September 5-7th were the days of the 38th Annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.
This year was unique for us due to having a relative fleet of PT 11s on hand; 8 or 9 PT 11 dinghies could be seen over the weekend of marvelous sunshine and sailing breezes, tethered behind their "motherships" in the harbor or out in the bay among so many beautiful boats!
A PT 11 chasing Vito Dumas and sister dinghy the PT Spear on the leash..

Joining them was  our own PT 11 captained by Cooper Parish.
Cooper in our PT 11 chasing Scott in his International 14

Cooper (who currently works for Scaled Composites) has built a PT 11 at the NW School of Wooden Boat Building. Many of our friends and customers share our deep appreciation for innovative aircraft as well as boats. We love the following picture Cooper sent to us earlier this summer, (wearing a Port Townsend Watercraft hat!) and we love having his help at the festival!
Cooper in..."one of the rocket motors from Space Ship One... Representin' PTWatercraft!"

As usual, I did not get out and about to take more pictures. The reason, I am pleased to say, is that our display maintained a virtual flood of visitors and our team (including my wonderful sister, Dana) was happily kept busy showing off 2 PT Elevens (one on the stand and one for rowing demos), and a PT Spear, (generously loaned by Mr. Swantner).
Our display next to WEST SYSTEM

Our tent hosts, the smart folks from WEST SYSTEM EPOXY, were on hand with expert epoxy advice, interesting props and informative booklets. This year’s festival was also special and memorable due to having  our dear friends, Kathy Massimini & Steve Callahan here. Steve was a guest speaker for the festival. If you have not read his book Adrift or don't know about Steve, you've missed out. See his website HERE.
Steve & Kathy

ptwatercraft.comYou might already know about Off Center Harbor, and all of the really well done, interesting videos they offer on a wide range of boating topics. We were honored (and pretty camera shy) to receive an interview request from the OCH team. Filming took place right after the festival and the video will be available sometime in the future. Thank you Steve Stone and Off Center Harbor!

The fine weather inspired more boats to be out sailing for the entire three days than I have ever witnessed in my 5 years of attending. The final ‘Sail-By’ was quite spectacular. If you missed it this year, mark your calendar for the first weekend of September 2015 and keep an eye on the NW Maritime Center website for events over the year.

Please enjoy a small album of pictures I took during the Festival.

Some videos of this years' festival are on You Tube. This is a particularly artistic slide show. HERE


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 June 30th, Cassandra  McDermott and 10 year old Milo arrived to pick up their PT 11 kit. 'Cassie' is a young woman who delivers boats, does a lot of sailing, boat finishing, refinishing, and polishing. I suspect she is very good at it, too.
Meeting Cassie and Milo (who also loves to sail) was a real pleasure. It was particularly exciting to have a pre-teen totally into building a PT 11 and that a woman was to be the primary builder. It often feels like building boats is perceived as 'such a guy thing' and I like to encourage more female involvement with the kits.

Besides the distinction for Cassie & Milo as the first ‘mom & pre-teen’ team so far to build one of our kits, they did it in record time.
On August 3rd, barely a month after picking up the kit, we received an email, and I quote, “Well we launched last week! I will send you some pictures soon....We are having a blast. She is a great boat!” Then she sent this great photo of Milo in the boat, with it’s shiny blue hull, (in honor of the SEA HAWKS)... Russell and I were very impressed!! 😉

Milo in his PT 11

Cassie totally dedicated herself to the project, including setting her alarm clock for 3AM to make a fill coat. They really familiarized themselves with the manual so that while waiting for one thing to cure, they knew what they could begin to prepare and have ready for steps later on. Warm summer weather helped while they had several simultaneously curing parts. This consolidated a lot of the 'waiting-for-cure' time inherent in wood/epoxy boat building."The build went really well. We made a few mistakes-nothing structural and nothing we couldn't fix," she told me.

They also had a strong motivation. Milo was going back to school at the end of the Summer and Cassie wanted to be sure he had plenty of time to sail in his new boat before then. Milo wrote us a letter that deserves a frame in our shop. ptwatercraft.comPhotos & captions following, (compliments of Cassie and Milo), tell much of the story best.
And the sanding hasn't even begun yet!
I drill you twist.
Even Dad sanded a bit with Wilson ever ready on the vacuum.
Testing the strength of our PPE.
Remember all those twists? Time to snip. photo by Cassandra McDermott
So there might be a few ice cream finger prints.

