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GaryHLucas 08-01-2010 06:15 PM

Identify this mast?
Last weekend I bought a sailing dinghy made by New Englan d Skiff Builders, called a PuddleDuck. It's fiberglass, double hulled and came with a sailing kit in a bag. The boat is 20 years old, but the mast, boom, sail, rudder, and daggerboard had never been used! Varnished teak for the rudder and daggerboard, and bright varnished sitka spruce for the mast and boom. All the hardware on the boat is bronze.

The boat is in quite good shape except for two items. It was stored upside down on dirt and the teak facing on the transom, and the teak outboard block are both rotted away along the top edge. No big deal. there was also a crack in the hull at the front end of the skeg, apparently from being dropped hard. I fixed that today. Oh yeah, the bailer was missing. I found the original builder and he told me that it was a Sunfish bailer, so I picked up one of those and it fit perfectly.

When I picked up the boat and looked in the sail bag there were a couple of wooden parts that I thought were the boom and a gaff. It turns out it was actually a two piece mast with a boom, and it is sloop rigged.

So what does the aluminum mast the owner gave me with the boat fit? It is 16' 3" long tapered aluminum. It's 2" OD at the bottom, 1-1/8" OD at the top. It clearly doesn't fit this boat! It would be good if I could identify the mast, maybe someone can use it.

Gary H. Lucas

GaryHLucas 08-08-2010 08:28 PM

So nobody has any idea what boat this mast fits?

Gary H. Lucas

sailingdog 08-08-2010 09:00 PM

Photos would help. :D

CalebD 08-08-2010 09:09 PM

It looks like the Puddle Duck Racer can be rigged with a Sunfish rig, gaff rig or sloop. - Easiest one design sailboat to build and race
Perhaps the 16' mast is for the sloop rigged version?

JohnRPollard 08-08-2010 09:39 PM


I'm not familiar with that Puddleduck. There is another Puddleduck that I'm aware of, a simple 8', usually home-built dinghy -- but it sounds different from what you have described.

As for the rig/mast: Your description of the sailing rig, foils, and hardware all sound very similar to the two-part fixed gunter rig used by Dyer on their smaller 8 and 9' dinghies (The Midget and Dhow, respectively). The Dyer spars are made from spruce, but the rudder foils are varnished mahogany, I believe.

The 9' Dyer Dhow also had a stayed, single-part aluminum mast option, in lieu of the standard unstayed gunter rig (or maybe the aluminum was standard and the gunter was optional -- can't remember anymore). Which is why I thought of the Dyers when you mentioned the second aluminum mast.

But the Dyer boats were not sloop-rigged. They are more like cat-rigged, with a single mainsail stepped forward in the bows.

So I guess it's still a mystery -- although Caleb sounds like he's on to something.

GaryHLucas 08-09-2010 06:15 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here is my new dinghy, cute huh? the mast is in the other picture. It is a tapered aluminum tube, 2" diameter and one end, 1-1/8" diameter at the other. There are no holes or fittings attached anywhere.

Gary H. Lucas

JohnRPollard 08-09-2010 06:46 PM

Yeah, that is nice!:) I've never seen a professionally-built Puddleduck before. You'll have a lot of fun with it.

The absence of any fittings on the aluminum mast suggests that it accepts a "sleeved" mainsail that slides down and over it, much like a sailboard/windsurfer sail. There are more than a few dinghies with that arrangement, too.

GaryHLucas 08-09-2010 07:29 PM

This PuddleDuck was built in 1990, long before thse PuddleDuck Racer stitch and glue boats. I actually found the guy who built them, he is still in business. They stopped building them around 1995 after building about 1200 of them. He said he just couldn't compete with the inexpensive molded plastic boats, and he got tired of traveling to boat shows to sell them. All the hardware on the boat is bronze, not plastic, so it would be hard to build this boat with the sails and all for less than $3,000 I'd bet.

Gary H. Lucas

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