Port Townsend Watercraft is closed June through mid July this year as we will be sailing the boat back from Ketchikan after the Race to Alaska,  discovering places new to us along the way. Getting to take a cruise of some kind every year is a big reason why we run our own business and it supports our ability to maintain our high standards of quality. It refreshes our minds and spirits so we can devote ourselves to producing these custom kits, writing books, and develop new ideas.

If you have just discovered our site or have been following our designs for some time, it is good to let us know sooner rather than later that you have decided to build one of our kits. We have a convenient Quick Deposit button on our website that puts you in a ‘first come, first serve,’ position. Upon our return, we will contact you and begin the process of preparing kits on order. ptwatercraft.com

While we are away, some of our products can still be purchased with timely delivery. See the links below image.

PT Watercraft.comE-books (PDF downloads) immediate delivery of download link to your email. Plus other book links.
Epoxy Basics and Scarfing Basics Print books on Amazon- search by title
Epoxy Basics and Scarfing Basics can be found in some stores, including Wooden Boat,(Brooklin Maine), Admiral Ship Supply, Edensaw Woods, NW Maritime Center, (Port Townsend), Fiberglass Supply,(Burlington WA),  Fisheries Supply(in store Seattle)
Delrin Turn Dogs (Hatch Toggles) at CLC boats
Carbon Eye-straps (Glue on!) at CLC boats
Builder manuals-use the Buy Now option. There may be some delay via third party shipper.

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The PT 11 out in the bay with an RC sailboat and a classic motor yacht.

The 41st Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival is happening September 8-10.  We are so happy to announce that we will be there again, sharing a tent with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

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Our booth with WEST SYSTEM EPOXY and 3 PT 11's on display!

I am told that there will be several PT 11's, Spears and Skiffs at the festival. We also hope that anyone in the area with a PT 11 or PT Spear, will come over for the "under 26ft" Regatta in the afternoon on Friday. Wouldn't it be fun to have a fleet of our dinghies to compete against each other? There is also a rowing race on Saturday  morning. They should have a schedule up soon; Tickets go on sale July 1st. We hope some of our PT11 family club will set up one class regattas over the next year and we will help spread the word via our Quarterly Newsletter.

We hope you will enjoy discovering all of the information on our website, Videos on our Youtube channel, and please do not hesitate to send your questions to info@ ptwatercraft.com. (no space) We will respond as soon as we can.

Happy Summer and Fair Winds! 😉 AEB

We have shadowed leg one of this race for it’s first 2 years and we have mused on what it would be like to participate. Well, now we know and are still as excited by it as ever. Russell always understood what was needed to enter such a race. Ignorant me had no idea, only enthusiasm! He has worked for months without time off to get the boat ready and to meet sponsorship expectations. We might never have entered had it not been for the encouragement of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy CEO Alan Gurski and founder Meade Gougeon. They were the first to say 'do it!' and offered to sponsor us with some new North sails.

At the time of this writing, Russell is at the north end of Johnstone Straits hunkered down while the wind screams out of the SE. Had either of us been more tech saavy, we could have been updating all along as some of the other boats do but the SPOT tracker will have to suffice. Gougeon Brothers  designed and built our boat, Incognito,  and we hope to make them proud.

I was able to put together 2 brief videos (click links) of the June 8th, Port Townsend to Victoria start, and a second of the June 11th Victoria onward start.

Russell has had a few challenges mast-down-again along the way already. Starting with a rigging crisis that had gone un-noticed until June7th, the day before the start. It was in Victoria, after almost 10 times lowering the mast and later shimmy-ing up to check, that the issue was resolved satisfactorily. The first day out of Victoria, he lost his preferred pedal drive prop and prop nut. He had a spare and continued with that. He had a close up-mast-againcall with the reef off East Point Saturna, battling current, pedaling "for my life!" as he put it. Being conservative with words by nature, I imagine it was pretty darn scary for him. Mixed chop made life uncomfortable up to Nanaimo and at Seymore Narrows, he chose not to go through at night and to do some precautionary repairs on the pedal drive instead. The boat clearly likes to move as portrayed by the tracker as he would catch up in the day to many of the multi crewed boats that passed him in the night.
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I want to thank our talented old friends & talented new friends who have contributed custom parts, innovative equipment, rigging, problem solving, and general advice. Not all have websites but I will share as many links as I can here;

The best new development in auto pilots: Pelagic Autopilots in California
Custom Pedal Drive: Design expertise from Brandon; Turnpoint Design, PT
--Thanks to Williwaw Bike Shop and Max at Admiralty Precision for amazing custom metal machining for the pedal drive. (Port Townsend)
Custom sheaves and machining: Zephyrwerks in Port Townsend, Thank you Ed! Rigging (and excellent service!): Colligo Marine
"Saved by" Colin Dunphy of Ballard Sails, Seattle
Carbon Tubes from Innovative Composites in WA
Sail design; Magnus Doole of North Sails
The BEST resource for a million important things: Fisheries Supply, Seattle
Custom washers: Bueno Systems Port Townsend
Serious shades: Julbo
Favorite Drysuit: Kokatat USA
Electronics geniuses: John Bailey and Corey Kashiwa
Promotion from Off Center Harbor
Moral support from wonderful friends.