PTWATERCRAFT photo by Cassandra Mc Dermott
First sail day.
Second sail day.
Milo taking his teacher and friend out for a sail on Palisades Lake in Wyoming.

Building any kit can take weeks, months or years depending on a person’s working habits and available time. We recommend taking your time and enjoying yourself. Our builders have expressed real pleasure in the project and that is as much a part of it as the end result.  The fact that Cassie met her self imposed and pretty short deadline AND had a great time is a testament to her skill and an inspiration for women boat builders! Hats off to you, Cassie and Milo!!

See some recent feedback from our builder's about our kits:

Robert in MA: It is a fantastic kit, and I thoroughly enjoyed the building project. Honestly, I felt a little intellectually lazy doing the build. Usually there are multiple details that have to be thought through, improvised, fleshed out, etc. Not with the PT11. You did all the thinking for me and didn't leave out anything. I didn't mind being lazy for a change. :)  I can't think of a single thing to improve in the kit or manual. I can't wait to start rowing and sailing. August 2014

Simon in New Zealand: I didn't really realize how much of a delight to build she's been until the bumper had been stuck on and I was a little disappointed that there wasn't anything left to do except go sailing.

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


I admit it..I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to some things. I am not a skier, will not go near a roller coaster, and have never been white water rafting. Russell on the other hand... well let's just say, in reference to THIS VIDEO, a standing wave, big or small, is as good an excuse as any for a little fun.
In any case, I do love a good adventure. Exploring the Toba Inlet in early July brought us to the mouth of the Brem River. At low tide, the river hit the inlet with some gusto to the delight of several seals, and, Russell. Had I not been holding our one, good, and yet very water sensitive camera, I would have been a lot less concerned. We could have played at this spot a lot longer than we did, although the big and biting black flies were a bit of a menace.
Russell insisted that I keep the sound on the first clip (you probably understand why, much to my chagrin) and I did my 'darndest' to be quiet on subsequent takes. Being in the boat was a bit 'knarly' AND really fun. The video hardly does it justice. The PT 11 clearly liked it. So I hope this puts a big smile on your face. The PT11 in the Rapids. Cheers, Ashlyn PTW

I have to sit down and really try to make account of this summer's first camp cruise. For now, I can offer a couple of videos and notes that can give you the idea. Today's video is a compilation of clips on the Water Bug.

Since the proa is in the yard, we took our experimental catamaran motor boat up into Canada. It could be compared to a road trip in a Carmanghia convertible ... except we probably burned less fuel. 😉  We took camping gear and towed the PT 11 for the better part of more than 400 miles. Our boat of many names.. (Kermit, Grasshopper, Pie in the Sky, Skeeter, Water Bug...) has an old 15 HP Honda outboard and with that, as loaded up as we were, we averaged 2/3 GPH at 11 knots.  Under normal load and not towing, Water Bug can cruise at 11 knots at 1/2 GPH, with a cruising speed of 15 knots. We took advantage of waves to surf and shallow waters to explore since this boat is good at both.  We discovered that finding spots to both safely moor the boat and camp ashore is not so easy. There are lots of places for kayakers to pull their boats up and camp, or for small boats to anchor and sleep aboard. That did not help us much and we learned a lot for next time.

So I hope you enjoy this video.

Happy camping from a happy camper. Ashlyn 😉 PTW


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
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 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.

As of Monday, April 7 th, our PT 11 nesting dinghy will be on display at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. This is something we have talked about doing for a long time and we are pleased it is happening this year. Fisheries Supply is one of our very favorite resources.

On display is our PT 11 that we have used a lot for 3 seasons now, around Port Townsend and north into Desolation Sound, BC.  We have done a lot of exploring in this boat, some of which is featured in our videos. The interior finish is still the original WEST SYSTEM EPOXY(R) clear finish using 207 Special Clear Hardener(R) done in 2011.  It is due a coat of varnish but I think you will be impressed at how little the scratches show even after all the sand and shoes.   So if you are in the area, please stop by FISHERIES SUPPLY and check the boat out! Let us know you stopped by.  THANK YOU!
Loaded with gear commuting to our boat's mooring, before taking off for Canada.

