Find discounts throughout the store from kayaks and canoes to sailboats and rowing craft, paddleboards to powerboats, even Teardrop Campers and ProKits. All of our complete kits and wood-parts-only kits are marked down. Most carry discounts up to 10%. This sale won't last long, so get on board now for the best prices! Through Tuesday, February 20th.
Savings on complete kits:
* Undate to this article: We have received positive feedback on a product called Tef-gel, used by riggers and boaters for the purposes of anti-galling and anti-corrosion in marine environments. We have not yet figured out how to get mini quantities into kits cost effectively but there are small-ish versions available in your local chandlery or online.
The PT 11 Nesting Dinghy Connective system is unique and it makes up a decent portion of the cost of the kit. After roughly 200 PT 11's sold to date, there have been very few issues with this connective system. In this article we are aiming to share some lessons learned about these parts based on customer feedback and experience.
A brief description
Our key to easy and fast assembly (of the two hull-halves) is to separate the two main functions of aligning the two halves and joining them. The alignment hardware is molded from carbon fiber, but it is robust and affordable for us to produce.
The connective hardware, used to join the two hull halves as they are correctly registered by the alignment hardware, are CNC-machined from 316 stainless steel.
This hardware consists of threaded sockets bonded into the forward half of the hull, and sockets with threaded pins and knobs bonded into the aft half; these parts are pre-positioned in the structure. Clip rings ride on the pins to make them captive, and this system allows assembly of the boat in the water without leakage.
The manual instructs builders to keep the stainless parts clean throughout the process of gluing and painting the boat. It is after the boat is finished that we instruct builders to lightly grease their hardware.
Here is where some additional explanation is needed.
A few customers have had a pin get stuck at some point in the completion of their boat. The why of this has been a challenging topic but when it happens, it is terrifying for us as well as for the builder and can be costly to remedy.
According to Wikipedia, "Galling is caused by a combination of friction and adhesion between the surfaces, followed by slipping and tearing of crystal structure beneath the surface. This will generally leave some material stuck or even friction welded to the adjacent surface, whereas the galled material may appear gouged with balled-up or torn lumps of material stuck to its surface. Galling is most commonly found in metal surfaces that are in sliding contact with each other. It is especially common where there is inadequate lubrication between the surfaces."
Why and What to DO:
So, the question is why do the pins sometimes seize and what do we do about it?
The why is a bit of a mystery to all of the experts. One recently seized after it had been greased, so it's not just the lack of grease. We could also change the material of just the pin but hundreds of these have worked fine in all stainless steel.
Tight clearances are probably the cause, but we think we need the snug fit in both the forward and aft sockets to keep the hardware aligned when it's being installed. We are opening up the tolerances a bit on the next run of hardware, but it looks like the best insurance is going to be using a never-seize style of grease, applied after your boat has been finished (to keep grease from screwing up your painting and finishing).
It seems that the seizing is mostly happening at the tail end of the building process, so apply Never-seize * when re-installing the hardware after finishing. Clean the sockets and pins and apply a tiny bit (with a skinny stick of similar) in the threaded sockets and in the aft sockets and rub a little bit on the shiny part of the pins.
If you feel anything like seizing when assembling your boat, STOP. Is there misalignment? If you back out the rest of the pins, will the problem pin loosen up? Do your epoxy shims under the alignment clips need to be block sanded down just a bit? Are the outside edges of your alignment clips contacting the bulkhead edges?
If a pin feels stuck, remove the knob using two wrenches; 14mm and/or 9/16" to remove the knob, nuts and washer.
Put two nuts together on either end of the pin and tighten them together very tightly with the wrenches. (photos below)
Stand the hull half on end so that a bit of penetrating oil * can be applied and run down into the socket. Now try tapping and banging on either end with a hammer and wrenching on the end with the double nuts. Remember that the pin can only be removed from the socket in the forward direction because of the captive pin clip.
Still stuck? Get in touch with us.
If the pin leaves any roughness or scoring on the inside of the socket, that can be removed with a custom tool. Here's how:
Take a short piece of 3/8" dowel, chuck one end up in your drill, wrap sandpaper around the other end, hit the trigger and sand the dowel down until it fits loose enough in the socket that you can wrap some fine (400 or finer grit) sandpaper around the dowel and have it just barely fit in the socket. The sandpaper can be spray glued and rolled tightly on the dowel before using it to sand away any and all burrs and roughness. Finishing with an even finer paper is probably a good idea.
Spray-glue a bit of sandpaper to a flat stick to remove burrs from the pin before cleaning, applying the never-seize, and re-assembling the hardware.
- Caring for your connective hardware;
-Keep it clean before and after installation.
-As soon as grease is no longer a threat to gluing or paining, grease or ant-seize your hardware.
-At the first sign of binding, stop and assess alignment and possible causes.
-Refer to the chapter in your manual titled: Re-ASSEMBLY of Connective Hardware (p.288) including installation of the alignment clips. Precision parts require precision alignment.
-After a season of use, consider removing your pins, clean and reapply grease or anti-seize, and re-install. Refer to manual pgs. 319-320, "PT11 User Guidelines"
We continue to work on this and may update this blog in the near future as we learn more. You can download a PDF of this post HERE: PT 11-Connective Hardware Blog 2023
Ashlyn & Russell Brown
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.
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.
Thank you! AB 😉
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.
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.
He has also been helping out Leo on the Tally Ho project.
In January, we expect a whack of carbon tubes from Innovative Composites Engineering and a load of sails. Russell will be busy building sailing rigs into February.
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 😉
A PT 11 builder wrote to ask if I know of
...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:Mine were branded "Falcon." Almost exactly the same item is sold by various marine stores, branded "Anderson," for ~$60 to $80 each today. I would like to be paid $60 for my pair, or best offer.