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
The surgical tubing is still our preference for the hatch and dagger board trunk gaskets.
We have had a few complaints about dagger boards not fitting in their trunks, but we knew that we had designed in plenty of tolerance, right? We figured that it was sloppy epoxy work or wear strips that weren’t glued down tight. Imagine our surprise when the board didn’t fit into the trunk in our new boat!
What is causing this? Well, to start with, the board is binding at the fore & aft edges, where we thought we had enough clearance. Are the new boards longer in the fore & aft dimension? It doesn’t appear so.
The solution to this problem for existing builders will vary depending on whether the trunk and foils have been built already, or one but not the other have been built.
We apologize for difficulties caused by our screw-up. We will ship out replacement trunk logs for anyone that hasn’t built the trunk yet and we will trim a bit from the aft edge (and re-round) any dagger boards shipped for existing boats.
Please keep in touch if you have any similar issues. We could have found and corrected this much sooner had we known that it was a fore & aft clearance issue. We care about this stuff a lot, so if you find a real issue, let us know.
The new PT 11 manuals are ready. Who needs one?
A very short update about gluing the bumper: We now advise not to use Tolulene to prep your bumper for gluing. It appears to be totally unnecessary. Just sand thoroughly and wipe clean before gluing as described in the manual.
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
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.
We now have a pattern for the PT 11/Spear cover. This option allows owners to pay their local canvas shop for time and materials to stitch it up but not for the time to measure and make a new pattern. Owners may also have the skills to stitch their own. The cover is for the PT 11 assembled to its full length or the PT Spear.
These photos show the first prototype cover that now belongs to PT Spear Hull #10. I regret not getting better photos with the poles installed to peak the center line but you can see one sent by a customer at the bottom of this post..
The pattern can be ordered here on our website. It gets shipped US MAIL rolled in a tube. The roll is 36" x 12 ft. long and includes general instructions.
Our mahogany riser blocks of the past were beautiful complex shapes that performed a nicely functional duty; to give the oarlock socket more bearing and to offset the height of the seat relative to the height of the oarlocks. They were, however, rather beastly to make in the quantities we have been needing.
To improve production, Russell took the design to Turnpoint Design and figured out how, with minor changes, they could be machined on the CNC router. The remaining labor, (sanding out the tooling marks and rounding the upper edges ) is a great deal less time consuming than the previous version.
They are still made out of Sapele Mahogany. For those of you who wanted riser blocks this Fall when they were not available, this is our new product. Please let us know what you think. We have them IN STOCK! 😉 AEB
It’s time for us to admit it, our boats seem have a weakness. We may just be treating our boats poorly, but it’s more likely that there is an issue that PT 11 owners should be aware of.
Owners, please check your gunwales for cracks.
Builders, there will soon be an added step in the building manual to prevent the problem. If you haven't glued your bumper on yet, the fix is easy. This printable PDF informs for both a fix or the added step in the build process.
We have seen this failure three times now. The first, when one of our boats got driven over (just the edge) by a truck. We thought that was unusual punishment, fixed the boat and forgot about it.
The second time was a boat that got beat up by solid water while lashed to a foredeck. We didn’t really know what happened there.
The third time it happened, it was our newest PT 11 (3 years old now) and again we don’t know exactly why, but here is our theory:
When the boat is upside down in the nested position and somebody walks on it (or a bunch of people sit on it), where does that weight go? It goes onto the very ends of the gunwales on the fwd hull half.
The failures we have seen have always been in the plywood hull skin (right where you would expect it).
Fixing the break and the weakness that caused the break are both pretty easy and important. The first is done by injecting epoxy into a carefully drilled hole to fix the crack, the second by putting screws (with epoxy) into carefully drilled holes.
I admit it..I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to some things. I am not a skier, will not go near a roller coaster, and have never been white water rafting. Russell on the other hand... well let's just say, in reference to THIS VIDEO, a standing wave, big or small, is as good an excuse as any for a little fun.
In any case, I do love a good adventure. Exploring the Toba Inlet in early July brought us to the mouth of the Brem River. At low tide, the river hit the inlet with some gusto to the delight of several seals, and, Russell. Had I not been holding our one, good, and yet very water sensitive camera, I would have been a lot less concerned. We could have played at this spot a lot longer than we did, although the big and biting black flies were a bit of a menace.
