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:

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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.
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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.

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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Happy 2023 to all. Russell and I heralded in the new year with a day on the water in the PT 11. Every January 1st, weather permitting, The local Pocket Yachter's and friends make their way out to Rat Island in Port Townsend Bay. The craft lined up on the beach vary from sailing dinghies to row boats to mini camp cruisers. Everyone meets on the beach with snacks, cider and friendly greetings in praise of the beauty all around.

Thank you to Galen Piehl for the invitation and taking this photo of Russell and I, each on an oar, heading back across the bay. The other boat is the Scout designed by Brandon Davis, and Brandon on the oars.

Jan 1 2023 PT 11 Galen PiehlI took a few pics but was too busy rowing most of the time. A snowy white Mount Baker rises behind us and there were at a number of seals checking us out at any given time.

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Leo, of Sampson Boat Co / Tally Ho rebuild project, has featured the PT 11 prominently in one of his excellently produced videos. We are a little floored by the feature and yes, very grateful. He surely would not have made such a great video (we think all of his videos are great) if he wasn't happy with his PT 11 and that makes us happy indeed. Thank you Leo!

PT Watercraft maintains an informational website about the PT 11 and the PT Spear and we are available to answer inquiries. Kit orders and kit production is now managed by Chesapeake Light Craft. We still sell our books, various small parts, and serve our pre-CLC customers directly. Sailing Rig production remains in our workshop in Port Townsend.

Leo's video also shows how one person can manage the dinghy from vehicle to beach launch. This is something we got asked about a lot but never managed to film so this is an important addition to the PT 11 videos already online. In case you have not already seen it, click on the image below.

If you are unaware of the Tally Ho videos, we recommend you start from the beginning and subscribe. Leo is a brilliant videographer. This skill greatly compliments his knack for explaining the processes of rebuilding this historic sailboat. Even more valuable in my opinion, is that he is documenting the evolution of learning things as you go that influence how such a project evolves, while showcasing the many skills, tools, materials, and talented people it takes along the way. The videos are  educational, entertaining, and very inspiring.   AEB 😉

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There is hardly a better way to start the sailing year that the Shipwright's Regatta every February. The regatta was originally started decades ago at a time when most of the shipwrights in Port Townsend owned a boat. But owning a boat was not the only criteria for being a shipwright. You had to get out on the water in it! The work ethics of our Marine Trades keeps most of them totally focused on their work, often year round, so the Shipwrights' Regatta was created to get everyone out on the water to PLAY at least one day a year.

Besides the 505 racing dinghies, most of the entrants are either cruising boats or schooners. Some daysailors often show up and, for me, if we failed to go dinghy sailing on January first, the Shipwrights' Regatta is often our new year sail. P2270034

This year at least one other PT 11 is planning to join the day. The apples to apples competition will be extra fun. May the weather gods be kind.

See you out there!

This September we had the opportunity to play with an EP Carry electric motor for the first time.  Dinghy owners often ask about an outboard for the PT 11.
Our preference is to discourage outboards on our dinghies because good rowing and sailing boats never make great motor boats. But some people really want to be able to use an outboard. That's understandable, but the fact is that the smallest gas outboard motors currently available are really too big for our boat; too much power and too heavy.

Now there is an option we can support; the EP CARRY electric "outboard". All of the  technical information about this innovative little motor can be found on the website ELECTRICPADDLE.COM. Though it is compared to a 1HP on their website, it has sufficient power to get the PT 11 up to a cruising speed of about 4 knots. The USCG however, considers all small electric outboards as "2HP". Based on that formula, the PT 11 and PT Spear are rated for "2HP" so, the EP CARRY aligns with the Coast Guard figures.  The amazing thing about this motor is that it weighs only 14.4 Lbs. This makes it very easy to mount and remove. The battery pack weighs 6.3 Lbs, making the total package less than 21 Lbs. There are several design features that add to the ease of handling as well. ptwatercraft.com
(At this years wooden boat festival, Russell showed up with the motor in his bicycle bag.)

