The PT 11 sailing rig is one of our creations that we are quite proud of. The carbon tubes are engineered specifically for this rig and manufactured in Washington at Innovative Composites Engineering. ICElogoIt is fun for us to imagine our tubes along side Space-X & NASA tubes, and among top name windsurfer and paddle boarding tubes. Mostly we are proud that this quick-to-set-up rig, with sail and all hardware & rigging, weighs a scant 10.5 LBS.

Our boom attaches to the mast with a custom gooseneck. For years we have made these goosenecks out of vacuum bagged carbon & epoxy in a multi step process that included a lot of carbon dust, finishing, tapping, assembling, and hand stitching tubular webbing onto the forks for a soft contact point on the mast. OrigGooseneck-smallDSCN0643After hundreds of these, there just had to be a  better way.

In 2021, as we sought to offset increasing costs in general and reduce labor where we could, one of the things we did was redesign our gooseneck. After years of trying to think of a better way, Russell began sketching out a new design based on using 1/2" Delrin plate and CNC router technology.

The resulting gooseneck is clean, practical, stronger, and most importantly, much less labor to finish and install. The new goosenecks are installed by pouring epoxy around them. A tight fitting foam plug traps the epoxy. Speaking of tight fitting foam plugs; there are 7 plugs in the 3 tubes that these rigs are made from, 5 of them custom made of different sizes from dense rigid foam. Why? To keep them from filling with water and sinking of course. Why do we need 7 plugs to plug both ends of 3 tubes? The seventh plug is a secret. 😉

The new gooseneck, right to left: blank, blank with edges rounded, installed in the boom.
The new gooseneck, right to left: CNC machined blank, post-CNC blank drilled & edges rounded, gooseneck installed in the boom.

PT 11 sailing rigs are still produced by Russell and drop-shipped from Port Townsend. They can be purchased through Chesapeake Light Craft. Customers who purchased their PT 11 kits from PT Watercraft pre-2021 should contact us directly regarding PT 11 options. We have experienced periodic delays so lead times vary.

Happy Sailing! ...AEB 😉

PNW local, Robert Alexander is currently seeking a good home for his PT 11 nesting dinghy. Please see his description and contact information below. Note that shipping is not an option. Buyer will need to pick up in Port Townsend WA.

Nesting PT 11 for sale fob Port Townsend.  Built in 2015 by the skillful John Caples. Wooden Boat Festival regulars will recall his immaculate wood GB 42 Xanadu and her PT 11 tender.  The skiff is available, complete with PT sail kit (gorgeous foils, carbon mast and PT 11 class sail which still exudes that brand new dacron feel).  Varnished, nearly flawless wooden oars included.  This PT 11 comes complete with a low-hours EP Carry electric motor with two batteries and spare key and prop.  Yellow canvas cover.  Bags for protection of foils and mast/sail. All in fine condition.

Contact Robert Alexander for details. (@gmail: seatrials)

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This first quarter of 2022 has been interesting for Russell and I here at Port Townsend Watercraft.

Chesapeake Light Craft continues successful production of the PT 11 Nesting Dinghy Kit. You can see the details on their page here.

What has changed?

PT 11 Nesting Dinghy kit packed for shipping from Chesapeake Light Craft 2022
PT 11 Nesting Dinghy kit packed for shipping from Chesapeake Light Craft 2022

There is a price difference from our previous rates. This was to be expected. For one thing, CLC includes the WEST SYSTEM Epoxy Kit that had been an option on our package. We are happy about this because we have always recommended WEST SYSTEM for this project. Anther big one is that our cost of the connective hardware doubled. They are, however, exquisite thanks to a local machine shop here in PT. The total kit price hike reflects both the inclusion of the epoxy kit and material price increases across the board from plywood to stainless steel. That considered, customer investment has not increased by much because we made efforts to streamline production of certain parts to offset those inevitable material price increases. Russell and I would have been hard pressed to continue production on our own with all this factored in..

CLC also has a well established packing system for their kits. This makes the kit package more manageable than our long and heavy plywood crate.

