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.


Tracker screen shots highlight his daily progress.

June 17, day one. The purple track line is Russell's.
Day 2, Team PT Watercraft in the lead... a different view and scoreboard.
June 19th after a night stop on the north end of Hornby.
Reaching Seymore Narrows June 19th. I like how this shows the spread of boats.
Taking the lead again in Johnstone Straights; see video.
6:00am June 20th, Team PT Watercraft still tucked into an anchorage waiting for favorable current and some wind; allowing sanity to prevail, while other boats had struggled all night to make headway against the current...
Russell passing Calvert Island June 22nd.
Russell makes Bella Bella by the end of June 22nd.

This was the last tracker shot I could save before racing myself to Seattle to catch a plane to Ketchikan. I had to be there for the finish!\


A.E. Brown

Google recently announced that if your website is not 'mobile friendly' then you are going to the back of the line. Essentially, they will not show your website in the search results unless someone types in your specific website address.  I have known for some time that my website, ptwatercraft.com, is not mobile friendly as they say. Thus when I got a call from a company promising a solution for a good price, I begrudgingly accepted. I will say that it took a very persistent salesman to wear me down. I was told they would use my own text from my website and I could request changes at any time. I already knew my site had issues and thought I would save some time...what was I thinking? (I wasn't, apparently)

The snap shot of boatkitsinseattle.com below is a site created by a third party and not my creation. I am working now to have it  removed from the web.
This is a snap shot of the repaired site but even repaired it feels alien.
This is a snap shot of the repaired site but even repaired it feels alien.

When I saw the site I cried. They did not have a clue what they were talking about and had taken way too many liberties in re writing my text to sound like a used car salesman...in the worst way.  I spent hours on the phone with them for changes only to have them tell me to 'agree' that my changes might adversely affect the visibility of my site on the web and effectively negating their responsibility to get top search results.  Not agreeing to that, I had to tone down my changes and in the "end" (of my patience) I asked them to terminate the service.  This fabricated persona was not worth a penny and in fact feels damaging.

I am learning something real here.. If it feels wrong in your belly, DO NOT let a salesperson change your mind. HANG UP THE PHONE! As I write this, I am disputing my 'contract' with this company, called Local Lighthouse, in S. California, and have sadly discovered that they are totally insensitive to their customers' satisfaction. They do not hear the word, terminate. They want their money in full, point stop. I do not know what the outcome will be but I have been seriously upset about it. I have had to re-write almost everything but within their parameters that I don't like, and I am still expected to pay them.  (They should pay me for the stress and time I have wasted.) (May the final outcome be happier....?)

Bottom line: If anyone saw or sees the site pictured above, I apologize. I may not be able to create as visible a site that the search engines especially like, but I would rather our name, Port Townsend Watercraft, is spread through referral from happy customers. We are clearly not selling used cars.

A mobile friendly interim site of my own making will be forth coming before the year is finished and it will represent the PT Watercraft that many have come to appreciate and respect. I send out warm thanks to all of my customers for their feedback, support, and the pride and joy they have taken in the boats they have built.  Ashlyn E. Brown

As an update, I finally did manage to persuade them to cancel the agreement. Yay...it took many many tries.

June & July 2015

There is a good reason we have a business based on boating. We love sailing! But what good is it if you only get to hear about others going on voyages? We have been pretty good about getting away from time to time but generally we keep those trips short. For 2015, we have been planning something bigger.
A sailing trip to the Queen Charlottes (HAIDA GWAII) has been on our radar for years and HG Mapthis Summer we know a few friends that are making the trip. After a year in the planning, we are going too, for what might be our last real trip on our sailboat Jzerro. (raising the FOR SALE flag)
This means PORT TOWNSEND WATERCRAFT will be closed from early June through late July.  I will have someone shipping out books during our absence. {UPDATE: for more immediate print book ordering, please see the links below}
I am bringing this up now because we do get some orders, primarily from the southern hemisphere, during the summer months. Besides that, it is a slow time for us

Jzerro in Port Townsend
Jzerro in Port Townsend

since most folks who get this newsletter in our hemisphere are on the water playing. So here is the plan;
-We will be shipping kits through May but the sooner we know about your order, the better. {All done here.}
-Some orders will go out in August. Again, the sooner we know about them, the better. {some are already on order. Yours can be too. See below for quick deposit instructions}
-We will be participating in the Port Townsend Annual Wooden Boat Festival in September and will be taking orders for shipping from October on. We hope to see you there!

