Yesterday morning began with a tropical downpour that is just as out of character for the PNW as this summer's 90 degree temperatures. A few days ago the driveway was suddenly littered with crunchy yellow alder leaves. It has hit me hard that summer is coming to an end. For us, it also means that our local Wooden Boat Festival, (the 40th!) is upon us. We will be there! September 9, 10, & 11.

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Port Townsend watercraft in the WEST SYSTEM tent on the point near the Wee Nip.

We are pleased to announce that two, customer built PT Skiffs to be at the festival this year!

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Mojo at the Wooden Boat Festival

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Takin' Five to be at the 40th Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend

Immediately prior to festival, we will be in Deer Harbor (Wooden Boat Rendezvous), and just as promptly after festival, we will set sail northward, incommunicado, for 2 weeks.

We try to go sailing every year after festival and this year is special as it will be our first trip in our 'new' boat. We have yet to give it a name and perhaps this first real sail on her will help us decide on a name from our list, many suggested by friends.

If you are curious about our odd but inspired cruising boat, a G-32, the original promo videos can be seen HERE, and Russell's refit blog HERE.

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G32-First day out in Port Townsend. Photo; James Curtis

We will have the PT 11 with us as we travel up to Desolation Sound and back. During that 2 weeks we will aim to get new video, recharge our creative and productive energy banks and be on full power for our busier Biz season; Fall through Spring. Hence, we will be a little difficult to reach by phone and a little slow to respond to emails for the rest of September, but please write and leave messages anyway! We will get back to you and new production favors the early birds. There is also the quick deposit button if you are ready to secure your place in line for kits while we are away.

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Lined up for a light winds race around the anchorage..

While I am at it, I want to share a couple of pictures of some dinghy fun from this summer. It is exciting for me to realize that quite a few PT 11's and PT Spears have been completed locally and regionally (with many more on the way!). We had our first 'mini regatta' of friends at Watmough Bay this summer and look forward to having more PT 11 'meets' in the future.ptwatercraft.comI also have this vision of a Wooden Boat Festival here, perhaps the 41st next year, where-in a veritable fleet of PT 11's and Spears fills the foreground of the sail-by on Sunday afternoon, escorted of course, by several PT Skiffs.... my how our family is growing. Mark it on your calendars if you think you can make it. 😉 AEBptwatercraft.comptwatercraft.com

Mid August PT11 and PT Spear buddy sail in Port Townsend Bay. Here, stopped for lunch at the North West Maritime Center.

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One of my favorite festival sail-by's, up close and thick with sails...
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Early one festival morning...

Fun! For the second year we had a blast in our PT 11 as the smallest entrant in the Shipwright's Regatta hosted by the Port Townsend Sailing Association. Russell was at the helm and I was ballast, chocolate dispenser, and "kite" handler,  .... hmmmm... maybe we have some work to do if we are going to get real about racing...

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My little kite... 'I think I can, I think I can...' photo by 'Ace' Spragg

Of course Russell would have been much faster by himself but no fun without me! Kidding aside, we didn't do all that bad (13th out of 19 boats in Class B) since our competition was all multiples of us in waterline. (except for Simeon in Noddy, his SCAMP)

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Lil B is our PT 11.

It was a beautiful day, perfect breeze, sunshine, and little chop. I took some photos and Ace managed to capture a shot of our "kite" on the down wind leg... yes, it really was a kite. I could not get it out from behind the mainsail but it actually did have some pull to it. The one time I got it up higher, it nose dived into the water and became an instant drogue. A funny experiment that confirmed we could come up with an 'itty bitty' spinnaker and make use of it. We shall see...

Oddly, for Russell and I, it takes more discipline to actually get it together to participate in our local sailing events than to work in the shop and office every day! Gotta work on that... 😉 AEB

Pictures follow.

This letter came in November and I have the author's permission to post it along with the pictures he sent. It is clear by the pictures, that this boat has gotten some real use. Nothing could please us more. 😉

"The boat went into the water Thanksgiving 2014. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time with it. I have become quite jaded over the years with lots of bluewater miles and lots of hours racing a thistle-not to mention dozens of other boats. However I think I can state unequivocally that this boat is by far the most fun I’ve had on any boat in a very long time.

I have to confess to some off-label uses—on Sunday I was on a lake in Northern Massachusetts and had an adventure in an unexpected snow squall. Gusts 15-20 and horizontal snow. The gusts went away and I managed to keep the boat bottom side down. It took me a long time to regain normal feeling in my toes after I got back to base.

