sail from inside design like Gorfnik.

    Here is my own version of the Gorfnik plans. I stopped when Andre offered to take over.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gueen5ugn2...-2015.pdf?dl=0

    I keep saying it but you don't have to sign in to view or save this file. I couldn't view it online but it did let me download it. Should have worked both ways though.

    I haven't heard from Andre since he left for his big adventure and his youtube videos all became private so I don't know what is going on. His version of the plans will still be free and much better than mine but mine will work if you are in a hurry to get started or check it out further.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian
    Last edited by Sea Dreams; 04-13-2016 at 05:44 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I just looked at those plans and I got the back rest location off. I'd suggest either waiting on the official plans or just position the seat and support to fit you. Mine works but there should have been a little more space to get into the little storage pocket under the rear window.

    My build is/was just practice. I still expect to build a nicer (higher quality plywood) version after I test this last one. Hopefully Andre shares his official plans soon. I expect and hope that he is still having a GREAT time "testing" the original Gorfnik and some of its children.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  23. #23
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    André-François Bourbeau has just posted an update on his trip to Florida. This is all the information I have at this time but he will eventually publish the FREE plans.

    35 days in Gorfnik sailboats (Overview)

    Hello fellow sailing enthusiasts,

    Time flies. Been super busy since I got back from our 35 day trip with Gorfnik sailboats on the first of March. Sorry for the delay in reporting back.

    Left Saguenay in the province of Québec, Canada, with three 8-foot Gorfniks on one trailer and my two long-time buddies Marcel and James sharing the driving task. It was January 22nd. Stopped in Toronto for an overnight visit with my mom and then drove 32 hours non-stop to get to Florida's Harris chain of lakes, Nelson’s Resort at the tip of lake Griffin, to be more precise. We immediately packed and put the boats in the water the same day, but by then it was dark. Just paddled to the nearest small bay by moonlight, about a mile away from the road and bar noise.

    During the first few days there was a steep learning curve for both Marcel and James - it was their Gorfnik initiation - made tougher as we started out during a major rain spell. It took 10 days of adventure to get to the other end of the chain of lakes (will post separate trip report), where we repacked the shuttled trailer at Trimble park on lake Carlton/Beauclair. In brief, we enjoyed many fine sailing days interspersed with some hard paddling days due to contrary currents in the canals. But all in all, it was a wonderful and memorable vacation, with many good music/food stops on the way. It was always easy to find a good gunk-holing spot, even in the middle of the city of Eustis.

    We took a sorry-to-have-to-go Marcel to the airport on February 6th, and James and I continued south slowly to Everglades City park headquarters, getting there on February 8th. Between the two stops James slept in his boat on the trailer while I sacked in my mini camper van to get away from his snoring. The low trailer and swim step make it easy to get in and out of the boats, and the convenience of having a ready-made bed already set up actually makes for a perfect quick-and-dirty accommodation. In fact, if it weren’t for the proximity, I too would have preferred to sleep in the boat to avoid moving all the stuff to make up a bed in the van.

    In Everglades city we met up with Chris Curtis from Idaho with his 15 year-old son Shane and made their acquaintance. Very fine folks indeed, a pleasure to be with, and we hit if off over a hamburger. Unfortunately, Chris’s untested boat (a puddle duck with a low forward cabin) was not sufficiently adapted camping-wise to the tough 100 mile Everglades crossing we were attempting, and in spite of our best efforts together to modify and adjust, it quickly became obvious that it meant a no-go for him. Also, the adults wondered whether it was a good idea to submit young Shane to such a possibly intense experience. We nevertheless sailed together happily for two days and after a few incidents made it to Chokoloskee where we bade a temporary goodbye to our new-found friends, with promises to meet again on the other side of the Everglades Park in Flamingo.

    So with thoughts for our friends traveling by car, James and I set sail over the shallow Oyster beds of Chokoloskee bay towards the Lopez river and the Everglades Wilderness trail. This will be the object of another post, but in brief, we did manage the first (or so we were told) sailboat crossing of the entire interior Everglades trail through the Nightmare passage. In spite of major contrary winds, we arrived in Flamingo eleven days later, which means eleven days and nights without stepping out of the boat (except for one pee stop on a Chickee). As you will see in my forthcoming detailed report, it was even more adventurous than we had imagined!