Russell insisted that I keep the sound on the first clip (you probably understand why, much to my chagrin) and I did my 'darndest' to be quiet on subsequent takes. Being in the boat was a bit 'knarly' AND really fun. The video hardly does it justice. The PT 11 clearly liked it. So I hope this puts a big smile on your face. The PT11 in the Rapids. Cheers, Ashlyn PTW
I am always happy to show off new boats from our family of builders. I am also so very impressed with the beautiful work everyone has done. Here are some pictures from this Spring.
206 Composites’ Simon Miles, here in Port Townsend, has had 3 PT11 projects in progress. One of these was just launched on June 25th. Simon was a student at the NW School for Wooden Boat Building when Russell taught a class while building the first PT Skiff prototype in 2009. He now runs his own business after working on some very high tech boat building projects including the BMW/Oracle America's cup boats, sailboat rudders,carbon bicycle wheels, and submarines. simonmiles206 at gmail.com
Bob in BC launched his PT 11 this Spring.
“Attached a photo of the first nesting, it fit perfectly.
"The paint is not the final, it will eventually be red, but needed the boat some it will be prime grey for a bit. I used System 3 water basted epoxy primer and it worked well and seems very hard, it will be tested this summer.
I did not clear coat the interior and will decide whether to clear coat or paint next year. Added strips of no-skid to the bottom panel by taping a few strips and adding non-skid grit from Interlux to some epoxy . It works very well and is not obvious.
Rows beautifully and my 100 lb wife and I can load it in the truck easily. Should fit will on the nets of my F31 trimaran."
A PT 11 just launched in Florida. Here showing the first ‘in-water’ assembly practice.
Family fun on a PT 11 in the Bahamas: Seeing these young gents sailing around put a big smile on my face..
We recently finished our sixth (yes, sixth) PT 11 prototype. This was to incorporate a few design changes and re-write much of the manual in an effort to make the boat easier to build. Building this many boats can lead to some labor saving ideas and we felt that we needed to do our best to make this, “kind-of-high-tech” boat as easy to build as possible.
In the last related blog post we detailed some of the changes we have made to the boat. Everything worked well, the new manual is done, and kit parts are stacked to the ceiling and ready to fly out the door.
Relevant details even if you already have a PT11;
We have a few new details to share. Most are in the new manual but could be useful for people that already have PT 11’s.
The back seat had two issues: One is that the seat needed a way to be held against the tank wall when nesting the boat. For some reason we never realized that if we trimmed 1/4” off of the aft edge of the seat (it’s now 7” wide), it could wedge between the cleat and the shock chord knot as shown below. It’s secure enough not to fall over when nesting the boat and that’s all it needs.
The other issue is that the back seat could slide forward, (even with the bunji cord) come off the cleats, and drop you on your butt.
The fix is pretty simple. We trimmed a bit from the outboard edges of the seat with a sanding block (to move the seat aft) and we block sanded the forward corners of the seat as shown, all so that there was enough cleat showing to drill holes in. We then drilled 1/4” holes to a depth of 3/8” for the 5/8” long hardwood dowels to glue into.
This works well, it’s an easy fix, and if you already have a boat, we can send the dowels to you along with the handy-dandy tether washer we shown below.
We have always kept our dagger-board trunk cap in the forward compartment, but it can be hard to find in there if it’s full of stuff. It’s easy to glue a tether into a hole drilled in the cap, but where to tie the tether? To the washer under the forward turn dog, that’s where.
It’s a special washer made for us by a neighbor who laser cuts other parts for us as well. This is a thin Delrin(TM) part, but we had a very hard time breaking one.
Replace the round washer with this one and rotate the washer aft for fishing the tether through the hole.
Holding the dagger-board down has always been done with a rope loop that can hook over the aft turn dog, but having the loop fairly snug (as shown below) keeps the board down all the way.
Having the board down fully will make the boat climb like a 12 meter when sailing upwind and it will also help you run aground. No, what I meant is that it will help if you run aground.
We hit a rock very hard and not only did it nearly throw us out of the boat, but the sharp trailing edge of the board hit the aft end of the trunk (because the board was up about four inches) and did a small amount of damage to the trunk. The dagger-board was fine, but we now sail with the dagger-board down all the way or we unhook it and let it float up (about a third of the way).