PT 11 Nesting dinghy

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As we build this page, visit the PT 11 Homepage to learn more about this design.

If you are ready to order your PT 11 kit, our production partners at Chesapeake Light Craft are doing an amazing job and are ready to work with you. A WEST SYSTEM epoxy kit is now included with the kit. The sailing rig option is still made by Russell at PT Watercraft.

PT 11 dinghy after a 70 mile race.
Pulling into the beach after 19 hours.

About the PT 11

What features make this boat special?

The ability to assemble and disassemble the boat in seconds, in the water or out of the water.

The unmatched strength of the assembled boat, a challenge in nesting dinghy design.

The rowing performance of our boats is quite amazing. One was used in a 70 mile endurance race last year, finishing in the top third of a 120 boat fleet in under 20 hours, surprising for an 11 foot dinghy. An outboard motor is quite unnecessary when using the boat as a tender.

The sailing performance is very good. The stock foils (machined daggerboard and kick-up rudder) help the boat sail upwind like a 12 meter. The rig is the lightest and easiest to use dinghy rig on the market. The two-PT11 planingpiece carbon mast and boom, sail, and all rigging weigh just 10 1/2 pounds, store in a small bag, and assembles in minutes, making a quick sail in a new anchorage easily done.

Other prominent features include a large truly watertight storage area, sealed flotation tanks fore & aft, and a very dependable daggerboard trunk cap that allows towing in rough water and at high speeds. Two rowing stations and multiple foot brace positions allow keeping level trim with multiple passengers and allow rowers of different heights.

An early presentation about the PT 11 nesting dinghy by Russell Brown
An early presentation about the PT 11 nesting dinghy by Russell Brown

These qualities are combined with many other well-thought-out features, some that make construction easier and many that make the boat easier to use, lighter, and more efficient.

What do we not like about the PT 11? It’s complex. While we have not over-engineered this boat and we continually work on making the build simpler, a really good nesting dinghy, especially one that could last forever, requires complexity. Much of that complexity is on our end. We manufacture many custom parts for the boat and we aren’t shy about expensive alternatives.

The fact that we have sold so many kits for the PT 11 with almost zero advertising, says a lot.

Builders of the 11 see the value of the kit, the manual, and the finished product. Resale values of well built PT 11’s also point to a well conceived

Is the PT 11 for you? Are you right for the PT11? What are our high standards about? See below...

Link to OCH tour

See a wonderful time-lapse video kindly supplied by our customer Randy Kerr.

The PT ELEVEN, is a unique 11ft nesting dinghy designed with the serious cruiser’s needs in mind. It rows and sails exceptionally well. It also nests for carrying on the deck of your sailboat or in the back of a vehicle.

NESTING - - (View original Nesting page) - - ( PTW blog posts related to "nesting")

“Nesting” in this case means that this boat comes apart and the 2 halves nest one inside the other.

It means that a relatively large dinghy can be stored in half the space of its one piece relative.

Each half is also that much lighter and one person can launch or store this boat with far more ease than either an inflatable, or most hard tenders.

 - - Nesting photos - -

In the case of the PT 11, the boat can be assembled in the water, further enhancing practical usage for one or two people.


L: 6ft  x W: 4ft 2” (incl. our bumper)

H:20” bow/stern end, 17” bulkhead end.

PT11NESTED diagram

Assembly in the water.

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.

 PT11-apart in water

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 to be bonded into the forward half of the hull, and sockets with threaded pins and knobs to be 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.

See Video of in-water assembly.