    We stayed in the boats at the Flamingo marina for two more days, enjoying hanging out with Chris and his friends, then spent the next six long days shuttling the truck and driving back to Canada. James slept in his boat every night on the way north, so he now holds the world record for consecutive sleeps in a Gorfnik at 35 days. I’m a long way behind in second place at 17 days.

    The purpose of this trip was to test out the Gorfnik sailboat thoroughly before publishing the plans. More on this later. In brief, the Gorfniks performed flawlessly and are perfectly adapted to long cruising in spite of their small size. None of us could think of any improvements. Three things of note. 1) The tall version of Gorfnik performed just as well as the regular version, and at 6 feet 2 inches tall, Marcel managed just fine. 2) By adding small pieces of Velcro to the hatch rear edge and to the cabin front edge, we found that we could set up the hatch at a 90 degree angle so it serves as a full height kitchen counter. 3) We did an awful lot of paddling, which we actually found quite enjoyable as it gave us much-needed exercice when confined in the boats. We were surprised to discover that by standing in the middle of the boat and leaving just a bit of horizontal rudder in the water, we could use C1 Canoe strokes and move the boat for long distances at 3.4 km/hour (1.8 knots), without switching paddling side.

    I suppose the greatest testimony to the boat is the fact that all three of us are REALLY looking forward to going Gornik cruising again!

    Thanks for reading, more to come.

    André-François
    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  24. #24
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Thanks for posting that, Brian.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    André-François Bourbeau made another post.

    Gorfniks on the Harris Chain of Lakes- 10 day Trip Report


    Long post!


    Three of us spent 10 days on the Harris chain of lakes, each in our own 8-foot Gorfnik. Our trip started at Nelson's «resort» on lake Griffin. Took all afternoon to pack the boats; we were surprised at how easily all the food and gear fits in such seemingly small spaces. Mosquitoes hit us bad at sundown, so we hid in the bar behind some beers (!) until the cold night chased them away. By moonlight, we then paddled off to find a place to sleep. It was the first time Marcel and James boats (Marsouin and Gudinuf) touched water, and also their first time in Gorfniks. It was calm so no problem. Rained like hell that first night, more than the historic average for the entire month. Gudinuf, which had been built in a single week, was the only one of the three to stay completely dry. In our haste we had made the rain gutter larger than per plan, and that «mistake» will now be part of the new plans, since the torrential downpour overwhelmed Gornik's and Marsouin's 1/4 inch gutter. In the morning we paddled back to Nelson's landing, found a chisel, and fixed the problem. Then off again paddling in a dead calm- for two hours.


    Soon light winds came up from the rear, perfect for James and Marcel's initiation. Sails up, gentlemen! Then rain started, so we closed up the hatches and kept right on sailing- a magical moment. It was really neat to watch the other two boats through water-filled windows... After lunch a wind shift plus rounding a corner put wind on our nose, so I spent the rest of the day coaching my buddies who were repeatedly blown into the cattails. Marcel and James are both beginning sailors, and they were facing a steep learning curve. I had time to fish for bass while waiting for them to experiment.


    Next day we entered 10 km long Haynes creek only to find it in flood due to the heavy rainfalls. In fact, they had to open the gates at the locks, which we didn't know. We were paddling hard and could barely advance against the current. Good practice. Took 10 hours over two days to get over to lake Eustis. On the way, good rock band, good food and an interesting first for Gorfniks- going through locks.


    Paddling a Gorfnik also isn't easy, but my partners are both canoeists, so at least they knew canoe strokes, like draws, feathering, C-Stroke and J-Stroke. During this hard paddle we realized that the boat moves a lot better when it is paddled from the center and therefore trimmed flat. The primitive automatic pilot (a wedge of wood shoved in the hole the steering line goes through) holds the rudder at a slight angle and permits paddling continuously on the same side. We also found that it was preferable to pull the rudder up so only a bit of it touched the water. This trick kinda extends the boat by a couple of feet and helps tracking.



    The morning saw us bright and early on Lake Eustis with high hopes of sailing, but we experienced more dead calm. We did manage to ghost along at 2.5 km/hour for a while, but had to paddle most of the way to the city of Eustis. It was hot, so the beer was fine, as were the world famous ribs, my favourite food. We gunk holed in a creek right in the middle of the city and were never bothered. Still no wind the following morning, so we decided it would be laundry and haircut day, plus some more R & R.


