PolySail International

High Performance/Low Cost Sails for Small Sailboats












Webfoot, Hull # 199, is pushed downwind by the force of the wind against the polytarp windscreen.


The Z-PDR, hull #351, is the latest and most innovative PDR I’ve built. Constructed for  the 2009 World Championship, this boat placed fourth and might have placed much higher but for a late start in the third race and a much smaller sail plan  than other competitors. Click on the picture to learn more about the evolution of the Z-PDR. There are more photos below.



The PDRacer is a phenomenal little class racing boat. It is cheap to build, fun to sail, and easy to transport. For families, scout troops, and community organizations, the PDRacer is an ideal trainer for novice sailors. Building one of these boats becomes a means of bridging the generation gap between parent and child or leader and youth. For old salts, this little box boat provides new challenges in all phases of construction and sailing. The PDRacer levels the playing field and allows tottering retirees to compete with agile youths. For professional builders, designers, and sailors, the creative challenges are endless. How can we make this little scow faster, lighter, safer, more seaworthy? For all these reasons and because the class is unique for its use of polytarp sails, PolySail International supports this rapidly growing class of environmentally friendly recreational and racing sailboats. Here’s how we support the PDRacer:


  • NEW!  Z-DUCK KIT  for the Family Boatbuilding Event at the 2010 Wooden Boat Show. Click the link below for more information:

      http://www.polysail.com/Z-Duck Kit.htm

      The following link takes you to the brochure:

      http://www.polysail.com/Z-Duck Kit Brochure.htm


  • 2010 Calendar of Notable PDRacers and Upcoming Events.

o        Over half of the proceeds from the sale of these handsome desk calendars goes to support the PDRacer.com website.

  • Small Sail Contest at the 2009 World Championship

o        PolySail International raised money to support the PDRacer.com web site by sponsoring the Small, Jury-Rigged Sail Contest.

o        Four teams competed in making four small sails from kits supplied by PolySail International and then using those sails to power their boats in a spirited competition won by the team of Shawn Payment and Shorty Routh.

o        Click on the PDR Worlds 2009 button for more information about the 2009 PDR World Championship at Allatoona Lake as well as the Small Jury Rigged Sails Contest.

  • Discount Sails

o        PolySail International offers discounted sail kits and/or a 10% finished sail discount for standard PDR sails. Click on the Discount Sails button or the Products button in the links bar above to check out the kit price.

o        Call Dave at 317 385-3444 for a discount price on a finished 60 sq. ft. Leg O’ Mutton Sail or a quote on a custom made PDR sail.

o        We also offer two free sail instruction sites for constructing two of our favorite PDR Sails: the 60 sq. ft. Leg O’ Mutton sail and the Michalak Piccup Pram lug sail. Click on the PDR Sail Building button for instructions for building these sails.

  • Hoosier Regatta

o        Last summer PolySail International joined with the Lake Vista Association to sponsor the first annual Lake Vista Hoosier Regatta. Five PDRacers participated. Click on the Hoosier Regatta button for a race report.

  • Camp Sailboat Free PDRacer Plans

o        These free plans, based upon our building of Lame Duck (PDR 100), provide detailed guidance for building a first PDR.  Click on Camp Sailboat to look at the plans.

o        Email polysail@polysail.com for a printer friendly MS Word file of these plans.

  • Updated Plans

o        We have had a hand in building four complete PDR Racers for our own use and in building or assisting to build four hulls for other PDR owners. Eventually, you will be able to click on the PDR Plans button to view these additional plans. In the meantime, this button takes you to the PDRacer.com website of David (Shorty) Routh, the original designer of the PDRacer and the free plans that are located there.

o        We feature pictures of some of the building steps for Wild Duck, Webfoot, and the Z-PDR below.

Additional plans from other builders are available from the pdracer group page. We tell you how to sign up and provide links at the bottom of the page.

Son Ryan Gray, a nine-year Navy veteran, sails PDRacer #100 Lame Duck on Lake Vista.

Wild Duck, Hull # 143, about to embark on a successful attempt to set a PDRacer world record for amount of sail

carried (164 sq. ft.)


Ryan pilots the Z in the 2009 Worlds at Allatoona Lake, GA. Click on the picture for an account of the 2009 PDRacer World Championships.



The Z-PDR, hull # 351, is the first boat to come out of the new workshop in Florida. With a hull and rig that weighs just over 75 lb, a pleasing shape, and several alternative sail and board configurations, the Z could be poised to compete for a 2009 speed record.


Wild Duck, Hull # 143, can be sailed  with one, two, or three sails mounted up front. However, she was built primarily to sail with a biplane configuration as in the picture at the extreme left. The bottom is a sheet of ¼” Plyfoor 5-ply plywood stiffened with a keelson and crosspiece. The chine and most framing is cedar. The sides are two 1” thick Styrofoam® slabs sandwiched between 1/8” lauan. The bottom and sides were nailed on using bronze ring nails. Wild Duck handles surprisingly well, but there are still bugs to be worked out concerning leeboard placement and mainsheet handling. Normally carrying 104 sq. ft. of sail, Wild Duck should be a very fast PDR in most conditions.



Webfoot, hull #199, was still undergoing testing when I sold it and moved to Florida. This boat has an inner hull that is only 43 1/2” wide and does not meet PDRacer rules for width until its 2”-wide Styrofoam® sides are screwed on. This PDRacer is also unique in that it has a convertible top complete with a window that can be unrolled over two mahogany arches that run from bow to stern. Another unusual feature is that Webfoot’s bottom is fiberglass-covered 2” thick Styrofoam®. Is this boat practical? Probably not. But the hull is lightweight (54 lbs.before add-ons) and it makes a good platform for testing some different PDR concepts. I never had a chance to test it with a full sized sail.


To join the PDRacer Group Forum and see photos, files, databases, and emails from multiple builders, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/  Once there you will need to register for Yahoo Groups. After you have registered, search for the pdracer group or just bookmark http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pdracer/



PolySail International

2291 SE Gaslight St., Port St. Lucie, FL 34952-7332

Email polysail@polysail.com or call Dave Gray at 317 385-3444

PolySails–Sold on the Web since 1996. Customers in all 50 states and around the globe.


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This page updated on 4/21/2010