Visitors study the PT 11 nesting dinghy

How can you secure a kit quickly? There is a quick deposit link (green box on the right hand side bar under the form links) on our ordering page. A hull number is assigned to names in the order deposits are received. Kits will ship in that order.

Upon our return we will go through all mail and reply in detail so please do email us! We apologize in advance if this timing inconveniences anyone.
The reality about this trip is that we do not expect to have access to internet or mobile phone coverage except on rare occasion. Yes, that is still possible. I am so excited!  (AEB)

Our print books are on AMAZON: But, beware of crazy prices in the "used" section. Our books new are priced under $20. There are likely to be delays getting builder's manuals shipped. Our apologies for this. Please use the BUY NOW buttons (not the order-form) on the manuals page and our trusty caretaker will get them shipped.

Epoxy Basics

Scarfing Basics

Sailor Sai Aboard Big Blue

The buzz continues... in fact, the buzz, bang, humm, crank, tweak....of shop machines and brain gears, can be heard behind closed doors!

Bieker designed proa in progress.
Bieker designed proa in progress.

Boats are being built! Locally, team Turnpoint Design is working on a catamaran. A Bieker designed proa is in the works, and Edensaw Woods is sponsoring a team, also building a catamaran. Sail, peddle drives, rowing stations, and combinations there-of are being carefully considered and applied to these boats.  What is most exciting about this race is that, given the prevailing conditions on the course, designers and athletes are challenged to make the most of their 'sail/human powered' boats. A creative force has been awakened and the fact that there are so few rules and filters on what types of boats can enter, we are likely to see all from kayaks to large racing yachts.

Current specs on registered participants HERE.

Small Craft Advisor Magazine, has an interesting feature discussion in the current issue. They asked the opinions of a number of respected characters about specific pros and cons regarding the Race to Alaska. As a sponsor, they also host a forum for the Race to Alaska,  among several others on several websites.

rowing in Desolation Sound
"Patos" in Desolation Sound. photo by owner

Enjoy Pictures recently received of boats launched this summer or boats in use. I love the new colors added to PT 11's; now sporting blue, green, sunny yellow, mellow yellow, cream, red, white...have I missed any? Beautiful!! Keep those pictures coming! What do you think about a photo contest???? Let me know and I will work on prizes to offer. 😉

Milo in his PT 11 that he and Cassandra built. See more on this project on another post called " Builder Spotlight 9/14" by clicking the photo.
PT 11 "Forget me knot", Built in Maine and launched this summer. Photo by owner.
PT 11, 'Forget Me Knot' in New England.
Built by W. Frost in Renton WA. Photo by owner.
PT Skiff almost ready for launch. Note the solid aft floor soles. We think it looks fantastic and see this as the future standard for the PT Skiff. The owner also installed self bailing. We look forward to more pictures! Located in Australia. Photo by owner
Shiny green paint job by Mr. Kuntz of Sequim, WA. photo by owner
Paul's green PT 11 was launched at the Boat Festival this year in Port Townsend. Mr. Kuntz was able to leave it at the dock on display with the rig up by removing the batons and rolling the boom up in the sail. Click the photo to read about the Festival this year, 2014.
Joy enjoys a sail in her PT 11, 'Patos" T/T "Dromen".
"Patos" in Desolation Sound. photo by owner
Patos nested on the SV 'Dromen'.
Patos and Dromen in the marina. Photo by owners.
Mr. Mc Cormick's PT 11 in California.
Joe taking all the gear ashore.
"Rowff, Oneff, twoff, rowff"
PT Spear, 'Rascal' seen in front of Port Townsend. photo by Ashlyn E. Brown
Owners enjoy an evening row in 'Rascal', a PT Spear. Photo by Ashlyn E. Brown
Exploring the San Juan Islands in a PT 11 and a PT Spear. photo by Ashlyn E. Brown