In So Cal (my normal stomping grounds) I can take it lots of places that neither a Thistle or a Canoe (two of my other boats) are comfortable. The Thistle is too much boat for a narrow cove with gusting winds and canoes don’t deal with surf (at my level of skill—though they are fun in whitewater rivers). I bought a small Rocna and use it to anchor and dive off of the boat. Dolphins seem frequently curious about the unusual traffic and check the boat out. You don’t realize how big they really are until you are eye to eye from water level.

In one incautious moment (or of one of several)  on a flat calm day I rowed into a little cove. There was a rock pillar in the center of it, but I didn’t think anything of it. A boat wake from a passing ferry picked the PT11 up and deposited it directly on top of the pillar. I was really worried it was the end of my favorite toy. However when I got back to the dock, there was a slight paint chip aft of the mast area and NO OTHER DAMAGE!  This boat is strong.

In another adventure had a 2+ mile long plane down a lake in New Hampshire in a really big blow. I knew it was a bad idea but I was flying all the way and it was too much fun. I did not succeed in taking the boat upwind. After a couple of capsizes I gave up and left it on the lee beach until the weather changed. I think I would have been OK, but the boat was so slippery inside that I couldn’t get up on the rail between tacks. I simply fell down.

I’ve since put a tasteful patch of non-skid on the floor of the boat, and found that I can feather upwind sitting on the rail, even in a good bit of wind.

Matt Foreman
Newport Beach, CA"

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This last June and July, Russell and I sailed our multi-hull from Port Townsend to Haida Gwaii/Gwaii Haanas park (also known as Queen Charlotte Islands) and back down the west coast of Vancouver Island.

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Soaking in a hot tidal pool

There is really no way to accurately describe what it was like for me, or the feeling that we dropped off into another world for a wonderful but all too brief period of time. "What does one do in absolute wilderness?" This was a question asked by my adult daughter. "It's more about being there." I finally said, but I lacked for words and still do.

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Our general track

I did take some pictures and videos but not many, nor do they capture the wonder that surrounded us. I simply spent more time looking, listening, breathing, and just being.

We were tandem sailing with dear friends, Alex and his rotating crew (all the coolest of people),  and we met up with "Blackbeard II"  and "Able" along the way. We also met some really interesting people in port. There was a lot of curiosity, honesty, generosity and simple human graciousness in the people of North Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. Thinking about some of those people still kind of blows my mind. A blog post just isn't the place to do them justice. Of the Haida villages, we visited Skedans, Hotsprings Island, and SGang Gwaii. I was very impressed with the "Watchmen"; each one very different, each one with a story to tell in their own way, and each clearly passionate about their culture, history, and path into the future. I am so grateful, for the whole experience.

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Vito Dumas often set out ahead of us in the mornings.

This adventure was in the planning since summer 2014, with our friend, Alex, on his lovely and magical boat, 'Vito Dumas'. Sailing in tandem with Alex is one of our great pleasures in life and we try to make at least one small trip every year. This one was a big one, 6 weeks and over a 1000 miles. He carried a PT 11 on his fore deck and we had ours on the trampoline. We were able to go adventuring in both boats and actually get some new video. Alex has become our PT 11 Star. Thank you, Alex! Some video is already published, others yet to come. Here is a video glimpse into our trip.

My 'take-away'? .. Nature, harmony with nature, back to nature; it is so nurturing so let's do more to preserve and help nature recuperate from human destructiveness. I left Gwaii Haanas feeling hopeful.

If you want to go to Gwaii Haanas, you need to do their orientation, make reservations and buy passes. It is not difficult and it is so very worth it.

cruising in BC
Gwaii Haanas

Contact: Ginette,
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site
60 Second Beach Road, Skidegate BC V0T 1S1  |
PO Box 37, Queen Charlotte BC V0T 1S0  |Email: gwaii.haanas@pc.gc.ca  Website: www.pc.gc.ca/gwaiihaanas
Telephone   |   Téléphone  250-559-8818
Toll Free   |   Sans frais    1-877-559-8818
www.parkscanada.gc.ca   |   www.parcscanada.gc.ca
www.facebook/gwaiihaanas   |   www.facebook.com/GwaiiHaanasFR

For an interesting approach to harmonious living that you can visit,  see: http://www.roseharbour.com/

we received a very special New Years gift from PT 11 builder Cassie McDermott. It was a really nice email and a pdf attachment from 10 year Milo, for whom she built the boat. She concluded her letter thus:

"I knew that your boat changed our lives, but I didn't realize just how much. I am overwhelmed and feeling completely blessed for what you and your boat has brought our family. In the end, it's not just a boat."

