The Seventy 48 race this year was a first for PT Watercraft in that there were two PT 11's in this 70 mile event. Our local hero Inger Rankins rowed her 4th race in the PT 11 and it is interesting how every year can be so different. We will start with Inger, whose tracker never communicated to the satellite and many of her fans thought she had dropped out. Think again. While her family and friends in Norway, France, California, Virginia, New Mexico, and Port Townsend were all frantically wondering where she was, she was happily keeping her rhythm over the waves, admiring the moon over Mount Ranier, and chatting with other racers. We contacted the race boss and were told that there were technical issues with many trackers. At that point almost 60 trackers out of some 125, were not showing up on the map. I can only imagine their stress was about as bad as ours. You can read about the NWMC's tracker woes in this R2AK leg one post: https://r2ak.com/2023-daily-updates/stage-1-day-2-a-day-without-trackers/

We have faith in Inger. She had both a radio and a phone onboard that she could use if needing help and since the race committee did not contact her, she was blissfully unaware that there was a problem. When her phone rang several times however, her fingers were so stiff that she could not get to it in time to answer. She later saw that her husband and I had called. "why are they calling me?" she wondered, " Don't they know I am busy rowing?" she reasoned and did not call back. We know her enough to have guessed her thinking. 😉

As morning came, we decided we were going out to find her. We could see where team Tally Row was and that was the key to our hunt. Team Tally Row was solo skippered by Leo Sampson, also in the PT 11 nesting dinghy.  We have been super happy to see him engage in this event, inspired by Inger and drawn by the challenge of the race, and we figured the two PT 11's would likely be together en-route.

We departed in our latest pod cat, 'Sipper', a sleep deprived Russell, myself, and friend and naval architect Jim Franken. We all forgot binoculars, a key tool when searching the semi open waters for an 11ft dinghy. Not to be defeated we checked in with all the racers we saw in the south end of Port Townsend Bay and through 'The Cut' bound for Point No Point where we could see Leo's tracker progressing North.

Team Tally Row near Point No Point, June 3rd.
Team Tally Row near Point No Point, June 3rd.

We found him easily as you can when a tracker is working. Leo looked happy, relaxed even, after 15 hours rowing; the hard part between midnight and 2 am having been overcome. He told us that Inger was ahead of him by at least an hour. He knew this because a SUP boarder had told him he had talked to her before he went ashore for a rest and then had caught up with Leo. Well, that meant, we had totally missed her! "Tell me when you find her!" shouted Leo, as we pulled away.

It was around this time that our motor starting missing and floundering. Uh oh... Can we even make it back ourselves? I message Diana Tally an update. "Don't worry, Inger can tow you home!" says she. Well, we'd have to find her first. 😉

We buzzed and coughed and nursed the motor back towards Port Townsend, this time closer to the coast. Again under the bridge connecting the peninsula to Indian Island and still no Inger. 'Go towards the Mill,' says I. 'But what if she is on the other side?' says he. 'No way,' says I. And then we see the Race Boss boat zoom towards the Mill and way off in the distance, come to a wake-making halt. 'They found her!' says he and we make haste in that direction. Why had we not brought binoculars?! The phone rings. Sean, Inger's husband calls to say he can see her from the bluff at the end of Sheridan street. ' She's approaching the Mill,' He had his binoculars... !

Finding our lost sheep; Team Valhalla June 3rd in Port Townsend Bay.
Finding our lost sheep; Team Valhalla June 3rd in Port Townsend Bay.

The morning sun reflecting off the bright white transom of the PT 11, and the glossy flashes of the wet carbon oars were the first real recognition of our tiny target. We sure are happy to see you! says we. and happy to see you too, say she. We give her an update on the situation  and make sure she is alright and begin our list of calls and messages to all awaiting news. Sean does the same and the international grapevine is buzzing. Our lost sheep has been found!

We leave Inger to do what she does best just as the wind is beginning to increase against her. We know she will make it before it really pipes up but our hearts go out to Leo and all of the other racers who will hit that wind head on. It turned out to be really tough for those boats and very few, including Leo, persevered to the finish line but it set them all back by hours.

Inger arrived after 18 hours and 40 minutes of rowing, besting her previous record by almost an hour. Leo pulled in just before dark, stiff but smiling bravely 7 hours later. Two amazing achievements for these two non-athletes who trusted the PT 11 enough to carry them home over 70 miles of tricky water. We are deeply humbled and grateful to both Inger Rankins and Leo Sampson for that trust and the spirit to validate it.

