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When I first saw the Plank Rat, I knew my lifelong desire to own/build a boat was about to come true.
There’s something about this fantastic, very clever design that instills confidence. All the materials are cheap and easy to come by. The scale seems doable. The cost is low — about $50 – $75. ShortyPen promises that the plywood is going to bend for you. And it’s a neighbor to the PDRacer community, which is geeky as all get out.
Mygeeklets aren’t old enough to handle power saws or even to be too close when I use them. But once the wood is cut, they help out by putting screws in pilot holes and painting the craft, which was almost christened the S.S. Splatter.
Partly because I scrimped on the plywood width, the boat is a little small for all three of us at once. But I can now take them for a ride one at a time. And someday, I hope to see them pilot it themselves. Hopefully future modifications — or maybe a whole new boat — will give us some more room.
Don’t forget the life jackets. My boat sank about 30 seconds into her maiden voyage. (Operator error.)