    In the evening we had a memorable downwind sail across lake Eustis while staring into a magnificent sunset, perfect example of the life we all love. Next morning, on a dare, we tried beating hard against the current of Dead creek to gain access to lake Harris. Finally had to give up after some hours of good practice. The only way into lake Harris was to paddle extremely hard in the lee of the shoreline. By the time we got there a weather system had moved in, raising whitecaps on lake Harris. I test sailed it for a bit while my buddies watched from shore, but judged it was not worth the risk for my pals, so we gunkholed on the river. I had snapped my paddle's handle right off in the height of my struggle in Dead creek and now had plenty of time to repair it.


    Marcel had some business issues to take care of, so we spent most of the next day doing some Internet work and feasting at the Hurricane Grill. By the time we left and sailed over to the Dora canal, it was pitch black. But one of the highlights of the trip was to paddle the canal in total darkness- very eerie. We camped in the eerieness, happy to have mosquito screens above our heads.


    On the before-last day, we had to beat the whole way across lake Dora in ever-increasing winds. In late afternoon, I barely made it into the cattail patch around the corner of the lake Beauclair canal just as a powerful squall hit. Marcel was close behind me and also reached safety, but got somewhat wet since he didn't have time to close his hatch in his hurry to turn the corner. James, however, had missed his tack and was blown down to the end of the bay where we could not contact him, his radio having died. Marcel and I were a bit worried, but there was no way we could face the intense wind and waves to go reach him. Plus, it was a deluge of a rainfall. I was happy to note that we stayed dry this time, so our rain gutter modification was successful.


    Next morning, I braved the 20 knot winds to go check up on James. I found him stranded on shore exactly where the wind had pushed him, underneath some trees. He had been forced to pull his Gudinuf up and partly out of the water to avoid the breaking waves. He said he had been forced to sleep in his boat backwards, because roots prevented him from turning it around. Later winds abated and we rejoined Marcel, who had fun teasing James about his misadventure.


    After another perfect sail across lake Beauclair, we really appreciated the hot showers at Trimble park. A very senior citizen who had approached us to enquire about our boats (they are people magnets) was kind enough to offer driving me back to my van. Wouldn't even let me pay for his gas!


    We gained a lot of experience on this trip, and a great deal of confidence in our boats. Marcel wished he didn't have work obligations back home- he would have loved to continue with us. Too bad. So James and I drove south alone, now feeling ready for the wild Everglades adventure just ahead...


    André-François Bourbeau
    Still sounds like fun to me.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  26. #26
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    another very long post...


    feb 13th

    after a decent sleep at the chokoloskee marina, james and i took one last shower and left at sunrise for our up-to-two-weeks adventure, boats packed with plenty of food and 10 gallons of water each. Chokoloskee bay is filled with shallow oyster beds, and we had to take some very long detours to paddle around them, for there was no wind. We were sure glad to have linex bottoms as we scraped along. In the pm, wind having showed up, we were able to sail up the wide entrance of the lopez river. But soon, we had to give up, since tide, current and winds were all against us, too strong even for poling (we used the sprit pole for poling up river when possible). We stopped for a spell at lopez river camp, where we found impressive aloes. We didn't know just then that it would be 11 days before setting foot aground again!
    the lopez river meanders severely at this point, forcing us to paddle, thus we came too late onto sunday bay. Wind cut out as usual near the end of each day, and we finally paddled to shore just at sundown. Grave mistake. The mosquitoes came out in hordes, forcing us to dive inside our boats for shelter. But too late, damage done. Without exaggerating, it took us over an hour and a half to smack them all with our whisk brooms. Seems like they hide in the corners of our boats, waiting for us to take off our shirts to come out. Lesson well learned- when in the everglades, you have to be bunkered down against the pests before darkness shows up.


    feb 14th
    woke up to absolutely ideal sailing conditions, broad reach. Reefed my sail to do some fishing while waiting for james, since i had left earlier. Fantastic day of sailing, soaking up the sun, fishing and stuffing our faces with fresh caught trout. That's the life we came here for! In the afternoon the winds piped up, so we sailed on with reefs taken and made really good time, averaging 4 knots. Crossed sunday bay, oyster bay, huston bay, chevalier bay and cannon bay, the last two taking extra time because of a wind shift against us and because of current influence caused by the chatham river entrance. Late in the day, we could not get through alligator creek because of its strong current.