.."Please feel free to share Milo's story. Maybe it will inspire other young folks to get into boatbuilding and sailing. " Click here to read Milo's story about his PT 11 ... and something more..

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Milo in his PT 11 that he and Cassandra built. See more on this project HERE

September 5-7th were the days of the 38th Annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.
This year was unique for us due to having a relative fleet of PT 11s on hand; 8 or 9 PT 11 dinghies could be seen over the weekend of marvelous sunshine and sailing breezes, tethered behind their "motherships" in the harbor or out in the bay among so many beautiful boats!

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A PT 11 chasing Vito Dumas and sister dinghy the PT Spear on the leash..

Joining them was  our own PT 11 captained by Cooper Parish.

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Cooper in our PT 11 chasing Scott in his International 14

Cooper (who currently works for Scaled Composites) has built a PT 11 at the NW School of Wooden Boat Building. Many of our friends and customers share our deep appreciation for innovative aircraft as well as boats. We love the following picture Cooper sent to us earlier this summer, (wearing a Port Townsend Watercraft hat!) and we love having his help at the festival!

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Cooper in..."one of the rocket motors from Space Ship One... Representin' PTWatercraft!"

As usual, I did not get out and about to take more pictures. The reason, I am pleased to say, is that our display maintained a virtual flood of visitors and our team (including my wonderful sister, Dana) was happily kept busy showing off 2 PT Elevens (one on the stand and one for rowing demos), and a PT Spear, (generously loaned by Mr. Swantner).

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Our display next to WEST SYSTEM

Our tent hosts, the smart folks from WEST SYSTEM EPOXY, were on hand with expert epoxy advice, interesting props and informative booklets. This year’s festival was also special and memorable due to having  our dear friends, Kathy Massimini & Steve Callahan here. Steve was a guest speaker for the festival. If you have not read his book Adrift or don't know about Steve, you've missed out. See his website HERE.

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Steve & Kathy

ptwatercraft.comYou might already know about Off Center Harbor, and all of the really well done, interesting videos they offer on a wide range of boating topics. We were honored (and pretty camera shy) to receive an interview request from the OCH team. Filming took place right after the festival and the video will be available sometime in the future. Thank you Steve Stone and Off Center Harbor!

The fine weather inspired more boats to be out sailing for the entire three days than I have ever witnessed in my 5 years of attending. The final ‘Sail-By’ was quite spectacular. If you missed it this year, mark your calendar for the first weekend of September 2015 and keep an eye on the NW Maritime Center website for events over the year.

Please enjoy a small album of pictures I took during the Festival.

Some videos of this years' festival are on You Tube. This is a particularly artistic slide show. HERE

PTW AB 😉

Enjoy Pictures recently received of boats launched this summer or boats in use. I love the new colors added to PT 11's; now sporting blue, green, sunny yellow, mellow yellow, cream, red, white...have I missed any? Beautiful!! Keep those pictures coming! What do you think about a photo contest???? Let me know and I will work on prizes to offer. 😉

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Milo in his PT 11 that he and Cassandra built. See more on this project on another post called " Builder Spotlight 9/14" by clicking the photo.
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PT 11 "Forget me knot", Built in Maine and launched this summer. Photo by owner.
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PT 11, 'Forget Me Knot' in New England.
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Built by W. Frost in Renton WA. Photo by owner.
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PT Skiff almost ready for launch. Note the solid aft floor soles. We think it looks fantastic and see this as the future standard for the PT Skiff. The owner also installed self bailing. We look forward to more pictures! Located in Australia. Photo by owner
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Shiny green paint job by Mr. Kuntz of Sequim, WA. photo by owner
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Paul's green PT 11 was launched at the Boat Festival this year in Port Townsend. Mr. Kuntz was able to leave it at the dock on display with the rig up by removing the batons and rolling the boom up in the sail. Click the photo to read about the Festival this year, 2014.
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Joy enjoys a sail in her PT 11, 'Patos" T/T "Dromen".
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"Patos" in Desolation Sound. photo by owner
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Patos nested on the SV 'Dromen'.
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Patos and Dromen in the marina. Photo by owners.
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Mr. Mc Cormick's PT 11 in California.
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Joe taking all the gear ashore.
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"Rowff, Oneff, twoff, rowff"
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PT Spear, 'Rascal' seen in front of Port Townsend. photo by Ashlyn E. Brown
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Owners enjoy an evening row in 'Rascal', a PT Spear. Photo by Ashlyn E. Brown
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Exploring the San Juan Islands in a PT 11 and a PT Spear. photo by Ashlyn E. Brown

