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).
Work on a slightly re-designed PT 11 and a much improved building manual for the 11 is well underway.
We have long been planning to develop a smaller version of our nesting dinghy, but for several reasons, we decided to focus our efforts on making the PT 11 as good (and as easy to build) as we can make it.
One reason for this decision is that we are a small company with no employees (just ourselves) and even though the design process for the smaller boat was well underway, the thought of needing to stock all the parts necessary for a smaller boat seemed like too much.
Very few of the parts for the bigger boat would fit the smaller one. Even the rig and foils would need to be different, so the PT 9.5 has been put aside... For now.
The PT 11 has been a constant evolution. I have built so many prototypes and modified the manual so many times that I have lost count, but we love the boat and it has become quite a popular kit.
The new changes in the boat (and the manual) are mostly aimed at making the boat easier to build.
The biggest change is to make the gussets both thicker and slightly larger so that the builder can avoid the tricky job of applying the structural fiberglass over the gussets, besides making sense structurally.
The gussets will now be pre-beveled so that the upper gussets fit the hull without the builder having to do it and the curved gusset edges will be pre-rounded so that builders without router tables can avoid the risk of rounding their finger tips.
We wanted to make the two halves of the boat key together more snugly when nested, so the transom inwale is now wider and has a reinforced notch cut into it that the stem fits into when nested.
That, along with the larger gussets will mean that the forward half will just fit into the aft half, and once it’s there it won’t be able to move.
We will have the new boat cut in half soon to check our tolerances and then machine new gussets and inwales for future kit orders.
In the manual we are changing many parts of the process, mostly just to clarify parts of the process with more photos and better text, but some parts, such as the process of fiberglass taping the chines has been changed to a much better method, one we have used on the last couple of prototypes.
We have also been working on a video of some of the more challenging parts of the process. This video will (eventually) include filleting, chine taping, glassing, gloss coating, and painting.
As of Monday, April 7 th, our PT 11 nesting dinghy will be on display at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. This is something we have talked about doing for a long time and we are pleased it is happening this year. Fisheries Supply is one of our very favorite resources.
On display is our PT 11 that we have used a lot for 3 seasons now, around Port Townsend and north into Desolation Sound, BC. We have done a lot of exploring in this boat, some of which is featured in our videos. The interior finish is still the original WEST SYSTEM EPOXY(R) clear finish using 207 Special Clear Hardener(R) done in 2011. It is due a coat of varnish but I think you will be impressed at how little the scratches show even after all the sand and shoes. So if you are in the area, please stop by FISHERIES SUPPLY and check the boat out! Let us know you stopped by. THANK YOU!
We recently had the opportunity to test drive a Lehr outboard on the PT 11 nesting dinghy. http://golehr.com/lehr-marine/
I should say up front, that we are personally anti-outboard for this boat. The PT 11 is lightweight with a hull shape well suited for easy, near effortless rowing, even for longer distances. The sailing rig is also very easy to use. Our vision has been that this dinghy can be a tough, utilitarian, and totally enjoyable alternative to inflatables, as tenders for cruising boats. Even so, the PT 11 can be used with a small outboard. We have calculated that a 2HP outboard would be plenty of power to move this little boat with ease and also keeps the PT 11 within a certain USCG category.
In our opinion, however; those who expect to use a motor on their dinghy more often than not, might be better off with a different dinghy. One could choose a boat with a fuller aft end. Rowing performance would be compromised but these boats would plane with a 5HP motor.
There are, it seems, few, new model outboards of 2HP or less. Most outboard producers currently have models of just over 2HP. Other than the perceived "need for speed" from the general public, we are not sure why they have chosen to discontinue lower HP motors. See a PT 11 test drive with an EP CARRY.
For the sake of experiment and because this motor was offered to us for this purpose, we went ahead and made a test drive. Thank you to J.S. for this opportunity.
Here is what we found and there is a link to a short video at the the end of this post.
I. Motor: New Lehr 2.5HP propane outboard. ( 15” shaft, cost: roughly $1050)
II. Weight: We feel like this motor is quite heavy at almost 39 LBS(incl small 1 LB gas bottle)
On forums online, the Honda 2.3 has been proclaimed as very noisy.
Electric motors are obviously the most quiet.
IV. Speed: The Lehr 2.5 propelled the PT 11 with a single, 180 pound operator, at 6.8 knots, at full throttle in protected waters.
No comparisons at this time.
V. Trim: The PT 11 is light weight. The weight of the motor being nearly half the weight of the boat, and with a single operator having to sit far enough aft to reach the tiller, causes the bow to ride high. One would need a tiller extension to be able to shift driver weight forward.
VI. Mounting: The outboard was mounted with a raw mahogany block just below the inwhale. For the purpose of this demo, we adhered it with double sided tape. For more permanent installation, we would advise exchanging the bolts on the top gudgeon, for screws that bite into the block. On the outside of the transom, we used raw mahogany strips. The block and pads are to prevent crushing or denting the hull skins when tightening the clamps. For a motor this heavy, we recommend re enforcing the transom with vertical ribs adhering to the buoyancy tank walls and butting up to the underside of the inwhale. This would be light and effective.
VII. Conclusion: In general, if you are set on mounting a motor on the PT 11, it is preferable to choose a motor that weighs less than 30 LBS. We will be making some effort to mount and test drive the Electric Paddle in 2014. Click here to see a short video of the PT 11 with the Lehr 2.5HP. PTW 😉
Note: If any of our builders have tried a small outboard on your PT 11, please contact us with your experiences.
UPDATE: This information was sent to us from one of our builders in Florida. The HP used exceeds sanctioned HP for this boat but the results are informative.