    feb 15th
    so this morning we had to get up at 4h30 am to paddle the creek with the incoming tide, accompanied by a cloud of mosquitoes. But our early start let us partake in quite a show of bird formations swooshing above our heads, and i even had the privilege of paddling under a perched eagle. Very special to pass from night to day while creeping along the water like that, hoping to see alligators. They were hiding, though. Winds severely piped up on alligator bay and dad's bay, straight on the nose, so we had to beat hard and accept lousy 60-degree tacks. Finally made it to plate creek, which was a tough paddle, and then tackled the other three bays and creeks to onion creek bay against the wind too, where we ended our day fairly exhausted. By now we were settled into the evening routine- stop early and set up the gorfnik «kitchen counters» and cook up a storm before the mosquitoes show up. We each had a stove, so james fried the ham while i mustered up the french fries, with tomato and avocado salad on the side.


    feb 16th
    woke up at 4 am to the most incredible lightning show i had ever witnessed. Two hours of non-stop light flashes and accompanying thunder! Wow. Feeling small. It kept raining hard until 8h45 am, so we stayed put until there was a lull. Rain is often followed by intense-heat-without-wind and that's exactly what we experienced, as we melted all afternoon while paddling big lostman's bay in a sauna-like atmosphere. Orienteering ain't easy in this two-dimensional environment where every shore or island looks the same. One must take accurate compass bearings. I lthink it's wise to keep the gps for emergencies only, otherwise you end up depending on it and lose navigational skills.


    feb 17th
    after a week of roughing it, we needed a pause. So we spent the morning paddling up indian creek until we were beyond tides and finally found fresh water for bathing, tested by boiling and tasting, which we then stockpiled in our empty water jugs. On this day off, we cleaned the boats, repaired equipment and went fishing for crabs and catfish. At the end of the day, we let ourselves float down the broad river (until tide rose and we had to paddle hard against it) and we finally reached the entrance of the infamous and apprehended «nightmare», unfortunately not quite in time to avoid the mosquitoes.




    more next post...


  27. #27
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Feb 18th
    Slab bacon, potatoes and onions for breakfast. The end of our fresh food. Finally entered the aptly named «Nightmare» passage, a 10 mile or so stretch of stagnant creek which goes dry at low tide. That's a long way to paddle in a 6-hour time frame, so one must hurry. And the further in we got, the tighter and more difficult it was to advance because of the intricate méli-mélo of mangroves barring our way. We had to fight all day to pass through ever narrowing passages, often having to use the hatchet to cut away tree branches or logs, often under water. We were sure glad to be paddling while facing forward, it would have been impossible to row here. We also thanked our blessings for having Linex bottoms, for we scraped logs all day. On one occasion, a huge tree completely barred our way and we had to wait for tide to come down 6 inches with both of us standing on the back of the same boat to sink it so it would pass underneath. By the end of the day we were only halfway through the passage, so the tide went down and left us stuck in very stinky muck for the night. The intense smell of rotten eggs and the whizzing of countless mosquitoes made for an unforgettable experience!


    Feb 19th
    More of the same. Paddling, chopping, paddling, chopping. No sailing here! Must be a real «Nightmare» here in 100 degree summer heat, with stench and bugs 10 times worse, stuck in a loaded canoe with no possibility of setting up a tent. Appropriately named passage!


    Feb 20th
    Glad to have made it through the «Nightmare» creek which links the Broad River to the Harney river while avoiding the ocean. The gulf passage is the only one now shown on the park map- no wonder. We had not wanted to attempt the ocean in our 8-foot boats because the 20 knot easterly winds might have pushed us offshore. But going upstream against the Harney river current plus east winds proved just as impossible. So we relaxed for a few hours and cooked up some homemade bread. Then we shoved off to paddle this upstream stretch with the incoming tide during the night, accompanied by the buzz of mosquitoes, and morning found us at Tarpon Bay, happy to have left the tough part behind us, or so we thought.



    Feb 21st
    Finally, a wonderful day sailing down the Shark river with favorable winds! Wow, a real treat. Plus we had the priviledge of watching several porpoise and dolphin shows, as they jumped straight out of the water just in front of us.

    The only major obstacle left was to cross huge Whitewater Bay, towards the south-east, which, you guessed it, is exactly where the winds were coming from. Took an eternity just to get across the opening to the Bay, because it flows toward the ocean, against our wished-for direction. Then winds rose to 20 knots, which forced us to stop and hide behind an island. James ordered homemade pizza. I was happy to deliver.


