I made a clip correction on our leg one video of Russell's Race to Alaska. (the new video is below)
This is the start of the race from Port Townsend to Victoria. Alex Spear and myself were on board for that portion of the race and we finished first (!) nearly an hour ahead of the next boat, which was a little lonely but exciting too. I have a few clips of Russell's race to Ketchikan and a lot of video from our return to Port Townsend. It will take some time before I pull a decent video of those together. AEB 😉
Boat Haven yard rates in Port Townsend have been in question for the last year. Due to a collaborative effort between the Marine Trades of Port Townsend and the Port of Port Townsend, NEW winter rates have been posted. While every yard has its own formula for presenting the numbers, the port has accepted the recommendations of a tenant task force that methodically studied comparable yards in the region to come up with this pricing schedule.
Please help make this effort a success while you take advantage of one of the very best marine trades collectives on the west coast, a beautiful town with wonderful people, and a location near some of the most amazing parks and recreation in the US.
Inger Rankins (NW Sails & Canvas) succeeded in pulling off a jaw dropping race for an 11 ft dinghy in a crowd of much longer, sleek surf ski's, kayaks, racing SUPs and all manner of multi and single crewed craft. I hope to put together a video about her race (See update below) but for the moment, this little interview with her right after she came in, after 20 hours non stop rowing, mind you, gives an idea of the energy and spirit of Inger Rankins.
UPDATE:Video of Inger's Race taken by her husband as he caught up to her at different points in the race.
Our friend, Inger Rankins of NW Sails and Canvas, heard about the 70/48 human powered race from Tacoma to Port Townsend, and decided she had to participate. She signed up as back up crew aboard the 4 person, locally designed and built row boat, Salish Star. It looks like the first crew are all as determined to race as Inger is, so she entered the race on her own, drawing on her viking heritage to name her solo "team", Valhalla. To our surprise, she chose the PT 11 to do it in! At 11 feet, she cannot expect to be at the front of the fleet but the point of the 70/48, like the R2AK, is not to win, but to finish. (I did promise her favorite beer at the finish line) 😉
Inger is one of the finest canvas workers in the area and quite an athlete as well. Along with her regular training on the waters between Point Wilson and Port Hadlock (before and after work), we took a day to do a capsize/overboard drill. I think the practice meant a lot not only to Inger but also to her husband, Sean. It is always good to know you can get back into the boat! It was a good opportunity for me to take some video to share.
We are very excited for Inger. We admire her bravery and will be tracking her closely, guessing that the combination of her personality and the PT 11 will be interesting to follow in more ways than one. The 70/48 starts June 11th in Tacoma at 5 PM. Look for Team Valhalla while you are checking out the other boats on the tracker. We hope all of the teams have safe and fun passages amidst the "whirly burlies" and commercial traffic of Puget Sound.
Sometimes things look right until you try to match the parts. For example, we check puzzle joints on every kit before shipping. However, it is easy to assume that a really simple little part is right. This is what happened recently when a customer in Australia wrote saying, after everything else being so perfect in the kit, the mismatch of this one little part, the inwale doubler, had to be a mistake. Well, he was absolutely right and we really do not know how many kits went out with this little part that does not fit correctly. I can only imagine that quite a few of these kits went out and quite a few builders just dealt with it quietly.
How did this happen? We used to cut this little doubler on the router table with the nesting notch that matches the notch in the transom inwale. Then we started having it CNC cut. I guess we never really checked.
So, we now have a stack of correctly cut inwale doublers. If you are not yet at this point of your build, please contact us to get the new piece. If you had to adjust or re-cut this little piece, please accept our apologies.
If you have a part that looks wrong or does not fit, we count on you letting us know. Thank you for choosing a PT 11 nesting dinghy kit!
I am pleased to be the editor of a special book now available in full color print. Toti Bleu, dream of a gypsy wagon, is the journal of how a horse drawn gypsy wagon 'became'. It includes modern logic behind the design, material choices, gear selection, horse breed and care. It also includes the lack of logic involved in jumping into the unknown to realize a dream, the magic of friendships both human and quadruped, and the emotional ups and downs of a long term project.
What really makes this book so beautiful is the author, Suzanne, who strikes a balance between practical and poetic thought, and, the many photos taken on location in Se France. Yes, France. I may be biased, since Suzanne happens to be my mother, but this project has allowed me to get to know her in a way few children get to know their parents. I initially thought her idea was a little nutty given the lack of money to do such a thing, but following as it evolved, I am now even more inspired by her.