On a recent camp cruising excursion to BC, we towed our PT 11 along behind the Water Bug. We did not take the sailing rig but we really enjoyed after dinner rows around the different anchorages. The evening light is so beautiful and on calm, clear summer days, the reflections in the water make you feel like you are looking into another world or floating along on the sky. It was mesmerizing. I put together some clips of these evening rows. I look at my wind swept and bedraggled state with some embarrassment but I had a great time out in the vast wilderness of Desolation Sound. Here is a short video: SKY ROWING ptwatercraft.comptwatercraft.com


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

3 PT 11 dinghies in progress at 206 composites


Hired builder, Simon miles of 206 Composites, in Port Townsend.
Hired builder, Simon miles of 206 Composites, in Port Townsend.

Bob in BC launched his PT 11 this Spring.
“Attached a photo of the first nesting, it fit perfectly.

PT 11 launched in Comox BC

"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.

practicing in-water assembly

Family fun on a PT 11 in the Bahamas: Seeing these young gents sailing around put a big smile on my face..

So much more fun than video games!

The latest from SV Skye / PT11 nested on the cabin top of the Lyle Hess 32, Skye.

TT SV Skye nested on the cabin top


B and D Boats (banddboats at gmail.com) in Boothbay Maine just finished a PT 11 for a customer.

Another PT 11 just ready for launch in Renton, WA and another in Sonora CA. If we don't have pictures now, we will share them next time.

Last but not least, a couple of pictures from the launching of our new PT11 /2014.

Multihull enthusiasts may know that designer Dick Newick passed away last year. Among his things were a stack of posters of his amazing, and historically significant, proa, "Cheers", as painted by artist Bruce Alderson. One of these posters has graced our walls for many years and we are pleased to be able to offer them at a special price. Please read more about "Project Cheers" HERE.


Initially, we have set the price for the USA  as postage is easily assessed.

For Europe, we would prefer to send several posters to a distributor.  Individual postage from here to Europe, runs at $24 for the cheapest method. We hope that by having a distributor in France, postage will be far less.

Interested persons from outside of the USA should contact me to get on the list. Anyone interested in buying several for resale should contact me. QUANTITIES AT THIS PRICE ARE LIMITED.

Please note that a portion of the proceeds for these posters will go to Mr. Newick's widow. In addition, there are a limited number of posters signed and numbered (253-294/400) by painter, Bruce Alderson.  We are also in the process of re-publishing the book, PROJECT CHEERS.  Please see our webpage for details.

'cheers!' PTW

More boats are getting wet this year. I am really enjoying everyone's news.

Olav in Victoria BC launched his PT 11 earlier this year. I like the below photos in particular. If you had to choose a dinghy to be proud of for your beautiful cruising boat, would it be like those in the back ground? Or more like the sleek hull in the fore ground??  Beautiful job Olav!  😉

ptwatercraft.com PTwatercraft.com

James in Australia launched his PT 11 this winter (summer ,'down under') with his son. I received these pictures in January. Again, a great job on the boat!! ptwatercraft.com ptwatercraft.com

BLUE WHALE ADVENTURES is headed into the Pacific with a PT 11 that was recently built by Cape Fear Yachtworks. Fair winds and happy adventures!

It sure is fun when folks get colorful. This sunny yellow PT 11 is sure to turn heads for Gregg in California! I continue to be impressed with beautiful workmanship. I may be able to publish more photos soon as the weather warms and folks get out on the water.ptwatercraft.com

Is your PT 11 or PT Skiff in the water? I would love to feature it next. 😉 PTW