    Feb 22nd
    With too-strong winds still right on our nose, we could only advance by zig-zagging our way east while hiding behind islands. We were pushing our tiny boats pretty hard for hours, which ended up being quite stressful after a while. Especially with only 5 km or so made good. Puddle ducks do not point very well. Eventually we ran out of islands to hide behind and could no longer continue due to worsening conditions. Forecast was for 20 knot winds on the nose for the next 4 days. With only 2 gallons of water left, we decided to paddle the last stretch of Whitewater Bay at midnight, when winds were relatively calmer. But at 2 am we were only halfway across when winds piped up, stopping us dead in our tracks. So we had no choice but to climb out of our cabins onto the see-sawing decks to put up our masts and sails. Yes, we had dry throats, let's just say we were anxious to get to shore. But once the sails were up it actually went rather well, and after a couple of hours of tacking near shore, we finally made it to the entrance of Tarpon creek by 4h30 am, accompanied by a cloud of mosquitoes, as usual.



    Feb 23rd
    After a very short 2-hours-of-sleep night, we were awakened at daylight by the numerous motor fishing boats transiting through Tarpon creek. We were obviously getting close to Flamingo, our destination. We tried in vain to sail Tarpon creek against the wind, each tack moving us forward by only 10 metres or so. So we paddled to Coot Bay, where ferocious winds forced us to stay near shore. Even so, James almost flipped his boat twice when we got caught by a sudden squall. After the rain subsided, we managed to reach Buttonwood canal, which ended up being a brutal all-day paddle straight against the wind and current, while being roasted by the blaring sun. We could only advance by paddling with power strokes between gusts, and holding on to branches when they blew. All the while we were forced to smile as the half-hourly scheduled boats brought tourists to take our picture as if we were part of their tour! For a consolation prize, we finally saw a resident crocodile near the park headquarters. I screamed for ice cream. So did James.



    Thanks for reading.


    André-François Bourbeau
    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  28. #28
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    This is good stuff. Please keep it coming!
    -Dave

  29. #29
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Have also always found these dopey contraptions to be hard to resist. If I ever get hit hard enough on the head to start thinking about a new build it would be a boxy micro cruiser, although I think 12'x6' would be about the smallest I would ever go

    Last edited by JimD; 04-18-2016 at 01:06 PM.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    An MV somebody came up with

    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I wonder if anyone ever built a Bolger Nano. I'd like to see one of those on the water.

    -Dave

  32. #32
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I just got the latest post from André-François Bourbeau to share here.


    I just loved your comment Nels: At 1st I thought, "OK another person trying to convert a PDR to an over-nighter - have seen that before." Now I too am smitten :-)


    This is probably what a lot of persons are thinking, without saying it. I understand. After all it IS a Puddle Duck! With it's limitations in size, but also it's ease of build- as little as one week. So seemingly, this must mean it can't be all that serious. Or can it?


    Because I own a Paradox and perhaps also because of my long experience as an outdoor professionnel before designing it, plus my recent experiences testing the boat on the Harris chain of lakes and through the Everglades, I am now convinced that Gorfnik truly works as a minimalistic cruiser on protected waters. Don't let the fact that it is «only a Puddle Duck» fool you. Here are twenty reasons why, from my perspective.


    1. It is extremely comfortable while sailing, because of the sit-facing-forward position and back-rest. This means it is easy on the back and also on the neck because you don't have to continually look sideways. Also, position can be varied from sitting up, sitting on the bottom, kneeling like in a canoe, standing up, or standing up while leaning your bum on the seat-moved-up-to-the-window-ledge. And yes, the boat can be sailed while laying down in the bottom by using the primitive shove-the-wedged-shaped-stick-in-the-steering-line-hole tiller while keeping an eye on the compass or GPS. All in all, many long hours on board remain pleasant.


    2. It is warm in cool weather, because we are continuously protected by the cabin.


    3. It is tolerable in warm weather, because we are in direct contact with the water through only a 3/8 inch plywood. The hatch is placed against the front window to keep the sun out, and clothing can be draped over one of the side windows if need be.


    4. In rainy weather, it is magic to be able to continue sailing from inside.


    5. We never get tired of being on the boat because we often get full body exercise while stand-up paddling. The stand-up paddling position is made much more comfortable than on a paddle-board because your body is leaning on the front and side of the cabin while paddling, which means you can really lean into your strokes.


