Monday August 15th, we put the new PT Eleven in the water for the first time. The launch committee included the major contributors to the development of the boat. Everyone took a turn rowing the boat. Here are a few of the pictures from the day.. Since we have been working on safe loading calculations that have come out to the odd number of 3.9 people or 518.78 LBS, we got 4 of these guys to get into the dinghy and take a row. Each of them admitted to weighing 180LBS and possibly more so we casually demonstrate here where the boat sits with at least 720LBS and rowing at a fair clip. This demonstration was not about safety but simply to see how much free-board would be left. We could have tried to load the boat to near submersion but that will be a test for another day.Everyone present was thrilled with the boat, “a delightful boat to row..” and impressed with the ease with which it assembled and disassembled.
As a footnote to the day…We brought the boat back to our shop where Russell pulled it out of the back of our Toyota truck and rinsed off the 2 halves. We had friends visiting from Canada and while Russell was deep in conversation with them, I jumped into the truck to run an urgent errand. I had seen the boat in the shop. In fact, I had seen the aft half on its stand, and felt confident to back the truck out. Confident, that is until I heard a loud ‘pop!‘. My heart stopped and thankfully I had the presence of mind to stop the truck. Completely out of my field of vision, near the front right wheel, the forward half of the boat had been on the ground. I had rolled onto the corner of it with the front wheel of the truck. Distraught, I ran into the shop for Russell. We freed the boat and Russell studied the damage. He tells me today that it is pretty amazing that it was not worse. A little epoxy and a touch up on the paint completed the repair but he could see by the tire track that a great deal of weight had been applied to the hull and that it had withstood it. The loud ‘pop’, was the sound of the corner of the gunwhale giving way.
I share this embarrassing tale because…well…because this kind of thing happens sometimes and while I still feel pretty bad about not making sure the entire boat was inside the shop, I count our good fortune that it was not worse. We came very close to not having a boat for the upcoming festival!