Our recent experience with the EP Carry was very positive and to my surprise, I caught Russell grinning after speeding off to visit other boats in the anchorage. "Mr. anti-outboard" was actually having fun and we enjoyed it further by taking a friend on an evening "cocktail" tour of Reid Harbor, a deep bay with lots of shoreline and  many boats to observe.
We spent a couple of days, driving along the shore of Sucia in the San Juans,  in Shallow Bay making watery doughnuts, backing up, going forward, generally goofing off, and then venturing out to 'Danger Reef' to "brave" close proximity to a group of Stellar Sea Lions. We were pleasantly surprised by how far the battery went on one charge. You will notice in our video that we carried our oars with us but we did not need to employ them. ptwatercraft.com
This motor is not silent. Neither is it loud. Our lightly built plywood boat seemed to acoustically amplify the sound a little. Even so, there was no need to raise our voices for conversation. In fact, we could almost whisper and still communicate. This was a plus to me. Loud outboards in quiet anchorages are, in my mind, a real nuisance and many of us are familiar with boaters talking in their loud dinghies barely hearing each other and assuming no one else can hear them either...but of course we hear every word. Sound is a funny thing. With the EP Carry, the birds, seals, and sea lions were undisturbed by our passage. It made it a great modus for exploring the nature around us.ptwatercraft.com/ashlyn E Brown
Another thing that is really attractive to us about this motor, is that even with our limited house battery power, we could re-charge the EP Carry Battery. It does require a 150-200W inverter, but this lithium battery requires a third of the power than comparable models to recharge. At home, it is simple to plug it into a normal outlet. Beyond charging the battery and rinsing the unit after use in salt water, there is virtually no maintenance. Yet another plus.
(see our video exploring Sucia with the EP CARRY)
When our EP Carry arrived at the door, unpacking it was quite amazing. The care taken to pack it and the detailed contents made for a well thought out and complete package. It was a positive reflection of Joe and Linda who have spent  years perfecting their product. They, like us, had a vision that they worked and reworked in every detail. In fact, the original mount did not fit the PT 11 and now it does.  Further, the EP Carry, designed right here in WA State, is assembled in the USA. It is yet another example of admirable American ingenuity with style and a small business making a positive difference in the world. Of all the outboards on the market, we feel confident that the EP Carry is a good fit for the PT 11.

USER MANUAL PDF
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PTWatercraft.com Ashlyn E Brown

 

I admire those who take on the challenge of building a boat or an airplane. CNC technology on kits has done for creative people, what the GPS did for adventurous people. (Not that they might not be one and the same) Cruising is far more accessible to those without traditional navigational skills, and CNC routering has opened up a whole new avenue to those who want to create something that would otherwise have been beyond their skill level.

Pause on that thought while mentally revisiting a lot of fun sailing..... OK-back to the present.

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PT 11 nested in the truck. Photo;Randy Kerr
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Kim and Mark get the boat wet for the first time. Photo;Randy Kerr

Our customers come from many walks of life and a wide range of ages and skill levels. However; they never fail to impress me. While Russell can take  credit for creating a beautiful design, kit and manual, our customers need the vision, passion, patience, and attention to detail for good results. To add the complexity of documenting their own efforts takes the same qualities and much more.  I cannot, for example, count how many tens of thousands of photos Russell had to carefully set up, snap, choose, and edit to get a few hundred for the manual.

Hence, for this post, I would like to point the spotlight on the Kerr Family; Randy, Kim, son Alex, and good friend Mark. Not only did they  complete their beautifully built PT 11, "Lil' Bear" in about 6 weeks, their documentation of the experience resulted in a wonderful

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"Lil' Bear" named in honor of Kim's great uncle who was on the crew of the Coast Guard cutter "USS Bear" back in the late1800’s. Photo;Randy Kerr

and creative little video. The feedback from Kim and her family has been so meaningful to us and I feel puffed up with pride like a mother hen. With their permission I am sharing some of that feedback and the wonderful present of this video. Randy's videos are all beautifully created and fun to watch so explore and let them know what you think.

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Kim goes for her first sail in her PT 11. Photo;Randy Kerr

 

From Kim, "It was your  PT11 kit that made my dream of having a sailboat come true!!!!!   Randy and I can’t quit talking about how grateful we are that you guys put so much heart and thought into such a beautiful and smart kit.  She sails and rows like a dream!  Highlight of our summer to build and sail that boat!
So thankful for you and Russell."

RANDYKERR
https://vimeo.com/187076801

Yes, there are some crazy things happening in our country and in the world. I refuse, however, to let that overshadow all of the wonderful things and people that, through shear existence and positive attitudes, are in some way, making this world a better place, cherishing what is good and beautiful.  Thank you to the Kerr family and all of our customers for your inspiration. AEB 😉

 

A few cool sites to share:

Toti Blue  Collective Evolution  on Woodworking

In August, we launched our “new” cruising boat, downsizing from Jzerro to a trailerable catamaran, unique in that genre, the Gougeon 32. We have managed to get away twice this year, on a shakedown trip to Deer Harbor and a week long trip into the San Juan’s after our local Boat Festival. On this last trip we took the PT 11, mounted on a custom made platform. I managed to miss getting a photo of it nested on its platform so we have to get that later.

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Mary H is virtually opposite to the G32

We 'rendezvous'ed with 'Vito Dumas', our frequent sailing buddy, in Shallow Bay, Sucia. It turned into a stormy night but we still got in a good hike and a fun row. I snapped the above shot simply because I was struck by the interesting contrast of vessels. 'Mary H' is owned by a lovely couple, Lou and Al, who even offered to serve as a ‘dock’ when our anchor was not cooperating. Lou and Al are lifelong sailors only recently giving up their sailing home of decades, for more comfort without giving up mobility on the water.