Depending on when Russell makes it to Ketchikan or any point between, I will meet him to sail the boat home, at a cruiser's pace, of course. We will be closed until our return sometime mid-ish, July.  😉 AEB

As the days tease us with warm waves of air and then sudden plunges in temperature, I know Spring is almost here. Suddenly it feels like there is just so little time left before we have some deadlines looming. The biggest is the Race to Alaska in which Russell will be participating in a Gougeon 32 Catamaran. I am quickly learning just how much preparation there is in taking on such a challenge! Be sure to follow the race. It is entertaining and inspiring!

Entering the R2AK also means that we will be unable to ship orders during the period from June 1st through mid July. We will be sailing the boat back from Alaska so the office will be closed during that time.

At present, we have a number of kits available; Both Spears and PT 11’s. If you have been planning this Spring/Summer project, please let me know!

If your PT 11 or Spear is almost finished and you are ready for your sailing rig, We have a run of rigs almost ready!

PT 11 quote/order form
PT Spear quote/order form
2017schedule-grafic

😉 AEB

The new batch of plywood is BEAUTIFUL and kits are rolling off the CNC machine.

Out of this batch of PT11 ans PT Spear kits, everything is beautiful, except....one PT11 foredeck. As it is not cost efficient to cut just one new foredeck,  we are offering this kit with a $50 discount. See the photo below to better understand this somewhat deep but pretty small flaw. (smaller that a quarter)  Anyone want to try their hand at an inlay repair?

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flaw located on the foredeck neat the mast step.

Let us know if you are interested! AEB

Our mahogany riser blocks of the past were beautiful complex shapes that performed a nicely functional duty; to give the oarlock socket more bearing and to offset the height of the seat relative to the height of the oarlocks. They were, however, rather beastly to make in the quantities we have been needing.

To improve production, Russell took the design to Turnpoint Design and figured out how, with minor changes, they could be machined on the CNC router. The remaining labor, (sanding out the tooling marks and rounding the upper edges ) is a great deal less time consuming than the previous version.

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Comparison photo, new style left, previous version-right.

They are still made out of Sapele Mahogany.  For those of you who wanted riser blocks this Fall when they were not available, this is our new product. Please let us know what you think. We have them IN STOCK! 😉 AEB

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Now available as of December 20 2016

 

It’s time for us to admit it, our boats seem have a weakness. We may just be treating our boats  poorly, but it’s more likely that there is an issue that PT 11 owners should be aware of.

Owners, please check your gunwales for cracks.

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Beginning the repair...

Builders, there will soon be an added step in the building manual to prevent the problem. If you haven't glued your bumper on yet, the fix is easy.  This printable PDF informs for both a fix or the added step in the build process.

We have seen this failure three times now. The first, when one of our boats got driven over (just the edge) by a truck. We thought that was unusual punishment, fixed the boat and forgot about it.
The second time was a boat that got beat up by solid water while lashed to a foredeck. We didn’t really know what happened there.
The third time it happened, it was our newest PT 11 (3 years old now) and again we don’t know exactly why, but here is our theory:
When the boat is upside down in the nested position and somebody walks on it (or a bunch of people sit on it), where does that weight go? It goes onto the very ends of the gunwales on the fwd hull half.

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photo shows where the load goes, (the aft corners of the forward half).

The failures we have seen have always been in the plywood hull skin (right where you would expect it).
Fixing the break and the weakness that caused the break are both pretty easy and important. The first is done by injecting epoxy into a carefully drilled hole to fix the crack, the second by putting screws (with epoxy) into carefully drilled holes.

Please click here to see the printable PDF with full instructions with photos.

I admire those who take on the challenge of building a boat or an airplane. CNC technology on kits has done for creative people, what the GPS did for adventurous people. (Not that they might not be one and the same) Cruising is far more accessible to those without traditional navigational skills, and CNC routering has opened up a whole new avenue to those who want to create something that would otherwise have been beyond their skill level.