Below are some photos of racers from the morning of June 3rd. Teams can best be identified by comparing with the team descriptions on the Seventy48 website.

Leo Sampson rowing the PT 11 as Team Tally Row in the 2023 Seventy/48 race from Tacoma to Port Townsend
Leo Sampson rowing the PT 11 as Team Tally Row # 111 in the 2023 Seventy/48 race from Tacoma to Port Townsend
Inger Rankins rowing the PT 11 in the 2023 Seventy/48 race from Tacoma to Port Townsend, in Port Townsend Bay June 3rd.
Inger Rankins rowing the PT 11 as Team Valhalla # 119 in the 2023 Seventy/48 race from Tacoma to Port Townsend, in Port Townsend Bay June 3rd.
Team Dutchess of Desire (Patrick Kinghill) 2023 Seventy48 2023
Team Dutchess of Desire (Patrick Kinghill) 2023 Seventy48 2023
Erica Lichty - Team SEASTR in the 2023 Seventy/48
Erica Lichty - Team SEASTR in the 2023 Seventy/48
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023 Team Solveig
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023 Team Big Deck Energy
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023 Team Man Speed
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023 Team Splinter Ambassador
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023 Team Dumas Bay Brethren
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023 Team Where's My Hat
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023
Seventy/48 2023

Post Script for a giggle...

Due to the fact that Inger's tracker did not communicate until the very end of the race, the map tracking showed Team Valhalla as "first overall"!! .... seriously, wouldn't that be amazing? Especially the data saying she traveled the ~70 miles from Tacoma in 1 minute and 27 seconds!

A confused tracker map....
A confused tracker map....

I suspect she wiggled her nose or twirled her ponytale and teleported...

"And Don't forget the beer!" ( the below video clip sound won't play.. The audio has Russell and Sean discussing if they have enough beer for when Inger reaches the finish.)

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A bit of snow in Port Townsend and things slow down a lot and, like so many, we too saw some record low temps for this area. For Christmas Eve we are back to wind and rain and all is green again around our house, the Salal and conifers having shed their blanket of white. Christmas treePC210791

We wish everyone a safe and warm Winter holiday season and a bright New Year. We are super grateful to everyone building the PT 11 and all of the good folks who participate in the production of our kits, who offer our books, and all who have shared their enthusiasm and friendship. The PT 11 has played a key role in expanding our circle of interesting and valued relationships. As a business, it hardly gets better than that.

Did you see Leo's look at choosing a dinghy featuring the PT 11 nesting dinghy?

In 2023, Chesapeake Light Craft will be adding the PT SPEAR one piece version of the PT 11 to their kit offerings. We made minor changes to the design and are doing a major update to the manual. The change simplifies the building of this boat. If nesting is not a critical feature for your purposes, you get the lines and the performance of the PT 11 in the PT SPEAR without all of the complexity of building a boat to cut in half.

TortPlyhullDSC_2202 (1)Russell has made a lot of progress on the Tortured Plywood hulls as part of a future trimaran and he has learned a lot about this esoteric boat building method.

He has also been helping out Leo on the Tally Ho project.

In January, we expect a whack of carbon tubes from Innovative Composites Engineering and a load of sails. Russell will be busy building sailing rigs into February.

Shipping and postage have really gone up this last year. For those outside of the USA who are interested in our EPOXY BASICS, SCARFING BASICS, and PAINTING PERFECTION print books, you may get better shipping on Amazon or the Bookdepository.com

For our US customers, you can find our books and many others by friends and family on our books page. We ship single books US First Class mail and for multiple books we can ship Priority or Media mail.

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Looking forward to 2023, Thank you again. We hope everyone can stay warm and healthy into the New Year. Joy to All. AEB 😉

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As previously mentioned, 2020-21 was largely spent reviewing our production process. Another redesign included the PT 11 foils kit. We took our ideas to Paul Bieker of Bieker Boats for his expertise with foil design. The new foils are thinner, using 18mm Birch plywood instead of 24mm Okoume. The Birch plywood is more dense, chosen for its strength at this thickness and not for it's looks.  The machined birch plywood is not as handsome for clear coating as the Okoume but we are quite pleased with the overall change.

