In the building manual for the PT 11 it says: "The PT 11 sailing rig is designed to be light and easy to use, not to be bullet proof." In developing this rig, weight and ease of use were the biggest priorities. "Hiking (sitting on the rail and leaning out) is okay for one person to do but not two.  Sailing with two and having one person hiking and the other sitting inside is okay too, just not two sitting on the rail." Molly-sailingDSC_0170
The PT 11 sailing rig arrives ready to use with all of its running rigging. One small item is up to you and that is the traveler line. This is the line needed to clip your main sheet to.
You can tie a line with a little slack, using the existing holes on the transom inwale to clip your main sheet onto that. This self steering blog post shows this method.
The traveler can be be made shorter as shown below by drilling holes about 7" from the centerline (14" apart). We drilled 5/16" holes and then applied a few coats of epoxy to the walls of the holes to seal the plywood.
The traveler line can be around 3/16 diameter and be held with stopper knots underneath the inwale.

PT 11 traveler with holes drilled inboard.
A short PT 11 traveler
This image shows the tiller/hiking stick in the self-steering position. Self steering is good for brief periods  and works best when there is opposing pressure on the rudder blade.
This image shows the tiller/hiking stick in the self-steering position. This is good for brief periods and works best when going upwind and only works when the boat is heeled.

When sailing, if you feel resistance on the tiller, check to see if the rudder is completely down or if you have caught kelp or other debris. Keeping the threads in the knob clean and greased is important. The threads in the knob are brass and the pin is stainless steel so it will corrode. A bit of maintenance will insure the knob does its job and keeps the rudder down.

Image shows using the forward daggerboard cap turndog to hold down the daggerboard by closing it over the hold down pin.
For post-2021 kits, use the forward daggerboard cap turndog to hold down the daggerboard by closing it over the hold down pin.
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Pre-2021 daggerboards are thicker and shaped differently at the top. A loop of line at the right length becomes a hold down when captured by the aft turndog.
The Tack clips onto the boom as shown. (This image shows an older style gooseneck.)
The Tack clips onto the boom as shown. (This image shows an older style gooseneck.)

The outhaul (asymmetric) snap hook clips into the clew and the outhaul line should be snugged through the v-cleat on the boom:

Clew-clip-in-PT11

PT 11 Outhaul configuration during a regatta. Schooner Sir Isaac in the background.
PT 11 Outhaul configuration during a regatta. Schooner Sir Isaac in the background.
The vang clips into the eye strap on the mast.
The vang clips into the eye strap on the mast.
PT11-Vang
The vang controls the twist of the sail. Controlling twist is important for getting the most power out of the sail, but don't overdo it! Some twist is good but the boom isn't un-breakable.

When adventuring or in fluky winds, we carry our oars with the oarlocks in the forward sockets and the handles tucked under the bow as shown above.

If you are good at slip knots, you can do this in a consistent breeze. Avoid it if not and if it is gusty. Unsuccessfully yanking the slip knot free in a puff can result in capsize or at the least, thoroughly dipping the rail as Ashlyn can attest.
If you are new to dinghy sailing, avoid this use of a slip knot on the main sheet. Unsuccessfully yanking the slip knot free in a puff is a recipe for capsize.
If you capsize when sailing, after righting the boat, make sure the mast is fully seated in the socket before taking off again.
If you are new to dinghy sailing, it is better to start in protected waters or when there is an onshore breeze, preferably steady but not strong.
Keep your weight forward for speed, but move aft in stronger breezes and downwind sailing.
If the water is cold in your area like it is on Puget Sound, wear a wetsuit or drysuit in case you end up in the water. Hypothermia is no joke. It is always advisable to wear a life-jacket/PFD.
Learn to stall, or "park" by pointing into the wind and letting the sheet go. When the wind picks up more than you feel ready for, or you have taken water over the rail and you are feeling a little out of control, this is a good way to take stock: bail, check your rudder and daggerboard for kelp, sort out lines, and take a swig from your thermos before heading off again. The sail will flap and make noise but that is not a problem. When you are ready, reign in your sheet, and continue or head for safety.