    6. There is immediate access to lake water just by leaning down over the side. The boat is so stable that there is no hesitation whatsoever in doing this. So rinsing dishes, soaking the sponge or cleaning hands is direct-access.


    7. Gorfnik is basically a sailing «canoe» your can sleep in. It paddles almost as fast as a loaded canoe and turns easily using standard canoe strokes.


    8. Because it uses a sprit sail, the set-up takes only a few seconds. Stopping and going again is a charm. To stop, just go up on deck and llift up the sprit alongside the mast, gather up the sail and wrap it with the main sheet. To leave, don't even have to go on deck, just reach to the mast to undo the knot and you are off again.


    9. Also because of the sprit sail, the sprit itself is a 12 foot canoe pole. As a sprit I'm actually using the canoe pole which is used by the American canoe poling association for poling competitions. This means that I can pole Gorfnik up and down minor rapids, giving access to more wilderness waterways. With less than a 6 inch draft and it's Linex bottom, Gorfnik is almost as good as a canoe for this purpose.


    10. Gorfnik is a safer boat than I had at first thought for a few reasons. One, it has incredible primary stability because of it's width-to-length ratio. Two, it's double airboxes will not let it sink no matter what, and float it high enough to permit flipping it back up again if it goes turtle. Three, and most importantly, the boat is light enough to pull up on shore. Thus, like in a canoe, you always have the option to pull out on any shore at any time and wait for more inclement weather. This possibility has saved the day more times than I can count; it has also let me sleep soundly sitting calmly on a beach while the waves were rocking pretty bad.


    11. For toilet matters, the stability and cabin make it easy to pee in a bottle standing up or with privacy while kneeling down if there are other boats around. For a big job, the boat's ability to land anywhere usually means it's easy to get off and use the Leave-No-Trace cathole method. In the tidal waters of the Everglades, where we couldn't get off the boat, we found it easy to squat on the rear deck while holding on to the cabin.


    12. As for washing up, the swim step makes getting back on board after swimming in deep water possible, and easy in shallow water. The front deck is also a great place to take a sponge bath with warm water, or even to shower by hanging a water bag from the mast.


    13. The inside cockpit always stays clean because muddy boots can be washed off and left to dry on the deck before entering.


    14. Gorfnik is a great fishing boat, because you can stand up in it, safely surrounded by the cabin. It is great to be able to clean fish on the flat front deck and clean everything up without messing up the inside of the boat.


    15. For cooking, the hatch converts to a full height «kitchen counter», while the seat moved-up-to-the-window-ledge becomes a secondary counter behind where you are standing. The boat is so stable cooking can take place even while sailing, at least during fair weather. With the cooler at one's feet, you have all the necessities at hand: stove, icebox, sink, counter. It just works. With two of more Gorfniks, there are two or more stoves, so one guy cooks the noodles while the other prepares the sauce, or one guy fries up the potatoes while the other guy flips the ham in the pan. Sometimes one guy gets up early and serves up a surprise breakfast to the others. Good times.


    16. For sailling with buddies, the fact that each person has his own boat is priceless. It permits to «go home» every evening to retire into your own little private cabin and get some alone time. Your own boat can be nice-and-clean while the other guy lives in his messy-ways or vice-versa, with no arguments.


    17. The comraderie sailing Gorfniks is contagious. There is always a little bit of friendly «competition», and reunions after a hard paddle or a crossing are always entertaining.


    18. The possibility of trailering two or three small Gorfniks on the same trailer really helps with logistics. Two Gorfniks sit side-by-side on a standard double snowmobile trailer.


    19. Setting up camp is near instantaneous. At first we used to put everything away in dry bags and so on. But at the end we had so much faith in our boats that we simply shoved the bed roll pêle-mêle under the front deck without even worrying about it.


    20. As for cruising speed, I find Gorfnik acceptable. It averages 6 to 9 km/hour reaching or downwind, and 3 to 5 km/h beating upwind. For 5 hours on the boat, this translates to 30 to 45 km a day downwind and 10 to 15 km a day upwind or paddling flat water. On average, this is about the same as cruising in a canoe, without having to go through the set-up-the-camp routines.


    I will respond to those of you who suggested some changes to Gorfnik's design and size in a separate post. I should also be able to post the official CAD plans in the next few days. Stay tuned.


