Off Center Harbor has launched a video series with Russell and his techniques working with epoxy.
Here is the teaser introducing the series!
Our kit Manuals are temporarily out of stock and unavailable until FEBRUARY 2019. Our local printer suddenly closed and we are working on setting up the files with a new printer. We are also revising those files to make our manuals better!
Please stay tuned!
Our office will be closed December 2nd - December 9th. We will answer emails as often as we can during that time.
Due to UPS increased peak season rates and the fact that UPS drivers are seriously stressed out during the holiday season, we will not be shipping kits until January 2019. Our kits are already a maximum sized package for them and we feel the risk for damage is higher at this time of year.
We wish everyone a happy Holiday Season, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy New year, and any other special holidays I may have missed. Kindness and peace, good health and healthy provisions to all.
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.
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!\
PT Watercraft, PT Marine Trades Association, Port of PT, NW School of Wooden Boat Building and the Shipwrights Coop of Port Townsend will all be present at this years FISH Expo in Seattle this coming weekend. http://www.pacificmarineexpo.com/
PT Watercraft will not have a boat displayed but I will be there on Monday, November 19th all day. It looks like all of the above mentioned will be in the same area of the expo, providing a kind of Port Townsend corner. I hope you will come by for a visit. The port is under new management and is eager to interact with and welcome regional boaters and also trades folk interested in setting up shop in Port Townsend.
See you there!
Russell was recently featured in Proboat Magazine. Have you seen it? The article details some of his methods for compression molds and making small parts and custom hardware. It is a bit of a preview to a book he has been collecting material for. We have been fans of Proboat magazine for a long time.
Check out this article and consider subscribing to this informative publication!
The Port of Port Townsend is under new management and is eager to welcome leisure and work boats alike. The port has recently been collaborating with the Marine Trades Association and community members to adjust prices and attitude to better represent our beloved working waterfront culture. Port Townsend is unique with its concentration of amazing skills, services, and integrity, supporting that culture.
Now promoting a SHIPYARD Winter DISCOUNT, as well as the general boat yard Winter discounts. At the Commission Meeting of September 26, 2018, new seasonal (300ton lift) Shipyard Storage Rates for a 30% discount were approved. *
The boat yard is already using Winter rates for the 75 ton lift with a minimum of 60 days.** This fee schedule compares with regional yards that offer similar services. In my humble opinion, however; there simply is not a boat yard anywhere that offers as much in excellent services and great atmosphere. Just sayin'.
*SHIPYARD RATES: (This is for Storage Rates only:for boats hauling out on the 300 ton travel lift. Current daily rate is $1.15 ft/day. Current monthly rate (20% discount) is $0.92 ft/day. New Seasonal 300 Ton Shipyard Storage Monthly Rate (30% discount) is $0.80 ft/day, with one month prepayment, October 1- March 31.)
**70-75Ton lift yard rates..
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.
For some reason I have yet to fathom, I am still catching up from the Race to Alaska, Shark Spit Regatta and our Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.
This year's Wooden Boat Festival was once again a whirlwind of new and familiar faces, interesting conversations, and wonderful boats. It ended a few hours early as one of our rather famous southerlies kicked up around mid day on Sunday. The bigger boats headed out into the bay to keep space around themselves. The smaller boats hunkered down in the marina. The "sailby" was wisely cancelled. Tents were buffeted, the dust was whirling but the classrooms and restaurants were full and folks were happy. Our festival is such a great event for inspiration, learning and making new friends and connections.
I took a few photos as I always do. This year I was focused on some of the textures around me. I am sharing some of those below. Thank you to all who visited our booth in the WEST SYSTEM tent. Thank you again to WEST SYSTEM and to the WOODEN BOAT FOUNDATION and NW MARITIME CENTER for another amazing event. AEB 😉
This September we had the opportunity to play with an EP Carry electric motor for the first time. Dinghy owners often ask about an outboard for the PT 11.
Our preference is to discourage outboards on our dinghies because good rowing and sailing boats never make great motor boats. But some people really want to be able to use an outboard. That's understandable, but the fact is that the smallest gas outboard motors currently available are really too big for our boat; too much power and too heavy.
Now there is an option we can support; the EP CARRY electric "outboard". All of the technical information about this innovative little motor can be found on the website ELECTRICPADDLE.COM. Though it is compared to a 1HP on their website, it has sufficient power to get the PT 11 up to a cruising speed of about 4 knots. The USCG however, considers all small electric outboards as "2HP". Based on that formula, the PT 11 and PT Spear are rated for "2HP" so, the EP CARRY aligns with the Coast Guard figures. The amazing thing about this motor is that it weighs only 14.4 Lbs. This makes it very easy to mount and remove. The battery pack weighs 6.3 Lbs, making the total package less than 21 Lbs. There are several design features that add to the ease of handling as well.
(At this years wooden boat festival, Russell showed up with the motor in his bicycle bag.)
Our recent experience with the EP Carry was very positive and to my surprise, I caught Russell grinning after speeding off to visit other boats in the anchorage. "Mr. anti-outboard" was actually having fun and we enjoyed it further by taking a friend on an evening "cocktail" tour of Reid Harbor, a deep bay with lots of shoreline and many boats to observe.
We spent a couple of days, driving along the shore of Sucia in the San Juans, in Shallow Bay making watery doughnuts, backing up, going forward, generally goofing off, and then venturing out to 'Danger Reef' to "brave" close proximity to a group of Stellar Sea Lions. We were pleasantly surprised by how far the battery went on one charge. You will notice in our video that we carried our oars with us but we did not need to employ them.
This motor is not silent. Neither is it loud. Our lightly built plywood boat seemed to acoustically amplify the sound a little. Even so, there was no need to raise our voices for conversation. In fact, we could almost whisper and still communicate. This was a plus to me. Loud outboards in quiet anchorages are, in my mind, a real nuisance and many of us are familiar with boaters talking in their loud dinghies barely hearing each other and assuming no one else can hear them either...but of course we hear every word. Sound is a funny thing. With the EP Carry, the birds, seals, and sea lions were undisturbed by our passage. It made it a great modus for exploring the nature around us.
Another thing that is really attractive to us about this motor, is that even with our limited house battery power, we could re-charge the EP Carry Battery. It does require a 150-200W inverter, but this lithium battery requires a third of the power than comparable models to recharge. At home, it is simple to plug it into a normal outlet. Beyond charging the battery and rinsing the unit after use in salt water, there is virtually no maintenance. Yet another plus.
(see our video exploring Sucia with the EP CARRY)
When our EP Carry arrived at the door, unpacking it was quite amazing. The care taken to pack it and the detailed contents made for a well thought out and complete package. It was a positive reflection of Joe and Linda who have spent years perfecting their product. They, like us, had a vision that they worked and reworked in every detail. In fact, the original mount did not fit the PT 11 and now it does. Further, the EP Carry, designed right here in WA State, is assembled in the USA. It is yet another example of admirable American ingenuity with style and a small business making a positive difference in the world. Of all the outboards on the market, we feel confident that the EP Carry is a good fit for the PT 11.