Notice
Port Townsend Watercraft will not be shipping out anything during the month of April, 2024

This includes sailing rig drop shipments, print books, bumper, Delrin turndogs, and fillet sticks. Dinghy kit sales are through Chesapeake Light Craft and not affected by this notice.

Ashlyn, the one who prints the labels and keeps track of it all will be out of town for the month of April. While away, Russell will be building PT 11 sailing rigs along with other projects on the bench. Sailing rigs on order will be shipped starting in May.

If you order our print books  or small items from our website after March 29th, they will be delayed. Alternatively, the books are available on other online book sites including Amazon. Wooden Boat Store in Maine carries them as do several outlets in Port Townsend, including Admiral Ship Supply, Edensaw Woods, and Duckworks Boat Building Supplies.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Every year we make a point of sailing in the Shipwrights Regatta in Port Townsend Bay. This event has a special history and purposefully invites our marine trades professionals to put their tools down for a day and remember why we do what we do by playing on the water.

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Photo by Chance Bates

When we first entered the PT 11, we were by far the smallest boat. Not classified as a racing dinghy and of course, unable to compete with the 505s or Thunderbirds, we entered in the Cruising class. Sometimes that meant a single start in C-class of our 11 feet and up to 40 foot boats and more. Some times the C class has enough boats to divide it into 2 starts of under 30ft and 30ft plus.

As boat ownership has become more financially challenging for the working class and many of our retired marine trades people, the boats many of us own have become smaller and more often trailerable. While the economic realities of this change are frustrating, it has also meant that a larger number of smaller boast are sailing in the local regattas. The PT 11 might still be the smallest boat in the Shipwrights Regatta fleet but we are amidst more similar company which makes for some nail biting finishes!

My 2024 Shipwrights Regatta video  features many of the other C-class boats as we sailed around waiting for our start. I was having trouble making my gloved fingers find the right buttons on our little waterproof Olympus and it was too chilly not to wear gloves. Several times I thought I hit record only to see recording start after I thought I had ended my shot. I gave up and just had fun.

The Port Townsend Sailing Association has posted photos from several of us who shared them and Chance Bates created a really well produced video. He got a fun clip of us at the start line as we realized somewhat late that the horn had blasted 'go!'. I did not have a reliable time piece handy. I need to work on that if we plan to race more.

Follow the links to see both videos and photos. We will soon post about sailing the PT 11 with more detailed instructions on set up and use.

I hope we see more PT 11's on Port Townsend Bay for the Summer Dinghy Sailing series; Tuesday nights starting in May!

2024 Shipwrights regatta video
2024 Shipwrights regatta video

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Find discounts throughout the store from kayaks and canoes to sailboats and rowing craft, paddleboards to powerboats, even Teardrop Campers and ProKits. All of our complete kits and wood-parts-only kits are marked down. Most carry discounts up to 10%. This sale won't last long, so get on board now for the best prices! Through Tuesday, February 20th.

Savings on complete kits:

https://www.clcboats.com/pt11

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* Update to this article: We have received positive feedback on a product called Tef-gel, used by riggers and boaters for the purposes of anti-galling and anti-corrosion in marine environments. We have not yet figured out how to get mini quantities into kits cost effectively but there are small-ish versions available in your local chandlery or online.