    Thank you for your interest. Hope this helps you understand why Gorfnik works and also hope it gives ideas to improve other designs.


    Kind regards to all.


    André-François Bourbeau


    Since plans for this boat (PDRacer) can't be SOLD, this isn't just the designer trying to drum up sales for his plans. I'm already sold on this design and hope others will look past the fact that it is a PDRacer and possibly consider building one of your own.

    When the plans are ready, I'll share them here.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  33. #33
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    Changing the size of Gorfnik


    Several of you have suggested that it might be nice to have a larger Gorfnik, either by widening the inside by removing the airboxes and replacing them with foam, or by using a Puddle Goose as a base for lenghtening it. As you can imagine, after living in it for so many days, that exact question was really put to the test and occupied my thoughts for many long hours on the water. Plus, I had many chances to discuss the subject with my two friends which are taller than me at 5'10" and at 6'2".


    First the width. Let's say we make the two side airboxes 7 inches wide instead of 8 inches as per plan. This would add a valuable and welcome 2 inches to the inside space, while also permitting «hiking out» another inch on each side. But... 1) There would still be enough room for the paddle and optional boom on the starboard side, but we would no longer be able to set foot there too when we want to get out on the starboard side, at a dock for example. 2) It would make stepping out onto the port side significantly more tippy, when going out to the front deck of the boat in a blow to adjust the sail. 3) The hatch would be 2 inches wider and a touch heavier. As it is now, it is already a stretch to grab it from both sides to insert it into it's slot 4) Narrowing the airboxes would remove 1/8th of the airbox volume. When I experienced the voluntary turtling test, I really felt I was at the limit, barely being able to right it. Not sure I could do it with the inverted boat sunk 1/8th deeper 5) With a 7 inch width, when trying to stuff things into the side inspection hatches, you could no longer fit bottles of water and perhaps not even quarts of juice and such, because they wouldn't be able to «turn the corner». So you see, in a 4 foot wide boat, that is why the choice of compromise to me was 8 inches. And at 9 inch airboxes, you could no longer paddle the boat without continuously hitting the side of the boat with the paddle. So the sweet spot seems to be 8 inches. Foam is not a better solution, because you would still need 8 inches of foam to have equivalent buoyancy, and without storage capacity.


    Now for length. I considered making the boat longer than 8 feet, perhaps 10 or even 12, goose size. I have a bad case of boat building bug (bbb) and a longer Gorfnik would certainly make for a faster boat. But the main objection to this is the cost in terms of stability due to the different length/width ratio. Don't forget that you can't hike out in a Gorfnik, the best you can do is sit to one side. I'm not sure I would want the boat tippier than it is now. Also, adding length makes the boat gain significant weight, making it harder to move the boat out of the water in a pinch. Finally, making the boat longer adds the complexity of jointing plywood to the build.


    As it is, Gorfnik does not need extra space to carry gear for at least a two week cruise. On a longer boat, the extra space would be under the front deck where it would be no fun to reach. Also, the extra length would necessitate a longer cabin too, because it is important to put the cabin front at the balance point for paddling efficiency when leaned up against it. This results in a larger, heavier and harder-to-handle hatch. In my opinion, Gorfnik should only be lengthened to 8'6" or 9 feet to fit very tall persons. Otherwise I do not believe the gains warrant the extra weight and build complexity, as well as the decreased stability.


    Someone suggested making the front window more upright to give more cabin space. The reason it is slanted is not only for airstreaming, but also so you can see up through it to watch the sail when sailing from inside.


    This all having been said, please, do not hesitate to offer a different opinion than mine so I can learn from all of you. Later I would like to start a thread on inventing a sail-from-inside, lightweight and non-tippy Gorfnik style boat with no restrictions on build effort, to see what we can come up with.


    Please consider that I send this post most humbly, remembering that I'm not a trained boat designer!


    André-François
    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

  34. #34
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    I'll try to keep up here with the conversation going on in the Yahoo Microcruiser group for anyone interested here.

    Dave wrote: I am seriously thinking of building a Gorfnik on top of a PD Goose hull. I want the extra room inside. What I have to figure out is how much to extend the cabin top forward. The Goose will give me an extra 4 feet of hull length. Initially I'm thinking extending the cabin by 2 feet. I know each amount I extend it, is going to increase the windage on the side of the boat. I'll keep the height of the cabin that same as the original Gorfnik. I'll also have to figure out how to enlarge the folding cabin hatch and be able to store it on the forward deck. I'm still wrapping my head around how Andre built the hatch; I haven't had my aha moment yet! My primary sailing will be on lakes, mostly solo or sometimes with 1 passenger.



