Hello All,.. I am back at work after 3 weeks out of the country. I was visiting family and snowed in up in the black mountains of southern France... far from boats...but I also spent time investigating the logistics of making our kits easily available to our European followers. I am a little bit closer to a viable solution. With our limited budget, it all takes real figuring and coordination. One thing that is clear, is that in order to keep shipping costs low, being able to ship at least 2 PT Skiff kits or 5 PT Eleven kits at once reduces the cost for each buyer dramatically. Ocean freight is calculated with a minimum volume so shipping one kit or 5 is nearly the same price. Import duties and clearance fees are being checked into in France and should provide a basic idea for most of Europe. There have been discussions about having kits cut in Europe but we find this to be more complex. It simply is not possible at this stage to have someone in Europe make all of the parts. Besides the fact that our kits have parts cut from 5 different thickness of plywood, there are lumber, carbon, fiberglass, and stainless steel specialty parts. We will avoid any kind of fractured production ideas. Our quality expectation is very high and it will be a good while before we have all the glitches worked out so that someone else could reproduce our kits to our standards.
On another note, we will have a PT Eleven on display at the NW Maritime center symposium happening here in Port Townsend on March 16, 17, & 18th. This cruising theme event has a limited number of tickets available so if you think you would like to attend, follow this link and get more information. The presenters scheduled promise to make this a very interesting weekend. We are nearing completion of the current PT Eleven nesting dinghy, which has been a bit on the back burner. Russell has had other projects demanding his attention. Symposium participants will be able to take it out for a row at various times over the weekend.
We have lots of posts in preparation so we hope you will stay tuned.
I have just posted a youtube video of setting up and packing up the sailing rig for the PT Eleven nesting dinghy. This is something I was supposed to do before the Christmas holidays, and, well, I forgot. The foils you see are the foils that we provide as a kit and details are on ptwatercraft.com. The sail was our first design, though this video was taken before we trimmed up the foot just a little. We have a new design that has 2 short battens instead of the full one at the top. It is sleeved on and is really easy to manage. The shorter batten allows for a looser sleeve. Since we have had requests for a sail with a zipper luff for use with a halyard, we can now use the same design with a couple of hours additional labor to offer as an alternative. Having a halyard also means altering on the mast and adds complication over the sleeved luff. The total weight of this rig is only 13 LBS.
Prices for sails are still unknown. To have them made locally, they would cost $750-800. We are currently awaiting a quote from an offshore sail maker. ..Bummer to have to go offshore but the buyer can choose local artisan sails or production sails based on what they would rather pay. Luckily for some, principle can still outweigh cost, and we can offer that choice if someone wishes.
The mast and boom are also not yet priced. I hope we will have a price idea very soon. Being a little company as we are, it is a bit of a trick to get the carbon spars wholesale in small quantity.
To view the new video, click here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP3N_qTqPEo&list=UUVkWkVo0rpJ1I3xgJjmYUFQ&index=1&feature=plcp or visit our ptwatercraft channel. Cheers and Happy New Year! (changed the link for the video so I did not have to use Youtube music!)
It has been weeks since we posted...Russell has been building a new PT Eleven in the shop while ironing out details in the manual. I have been re editing the manual and shuffling photos and chapters around, among other things. In between all this and packing kits, Russell crated up our show boat and we shipped it to the east coast where it has just been christened "Wheels" and launched aboard it's new mother ship, bound for the Caribbean and Pacific via Panama. We are very excited about the adventures yet to come for this boat.
Some of our brave first customers for the PT Eleven have launched into their projects and I look forward to even more posts soon on the PT Eleven Builder's blogspot created just for this purpose.
It was brought to my attention that I had not posted about the current feature in Wooden Boat Magazine's 2012 issue of "Small Boats"! It is a great article by Tom Jackson who came out just before the Boat festival and took the boat out for a "test drive". If you have not checked it out yet, please do! It should be at your local news stand or here online: "2012 Small Boats"
First and foremost, what a pleasure to meet our first builders who came to pick their kits up at our shop. I am very excited about having them build the PT Eleven and look forward to their contributions to our builder sharespot.
