Transitioning from 2018 to 2019 has had its challenges for PT Watercraft. One of the big issues for us has been to update our builder’s manuals. The PT 11 manual has just endured a big rewrite while Russell built another boat following the existing manual. This was something we had been working on for a while. We felt the final push to finish it when a customer asked a simple question about screw size. The realization that we had been instructing builders for the last two years to use a screw size that was inappropriate, was a shocker. The size screw we called for on the gunwale reinforcement, #12 instead of #10, would have worked but could have caused some serious hydraulic pressure issues (when installing with epoxy) considering that the hole size we called for was based on #10 screws.
--This PDF -- has some updates to the manual including that new section.
Over 100 PT 11 nesting dinghies have been built with our ever evolving manual. To console ourselves, we prefer to credit the ‘quiet-type’ builders with seeing our errors and correcting them on their own. We hope so. For those who blamed themselves thinking, “I must have done something wrong,” we humbly apologize.
We have created a fairly technical boat. To get the most out of our kit, the builder really has to follow the manual. To get the most out of our builders, they have to have a manual that really does the job. We feel very strongly about our designs and we want the boats built to be the best examples possible. For Russell personally, he puts so much effort into producing the kits, and has built one every time he felt the need for serious revision of the manual, that if the manual falls short, or has real errors, he feels like he is falling down on the job.
A good manual also reduces the number of questions for our limited capacity to respond, but without feed back, we might never have known where the problems were. Thank you. We are humbled by our inherited family of kit builders; the novice in particular who takes on such a big commitment with enthusiasm and dedication.
In general, we want to congratulate every, single, one of our builders. Our kits are not the simplest or easiest to build. So many of the technical steps are geared toward longevity, the potentially extreme conditions of use, and the intention that your investment of time and money has resulted in a worthy boat. The new manual may not produce a “better” boat, but, it will make it easier to get the most out of your kit. Please check in with us by email or follow this blog. There will be more updates coming soon, (also regarding kit availability and what other interesting projects are happening.)
For those of you currently building the PT 11 Nesting dinghy, view the PDF here and/or contact us. We want to know where you are in your project. Many of you should get a new manual. We expect they will be available in February. It is a big hit for us to send everyone a manual at our expense so we need to charge for printing and shipping. Another note to our builders; We have been doing a lot of gasket testing but are still puzzling over our options. Please give us more feed back. We’d like to hear from you if your gaskets are working fine or if you have had issues and if so, what have they been?
For those building the PT Spear, updates are coming. If you get stumped, do not hesitate to ask questions.;-) AEB
...a video opportunity...
We recently had the opportunity to document painting a PT SPEAR. I put together a video of applying the first coat and some highlights of the third coat. The video is not a “how-to” but rather a demonstration that may be most useful to those of you preparing to paint your own home built boat with Interlux Perfection 2-part LP paint. The book, Rolling Perfection, really shows the technique Russell uses, from mixing, thinning, and applying onto a variety of surfaces, including non skid. You might note that we do not use a primer. Our boats are built using WEST SYSTEM resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener; saturation, fill, and gloss coats. This prepared surface has been perfectly suitable as a base for applying this paint (and its Interlux predecessors) on Russell’s boats over the last 30 years.
So here is the video. We hope you find it helpful. 😉 AEB
Our kit Manuals are temporarily out of stock and unavailable until FEBRUARY 2019. Our local printer suddenly closed and we are working on setting up the files with a new printer. We are also revising those files to make our manuals better!
Please stay tuned!
Our office will be closed December 2nd - December 9th. We will answer emails as often as we can during that time.
Due to UPS increased peak season rates and the fact that UPS drivers are seriously stressed out during the holiday season, we will not be shipping kits until January 2019. Our kits are already a maximum sized package for them and we feel the risk for damage is higher at this time of year.
We wish everyone a happy Holiday Season, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy New year, and any other special holidays I may have missed. Kindness and peace, good health and healthy provisions to all.
5 months after the 2018 Race to Alaska, I am finally getting a video published of Russell’s second leg to Ketchikan. I won’t deny that some of us were freaking out watching this race in the first 3 days as Russell pulled ahead of the leaders every day in spite of sleeping every night while the boats with multiple crew were underway non stop. It shows just how fast the Gougeon 32 catamaran can be in the right hands.
After that third day in Johnstone Straights, passing the lead boat, Team Sail it Like a Girl, Russell debated the sanity of what he was doing. That day had presented frustratingly light winds to sudden micro blasts that threatened serious harm, and after waking up Day 4 to total calm and contrary current, he waited for a favorable current and made the consious decision to focus on finishing without destroying the boat rather than trying to continue leap frogging to the lead.
