This is Page 7 of Building Instructions for the Redneck Racer Camp Boat.

Summary of Activities

  1. Build a mast step. Using scrap ¼” BC plywood about 10” x 10” and a piece of 1” x 4” x 1’ board, you can make a mast step. Use the template provided in Panel 9 of the plans to cut out two triangular risers from the 1” x 4” x 1’ board. Cut out a piece of ¼” plywood that is 6” x 10” as a plate. Mount the two risers 2” apart on the plate as shown in the photos below with the gentle curved side down. Screw and glue the risers to the plate. Next, cut out another piece of plywood that measures about 3 ¾” x 10”. At the place indicated in Panel 9, cut out a 2” x 2” square hole for the mast. Screw and glue this piece to the top of the risers.

Cut out a piece of ¼” plywood at least 6” x 10” as a base plate. Draw in the position of two “riser” triangles. These must be 2” apart.

Mount the risers on the plate with the slightly curved sides down, drill 2 guide holes in each riser from underneath, glue the bottoms of the risers, and screw them firmly to the base plate.

Cut a 2” square hole in the top piece of plywood before gluing and screwing it to the top. We added a couple of additional 2”-wide strips of plywood inside the step at the top to increase strength.

In this view, you can see the additional strip added below the top piece of plywood.

Top view of the mast step before it is glued and screwed in place on the bottom of the PDRacer.

Side view of the mast step. When mounted on the bottom of the “Redneck Duck” design, the forward rocker of the bottom will cause the top of the mast step to be horizontal.

  1. Position and mount the mast step. Place the completed mast step beneath the mast hole in the deck. Make certain that the hull is leveled on a flat surface with all corners 6” above the ground. Using a long piece of 1” x 2” to substitute temporarily for a mast. Level this board in the step both fore and aft and from side to side. When you are confident that the step is positioned so that the temporary “mast” is straight in all directions, mark the position of the mast step on the bottom with a pencil. Drill two holes through the low ends of the two risers through the bottom of the boat. Place two skewers through the holes to hold the step in position. Turn the boat over, drill two additional holes near the front of the step into the taller parts of the risers and place at least 1 ¼” #8 screws through the bottom into the step risers. Turn the boat on its side, remove the screws and skewers from the step but insert four screws in the holes so that just the tips are showing for placement purposes. Remove the mast step and smear the step plate with PL Premium. Replace it in the correct position and screw the step into position until the glue sets. The screws can be removed, the holes countersunk for the heads, smeared with glue and reset in place permanently, or glue smeared skewers can be inserted into the holes and the tops clipped off with a set of cutters or pliers with cutters. Later, when the glue has set, the heads of the skewers can be planed and/or sanded flush then painted over.
  2. Decide on a mast option. The 2” square mast step and 2 ¼” square mast partner at the deck allow several mast options. By adding (3) ¼” plywood 4” x 4” squares with different sized or shaped holes in them over (and under) the partner and at the top of the step, you could use a round aluminum mast, a bamboo mast, or a solid mast made from a 2” x 6” or 8” x 16’ piece of knot free fir or pine. Or, you can leave the partner and step as it is and use a laminated mast like the one we show in the “Redneck Duck” design in Panel 10. The size and length of the mast is, of course, dependent on the sail chosen, as well. Our 15’ 6” laminated mast is designed for a 60 sq. ft. leg o’ mutton, but other sails can be used as well if the Center of Effort is within a range of 30”-36” from the back side of the mast. Consequently, sprits, batwings, gaffs, high aspect lateens, board sails, and other experimental sails could potentially be used on the “Redneck Duck” design. Consult PolySail International for optional mast and sail designs to your liking if you don’t want to use the stock 60 sq. ft. leg o’ mutton sail.
  3. Construct a mast and sprit boom. Refer to Panel 10 of the plans when constructing these two pieces. The most economical way to make a mast and sprit boom is to purchase a knot free 2” x 6” or 8” x 16’ pine or fir board. It is almost impossible to find knot free lumber in 2” x 4” sizes, so do the sorting in these larger sizes, and occasionally you will find a straight, knot free board suitable for a mast. Cut your mast from one of these pieces such that it measures 2” at the base, 2 ¼” at the partner up to about 8’ then is gradually narrowed to 1” square at the top. The length of the mast should be at minimum of 15’ 8” long. Your board will only measure about 1 5/8” thick along the narrow side of its length, so it is advisable to add strength to this side by adding a ½” x 2 1/4 “ x 8’ piece of BC plywood after you have cut the mast to shape. Ideally, another short section of plywood of ¼” would be pieced onto the end of the 8’ section to widen the mast up to at least 10’ from the base. These pieces can be screwed and glued to the mast. Once the glue has set, remove all screws and replace them in the screw holes with glue-dipped bamboo skewers. Plane and sand your mast to shape and round the corners above the partner. You will have a heavy mast when finished, but if cared for, it will give you years of service. Using the remainder of the 16’ board, saw out a 1 ½” x 1 5/8” x 9’ 6” board tapered at each end to 1 ¼”. Cut the slots in each end indicated on the plans. Sand to shape rounding the corners and edges slightly. If you are fortunate enough to live in the Deep South, you might be able to use pieces of bamboo for the mast and sprit boom. However, I strongly suggest buying your bamboo from a knowledgeable grower. Not all bamboo is strong enough to use for these pieces.
  4. Prime and paint the mast and sprit boom.
  5. Test fit the mast in the partner and step. After the paint has dried and with the boat leveled at 6” at each corner, fit the mast to its partner and step. The mast should fit snugly but not be too tight. Wood will swell when it gets wet, and if the fit is too snug, you might not be able to remove the mast when you need to. Check that the mast fits straight when checked fore and aft and from side to side with a level. Shim the mast if necessary.
  6. Construct a leg o’ mutton sail. There is an 8-page “Construction Guide for Making High Performing Polytarp Sails” on the PolySail International Library Page at that can be printed out. More instructions for making a 60 sq. ft. leg o’ mutton sail are included on the same Library Page in the Sail Database at the bottom of the page. However, until the sail database is updated, the “Construction Guide …..” is the better of the two guides to follow in constructing your sail.
  7. Clean up.