PDR Updates

With the Lake Pepin Messabout 65 days away, I’ve been scrambling as best I can to get Serenity up to speed for her trip downriver. We had a fortunate warm spell during my spring break that allowed me to clean the garage, and get her down from the rafters. (Yes, my boat hangs perilously over my car all winter long.)

First order of business: Install oarlocks.

Last summer Molly and I were entertaining her nephews who were visiting from Germany. We had though a nice sail around the lake would be a fun adventure, and it was… Until the wind died while we were 150 meters from shore. After baking in the sun for about 30 minutes, her nephew Dennis and I ended up jumping overboard and swimming it back to shore. That was the day I decided that oarlocks were a must.

A problem with oars on the PDR is that there’s no bench. I was in a bit of a jam: I didn’t want to install oarlocks before I had a bench, and I couldn’t determine where the bench should installed without having the oarlocks ready to go. I came across a video of Michael Buchanan rowing his PDR #760, “Duck Dodgers”, and he seemed to have the balance sorted out nicely. I sent him and email and he gave me a link to another ducker’s video. Once I saw the bench design on Bill MacPherson‘s PDR #608, “True North”, I knew what I needed to do.

New First order of business: Install oarlocks Install bench seating, then oarlocks.

I had been so focused on getting the seat into the “perfect” position, that I had completely neglected to think of adjustable as “perfect”. I found some scrap and ripped it to the right dimensions, glued a strip of it to each side of the interior. Found another scrap piece, trimmed it to the width of the cockpit, and put a couple coats of polyurethane on it. Ta dah! Adjustable bench!

Bench rails installed

Bench rails installed

The bench on the rails.

The bench on the rails.

Pardon the expression on my face here. I had to set the shot with a timer (with the tripod on my ladder), run around the side of the boat, climb a garbage can to get into the boat (which is on sawhorses), grab the oar into a semi-usable position all in 10 seconds… It sounds like it should be enough, but it wasn’t. (The first pic I got was me looking VERY surprised that the camera went off. No you can’t see it.)

Me, on the bench, on the rails.

Me, on the bench, on the rails.

Since it warmed up again today, I painted the starboard hull registration number and touched up the transom lettering.

And all because i want to use a trolling motor once in a while...

And all because i want to use a trolling motor once in a while…


I’ll try to get a video of how well the rowing bench works once I have a trailer that is not full of yard waste. (The drawback of a utility trailer that’s used for everything…)

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