Our friends at Chesapeake Light Craft will soon be heading west for the Madison WI, and Port Townsend, WA boat festivals. This is a great opportunity to save on shipping!
Save a bunch of money on shipping! Give us a call and we'll bring your big, heavy stuff with us for pickup in Madison and Port Townsend. Boat kits, big heavy items like rowing units, oars, even small orders of plywood, stuff that can be difficult (and expensive) to ship. Boat kit orders are due by August 16 so we have time to cut, pack, and stow in the rig. This offer's only good until space runs out. Call us today!
The Seventy 48 race this year was a first for PT Watercraft in that there were two PT 11's in this 70 mile event. Our local hero Inger Rankins rowed her 4th race in the PT 11 and it is interesting how every year can be so different. We will start with Inger, whose tracker never communicated to the satellite and many of her fans thought she had dropped out. Think again. While her family and friends in Norway, France, California, Virginia, New Mexico, and Port Townsend were all frantically wondering where she was, she was happily keeping her rhythm over the waves, admiring the moon over Mount Ranier, and chatting with other racers. We contacted the race boss and were told that there were technical issues with many trackers. At that point almost 60 trackers out of some 125, were not showing up on the map. I can only imagine their stress was about as bad as ours. You can read about the NWMC's tracker woes in this R2AK leg one post: https://r2ak.com/2023-daily-updates/stage-1-day-2-a-day-without-trackers/
We have faith in Inger. She had both a radio and a phone onboard that she could use if needing help and since the race committee did not contact her, she was blissfully unaware that there was a problem. When her phone rang several times however, her fingers were so stiff that she could not get to it in time to answer. She later saw that her husband and I had called. "why are they calling me?" she wondered, " Don't they know I am busy rowing?" she reasoned and did not call back. We know her enough to have guessed her thinking. 😉
As morning came, we decided we were going out to find her. We could see where team Tally Row was and that was the key to our hunt. Team Tally Row was solo skippered by Leo Sampson, also in the PT 11 nesting dinghy. We have been super happy to see him engage in this event, inspired by Inger and drawn by the challenge of the race, and we figured the two PT 11's would likely be together en-route.
We departed in our latest pod cat, 'Sipper', a sleep deprived Russell, myself, and friend and naval architect Jim Franken. We all forgot binoculars, a key tool when searching the semi open waters for an 11ft dinghy. Not to be defeated we checked in with all the racers we saw in the south end of Port Townsend Bay and through 'The Cut' bound for Point No Point where we could see Leo's tracker progressing North.
We found him easily as you can when a tracker is working. Leo looked happy, relaxed even, after 15 hours rowing; the hard part between midnight and 2 am having been overcome. He told us that Inger was ahead of him by at least an hour. He knew this because a SUP boarder had told him he had talked to her before he went ashore for a rest and then had caught up with Leo. Well, that meant, we had totally missed her! "Tell me when you find her!" shouted Leo, as we pulled away.
It was around this time that our motor starting missing and floundering. Uh oh... Can we even make it back ourselves? I message Diana Tally an update. "Don't worry, Inger can tow you home!" says she. Well, we'd have to find her first. 😉
We buzzed and coughed and nursed the motor back towards Port Townsend, this time closer to the coast. Again under the bridge connecting the peninsula to Indian Island and still no Inger. 'Go towards the Mill,' says I. 'But what if she is on the other side?' says he. 'No way,' says I. And then we see the Race Boss boat zoom towards the Mill and way off in the distance, come to a wake-making halt. 'They found her!' says he and we make haste in that direction. Why had we not brought binoculars?! The phone rings. Sean, Inger's husband calls to say he can see her from the bluff at the end of Sheridan street. ' She's approaching the Mill,' He had his binoculars... !
The morning sun reflecting off the bright white transom of the PT 11, and the glossy flashes of the wet carbon oars were the first real recognition of our tiny target. We sure are happy to see you! says we. and happy to see you too, say she. We give her an update on the situation and make sure she is alright and begin our list of calls and messages to all awaiting news. Sean does the same and the international grapevine is buzzing. Our lost sheep has been found!