Wow, it has been way too long since I posted. Putting a pile of kits together for the first time has been quite a learning experience. The next round will be a lot easier. There are lots of different parts and we are putting together a photo album that I will post on the website soon. It is an impressive number of parts.
With some materials taking time to arrive before we can deliver the kits, Russell has been using that time to build the next boat. He is simplifying certain key parts about half way into the building process, mainly the structural fiberglass around the gussets that hold both ends of the boat together. Since our manual is a photo manual, the only way to get the desired photos is to build a boat. Russell notes that it is a ‘hell of a lot easier to build a boat with a manual!’ than having to write the manual while figuring out how to build it. The photos below show his progress after 5 part time days.
On a different topic, I want to thank everyone who has been filling out our survey. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us. As developers, we are not the type to crank out new designs ‘lickety split’. As may be evident, we need our time. We have also realized that it takes 2 to 3 prototypes to get it right. While we rely on the skills of some brilliant friends for various aspects of our projects, the prototypes, photos and manual text are in Russell’s solo hands. He likes it that way but it is actually a huge job when you care as much as he does about the quality of the final result. Our designs may not meet everyone’s individual criteria but he weighs very carefully, the trade-offs inherent in achieving his design goals. So thank you again for your notes and feedback. Each new survey that comes in helps us to better understand our market and to plot the best course.
I walked into the shop yesterday to see stacks of PT Eleven kits! Our first run finally cut. In the process of making this boat the best it can be and still buildable even for amateurs, it turns out that there are 5 different thicknesses of ply wood and some parts are cut in 3D, such as the stems. ( pictured fanned out..Russell did that.. )
It brings to point why building the PT 11 from plans would not be practical. The boat is mostly from 6mm plywood but there are various parts from 12mm, 15mm, 18mm and 24mm. Nobody would want to buy a whole sheet of each of those just to use a small part of them. There would be some costly waste involved. I do not want to say that there will never be plans or patterns for our kits but I should say that our priority is to get a line of our dinghies available as kits first and foremost. We have a few years of work on our our agenda to accomplish just that.
The first run of kits will answer many questions. The pictured stacks represent several base kits currently on order. There are lots of other things that will go into the boxes before delivery. It is a bit of an adrenalin rush and as more things arrive, and the boxes get packed, we will start breathing again and be able to review lessons learned.
For those choosing to make their PT Eleven with the sailing option, we created a watertight cap for the dagger board trunk.
We chose G10 - Garolite in order to have a strong and stiff cap that would be as thin as possible (1/8th inch) so we could keep the profile very low and still be water tight. The dagger board trunk opening is close to the seat and the rower would actually sit over it with 2 people in the boat. Also, having a good lid is important if you would want to tow the boat.
The optional kit consists of a machined G10 Garolite cap with gasket groove & stiffener groove, gasket, mahogany stiffener, machined Garolite spacers, plastic washer, plastic tether washer, tether string, turn-dogs, and fasteners.
Below you can see the cap installed.
When sailing with the dagger board down, the turn-dogs also serve to keep the board down by resistance on the aft end and looping the string over the forward one.
We have returned from our trip to BC feeling generally refreshed. Our main goal of getting good video of the nesting dinghy was largely thwarted by successive gales and torrential rains! However, we did get a few light winds clips on our last day in the San Juans and we had some time on our trip to simply chill. Today I will post a few photos. It will take me a bit longer to sort through the video clips and put something together. One thing was for certain on this trip; wherever we went, the PT Eleven attracted enthusiastic interest. This is very exciting for us!
For those of you who have ordered your kits already, our CNC shop is scheduling a session for the plywood parts, and the connective hardware, gaskets, and other stuff are on order to complete the packages. Russell is working on the adjustments to the manual. More updates to come soon! The PT Eleven nested on the trampoline of Jzerro Vito Dumas sailed with us for most of the trip to Desolation sound. Russell and I having a leisurely sail. A row around the bay with Peter. Alex, an avid “SUP (stand up) board guy” sailing the PT Eleven. Watmo Bay.
Hello All, Before I update the blog with any news, I would like to invite everyone interested in the nesting dinghy series from PT Watercraft, to take a moment and fill out our questionnaire. Your input is our best guide for certain developmental decisions along the way. Many thanks! Click here to go to the questionnaire.