Brian in Australia has completed his PT Skiff and I think there is much to consider about what he has done with his boat. After developing sensitivity to epoxy, he had to hire help to finish the boat and we tip our hat to his perseverance. Clearly Brian is a stickler for detail and he has maintained a clear vision for his skiff. He sent a detailed account of his choices for outfitting the boat and it is this account that I want to share. I have put it together as a PDF document (HERE) that you should be able to download or read online. It is filled with photos to compliment his notes. If you are currently building a PT SKIFF, these notes will be informative. If you are thinking about building one, this should wet your appetite! His boat is very impressive!
In addition, the following photos arrived with this 'Launch report"
My PT Skiff launch went extremely well today. Everything worked. The photographs attached were taken during the initial 15 minute warm-up of the motor at the boat ramp at Adelaide Sailing Club. Whilst it looks very calm at the ramp (large breakwater), we ventured out into wind waves up to 1 metre in St Vincent’s Gulf. The wave fetch here is approximately 38 nautical miles from the other side of the gulf with the wind in a WSW direction. I have checked our weather website tonight and the wind was 11 knots gusting to 14 while we were doing stage 2 of the motor run-in (2000 to 3000 rpm). The boat was lively. Whilst it is quite tender at the dock, once you understand that you can deal with it. We went upwind for about 20 minutes. The boat was reminiscent of a lively sailboat. The boat was bouncing around a little into the wind waves, though it was dry. The boat was very pleasantly quiet even in the one metre waves. After flooding the water ballast tank, the boat was a little more stable, but did not show any significant loss of speed into the breeze. Running downwind (again limited to 3000 rpm) the boat started surfing the waves. It was fun. The first 1 hour of run-in is now complete and I can now use the boat at weekends without causing queuing problems at the ramp.
Many of you already know about EPOXY WORKS magazine, a FREE publication from Gougeon Brothers Inc, that is sent out twice a year. Issue #39 for this Fall of 2014 reviewed Russell’s EPOXY BASICS on the back cover!
This is a huge bonus for us and many of you have proven that! We had such a run on books within days of the magazine landing in mailboxes, that I have been kept busy sending them out. I want to thank those of you who had to wait with faith and patience for your back ordered copies. THANK YOU!
So why did Gougeon Brothers do such a nice thing? All I can say is that we are thrilled. Our relationship with Gougeon Brothers/WEST SYSTEM, is based on our long history and trust of their products, through which a lasting friendship has emerged. Russell’s nearly constant work with epoxies over the last 40 years has given him many opportunities to try various brands. His livelihood has depended on very refined composite workmanship and building lightweight, tightly engineered parts and craft. Many experiments, challenges, and successful projects have lead him to trust in one epoxy in particular; WEST SYSTEM.
The Gougeon brothers have an fascinating history and the company maintains an expert team unafraid to ask questions of themselves and the products they represent. In the spirit of doing what is right, ( yes, they do carefully consider environmental impact), full time scientists continually test every imaginable epoxy related scenario and tweak their products to best serve their customers of many industries. Their loyal customer base depends not only on having the best physical properties and workability in their epoxy, but also on knowledgeable customer support. The full time tech support staff at WEST SYSTEM are, in that down-to-Earth, humble, mid-western way, generous with their knowledge. If they don't have an answer for you right away, they will find out, and get back to you, even if it takes lab testing. All this greatly benefits the casual epoxy user as well.
Calling the company during business hours (phone #1-866-937-8797) will not reach an automated phone system.... Nope, a real person will answer and politely direct your call... I know... hard to imagine these days.. Can you tell we like these folks? I hope so. We have the highest respect for the people in the company and the principles on which they base the production of excellent products; integrity being far more important to them than fancy marketing. Working with the folks at Gougeon Brothers/WEST SYSTEM, is always a pleasure. Such person to person relationships, with friends, customers, and business associates, rank high on my list of things that make life meaningful. For a well written article about the Gougeon brothers, see: GOUGEON. G-O-U-G-E-O-N GOUGEON by Dan Spurr in Professional Boatbuilder Magazine Issue #125, beginning on page 36. You can buy the issue HERE: Also, coming soon in WOODEN BOAT MAGAZINE ; an article by Jim Brown called, "Catching Up With Meade Gougeon".
Things have come a long way since we first started producing kits. We have put a lot of effort into making production more efficient and timely. The current kits contain parts that require less fitting and fiddling. We have refined the kit, and the manual.
One thing we have maintained is the stance that a really good nesting dinghy is a complex boat and the PT 11 is a really good nesting dinghy. In order to offer it as a kit that even an amateur can build, we have had to take the idea of ‘kit’ to a new level. Some have asked why our kits are more expensive than the average kit boat of comparable size. Others who have bought and built our kits have said that we do not charge nearly enough. Their praise has been high for the content, instructions, accuracy, attention to detail, and overall quality of the kit and resulting boat. While kits are not exactly flying out the door in mass quantities and we are not getting rich, we are not complaining. We stand by our custom products and personalized service, and we feel that we have a special family of PT11 and PT Skiff owners, who have expressed great pleasure in both building and using their boats.
Not all feedback is praise....