We leave Inger to do what she does best just as the wind is beginning to increase against her. We know she will make it before it really pipes up but our hearts go out to Leo and all of the other racers who will hit that wind head on. It turned out to be really tough for those boats and very few, including Leo, persevered to the finish line but it set them all back by hours.
Inger arrived after 18 hours and 40 minutes of rowing, besting her previous record by almost an hour. Leo pulled in just before dark, stiff but smiling bravely 7 hours later. Two amazing achievements for these two non-athletes who trusted the PT 11 enough to carry them home over 70 miles of tricky water. We are deeply humbled and grateful to both Inger Rankins and Leo Sampson for that trust and the spirit to validate it.
Below are some photos of racers from the morning of June 3rd. Teams can best be identified by comparing with the team descriptions on the Seventy48 website.
Post Script for a giggle...
Due to the fact that Inger's tracker did not communicate until the very end of the race, the map tracking showed Team Valhalla as "first overall"!! .... seriously, wouldn't that be amazing? Especially the data saying she traveled the ~70 miles from Tacoma in 1 minute and 27 seconds!
I suspect she wiggled her nose or twirled her ponytale and teleported...
"And Don't forget the beer!" ( the below video clip sound won't play.. The audio has Russell and Sean discussing if they have enough beer for when Inger reaches the finish.)
I tried to load these to Instagram but they all look blurry. I will just load them here and if anyone wants better copies, let me know. It was a perfect and beautiful morning for the start of the race. Fewer boats than usual but it was fun to be on the water with everyone.
Friday and Saturday the Seventy/48 human powered race happened and once again Inger Rankins (Team Valhalla) blew us all away in the PT 11. But there were two PT 11's in that race and I will put together a dedicated post about that.
We have refreshed out books page! It should be easier now to order books with new Paypal buttons.
Note that we have more than Russell's How-to books. Epoxy Basics, Scarfing Basics and Rolling Perfection.
We re-published Project Cheers, an adventure of historic trans-Atlantic racing in the early days of the OSTAR.
Tricks, Cheating, & Chingaderos lets you in on a master finisher's secrets, by Joni Blanchard. See it here.
Toti Bleu, Dream of a Gypsy Wagon, by Suzanne Snadecki, documents the building of a horse drawn gypsy wagon in rural France. It is poetic, informative, beautiful, and inspiring on so many levels. (Full color, Language:English)
For kids, a fun way to learn reading and about life on a sailboat, Sailor Sai aboard Big Blue, includes rhyming verse, colorable images, and full color illustrations. Author: Ashlyn Brown
For the crafty nature lovers, Felted Critters with a Mission includes 6 patterns with instructions on making wildlife felted ornaments. These critters were popular fundraisers for our local Land Trust and they are fun to make. Author: Ashlyn Brown
Due to the rapidly increasing postal service costs, it is more economical for customers in countries other than North America, to use Amazon.com or Bookdepository.com. For me to post a book to Germany or the UK, or Australia, the postage is now more than double the purchase price of the book.
Speaking of Amazon, while we have an opinion about the mega seller, we appreciate certain things about it too. Our page includes links to some of our favorite books, most by friends and family. We like to help them sell their works if we can.
There was a time when we tried to redesign our footbraces for the PT 11 nesting dinghy to be easily removable since our standard footbraces are epoxied in place.
We used a heavy duty velcro type of material from 3M to attach them. It held really well if you pulled up but you could easily sheer them right off when bracing your foot or shoe against them! It was one of those 'oops' moments.
We have been storing a box of these shaped Sapele footbraces that are a little taller than our standard and tapered. We'd like to find good homes for them!
Because of their dimensions, they have to ship in a small priority box for $10. The footbraces themselves are on offer at $15 for a set of 4 or $25 for a set of 8 while supplies last.