Be inspired to create your own 'land boat', dive into any seemingly impossible project, or simply connect more closely with flora and fauna, and especially horses. All proceeds from the book go to the author and continuing the Toti Bleu Project and message.
What do you think of when you think of Port Townsend, WA? If you have ever been here, the first word in your head might very well be BOATS!
Port Townsend has a unique maritime culture and when you crest the hill as you enter our town, you are struck by the view of our snow capped mountains, beautiful bay, sailboats, work boats, haul-out yards & marinas, Victorian architecture, pristine shorelines and more boats, boats, boats!
What we have is a real but also socially and environmentally conscientious working waterfront that specializes in the highest degree of craft in the marine trades. Wooden boat expertise is high on that list but certainly not exclusive to it as metal craft are built or repaired here too. Our local foundry and metal shops here produce top quality products for projects far and wide. Not surprisingly, many of our skilled workforce are graduates of the NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding, considered one of the very best in the country. In every big or little workshop, interesting things are being built, prototyped, repaired and restored.
The energy is high and is unique in its collaborative spirit. These small businesses help each other, working across platforms and skill sets. When a boat project comes in, the owners can be sure that this little town offers a powerful spectrum of skilled labor and expertise, and customized quality that only small, family and individually owned businesses can offer.
Am I advertising the Marine trades of Port Townsend? Yep! Here is why.
Like so many working waterfronts, our port faces some financial challenges for critical infrastructure projects. Government funding has dried up so our Port authority has posted some experimental yard rates in a misguided effort to pick up the slack revenue. However; the effects of these rate hikes are evidenced by an empty yard compared to previous years. Our Marine Trades businesses know that remaining competitive is critical to a town like ours.
I am reaching out to Pacific North West boat owners in particular. Perhaps quotes from the Port of PT for haul out and space rental would interest you. If the price does not work for you, please tell them, or tell us! Simply not responding to a quote will not educate an administrative office. The Port Townsend marine trades businesses want your business. We know that price matters and our marine trades businesses want a project to fit your needs and your budget.
Further, see our Marine Trades Association listings and find out how they can help to make a haul out here more attractive. Even if some other yards can offer lower prices, few if any, can offer the craftsmanship concentrated here.
Please help our Marine Trades keep Port Townsend’s Working Waterfront competitive. You can also take this brief survey! Your information is never sold! This is for our local research only.
Thank you! May 2018 be a wonderful year in some special way.
Additional resources regarding WA's maritime industry and strong towns movements;
Yet again, the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival succeeds in educating, inspiring, and show casing a truly beautiful fleet. We had a good show even though the loss of Meade Gougeon was often the topic of discussion. So many admired him. I want to thank everyone who visited our booth. Also, big thank you's go out to everyone who showed their PT Watercraft masterpieces! There were 2 PT Skiffs present and Off Center Harbor just might be producing a video about them, featuring designers, Paul Beiker and Eric Jolley. Stay tuned! Several Spears and PT 11's were present but there was literally no wind for the scheduled regatta so that was a non-event this year. Perhaps next year!
Thank you to WEST SYSTEM, our tent partners, Electric Paddle for test driving the new electric motor on the PT Spear, (stay tuned for more on that) and the NW Maritime Center for making it all happen. I will load up a few photos. 😉 AEB
June 24th, Ketchikan Alaska. Russell’s solo R2AK successfully completed for 2017 and together we began our return voyage on our G32 catamaran. I could have written a small book about the trip which got particularly interesting for us after our brand new motor totally toasted itself. A summary article can be read HERE.
18 days later, we crossed the Straights of Juan De Fuca, and arrived into Port Townsend a little after lunch. I get excited when I see Point Wilson and the waterfront of Port Townsend, but I felt ready for home only as it came into view. I could just as easily have kept going. This trip was one of being in the moment. I was where I was at that moment, soaking up the sights, sounds, smells, atmospheric pressure, and the wonder of it all. I loved it. We loved it, and we both really needed it.
Another 6 weeks have passed and I finally have a VIDEO put together just to give a sense of what cruising on the G32 looks like. I had wanted to finish the video sooner so that Meade Gougeon (who was declining only a week ago) could watch it but, sadly, he left us sooner than we expected and too soon altogether for all of us who admired and respected him.
So, here is the video.. Here is more detail about our trip...
More about Meade Gougeon’s influence on Russell personally here...