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!  😉

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!!

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

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

We recently had the opportunity to test drive a Lehr outboard on the PT 11 nesting dinghy.
I should say up front, that we are personally anti-outboard for this boat. The PT 11 is lightweight with a hull shape well suited for easy, near effortless rowing, even for longer distances. The sailing rig is also very easy to use. Our vision has been that this dinghy can be a tough, utilitarian, and totally enjoyable alternative to inflatables, as tenders for cruising boats.  Even so, the PT 11 can be used with a small outboard.  We have calculated that a 2HP outboard would be plenty of power to move this little boat with ease and also keeps the PT 11 within a certain USCG category.

In our opinion, however; those who expect to use a motor on their dinghy more often than not, might be better off with a different dinghy. One could choose a boat with a fuller aft end. Rowing performance would be compromised but these boats would plane with a 5HP motor.
There are, it seems, few, new model outboards of 2HP or less.  Most outboard producers currently have models of just over 2HP. Other than the perceived "need for speed" from the general public, we are not sure why they have chosen to discontinue lower HP motors. See a PT 11 test drive with an EP CARRY.
For the sake of experiment and because this motor was offered to us for this purpose, we went ahead and made a test drive.  Thank you to J.S. for this opportunity.
Here is what we found and there is a link to a short video at the the end of this post.

I. Motor: New Lehr 2.5HP propane outboard. ( 15” shaft, cost: roughly $1050)
Port Townsend Watercraft
II. Weight: We feel like this motor is quite heavy at almost 39 LBS(incl small 1 LB gas bottle)

III. Noise: Moderate.

  • Comparison:
  • On forums online, the Honda 2.3 has been proclaimed as very noisy.
  • Electric motors are obviously the most quiet.

IV. Speed: The Lehr 2.5 propelled the PT 11 with a single, 180 pound operator, at 6.8 knots, at full throttle in protected waters.

  • No comparisons at this time.

V. Trim: The PT 11 is light weight. The weight of the motor being nearly half the weight of the boat, and with a single operator having to sit far enough aft to reach the tiller, causes the bow to ride high. One would need a tiller extension to be able to shift driver weight forward.

Port Townsend Watercraft
Taking off at full throttle..

VI. Mounting: The outboard was mounted with a raw mahogany block just below the inwhale. For the purpose of this demo, we adhered it with double sided tape. For more permanent installation, we would advise exchanging the bolts on the top gudgeon, for screws that bite into the block. On the outside of the transom, we used raw mahogany strips. The block and pads are to prevent crushing or denting the hull skins when tightening the clamps.  For a motor this heavy, we recommend re enforcing the transom with vertical ribs adhering to the buoyancy tank walls and butting up to the underside of the inwhale. This would be light and effective. Port Twnsend Watercraft

Port Townsend Watercraft

VII. Conclusion: In general, if you are set on mounting a motor on the PT 11, it is preferable to choose a motor that weighs less than 30 LBS. We will be making some effort to mount and test drive the Electric Paddle in 2014.
Click here to see a short video of the PT 11 with the Lehr 2.5HP.   PTW 😉

Note: If any of our builders have tried a small outboard on your PT 11, please contact us with your experiences.

UPDATE: This information was sent to us from one of our builders in Florida. The HP used exceeds sanctioned HP for this boat but the results are informative.

"Today's Sea Trial:  Salt water, 75 degrees, sea level, iPhone GPS.

POWER:  2.5 HP (rpm restrictor removed to increase to 3.3 hp), 1990 vintage two stroke, factory propeller, 27 pounds, Mercury outboard with tiller extension.

Life jackets, paddle, no additional gear.

Top speed, one 140 pound operator, 10 mph.  
Top speed, two people 330 pounds, 8 mph.
Top speed, four people 810 pounds, 6 mph.

Ideal cruise "sweet spot", two people, 6 mph.

Boat exceeded all expectations. " (Video below)