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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Port Townsend Watercraft is closed June through mid July this year as we will be sailing the boat back from Ketchikan after the Race to Alaska, discovering places new to us along the way. Getting to take a cruise of some kind every year is a big reason why we run our own business and it supports our ability to maintain our high standards of quality. It refreshes our minds and spirits so we can devote ourselves to producing these custom kits, writing books, and develop new ideas.
If you have just discovered our site or have been following our designs for some time, it is good to let us know sooner rather than later that you have decided to build one of our kits. We have a convenient Quick Deposit button on our website that puts you in a ‘first come, first serve,’ position. Upon our return, we will contact you and begin the process of preparing kits on order.
While we are away, some of our products can still be purchased with timely delivery. See the links below image.
I am told that there will be several PT 11's, Spears and Skiffs at the festival. We also hope that anyone in the area with a PT 11 or PT Spear, will come over for the "under 26ft" Regatta in the afternoon on Friday. Wouldn't it be fun to have a fleet of our dinghies to compete against each other? There is also a rowing race on Saturday morning. They should have a schedule up soon; Tickets go on sale July 1st. We hope some of our PT11 family club will set up one class regattas over the next year and we will help spread the word via our Quarterly Newsletter.
We hope you will enjoy discovering all of the information on our website, Videos on our Youtube channel, and please do not hesitate to send your questions to info@ ptwatercraft.com. (no space) We will respond as soon as we can.