This is Page 3 of Building Instructions for the Redneck Racer Camp Boat.

Summary of Activities

  1. Read over pp 1-19 of this Camp Sailboat project manual. Carefully review this summary of the day’s activities as well as the notes and tips before beginning. Note that most of the materials you need can be acquired locally.
  2. Keep a notebook. Purchase or designate a small notebook or notepad for logging day by day work notes, recording costs, doing calculations, etc. Take photos to complement your notes and share with others.
  3. Identify your work space. Determine a suitable work place and set up for cutting out the hull pieces. A work table or a couple of saw horses are useful.
  4. Check to make certain that you have the necessary tools listed in the column “Minimum Essential Tools.” You will need a tape measure, pencil, long batten, jigsaw and/or portable circular saw, a block plane, a sander or sanding block, and a Work Mate or similar upright clamping device for today’s work.
  5. Purchase the Plywood. Purchase 2 suitable plywood panels for the sides, side frames, transoms, boards, etc. as shown in panels 1 and 2 of the plans. Have two of these panels cut into 6 equal 15” pieces and two leftover 8’ strips of less than 3” wide as shown in the “Cutting Guide” in the plans. Purchase a third full panel for the bottom.
  6. Purchase a putty knife and some light-colored wood filler. Fill in any knots, cracks, or indentations in the faces of the plywood, then fill in all voids in the edges. You will need to repeat this step after cutting out the separate pieces.
  7. Cut the panels into pieces. Mark the panels as shown in panels 1 and 2 of the plans with a pencil. IMPORTANT: Make certain that you identify each piece as shown on Panels 1 and 2 as port inside frame, port side, starboard inside frame, and starboard side. The face or “good” side of each piece will be showing when the sides and frames are assembled later if marked as shown on the plan before cutting. When you are certain you have the pieces identified correctly, cut out the pieces exactly as shown in the plan. Usually, you can use the first side you cut out as the template for the rest of the sides and frames. It’s also helpful to identify this piece by penciling “template” on it.
  8. Match the side and inside frame pieces. Align the four side and side frame pieces along their finished edges and plane and sand the pieces to a uniform size around the edges so that they all match up. Avoid taking off too much wood from the bottom edges or your boat might not measure as “class legal” according to the designated hull shape. However, there is enough “slop” in the measurements (about ½” at each station) that you would have to make a very serious error to disqualify your boat.
  9. Cut out the rudder and leeboard pieces. Cut these pieces from the port and starboard inner frames using the dimensions shown in Panel 2 of the plans.
  10. Order a sail kit, a hardware kit, oars or a paddle and boat nails. In order to get these items in time for your launch, you need to order them early. You can order a sail kit or a finished sail from PolySail depending upon your budget. Find those products on either the kits page at or You can order the hardware from Duckworks at and oars or a paddle, and bronze ring nails from RAKA at
  11. Clean up.
Cut out parts and pieces shown near the end of Day 1.
Having another PDRacer helps demonstrate some framing and flotation solutions.
Frank Jesko sands an inside frame that he cut out near the end of Day 1.

Notes and Tips Below Correspond to the Daily Activity Numbers Above

  1. Keep in mind that we are not building a show quality boat. However, we do want it to last for about a minimum of five years. To be on the safe side, that means building with at least BC grade exterior plywood that has few knots visible and as few voids in the edges as you can find. At most big box stores that means having someone help you sort through panels and purchasing better BC exterior sheathing as a minimum at about $23-$25 a sheet. If your panel costs less, your hull probably won’t last longer than two years at best. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to buy marine grade plywood for a minimum of about $50 a sheet, but I wouldn’t spend that until you’ve already built a boat or two. On my recent trips to Lowes and Home Depot, I found that Home Depot had the superior plywood, and Lowes had the superior framing boards like pine 1” x 2” x 8’. That situation could easily be reversed in another area of the country. In the Midwest, Menards is a good source for materials. Occasionally, you can still find a local lumber yard that carries exterior glue AC or even AB plywood, but these yards are hard to find these days.
    It’s probably best to purchase the plywood panels that will be cut early in the morning before the store gets too busy. Take the Cutting Guide on p. 8 and sketch of the boat from p. 19 with you and explain what you are doing to the saw operator. Try to gain his or her support for the project and explain carefully the reason for the cutting sequence, i.e., that all the 15” pieces need to match up. Some big box stores cut from the lower part of the panel instead of the upper part first, so the sequence might be reversed, but you still want the panel reversed after the first cut. Watch closely to see that he or she makes all cuts with the same side of the panel facing outward. Once finished, thank the operator profusely for the time they have saved you.
  1. We want to keep sanding to a minimum, so lightly sanding the back sides of all panels with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper before beginning cutting is a good idea. If there are deep knots or splits on the C side of your BC plywood, you might want to fill these flaws with a purchased wood filler or a paste of Titebond and wood flour (fine sawdust) or epoxy and wood flour before sanding. You can expect to find a number of flaws that need filling. After cutting out your pieces, you particularly need to look for voids in the edges that were not visible before the pieces were cut out.
  1. The plans are drawn so that nearly every piece will be used in construction. Make all cuts as shown on the plans otherwise you might need to buy an extra panel of plywood.
  2. Anytime you cut across the grain of the outside plys of the plywood, it’s a good idea to apply clear packing tape over the entire line you will be cutting then wrap the tape over the ends of the piece you are cutting. Run your thumbnail along the tape immediately over your line a few times before starting the cut. If using a circular saw, set it just deep enough to make the cut. For a jigsaw, use a smooth wood blade rather than a coarse blade. Using these techniques will help you avoid splintering the edges of cuts that go across the plywood grain.
  1. If you have both a circular saw and a jigsaw, you don’t need to drill a hole to start your jig saw cut. Instead use a “plunge cut” by dropping the spinning blade of your circular saw straight down through the plywood along the inside of your straight line to start your cut outs of the leeboard and rudder from the inner frame piece. This way you avoid having a drill hole to fill in at the ends of your rudder and leeboard later.
  1. Bronze ring nails are often hard to find locally. If you want to attach your boat’s bottom using my preferred method, order these nails early from RAKA Inc. at 772 489-4070 so these fasteners will be available when you need them. Otherwise, use ¾” #8 stainless steel screws purchased locally. You have the option of countersinking the heads and leaving all the stainless steel screws in the plywood, or removing some or all of the screws and inserting bamboo skewers dipped in glue in the holes. Later, the tops of the skewers can be planed or sanded off flush.