One of the questions I often get is if it is possible to sleep onboard the PT Skiff. My answer is YES.
When we went camp cruising, here is what we figured out in case a campsite ashore was not available. I finally set it up again and took a few snapshots.

We fit a piece of aluminum tube that hangs with lines attached to the gussets as a way of supporting the grates.
The tube hooks on for quick assembly and stows easily in the forward storage.
We then put the grates from the aft cockpit across as a platform.
A Therma-rest / air mattress and sleeping bag have plenty of room on this platform.
Two Therma-rests can also be sufficiently supported by shifting the grates a little further apart at the middle seat.

Another arrangement is to put single mats on the grates in the aft cockpit. The grates are 6ft 3” long.

Mattresses on the grates in the aft cockpit

We felt like our idea for sleeping aboard allowed for the least amount of additional equipment and was a very lightweight solution. We used our tent’s rain-fly as a forward cover and I will post some pictures of that in the near future. A canvas dodger would also provide cover for the front and a tarp or canvas shade could provide cover for the back.  AEB

On March 5th, we unofficially joined in the 20th Annual Shipwrights Regatta in the nesting dinghy with a rig borrowed from a previous prototype.  We started out of the harbor in a light shower and extremely light winds but the sun actually showed its warming face between clouds for the better part of the afternoon. Russell and I missed the skipper’s meeting but the committee graciously said we could join in.

Nesting Dinghy on at the finish line
Big thanks to Craig Wester for this photo.

We took off on the third start after the racing and cruising boats with 4 other inshore boats and then took the long course instead of the short course for lack of better directions. There appeared to be a lot of confusion on what the course was so we went after the bigger boats. It was our good fortune to see when the lead boats hit contrary current and a no wind zone at the same time and we were able to skirt around at a totally comfortable pace.  We actually managed to be the second boat around the first mark even though we (along with a couple others) passed the bell on the wrong side...  oops.We rounded the second mark amongst the lead boats and then hit some glassy water of our own just before the finish line.

After rounding the second mark

It turned out to be a fun and relaxing day and we were happily surprised about the way the Nesting dinghy performed. Can’t wait to get out there in more wind and see what happens.
Some pictures follow and the link to the PTSA race report. See side bar..

in the bow of the Nesting Dinghy


Nesting dinghy in Shipwright's Regatta A little video clip...

We are back in PT after an interesting, albeit wet, trip to California with the nesting dinghy prototype. We arrived just in time to catch the downpour that lasted nearly a week while the cold and rain we left in Washington turned to sunshine.
We made the best of it by visiting a few brilliant and dear people who shared their enthusiasm and their wisdom about boats, business and the nesting dinghy.

On the first clear day we put the boat in the water in Monterey and rowed out of the marina, There were some swells piling up on the other side of the pier so Russell dropped me off and joined a paddle boarder and a young surfer to catch a few. I managed to get a couple of short videos.  On another day we got the boat in the water in San Francisco with a friend of ours and set up a borrowed sailing rig. Unfortunately it was dead calm and we had to get back on the road and over the mountains before the next snow set in. It’s all in this clip: Surfing the nesting dinghy prototype

Now back in PT, Russell continues the design work in earnest to make it all work as close to his ideals as can be AND as a kit. The sailing and small outboard options directly affect the basic kit components and have to be essentially clear before we can cut the ‘final’ version of the 11’ model.
The Shipwright’s Regatta in Port Townsend is happening this Saturday, weather permitting, and we plan to be on the water sailing the nesting dinghy. See you there or here when we post again. A few photos follow...AEB

PT Watercraft
Our Nesting dinghy packed into the back of our little Toyota truck.
We traveled with all our camping gear in there too. The truck got caked in dirty slosh coming over the mountains.
Discussing the boat with Dick Newick
John & Michel Marples
Brian Clark & Anne Cooper

The latest prototype of the nesting dinghy is currently being trialed.
LOA: 11ft
BEAM:4' 2"
NESTED HEIGHT: 19.5" at one end, 16.5" at the other end. 

We have a SHORT VIDEO of the boat rowing and of assembly in the water.
Next, we are making a road trip to California with the boat in the back of our little Toyota truck. We are making a tour of some of the smartest people we know to get their input before finalizing the details of the design.
The next and final prototype will reflect minor changes from this one, that are intended to increase performance, ease of construction and lower production cost in an effort to keep the kit price attractive.