The PT 11 Nesting Dinghy Connective system is unique and it makes up a decent portion of the cost of the kit. After roughly 200 PT 11's sold to date, there have been very few issues with this connective system. In this article we are aiming to share some lessons learned about these parts based on customer feedback and experience.
A brief description
Our key to easy and fast assembly (of the two hull-halves) is to separate the two main functions of aligning the two halves and joining them.  The alignment hardware is molded from carbon fiber, but it is robust and affordable for us to produce.
The connective hardware, used to join the two hull halves as they are correctly registered by the alignment hardware, are CNC-machined from 316 stainless steel.
This hardware consists of threaded sockets bonded into the forward half of the hull, and sockets with threaded pins and knobs bonded into the aft half; these parts are pre-positioned in the structure. Clip rings ride on the pins to make them captive, and this system allows assembly of the boat in the water without leakage.
The manual instructs builders to keep the stainless parts clean throughout the process of gluing and painting the boat. It is after the boat is finished that we instruct builders to lightly grease their hardware.
Here is where some additional explanation is needed.
A few customers have had a pin get stuck at some point in the completion of their boat. The why of this has been a challenging topic but when it happens, it is terrifying for us as well as for the builder and can be costly to remedy.
According to Wikipedia, "Galling is caused by a combination of friction and adhesion between the surfaces, followed by slipping and tearing of crystal structure beneath the surface.[2] This will generally leave some material stuck or even friction welded to the adjacent surface, whereas the galled material may appear gouged with balled-up or torn lumps of material stuck to its surface. Galling is most commonly found in metal surfaces that are in sliding contact with each other. It is especially common where there is inadequate lubrication between the surfaces."
Why and What to DO:
So, the question is why do the pins sometimes seize and what do we do about it?
The why is a bit of a mystery to all of the experts. One recently seized after it had been greased, so it's not just the lack of grease. We could also change the material of just the pin but hundreds of these have worked fine in all stainless steel.
Tight clearances are probably the cause, but we think we need the snug fit in both the forward and aft sockets to keep the hardware aligned when it's being installed. We are opening up the tolerances a bit on the next run of hardware, but it looks like the best insurance is going to be using a never-seize style of grease, applied after your boat has been finished (to keep grease from screwing up your painting and finishing).
It seems that the seizing is mostly happening at the tail end of the building process, so apply Never-seize * when re-installing the hardware after finishing. Clean the sockets and pins and apply a tiny bit (with a skinny stick of similar) in the threaded sockets and in the aft sockets and rub a little bit on the shiny part of the pins.

If you feel anything like seizing when assembling your boat, STOP. Is there misalignment? If you back out the rest of the pins, will the problem pin loosen up? Do your epoxy shims under the alignment clips need to be block sanded down just a bit? Are the outside edges of your alignment clips contacting the bulkhead edges?

If a pin feels stuck, remove the knob using two wrenches; 14mm and/or 9/16" to remove the knob, nuts and washer.

Using two wrenches (14mm and/or 9/16" to remove the knob, nuts and washer.

Put two nuts together on either end of the pin and tighten them together very tightly with the wrenches. (photos below)

Stand the hull half on end so that a bit of penetrating oil * can be applied and run down into the socket.  Now try tapping and banging on either end with a hammer and wrenching on the end with the double nuts. Remember that the pin can only be removed from the socket in the forward direction because of the captive pin clip.

Still stuck? Get in touch with us.

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If the pin leaves any roughness or scoring on the inside of the socket, that can be removed with a custom tool. Here's how:

Take a short piece of 3/8" dowel, chuck one end up in your drill, wrap sandpaper around the other end, hit the trigger and sand the dowel down until it fits loose enough in the socket that you can wrap some fine (400 or finer grit) sandpaper around the dowel and have it just barely fit in the socket. The sandpaper can be spray glued and rolled tightly on the dowel before using it to sand away any and all burrs and roughness. Finishing with an even finer paper is probably a good idea.

Spray-glue a bit of sandpaper to a flat stick to remove burrs from the pin before cleaning, applying the never-seize, and re-assembling the hardware.