Modifying the foils kits affected many other parts of the kit, so those changes are are reflected in a total rewrite of the foils manual and changes in the boat itself (the daggerboard trunk is narrower, etc).

Machining the daggerboard and rudder from high-grade plywood is a good way to produce very efficient  and relatively light foils. The process is far from easy though. It has taken much trial and error and a very good CNC programmer (Turn Point Design) to come up with the final product. The price of this foils kit reflects quite a lot of machine time for each set.

Left, the Okoume daggerboard blank. Right, the Birch Daggerboard blank
Left, the Okoume daggerboard blank. Right, the Birch Daggerboard blank
PT 11 Rudder before AfterDSC_9001
Rudder blanks using Okoume on the left and Birch on the right.
Fore-shortened image showing the NACA foil shape with lines of tape.
Fore-shortened image showing the NACA foil shape with lines of tape.
PT 11 foils 2022, finished with Interlux Perfection.
PT 11 foils 2022. Painted foils look good!
Demonstrating the in-use position of the daggerboard using the trunk cap turndog over the fiberglass pin as a "hold-down" .
The new daggerboard hold down uses the existing trunk cap turn-dog and a composite "pin" that is bonded into the dagerboard.
The complete 2021 PT 11 foils kit as sold by Chesapeake Light Craft.
The complete 2022 PT 11 foils kit as sold by Chesapeake Light Craft.

 

THE SPEAR is identical in hull shape to the PT 11, but the interior geometry and construction are quite different and deserve explanation.  The PT 11 has a full width foredeck so that water drains into the aft compartment, otherwise there would be three areas that would need bailing of rain and spray. The Spear can have scuppers through the main bulkhead (the nesting PT 11 can’t) and therefore can have what I call a “trunk” seat.
When rowing with three, the trunk seat allows more comfortable seating for the person sitting in the bow. The areas to the sides of the seat are good for holding oars and other things in the boat.
The trunk seat also keeps the hull from twisting under sailing loads. It’s like a torsion box. (Shown below are the PT11, left, and the beta prototype of the Spear)
ptwatercraft.com

Below photo taken in March 2013 of the prototype being built to figure out the process and to write the manual.

ptwatercraft.comTwo of the watertight hatch kits that we offer as options fit really well in this boat, making the boat versatile for carrying (and keeping dry) groceries, camping gear, cameras, safety gear, etc.
The aft hatch is easier to access when sailing and is great for things like cameras, jackets, and food, but because of the baffles under the back seat (more on that next), the volume of area under the forward hatch is much greater.
While the hatches are work to install, the cost of the kits is very small compared to the utility and safety they offer. They also provide access and visibility to the daggerboard trunk, mast socket, and rudder hardware, not to mention a good place to hide valuables left in the dinghy. Coast Guard regulations play a large role in the interior geometry of the PT 11 and the Spear. This may sound like big brother getting in the way of art, but it’s quite the opposite. The regulations are to protect us, the kit provider and especially you, the end user.
Buoyancy built into the right parts of the boat is necessary for safety. Sealed air voids (compartments) have the same value as flotation foam, but access ports or hatches are not allowed in sealed air voids. If the builder insists on inspection ports, it is then necessary to fill these voids completely with foam flotation in order to comply with safety standards. The Below Photo shows the boat before the deck and back seat lid are installed. ptwatercraft.comptwatercraft.comThe bow area (forward of the mast step bulkhead) is a sealed air void in the PT 11 and the Spear. The PT 11 has built in buoyancy tanks in the back of the boat on either side (outboard) that are equal to the volume in the bow. This is what the Coast Guard wants, and it makes sense.
The Spear has a large back seat area, but because it has a hatch, we have to install baffles to form sealed air voids outboard of the hatch where they would do the most good in an emergency. Though the baffles under the back seat decrease the usable volume for storage, they make us legal and make you safer, and they make for a well supported back seat. ptwatercraft.comBelow; Rowing the Spear with 2

ptwatercraft.comThe finished boat pictured was a beta prototype built summer 2012. Due to less specialty hardware required, the Spear base kit will cost several hundred dollars less that the nesting version. The boat will be lighter by 3 - 5 pounds. The various options, including sailing rig, offered for the PT11 nesting dinghy will be the same for the Spear. As of April 2013, we are taking orders for the "SPEAR" kit.

See our website for full information. PTW:)