There was a lot of pedaling done during this race; a lot of drifting, a lot of getting roasted in the sun. The multitude of drift logs, kelp rafts, and breaching humpback whales demanded that crews remain seriously alert. It was not until the 7th day of Russell’s race, that he had consistent wind all day. That was his 130 mile run from Aristazabal to Dundas Island where he kept his promise to himself not to sail in the dark. He regrets that choice only a little, mainly because he got badly bitten by black flies and in retrospect, he would have enjoyed wind had he just kept going.
His crossing of Dixon entrance was fair enough but the wind died as he entered Alaskan waters and that last stretch was grueling and wet with rain. Russell did not know who was nearby until he figured out that the high powered trimaran, Team Wright, was very close. That gave him the gumption to push harder, wanting to finish ahead of the bigger multi-hull. He succeeded but he was tuckered out from pedaling for hours by the time he stepped onto the dock. He spent his next few days nursing waterlogged feet...or, trench foot being another name.
He finished in the evening of his 8th day, counting from a noon start in Victoria to noon + 4 in Ketchikan and thus broke his own solo record from 2017 by a day. Happy to have made it, he remained humble and shy of the spotlight but I was pretty tickled he had done so well. The real joy of the R2AK for us, is the trip home and you can trust with me ever grabbing the camera, that there will be more photos and videos to sort though.
I hope to follow this video with some of those clips soon. Follow the link below to see a video of Russell's 2018 race from Victoria to Ketchikan.
PT Watercraft, PT Marine Trades Association, Port of PT, NW School of Wooden Boat Building and the Shipwrights Coop of Port Townsend will all be present at this years FISH Expo in Seattle this coming weekend. http://www.pacificmarineexpo.com/
PT Watercraft will not have a boat displayed but I will be there on Monday, November 19th all day. It looks like all of the above mentioned will be in the same area of the expo, providing a kind of Port Townsend corner. I hope you will come by for a visit. The port is under new management and is eager to interact with and welcome regional boaters and also trades folk interested in setting up shop in Port Townsend.
Russell was recently featured in Proboat Magazine. Have you seen it? The article details some of his methods for compression molds and making small parts and custom hardware. It is a bit of a preview to a book he has been collecting material for. We have been fans of Proboat magazine for a long time.
Check out this article and consider subscribing to this informative publication! https://www.proboat.com/2018/09/carbon-from-the-coop/
The Port of Port Townsend is under new management and is eager to welcome leisure and work boats alike. The port has recently been collaborating with the Marine Trades Association and community members to adjust prices and attitude to better represent our beloved working waterfront culture. Port Townsend is unique with its concentration of amazing skills, services, and integrity, supporting that culture.
Please contact the PortofPT.com for quotes and/or PTMTA.org for services directory and additional information.
The boat yard is already using Winter rates for the 75 ton lift with a minimum of 60 days.** This fee schedule compares with regional yards that offer similar services. In my humble opinion, however; there simply is not a boat yard anywhere that offers as much in excellent services and great atmosphere. Just sayin'.
*SHIPYARD RATES: (This is for Storage Rates only:for boats hauling out on the 300 ton travel lift. Current daily rate is $1.15 ft/day. Current monthly rate (20% discount) is $0.92 ft/day. New Seasonal 300 Ton Shipyard Storage Monthly Rate (30% discount) is $0.80 ft/day, with one month prepayment, October 1- March 31.)
The PT 11 and Spear are very dependent on gaskets. The 11 has a hull gasket, a hatch gasket, and a trunk cap gasket. The Spear has two hatch gaskets and a trunk cap gasket.
We are fairly proud of the gasket systems we have developed, but nothing is ever perfect. The latex tubing gaskets set in notches of the correct depth work amazingly well, but we have had some trouble with two things:
One of the issues is that gluing the latex gaskets is difficult, so they can come loose.
We have tried just about every adhesive and have finally found one that works much better than the contact cement method described in the manual. More about that in a soon-to-come blog post.
The other thing we have recently had happen is the outer face of the gaskets becoming stuck to their mating surfaces. This seems to be a problem mostly with the trunk cap, where the gasket is pressed much more firmly, due to the gasket notch depth being limited. We tried coating the outer face of the gasket with a few different lubricants, Vaseline being the one that seemed to work.
We will do a blog post about gluing in new gaskets with the adhesive we have found to work, but first we would like feedback on gasket issues from our customers. -What issues have you had?
-Do you need a new set of gaskets for you boat?
-If your gaskets are working fine, consider rubbing a light coat of Vaseline (or maybe you know of something that will work better) on the outer face of the gaskets, especially if your boat is being left assembled for long periods of time.