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Vito leaving Shallow Bay, Sucia

Russell and I do enjoy rowing around and exploring. Having Alex with us in his PT SPEAR, 'Pato', makes him our best model. He is both a great sailor and rower and I am ever grateful he has not fired this photographer for being such a pest. I cobbed together a short video of our week.

As the wind picked up the next day, we decided to move around to Ewing Cove.

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A short run to the other side of Sucia...

 

 

 

We were able to pull the dinghy onto the platform without taking it apart, for the short runs.

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The G32

After a day in Ewing Cove we sailed to Stuart Island into Prevost Harbor. 'Mary H' had moved there and Madam Pele, with Ian Andrewes showed up too. Ian was aboard the R2AK 2016 winner, Mad Dog Racing. Al Hughes on 'Mary H' was Captain on the 2015 R2AK winner Team Elsie Piddock. It felt like a small world, in a  good way.

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Vito Dumas and Da Capo in Reid Harbor, San Juans

From Prevost we moved to Reid Harbor. There Alex and I practiced our capsize drills. An effort was made to film all of this but the resulting video is mostly out of focus. A camera glitch...Bummer!

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Lil' B, Pato, and Rascal

Scotty, on 'Da Capo' joined us in Reid Harbor. Now we had a PT 11 and 2 PT Spears in the fleet; Lil' B, Pato, and Rascal.

The next day we all had a good sail to Skull Island. (Orcas Island) There we enjoyed some sailing, rowing and hiking before heading back to Port Townsend. There was an impressive wooden, converted work boat crossing the straights with us. The view was beautiful. Photos follow.  Video HERE.

AEB 😉

 

Click photos for larger view, then back tab to return.

Two weeks have already slipped by since the festival!  I am late to express my deeply felt gratitude to everyone who makes the festival happen, (http://nwmaritime.org/) , all who participate, and all who come to talk wooden boats and all things boaty. I realize that is a big blanket statement.

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Our booth with WEST SYSTEM EPOXY and 3 PT 11's on display!

For the past 5 years we have been very fortunate to share a tent with WEST SYSTEM EPOXY. This year Alan Gurski (CEO) and Bruce Niederer were on hand with their comprehensive and unbiased knowledge about epoxy; its uses, history, and the very chemistry of it all. If you want to understand epoxy, pros and cons, these are the guys to talk to.

There were more than a few of our customer boats in the festival. PT 11 nesting dinghies and PT Spear dinghies were to be seen on boats, behind boats, at the docks, and out in the bay.

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A PT 11 primly nested on Xanadu's deck/
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Pato; T/T Vito Dumas
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A completely painted PT 11 as t/t SKYE. PT SKIFF, MOJO in the back ground.

Two customer PT Skiffs graced the festival as well. Both boats are mind blowingly beautifully built and equally unique interpretations of the kit. High compliments are due to these two builders.

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The totally tweezed PT Skiff Mojo, built by Mark Ramsby of Portland OR.
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Mojo's Instrument panel
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Mojo parading during the Sunday Sail-by. Note the PT 11 sail in the back...
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Takin' Five PT SKIFF built by Steve Merrill.

Steve Merrill wipes the morning dew from his PT SKIFF, Takin' Five. Steve has been meticulous with his build, taking his time. He says he has been really enjoying it and getting creative especially with his 'expanding' driver seat and his self bailing installation.

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Unique expanding driver seat.

This seat hinges up, slides forward and ......

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Expanded seat. NO PLANS so DON"T ASK!

....expands into a romantic, "side-by-each" joy ride seat. My jaw dropped upon seeing this. But, alas, there are NO PLANS for it so you will have to charge up the brain-waves to create your own if you want one!

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The PT 11 out in the bay with an RC sailboat and a classic motor yacht.

Our friend, Cooper Parish, took time off  from his high-tech job at Scaled Composites in Mojave, to help us at our booth again this year. We love having him! We want him to keep returning every year so we make sure he gets plenty of sailing time in! In spite of being the smallest boat with the least sail area, Cooper sailed 'Rascal', a PT SPEAR, to a 3rd place finish (out of 6) among the Non-T-Bird class in the 26ft and under race.

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The PT 11 and CLC's Pocket Ship.

ptwatercrfat.comOf the events in the bay over the weekend, I totally missed getting photos of the Schooner Race. With a piping wind, it was one of the fastest schooner races on record at the festival. It was over before I could get to the beach with the camera. I hear it was eventful! John and Anne Bailey's recently re-launched , Sir Issac, snuffed the fleet.

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The Baileys on Sir Isaac in September 2016.
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The early morning rowing race at the Festival.
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Lots of varnish!
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layers of boats...

The PT Wooden Boat Festival is always a colorful affair.  It is an overwhelming weekend for us, exciting, exhausting, and encouraging. Customers often visit us at this time and we see our 'family' growing. We are seriously looking forward to holding a casual, PT11 sailing regatta of sorts and I will keep you posted on any development in that direction.  Thank you all again. AEB 😉

Fun overview Video off of You Tube..