On June 30th, Cassandra  McDermott and 10 year old Milo arrived to pick up their PT 11 kit. 'Cassie' is a young woman who delivers boats, does a lot of sailing, boat finishing, refinishing, and polishing. I suspect she is very good at it, too.
Meeting Cassie and Milo (who also loves to sail) was a real pleasure. It was particularly exciting to have a pre-teen totally into building a PT 11 and that a woman was to be the primary builder. It often feels like building boats is perceived as 'such a guy thing' and I like to encourage more female involvement with the kits.

Besides the distinction for Cassie & Milo as the first ‘mom & pre-teen’ team so far to build one of our kits, they did it in record time.
On August 3rd, barely a month after picking up the kit, we received an email, and I quote, “Well we launched last week! I will send you some pictures soon....We are having a blast. She is a great boat!” Then she sent this great photo of Milo in the boat, with it’s shiny blue hull, (in honor of the SEA HAWKS)... Russell and I were very impressed!! 😉

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Milo in his PT 11

Cassie totally dedicated herself to the project, including setting her alarm clock for 3AM to make a fill coat. They really familiarized themselves with the manual so that while waiting for one thing to cure, they knew what they could begin to prepare and have ready for steps later on. Warm summer weather helped while they had several simultaneously curing parts. This consolidated a lot of the 'waiting-for-cure' time inherent in wood/epoxy boat building."The build went really well. We made a few mistakes-nothing structural and nothing we couldn't fix," she told me.

They also had a strong motivation. Milo was going back to school at the end of the Summer and Cassie wanted to be sure he had plenty of time to sail in his new boat before then. Milo wrote us a letter that deserves a frame in our shop. ptwatercraft.comPhotos & captions following, (compliments of Cassie and Milo), tell much of the story best.

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And the sanding hasn't even begun yet!
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I drill you twist.
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Even Dad sanded a bit with Wilson ever ready on the vacuum.
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Testing the strength of our PPE.
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Remember all those twists? Time to snip.
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So there might be a few ice cream finger prints.

PTWATERCRAFT photo by Cassandra Mc Dermott

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First sail day.
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Second sail day.
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Milo taking his teacher and friend out for a sail on Palisades Lake in Wyoming.

Building any kit can take weeks, months or years depending on a person’s working habits and available time. We recommend taking your time and enjoying yourself. Our builders have expressed real pleasure in the project and that is as much a part of it as the end result.  The fact that Cassie met her self imposed and pretty short deadline AND had a great time is a testament to her skill and an inspiration for women boat builders! Hats off to you, Cassie and Milo!!

See some recent feedback from our builder's about our kits:

Robert in MA: It is a fantastic kit, and I thoroughly enjoyed the building project. Honestly, I felt a little intellectually lazy doing the build. Usually there are multiple details that have to be thought through, improvised, fleshed out, etc. Not with the PT11. You did all the thinking for me and didn't leave out anything. I didn't mind being lazy for a change. :)  I can't think of a single thing to improve in the kit or manual. I can't wait to start rowing and sailing. August 2014

Simon in New Zealand: I didn't really realize how much of a delight to build she's been until the bumper had been stuck on and I was a little disappointed that there wasn't anything left to do except go sailing.

On a recent camp cruising excursion to BC, we towed our PT 11 along behind the Water Bug. We did not take the sailing rig but we really enjoyed after dinner rows around the different anchorages. The evening light is so beautiful and on calm, clear summer days, the reflections in the water make you feel like you are looking into another world or floating along on the sky. It was mesmerizing. I put together some clips of these evening rows. I look at my wind swept and bedraggled state with some embarrassment but I had a great time out in the vast wilderness of Desolation Sound. Here is a short video: SKY ROWING ptwatercraft.comptwatercraft.com