Pause on that thought while mentally revisiting a lot of fun sailing..... OK-back to the present.

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PT 11 nested in the truck. Photo;Randy Kerr
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Kim and Mark get the boat wet for the first time. Photo;Randy Kerr

Our customers come from many walks of life and a wide range of ages and skill levels. However; they never fail to impress me. While Russell can take  credit for creating a beautiful design, kit and manual, our customers need the vision, passion, patience, and attention to detail for good results. To add the complexity of documenting their own efforts takes the same qualities and much more.  I cannot, for example, count how many tens of thousands of photos Russell had to carefully set up, snap, choose, and edit to get a few hundred for the manual.

Hence, for this post, I would like to point the spotlight on the Kerr Family; Randy, Kim, son Alex, and good friend Mark. Not only did they  complete their beautifully built PT 11, "Lil' Bear" in about 6 weeks, their documentation of the experience resulted in a wonderful

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"Lil' Bear" named in honor of Kim's great uncle who was on the crew of the Coast Guard cutter "USS Bear" back in the late1800’s. Photo;Randy Kerr

and creative little video. The feedback from Kim and her family has been so meaningful to us and I feel puffed up with pride like a mother hen. With their permission I am sharing some of that feedback and the wonderful present of this video. Randy's videos are all beautifully created and fun to watch so explore and let them know what you think.

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Kim goes for her first sail in her PT 11. Photo;Randy Kerr

 

From Kim, "It was your  PT11 kit that made my dream of having a sailboat come true!!!!!   Randy and I can’t quit talking about how grateful we are that you guys put so much heart and thought into such a beautiful and smart kit.  She sails and rows like a dream!  Highlight of our summer to build and sail that boat!
So thankful for you and Russell."

RANDYKERR
https://vimeo.com/187076801

Yes, there are some crazy things happening in our country and in the world. I refuse, however, to let that overshadow all of the wonderful things and people that, through shear existence and positive attitudes, are in some way, making this world a better place, cherishing what is good and beautiful.  Thank you to the Kerr family and all of our customers for your inspiration. AEB 😉

 

A few cool sites to share:

Toti Blue  Collective Evolution  on Woodworking

In August, we launched our “new” cruising boat, downsizing from Jzerro to a trailerable catamaran, unique in that genre, the Gougeon 32. We have managed to get away twice this year, on a shakedown trip to Deer Harbor and a week long trip into the San Juan’s after our local Boat Festival. On this last trip we took the PT 11, mounted on a custom made platform. I managed to miss getting a photo of it nested on its platform so we have to get that later.

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Mary H is virtually opposite to the G32

We 'rendezvous'ed with 'Vito Dumas', our frequent sailing buddy, in Shallow Bay, Sucia. It turned into a stormy night but we still got in a good hike and a fun row. I snapped the above shot simply because I was struck by the interesting contrast of vessels. 'Mary H' is owned by a lovely couple, Lou and Al, who even offered to serve as a ‘dock’ when our anchor was not cooperating. Lou and Al are lifelong sailors only recently giving up their sailing home of decades, for more comfort without giving up mobility on the water.

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Vito leaving Shallow Bay, Sucia

Russell and I do enjoy rowing around and exploring. Having Alex with us in his PT SPEAR, 'Pato', makes him our best model. He is both a great sailor and rower and I am ever grateful he has not fired this photographer for being such a pest. I cobbed together a short video of our week.

As the wind picked up the next day, we decided to move around to Ewing Cove.

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A short run to the other side of Sucia...

 

 

 

We were able to pull the dinghy onto the platform without taking it apart, for the short runs.

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The G32

After a day in Ewing Cove we sailed to Stuart Island into Prevost Harbor. 'Mary H' had moved there and Madam Pele, with Ian Andrewes showed up too. Ian was aboard the R2AK 2016 winner, Mad Dog Racing. Al Hughes on 'Mary H' was Captain on the 2015 R2AK winner Team Elsie Piddock. It felt like a small world, in a  good way.

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Vito Dumas and Da Capo in Reid Harbor, San Juans

From Prevost we moved to Reid Harbor. There Alex and I practiced our capsize drills. An effort was made to film all of this but the resulting video is mostly out of focus. A camera glitch...Bummer!

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Lil' B, Pato, and Rascal

Scotty, on 'Da Capo' joined us in Reid Harbor. Now we had a PT 11 and 2 PT Spears in the fleet; Lil' B, Pato, and Rascal.