    Hi Dave,


    As you saw on my recent post, I don't think extending the Gorfnik to 12 feet would give much advantage other than speed, and at the expense of stability. But I would surely like to try it and check out the results! Even with the extension, you would not really be able to ride comfortably with a passenger, because of the narrow width- the other person would have to sit on the floor in front of you. And you are right, the enlarged hatch would be hard to handle, it might need to be redesigned.


    If you do want to try building a longer Gorfnik, perhaps 10 feet would be better. It would save some weight and the hatch might still be possible with the current design, plus the stability might still be ok. You would have to figure out where to put the seat and where to put the front of the cabin for paddling balance, and also move the mast back a bit. I'm guessing 18 inches from the transom for the rear bulkhead (seat 6 inches forward from actual plan) and the cabin front 6 inches behind center. This would give a 36 inch long cabin instead of 30 inches, thus making the folding hatch 3 inches wider.


    If I were to do this, I would also consider narrowing the side boxes to 7 inches each, and compensating for the loss in flotation by adding another flotation box in front of the masts (adds 15 inches by 34 inches of volume). If you build this boat, it would be interesting to compare performance and stability!


    Thanks for your interest.


    AF


    T. Lee., please elaborate on the effect of width vs length ratio in regards with stability. Like I said, I’m not a trained boat designer. I was under the impression that a longer boat of the same width would go faster and with the width/length ratio reduced would thus have more chance of capsize. Can you explain this to me, or give me a source of information so I can educate myself? Thanks.

    AF


    and then, among the responses, John Welsford posted this quick message:

    On Stability. If a given hull has “X” stability, doubling the length without changing the beam and depth will give a stability of 2 x “X”.

    John Welsford
    The conversation continues but it looks, to me, like a little extra length would make a heavier but MORE STABLE boat.

    A Q&D test with craft foam, coins, and a sink confirms (in my mind at least) that longer length at the same width is more stable. A 2"x4" rectangle tilted more with coins on one side than the same coins tilted a piece 2"x6". Not very scientific testing but ...

    I'm real interested in where this whole "sail from inside" microcruiser design might end up. I think Andre has a great design figured out but, since it is (or was) a PDRacer, every builder is free to make whatever changes they want to their own boat.

    It does amaze me at the thought Andre put into this little wooden box. Everything has a reason for being just the way it is although he did make at least one small change after his Florida testing adventure. Many of his reasons were to keep it fairly simple and cheap to build. I look forward to see what others might come up with if you lessen the low budget, quick build requirement. With some time and effort along with the desire, I think the lowly PDRacer could be made into a nice looking and very usable microcruiser for protected waters.

    I really want to get mine out on the water even without all the sailing parts done. It sounds like it would paddle good enough to play around on the small lake here. That lake requires a launch permit or boat registration even for unpowered boats but it would be my best location for any actual sailing.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian
    Last edited by Sea Dreams; 04-29-2016 at 09:37 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: PDRacer microcruiser

    André-François just left for yet another week long trip with his original Gorfnik boat. Just minutes before he left, he shared his updated plans which includes details for the taller version.

    He didn't officially release them to the public yet so I'll hold off posting any links to it but if anyone is seriously considering building one of these boats or if someone actually started building one using my plans, let me know and I'll get them to you faster. If not, I should have a link in a bit over a week if no problems are found in the proofreading.

    I have to admit, plans drawn up by the actual designer makes a lot of details I had trouble with a lot easier to understand. Plus, there was at least one change to the hatch drain after his trip to Florida.

    I don't know if anyone here is interested in this design enough to actually build one of their own but I am trying to do my part to at least spread the word about such a cheap and simple to build microcruiser. I know the designer has spent a considerable amount of time testing this thing out before he "publishes" the FREE plans. Of course, "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

    As soon as the pickup truck is back from the garage being repaired, I plan to take my own copy of this design out for its maiden voyage. That's likely to just be the pond down the road but it should inspire me to finish the sailing parts of my boat and get ready for a real trip. I can think of several places that a boat of this size and type would be great for an overnight adventure. I can't hardly wait.

    Sea Dreams A.K.A. Brian

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