New reader Alton Stone recently left a comment on one of my posts about Delaware Duckers. He was interested in upgrading his rig and was nice enough to respond to my info with some pictures (included here) and color commentary. If anyone can help him, please drop a comment and I will make sure he sees them. Stone writes:
… any folks who have experience with the [Delaware Ducker] or ideas on what works best, please [add a comment]. I love the boat, it rows terrifically, and sails well enough in my couple of tries with a sailing rig borrowed from another boat. However, I would like to set it up with a smaller traditional sprit-sail (the middle one for general use) as shown in the drawings.
I have attached a couple of photos, under sail. Even with what I consider an oversized sail (65+ sf) for the breeze (12-15+ knots) the boat set up real well and just skimmed along.
By the way, my boat is a fiberglass version with mahogany wood decking & trim, a take-off from the original “York Ducker” that I believe is now at the Mystic CT Museum. In the 1980’s Vanguard created a mold to use for a cold molded version they hoped to sell commercially [Stone has a Small Boat Journal article on the design that I dare not post]. The mold has since drifted around and I got a hold of a hull in good shape that probably was produced sometime in the 1990s, or perhaps late 1980’s. Thayer Boats (the Thole Pin, as I recall) also made a couple of size Duckers in the 1980’s.
I am surprised this boat is not more popular. It is a perfect small boat for gunkholing; looks sharp, rows and sails real well, seaworthy in bay chop, etc. Much more useful than a Sunfish or Laser, and according to reports, about as fast a sailer. Stuffed with flotation, it would (I think) make an exciting and safe big breeze sailer. My only (possible)improvement would be a centerboard instead of the daggerboard.