DIY tool for cleaning the socket after removing a galled pin.
DIY tool for cleaning the socket after removing a galled pin.
  • Caring for your connective hardware;
    -Keep it clean before and after installation.
    -As soon as grease is no longer a threat to gluing or paining, grease or ant-seize your hardware.
    -At the first sign of binding, stop and assess alignment and possible causes.
    -Refer to the chapter in your manual titled: Re-ASSEMBLY of Connective Hardware (p.288) including installation of the alignment clips. Precision parts require precision alignment.
    -After a season of use, consider removing your pins, clean and reapply grease or anti-seize, and re-install. Refer to manual pgs. 319-320, "PT11 User Guidelines"

We continue to work on this and may update this blog in the near future as we learn more. You can download a PDF of this post HERE: PT 11-Connective Hardware Blog 2023

Ashlyn & Russell Brown

Customer comments:

When building I felt a little stickiness as I assembled my fasteners. I backed them out and applied a bit of lube. Even mold release wax should do the trick. I would guess that's what I used. A wipe with a paper towel.
  Tefgel is great stuff. As is moly anti seize. Any of these can be applied and cleaned off by wiping. Enough will remain. When wiping make sure the bottom of the threads has lubricant. I use paper towels and put my fingernail in the thread to wipe well. You do not need to see the lubricant for it to work.
  Galling is subtle but can be felt as it happens. It is a grinding crunchy feel as you turn the screw. If you feel that stop! Relieve any load on the fastener you can and back it out.
  As well, a tap or die can be used to clean up galled threads. With lubricant of course for cutting.
  Wd40 is not great here as it eventually evaporates.

Our friends at Chesapeake Light Craft will soon be heading west for the Madison WI, and Port Townsend, WA boat festivals.  This is a great opportunity to save on shipping!

Save a bunch of money on shipping! Give us a call and we'll bring your big, heavy stuff with us for pickup in Madison and Port Townsend. Boat kits, big heavy items like rowing units, oars, even small orders of plywood, stuff that can be difficult (and expensive) to ship. Boat kit orders are due by August 16 so we have time to cut, pack, and stow in the rig. This offer's only good until space runs out. Call us today!

CLC show truck410-267-0137

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
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Seventy/48 2023 Team Big Deck Energy
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Seventy/48 2023 Team Man Speed
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Seventy/48 2023 Team Splinter Ambassador
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Seventy/48 2023 Team Dumas Bay Brethren
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Seventy/48 2023 Team Where's My Hat
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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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I tried to load these to Instagram but they all look blurry. I will just load them here and if anyone wants better copies, let me know. It was a perfect and beautiful morning for the start of the race. Fewer boats than usual but it was fun to be on the water with everyone.

Friday and Saturday the Seventy/48 human powered race happened and once again Inger Rankins (Team Valhalla)  blew us all away in the PT 11. But there were two PT 11's in that race and I will put together a dedicated post about that.

AB 😉

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We have refreshed out books page! PTW bookspage It should be easier now to order books with new Paypal buttons.

Note that we have more than Russell's How-to books. Epoxy Basics, Scarfing Basics and Rolling Perfection.

We re-published Project Cheers, an adventure of historic trans-Atlantic racing in the early days of the OSTAR.

Tricks, Cheating, & Chingaderos lets you in on a master finisher's secrets, by Joni Blanchard. See it here.

Toti Bleu, Dream of a Gypsy Wagon, by Suzanne Snadecki, documents the building of a horse drawn gypsy wagon in rural France. It is poetic, informative, beautiful, and inspiring on so many levels. (Full color, Language:English)

For kids, a fun way to learn reading and about life on a sailboat, Sailor Sai aboard Big Blue, includes rhyming verse, colorable images, and full color illustrations. Author: Ashlyn Brown

For the crafty nature lovers, Felted Critters with a Mission includes 6 patterns with instructions on making wildlife felted ornaments. These critters were popular fundraisers for our local Land Trust and they are fun to make.  Author: Ashlyn Brown

Due to the rapidly increasing postal service costs, it is more economical for customers in countries other than North America, to use Amazon.com or Bookdepository.com. For me to post a book to Germany or the UK, or Australia, the postage is now more than double the purchase price of the book. amazonbooks

Speaking of Amazon, while we have an opinion about the mega seller, we appreciate certain things about it too. Our page includes links to some of our favorite books, most by friends and family. We like to help them sell their works if we can.

Thank you! AB 😉