Since we first started selling kits for the PT 11 we have been continually updating the kit, building process, and the boat to make it better.Β  It's in our nature to do this and it means the boats get stronger, lighter, easier to build, perform better, etc.
click the photo for a detailed post about our rigs.

A good while back, through friends in the high tech world, we developed a connection with a company called Innovative Composite Engineering, a renown carbon tube company in Washington state. They now make our lightweight booms for the sailing rigs.

The 7 1/2' booms are incredibly lightweight. The tubes start at 20 ounces each. With the gooseneck, hardware, main sheet & vang tackle, they weigh 40 ounces.Β  No one is likely to get knocked out by one of these booms in a gybe and so far they have been strong enough (remember not to over-do the boom vang).

While the masts we sell have been extremely reliable, we knew they could be lighter. After a year of bugging I.C.E. to come up with a mast for us, we finally got a prototype.

The masts that we have been using are modified windsurfing masts. We have to modify them because they are stepped in a short socket and the loads where the mast comes out of the socket are quite significant and different than the loads applied to a windsurfer mast.
The new masts have extra layers of carbon at the lower end starting just above deck level and ending just above where the boom connects to the mast. These extra layers of laminate mean that we will have to do less work to the lower end to make them strong enough.

How light is the new mast? It’s light! The current two-piece masts weigh 104 ounces (2937 grams); already impressively light. The new mast weighs 69 ounces (1950 grams)!

We stress tested the prototype mast as shown on land (and on the water) using two 180 pound people on the rail and the mast was fine.
Having two people on the rail is strongly discouraged by us because of the twisting loads it puts on the boat, the very high loads at the mast step, and finally the mast.
In other words, what we are really after is a feather weight mast, not a mast that could break the boat.

The weight of the rig is directly related to ease of use. Our theory (and it seems well proven now) is that the easier the sailing rig is to use, the more it will be used. Our rig was already the lightest, easiest to use, and most power-per-pound dinghy sailing rig out there. Now it is significantly lighter.

We will pay quite a bit more for the custom masts, but because they will be less work to finish we will likely be able to keep the complete sailing rig cost the same.
Ashlyn can't get much mast bend.
Russell and James hike out with approx 360 Lbs.


We did a load test on the ground, tying the mast to a building and getting two people hiking out on the rail. This was a little scary, but a very effective way to see if the mast was strong enough. (RB)

Ashlyn's footnote: Our ballast assistant in these photos is a local luthier. Here he is holding the 15' 1" mast up by the tip to see how it sounds as a Didjeridoo.

What sound can it make?

See this silly video to hear....

I had him lower the tip for the video because, in the camera, the green house behind appeared to dominate. I regret this now since it would have looked fine. It was impressive how easy it was to keep it up in the air. (AEB.)

There is no doubt about it...We are R2AK junkies...

This year we did not have a sailboat in the water so we launched the Waterbug and followed some of the lead boats to Victoria.

I have put together a little video (HERE) of our outing, from the start of the Race in Port Townsend, crossing to Victoria and cheering many of the arriving boats. They trickled in all day. (and in the morning on Friday as we left) The very best way to follow the race is on the website.

Below is a slide show as well. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting many good pictures with the equipment I had and in the rain. There are some very good photos being posted on Facebook and other places online. See Jan's Marine Photography on

Port Townsend Watercraft will be closed for the first 2 weeks of July.

Other dates when we will be hard to reach will be June 22 thru 25th. We plan to be part of the welcoming committee in Victoria for the Race to Alaska participants. Hope to see you at the pre race Ruckus in Port Townsend (June 22) or in Victoria on the 23rd!

We hope everyone has something beautiful and fun within nature in their lives. Get out on the water, take a hike, lay down in a field of flowers, grow a garden...

Happy Summer everyone.

AEB πŸ˜‰


As more PT Spears are built, the question of an ideal dolly has been asked. Recently, Russell and I joined friends in Port Townsend for a day of sailing. Our friends both own PT Spears; the one-piece version of the PT 11. Each are transported differently."Pato" arrived in this truck. This is actually an older photo on a day when we left from the launch ramp.

"Rascal" has its own little trailer.
Rascal has a small trailer

Both PT SPEARs have dollies since their humans often launch by themselves. One uses a kayak cart purchased from our local Pygmy Kayaks. We found that the kick stand on this particular cart was a little tricky to get to and adjust with the dinghy being wider than a kayak.
using a kayak cart
tipping into the water.."Rascal's" human, being a plumber by trade, created his own sturdy dolly.

PVC pipe with a fixed "kick" stand. Sturdy and always in the right place so no need to access to raise or lower.
Made from PVC plumbing- support stand visible here.
getting ready to splash

I also found while writing this post, that there are thousands of images online for kayak and dinghy dollies. It is important to note that the PT SPEAR, at 85 pounds, is easy to manage with a very simple dolly (like a kayak dolly) compared to most of the more complex dinghy dolly designs shown online. UPDATE: One customer has offered his design and details for a PVC dolly he uses for his PT SPEAR: PDF HERE
getting ready to sail away...
The perfect day for a dinghy sail...
beach picnic

A brief clip using the PVC dolly:

AEB πŸ˜‰

I feel very fortunate to have such an interesting and creative family. I am taking this opportunity to share links to my mother's current project. Now in her seventies, she has been building a horse drawn gypsy wagon with little or no resources. The magic of those resources appearing when most needed has been a recurring theme and creates inspiration for anyone wishing to launch a seemingly impossible project.

Toti Bleu Gypsy Wagon project. Blog - or - PDF book of blog posts Purchases of the book help fund this cool project. Suzanne is also a painter. In contrast to the whimsical watercolor illustration below, she also works with acrylics, capturing the beauty and essence of the French country side, as well as home and pet portraits. The sale of these lovely paintings that are way under priced in my opinion, also provides funding for her continued creativity. AEB πŸ˜‰
Toti Bleu, a project starts with a dream and an idea envisioned.