The PT 11 uses 8 footbraces intended to allow 2 trim positions for a tall person and a shorter person so if there is usually only one rower, 4 footbraces is enough. The forward and aft positions are to adjust trim based on the load. This is a limited offer and for addresses within the lower 48 United States. If you are local in Port Townsend, contact us for "will call", ie, no shipping.
Happy 2023 to all. Russell and I heralded in the new year with a day on the water in the PT 11. Every January 1st, weather permitting, The local Pocket Yachter's and friends make their way out to Rat Island in Port Townsend Bay. The craft lined up on the beach vary from sailing dinghies to row boats to mini camp cruisers. Everyone meets on the beach with snacks, cider and friendly greetings in praise of the beauty all around.
Thank you to Galen Piehl for the invitation and taking this photo of Russell and I, each on an oar, heading back across the bay. The other boat is the Scout designed by Brandon Davis, and Brandon on the oars.
I took a few pics but was too busy rowing most of the time. A snowy white Mount Baker rises behind us and there were at a number of seals checking us out at any given time.
A bit of snow in Port Townsend and things slow down a lot and, like so many, we too saw some record low temps for this area. For Christmas Eve we are back to wind and rain and all is green again around our house, the Salal and conifers having shed their blanket of white.
We wish everyone a safe and warm Winter holiday season and a bright New Year. We are super grateful to everyone building the PT 11 and all of the good folks who participate in the production of our kits, who offer our books, and all who have shared their enthusiasm and friendship. The PT 11 has played a key role in expanding our circle of interesting and valued relationships. As a business, it hardly gets better than that.
In 2023, Chesapeake Light Craft will be adding the PT SPEAR one piece version of the PT 11 to their kit offerings. We made minor changes to the design and are doing a major update to the manual. The change simplifies the building of this boat. If nesting is not a critical feature for your purposes, you get the lines and the performance of the PT 11 in the PT SPEAR without all of the complexity of building a boat to cut in half.
Russell has made a lot of progress on the Tortured Plywood hulls as part of a future trimaran and he has learned a lot about this esoteric boat building method.
Shipping and postage have really gone up this last year. For those outside of the USA who are interested in our EPOXY BASICS, SCARFING BASICS, and PAINTING PERFECTION print books, you may get better shipping on Amazon or the Bookdepository.com
For our US customers, you can find our books and many others by friends and family on our books page. We ship single books US First Class mail and for multiple books we can ship Priority or Media mail.
Looking forward to 2023, Thank you again. We hope everyone can stay warm and healthy into the New Year. Joy to All. AEB 😉
...any rower/kayaker/dinghy sailor who might be interested in a pair of auto-bailers. I bought them for my Penguin racing dinghy about 60 years ago and never installed them, so they are still like new, with instructions, installation templates, and mounting fasteners as purchased. Here is a link to photos:
Leo, of Sampson Boat Co / Tally Ho rebuild project, has featured the PT 11 prominently in one of his excellently produced videos. We are a little floored by the feature and yes, very grateful. He surely would not have made such a great video (we think all of his videos are great) if he wasn't happy with his PT 11 and that makes us happy indeed. Thank you Leo!
PT Watercraft maintains an informational website about the PT 11 and the PT Spear and we are available to answer inquiries. Kit orders and kit production is now managed by Chesapeake Light Craft. We still sell our books, various small parts, and serve our pre-CLC customers directly. Sailing Rig production remains in our workshop in Port Townsend.
Leo's video also shows how one person can manage the dinghy from vehicle to beach launch. This is something we got asked about a lot but never managed to film so this is an important addition to the PT 11 videos already online. In case you have not already seen it, click on the image below.
If you are unaware of the Tally Ho videos, we recommend you start from the beginning and subscribe. Leo is a brilliant videographer. This skill greatly compliments his knack for explaining the processes of rebuilding this historic sailboat. Even more valuable in my opinion, is that he is documenting the evolution of learning things as you go that influence how such a project evolves, while showcasing the many skills, tools, materials, and talented people it takes along the way. The videos are educational, entertaining, and very inspiring. AEB 😉