In our shop in Port Townsend we have finally been touched by the "supply chain delays" talked about in the daily news streams. A lack of sail cloth, delayed our sail production. We finally learned this after several ETA predictions that came and went without sails. We are assured this time that sails are on their way so we can ship out the rigs on order. (Talk about stress!)ptwatercraft.comRussell has been doing a deep dive into the boat building technique referred to as 'Tortured plywood'. One of the 3 foot models (of which there are at least 8 versions), have been translated into 27ft long hulls. This project has been both exciting and frustrating beyond expectation. More to come on that later.

Early stages of tortured plywood hulls.
Early and very deceptive stage of tortured plywood hulls. This technique is somewhat miraculous.
Jzerro 'flying' in Puget Sound
Jzerro 'flying' in Puget Sound

Those who know about Russell's earlier boats, including his windward proas, may have seen our videos of "Jzerro". We sold Jzerro a few years ago and of late, have anxiously followed the new owner Ryan Finn, on his massive journey from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn. This last week, Ryan rounded Cape Horn successfully and has been flying northward at speeds from 9 to 19MPH on the edges of and through gales and rough seas. You can follow his tracker progress here.

Also see 2 Oceans 1 Rock on FB for descriptions of his journey.

 

More updates to come soon, including the 2022 Shipwright's Regatta this Saturday (Postponed a month due to a gale in the bay in FEB 26th. (there may be more than one PT 11 this year!) and an update on our new goose-neck design. AEB 😉

It has begun, Friends! Chesapeake Light Craft has their first orders for the PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy and we look forward to this relationship being successful. image of the clcboats.com PT 11 page

The CLC team has been working diligently through the many details related to our collaboration. We thank them for including the PT 11 in their catalog.

Ordering info Link

Port Townsend Watercraft will be updating our website to function better on multiple devices and to reflect the changes in our business. We will maintain information about our designs as supplemental to the CLC website, and we will be creating new content related to our designs and our books.

We remain open to feedback, photos, and those particular questions that only we might be able to answer for now. Please send your favorite PT 11 photos to Ashlyn's GMAIL : PTWATERCRAFT@

THANK YOU to everyone who asked us to keep production of the PT 11 active and to all who have built our boats.

We are particularly fond of PT 11-in-action pictures and beautifully scenic pictures where even a small portion of the PT 11 is visible. Did you personalize your boat with some special detail? What color did you paint it? Of course, we love animals and pets-in-the-PT 11 pictures are welcome too.

PT 11 kits will become available this year if all goes as planned. The hiccups include supply chain issues and rising shipping and material costs. We are making forward progress.

We have been working with a well established kit company who long mentored our fledgling business and really wants to produce our kits. We will continue to manufacture and supply them with specific parts that make our kits unique.
This has been an incredibly interesting and challenging task to put our process into a transferable format. We are ‘creatives’, not ‘business managers’ persay. That we have managed, is nothing short of amazing to me as I fill in lengthy spreadsheets with suppliers, part numbers, current pricing, how many of what per kit, etc. Everything needed updated numbers. This rather daunting assignment has simply taken time to accomplish as Russell continues to make large runs of certain parts that get stocked in advance, to determine how those parts should be priced.
We have redesigned our rudder and daggerboard with help from very skilled friends. The new foils are thinner (18mm), denser, and slicker. The birch plywood is not as handsome for clear coating as the Okoume but we are pretty pleased with the overall change. Modifying the foils kits affected several other parts of the kit, so those changes are being made as well as a total rewrite of the foils manual.
We are working on a boomless rig for the PT 11. Why? Besides greater simplicity of set up and even lighter weight, a large portion of the cost and labor in our current sailing rig is in the boom. We have asked our favorite sail designers to work on this but getting a prototype is one of the supply chain hiccups. We know there will be trade-offs. It is the only way we see being able to keep producing sailing rigs that we would want to use ourselves.
With the retirement of our connective hardware machinist at the end of 2019, early inquiries at machine shops nationwide were not encouraging and we will not take this overseas. We discovered, however, that Port Townsend has a first class, family owned and operated machine shop. Truth be told, the initial quote took time to digest but we considered quantity, precision, and other local advantages. We just picked up the first run and the parts are excellent.

Kit pricing is to be determined but we expect minimal change. Our efforts to simplify parts of production are also intended to offset increased costs in other areas aiming to stabilize cost to the builder.

We expect to announce kit availability later this Summer. The details of ordering will be explained in the next update.