The next day we all had a good sail to Skull Island. (Orcas Island) There we enjoyed some sailing, rowing and hiking before heading back to Port Townsend. There was an impressive wooden, converted work boat crossing the straights with us. The view was beautiful. Photos follow.  Video HERE.

AEB 😉

 

Click photos for larger view, then back tab to return.

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This year was the 39th annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival.  Among our friends who participated, Alex Spear was there with his beautiful boat, Vito Dumas and her tender, ‘Pato’, a PT SPEAR. 'Pato' is in fact the very first PT SPEAR.
In Alex’s words, ‘An esteemed panel of judges, including our local Carol Hasse, selected the PT 11/SPEAR as the “best open sailing vessel in the show”.'
This is a great honor. According to Alex,  ‘Pato’ was not independently entered in the show but it garnered so much interest and attention from the judges that they deemed it worthy of mention. Our humble gratitude goes out to the judges.

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Vito Dumas and tender, Pato, at the docks in Deer Harbor.

From Victoria, 'Vito Dumas', 'Sir Isaac', 'Sparkle' and other familiar and beautiful wooden boats converged at the Deer Harbor Wooden Boat Rendezvous.
Vito Dumas and ‘Pato’.

 

 

Below, Looking back on a rainy Deer Harbor.

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Looking back on Deer Harbor as we head back to Port Townsend.

Two weeks have already slipped by since the festival!  I am late to express my deeply felt gratitude to everyone who makes the festival happen, (http://nwmaritime.org/) , all who participate, and all who come to talk wooden boats and all things boaty. I realize that is a big blanket statement.

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Our booth with WEST SYSTEM EPOXY and 3 PT 11's on display!

For the past 5 years we have been very fortunate to share a tent with WEST SYSTEM EPOXY. This year Alan Gurski (CEO) and Bruce Niederer were on hand with their comprehensive and unbiased knowledge about epoxy; its uses, history, and the very chemistry of it all. If you want to understand epoxy, pros and cons, these are the guys to talk to.

There were more than a few of our customer boats in the festival. PT 11 nesting dinghies and PT Spear dinghies were to be seen on boats, behind boats, at the docks, and out in the bay.

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A PT 11 primly nested on Xanadu's deck/
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Pato; T/T Vito Dumas
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A completely painted PT 11 as t/t SKYE. PT SKIFF, MOJO in the back ground.

Two customer PT Skiffs graced the festival as well. Both boats are mind blowingly beautifully built and equally unique interpretations of the kit. High compliments are due to these two builders.

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The totally tweezed PT Skiff Mojo, built by Mark Ramsby of Portland OR.
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Mojo's Instrument panel
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Mojo parading during the Sunday Sail-by. Note the PT 11 sail in the back...
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Takin' Five PT SKIFF built by Steve Merrill.

Steve Merrill wipes the morning dew from his PT SKIFF, Takin' Five. Steve has been meticulous with his build, taking his time. He says he has been really enjoying it and getting creative especially with his 'expanding' driver seat and his self bailing installation.

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Unique expanding driver seat.

This seat hinges up, slides forward and ......

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Expanded seat. NO PLANS so DON"T ASK!

....expands into a romantic, "side-by-each" joy ride seat. My jaw dropped upon seeing this. But, alas, there are NO PLANS for it so you will have to charge up the brain-waves to create your own if you want one!

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The PT 11 out in the bay with an RC sailboat and a classic motor yacht.

Our friend, Cooper Parish, took time off  from his high-tech job at Scaled Composites in Mojave, to help us at our booth again this year. We love having him! We want him to keep returning every year so we make sure he gets plenty of sailing time in! In spite of being the smallest boat with the least sail area, Cooper sailed 'Rascal', a PT SPEAR, to a 3rd place finish (out of 6) among the Non-T-Bird class in the 26ft and under race.

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The PT 11 and CLC's Pocket Ship.

ptwatercrfat.comOf the events in the bay over the weekend, I totally missed getting photos of the Schooner Race. With a piping wind, it was one of the fastest schooner races on record at the festival. It was over before I could get to the beach with the camera. I hear it was eventful! John and Anne Bailey's recently re-launched , Sir Issac, snuffed the fleet.

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The Baileys on Sir Isaac in September 2016.
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The early morning rowing race at the Festival.
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Lots of varnish!
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layers of boats...

The PT Wooden Boat Festival is always a colorful affair.  It is an overwhelming weekend for us, exciting, exhausting, and encouraging. Customers often visit us at this time and we see our 'family' growing. We are seriously looking forward to holding a casual, PT11 sailing regatta of sorts and I will keep you posted on any development in that direction.  Thank you all again. AEB 😉

Fun overview Video off of You Tube..