...given the fact that we have forgotten to pack a part on occasion. This featured comment, in all it’s sarcastic humor, is a prime example...
"I found a small glitch in your packing. Nothing major: the installation of the dagger board cover calls for two washers (under the dogs, I think). Without them the dogs are too low with the gasket in place.... Through an outrageous and abject failure in your quality control, none were included. 😉 I know I can source nylon washers locally, even though that will put me far over budget. I thought I'd touch base and ask about specs: is there anything special other than serving as a spacer and friction control for these washers? Are any of the dimensions particularly important? Are you going to spank Russell? " J.W. June 2014.
On the flip side, builders take heed..
“man’s best friend” has been known to find kit parts to be yummy chew toys. Keeping parts in your crate with the lid on until needed keeps out both excess dust and curious ‘Fido’. I know it is nice to have company in the shop but there are lots of bite sized bits in our kits. We use a detailed packing list when filling the crates and if we checked it off, we put it in. (granted, sleep deprivation can interfere from time to time..) In most cases, we will replace lost pieces free of charge so do let us know if it just cannot be found..(along with a photo of your orderly shop space!...just kidding... 😉 Seriously though, there are a lot of small parts in our kits that need to be kept together in a safe container and we know of at least one 5 axis shaped inner stem that was definitely lost to the shop dog.
Every time Russell has a boat to build, he seeks better ways of doing things. In this case, a simplified method for gluing the puzzle joints revealed itself. The manual for the PT 11 'Spear' has this section but earlier versions of the PT 11 nesting dinghy manuals have an earlier method. I have created a pdf file of the 7 page replacement for pages 7 through 14 in "Building the PT Eleven" for those who have an older version and have not yet begun to build their boat. This may also be interesting to anyone building a stitch and glue kit with puzzle joints. Click HERE to download the .pdf file. (533kb)
Thought it would be nice to share this. Dieter Loibner authored a 4 page article about the PT Skiff and PT Watercraft in "Soundings" magazine in the August 2011 issue. Click this link to view the PDF. Reprinted with permission from Soundings Publications LLC
We are on the road to the east coast and somehow these photos did not upload right on the website so I am posting them here. When we get back I will be able to make such updates from the main computer. Here is the windshield photo and a photo of a hatch with the watertight gasket and custom machined turn-dogs installed. These photos relate to the kit details page linked from the PT Skiff page of the website (or click on the photo here in) and are options available in addition to the base kit. Thank you for your patience! Best to all, Ashlyn & Russell.
Following are pictures of the hull glassed and the final gloss coat finished. We are ready to paint the hull this week.
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
A bunch of good friends showed up to turn the skiff over. Thank you!
February 14th, 2010
Happy Valentines Day World.
Progress as of today.. All inside structure and finish work is complete. We are ready to turn the boat over and glass the bottom.
PT Skiff prototype 2 Feb. 13, 2010
PT Skiff prototype 2
Inside structure and finish work complete
January 25th, 2010!
I know! I know! I am getting slack with blog posting! Well, dang... It is not like there hasn't been a whole lot happening!
Today I am posting a shot of the CNC cutting that happened on the 15th and a couple of shots of the recent final coating of the inside of the PT SKIFF. We have decided to keep it clear coated as this boat is our showpiece and people have really loved the clear finish. Further, the construction techniques are clearly visible and it helps people get a good picture of how the boat went together. So here goes...
Paste this YouTube link into your address bar to see a brief clip of the coating.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGyaVfV-yeo
JANUARY 1st, 2010!
Happy 2010 to all! We are back online again ...
All 3 seat tops ready for final installation. Almost all surfaces have been glassed and are ready for the final gloss coat of epoxy.
Cheers for now...AE
DECEMBER 28th, 2009
HOPE EVERYONE HAS ENJOYED THIS LAST WEEK! I know we have not updated recently but that does not mean progress has not been made between entertaining friends and family and being entertained. We will be uploading new photos shortly of the console and drivers seat in and the forward floor in and more. Wishing all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2010 be a positive year for you!
DECEMBER 20, 2009
DECEMBER 8, 2009
This past week we finished glassing the chines and have been making the patterns for, and cutting the lumber parts for this boat and at least 5 more kits. Pictured below are the glue-cleats placed near their positions.
DECEMBER 2nd, 2009
Filleting and taping the chines..
New pictures and more to come.
Progress is being made! The next set of pictures shows aligning the stem, topside panels and sheer clamps, transom inwhales and side decks prep.
Updates are happening weekly so please keep checking. We could easily be twice as far but the manual is specific and comprehensive and all will no doubt agree, worth the time taken to create it. Cheers..AE
Over the last couple of weeks, we have made a lot of progress even though we are working on the builder’s manual more than the boat.
Pre-finishing parts is a large part of the job in the beginning of building this boat. This stage goes really fast on the bench and means very little finish work later.
The assembly goes really quickly thanks to the tongues and slots. Here are some pictures of where we are to date and we will post more in the next few days.
Pre-finishing parts is done and the cradles are ready. This first week of November will see the skiff get wired together.We have been able to refine much of the building technique with this skiff so that the manual reads better and your building experience will be easier.
Pre-finishing is the first part of building the PT Skiff.
Building has begun. See here all the ply parts cut.