I continue to add names to a list of seriously interested builders. Everyone on that list will receive an email update before this blog. I do this because some of you have been waiting a year for news of kit production continuing. It is all of you on that list especially, whom I wish to thank for your patience and encouragement. It is deeply appreciated. We are excited about finding a pathway forward.
First in production will be the PT 11 Nesting Dinghy and second, the PT Spear. We are not 'there' just yet and we totally understand if you find or have found a different project to work on.

Thank you again,
Ashlyn Brown

P.S.
The PT Skiff is not in our hands at this time. There is no manual that addresses design changes. The designers may have some information for experienced builders but we will not be offering tech support for that project for the time being.

Customers launched new boats in 2020 and I am happy to share photos and comments we have received.

Klaas-BiketrailerPT11
Bicycle trailer!

"Russell & Ashlyn   I wanted to let you know that we finally finished our PT11 dinghy.   And although we haven’t sailed it yet in warm water, we have tested it out in CO.  My wife has proclaimed rowing it is “oargasmic”.  So I am very happy to have built it, and thankful to you for such an awesome design, kit and instructions. " JB

B.AlexanderPT11_1309
With an EP Carry 'outboard'
 
R-SchipIMG_2484
"Back in the late 60's, Tim Buckley put out a delightful album titled "Happy/Sad". That somewhat describes my state of mind these days: I'm very happy to have completed my PT-11 and beyond happy at how exquisitely it rows and sails. But I'm also sad at not having more shop time and the learning that came with its building. In all my years of construction and car restoration, I have never had a project which I enjoyed as much (except sanding the fillets). So I want to express my appreciation to the two of you for the design, support, and unbelievably complete construction manual." RS
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Garland Skiff001-3
Nick pt1180220_9947
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SOUTHWELL_5923
"As you can see, my maiden voyage was a row with my wife- then I went out sailing on my own. I hadn't built the bailer bungee, so the bailer was in one of the compartments, tied in with a long line. Needless to say I capsized and couldn't get to it, but since I was pretty close to shore I discovered that the Spear sails pretty decently fully swamped. I tipped out the water on the beach and then had a great sail. Back on the beach a crowd was formed to see the nut sailing in November in Nantucket, but as soon as they saw the interior the questions started- what kind of wood is that? What kind of varnish did you use to get that awesome finish (er, well, none yet)." DS

IMG_1066SirIsaacSM

foggy sailboat scene
fog and smoke in the San Juan Islands September 2020
social distancing on the water in a PT 11 nesting dinghy and a PT Spear.
social distancing on the water in a PT 11 nesting dinghy and a PT Spear.
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Raptor deck
PT11 in Pacific atoll
A PT 11 touring the Pacific
Sighting-marblehead_0357
A "sighting" in Rhode Island

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Seadeck
Seadeck

PT11-Vito-tow

PT 11 owners and builders may find these updates valuable. We have made PDF's for easy download and in color!

While we are much happier with the new gasket installation method, the hull gasket is still vulnerable to being yanked out of its notch at the lower corners. Why is this? Because surgical tubing is difficult to adhere to and its also very “grabby”, meaning, hard friction when assembling the boat or otherwise, can pull the gasket out of its notch.  Flushing with fresh water and re gluing is quite easy but we’d really like to test using neoprene for the hull gasket. Neoprene doesn’t have perfect memory but we think it would work fine for the hull gasket; it’s not grabby and it glues well.
For anyone who wants to try the neoprene hull gasket, we will send you 5ft of the stuff in exchange for a full report of its performance. New method for installing or replacing gaskets. PDF ptwatercraft.com

The surgical tubing is still our preference for the hatch and dagger board trunk gaskets.ptwatercraft.com

Installing a handle and bailer for the aft section of the PT 11. PDFptwatercraft.com

Finishing details from Page 290 in the new manual starting with the foot braces section.PDF

The above PDF includes the previous two 'PDF's along with other details from the end portion of the new manual starting at the foot braces section.

Another update we recently posted concerns a tight fit on some dagger boards due to over thick trunk log plywood.  If your dagger board is too tight, see the fix HERE.

😉 AEB

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.

ptwatercraft.comWe 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

ptwatercraft.com

...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