For now, in spite of a list of creative names, we are tentatively calling this boat the PT 11.  We are inviting everyone interested in this boat to send in their suggestion for a design name, keeping in mind that it will eventually have sister designs of different sizes.
If we decide to use your suggestion as the market name of the boat, we will give you a nice discount on a kit.

Your feedback is always welcome.  Russell & Ashlyn

I know some of you must be wondering what is with the long silence and lack of images on Nesting Dinghy progress. What we have so far is a rough working prototype that will be the basis for the final prototype soon to begin. The good news is that this hull rows really well and has great initial stability in contrast to previous versions.  The connecting hardware prototypes look great and work great making assembly a matter of a few seconds. The nested package is more compact than before and it fits neatly in the back of our little Toyota truck. We are working through the sailing rig and oar/oarlock & foot brace arrangements.  Final design work will happen late Feb into March and then Russell has to crank out the new boat and manual. If I can manage to get some half way decent photos (weather and time permitting) I will post them soon.  This blog is finally waking up!  Cheers, Ashlyn

We now have the option with some nice drawings for making the PT Skiff self bailing. Follow this link to see it!

One of several images to see on the website

Things are moving forward on the Nesting Dinghy.  With the idea of incorporating what Russell feels are important properties, and taking into consideration the wishes expressed by some of you following this boat, Russell has revised the design. A test hull is presently being built.
This hull is different from the prototype pictured on our website in 2 main ways.
1. reduced size of the nested package
2, changes that increase stability & usability

Once tested, he will begin working on the actual prototype and the builder’s manual.

This last summer we drove the skiff across country and had some opportunities to splash in the Atlantic and Chesapeake. Alas, my video skills are not too hot. I compiled some of the better clips from the summer in this video.

I would like to mention that Russell has been working on the nesting dinghy design and we hope to start a blog for it soon. Cheers.

On September 15th, as the City Hall tolled 9:00am, Russell and I were pulling out of Port Townsend Harbor in the PT Skiff. We were loaded up with nearly 600 lbs between the 2 of us and gear. It was foggy and cold on Puget Sound but that is nothing new.
We were headed for Desolation Sound BC to visit friends with a new baby. We had not devised a dodger and the weather was questionable but we were happy to be off on an adventure even if it was just for the short time we had available.


We spent 8 days total on our trip, camped ashore every night, travelled some 360 miles at an average of 15knots, and burned about 30 gallons of gasoline.  We did prepare an option for sleeping onboard but never needed it since campsites were plentiful along the way. We got caught in the rain once between Ganges and Wallace Island but we had our foul weather gear and watertight bags.

Russell napping on the forward sole
Russell napping on the forward sole

The only semi rough water we encountered was East of Nanaimo and even that was mild. We didn’t even have to slow down, though trying to hand hold the camera steady enough to show the gps was a real trick.  I will be putting together a short video of that day, surfing the Navy’s wake and Dodd Narrows.

 beautiful day in Desolation Sound
beautiful day in Desolation Sound

The biggest threat of the trip was the raccoons!


On Wallace we had to tie our food bins up between 2 trees and chase the critters off, but our last night out on Jones Island in the San Juans, we were slack and the coons got into everything, devouring all the food we had left and making a disastrous mess in the boat and on the dock. We could have kicked ourselves. We mourned our stupidity over breakfast at Rocky Bay Cafe in Friday Harbor.

raccon prevention
raccon prevention

The other difficulty was not having a tide chart with us. We had wanted to tie up at the very end of Sturt Bay on Texada but decided the risk of getting stranded in the morning low tide was too big. We tied the boat just south of where we had floated over a good 5 feet of water. The tune of rapids woke us before daylight and in the morning the whole area was high and dry. Our precaution paid off and the skiff still floated in a foot of water outside of the channel and we were free to continue our trip.

Sturt Bay lagoon
Sturt Bay lagoon

All the way home we had current against us but being able to hug the shore and make use of back eddies gave us a knot + on our speed.

riding the back eddies
riding the back eddies

It was a beautiful trip that climaxed at our friends homestead near Quadra. Add to that, fresh fish and a campfire dinner, hunting Chantrelle mushrooms and enjoying the amazing wildlife of BC at close range, such are the things that made the trip extremely memorable. The skiff made it easy to get away on short notice and return home in a short weather window.