Frequently Asked Questions about the PT 11 Nesting dinghy are listed below in alphabetical order. You can scroll down to find what you are looking for or try the search box to the right... If you have a question not found here, please email us. Our email info is on our website PTWATERCRAFT.COM or contact Chesapeake Light Craft: CLCBOATS.COM

For current ordering information, please see the PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy on the Chesapeake Light Craft website.

BUILDER resource page.

Assembly in the water? Yes.
The PT 11’s 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. 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. Watch this video Demonstration.

Assembly in choppy water? Please use common sense. In calmer conditions and mild chop you can launch each half and assemble in the water. Don’t assume you could assemble this dinghy in the water, in a gale, if the mothership is sinking. Otherwise, assemble the boat on deck and either fashion a rope bridle and use the halyard to lower the boat as you would other dinghies or ease it over the mothership’s gunwale manually, stern first into the water.

Can I build this boat in a CLC class? Alas, no. The assembly sequence does not lend itself to the usual 5-1/2-day class format.

Capcity Rating? (PT11's payload)
USCG Safe Capacities Rating: 4 people or 518LBS  OR 600 LBS. Persons, Motor & Gear Max HP: 2  -  -  Fun sailing-with-4-people video

CNC file lease? We do not lease our files. Because the PT 11 uses 5 different thicknesses of plywood, has numerous specialty parts in the kit, and that it is inefficient to cut one kit at a time,  it is impractical to lease a file.

Commissioned Builders? I have been contacted by a few private boat builders offering their services. We recommend building the PT 11 yourself or with a more skilled friend if that gives you confidence. Hiring a builder will likely more than double your investment and you will miss the fun of the project. If you do hire a builder, please make sure they are willing to follow the manual. Lifelong professionals have a tendency to make assumptions based on their experience that may not always end well. We have established a registry map as an owner/builder resource. See our builder center here.

Epoxy hazards? has lots of information including safety information. See this page for information about over-exposure. Understanding epoxy is a class in chemistry. It is not wise to believe advertisements claiming a totally safe or 'non-toxic' epoxy. Always wear protection, keep epoxy off of your skin, do not sand partially cured epoxy, and prevent uncured epoxy or hardener from spreading around your shop. Only thoroughly cured epoxy is inert.

Experience needed to build the PT 11 or PT Spear?
The most valuable single piece of the kit is the building manual. We don’t encourage people without hand-tool experience to build the PT 11, but the manual allows someone with no epoxy or boat building experience to build a really good boat.

Flotation vs storage space: The three compartments, one in the bow and the two in the stern, are completely sealed flotation and has equal value as foam flotation in this type of boat. Access ports to these compartments cause new rules to come into play, namely, equal foam flotation would then be required to replace the air. The flotation is also calculated for the non nesting version of the PT 11, all to comply with USCG safety guidelines.
There is a large storage aft of the mast step with ample space. Additional weight is not desirable in the nose of the boat.

Hiking out? We have, on occasion, hiked out on the railing of the PT11. This boat is not designed as a true racing dinghy, however. We want you to have fun sailing but we do not encourage racing expectations comparable to dinghies designed for racing.  One person hiking out should not be an issue but we do not recommend 2 people hiking at the same time. The PT 11 is designed first and foremost, as a tender, that rows and also sails exceptionally well.

HOURS TO BUILD? When Russell built PT 11‘s he was also taking meticulous photos and writing the manual, and sadly, not logging hours. Based on customer feedback, expect 190-300 hours, start to launch.
It is worth noting that people have different work habits, available time, and workspace conditions. Ideally, builders have time to enjoy the project and admire their accomplishment.
A comfortable pace, in our estimation, would be to allow yourself at least 3 months. Working in ‘dribs & drabs’ is a good way to build the boat, rather than full days. Detailing, near the end of the project, takes a bit of time, but it’s the details “that make the boat”, right? 😉 .

Import into Canada? Because of NAFTA, Canadians should only pay 12% of the kit cost and delivery. Canadians who spend 48+ hours in the USA are allowed to return with $800/person of duty free merchandise. Not a bad deal when you do the math. (see 'shipping international' below for info on other countries) Also, always confirm import rules with your nearest customs agency. When asking questions, note the schedule B 8903.99.9000.

MODIFYING the design; Boat building is a creative process.  I have great faith in each person's ability to creatively personalize their boats! It is also our hope that the building experience in itself serves the creative spirit well and the end result is a boat that makes the builder proud and happy. However; it is impossible to guarantee anything, if any part of the design and/or the described building method, is modified. We strongly discourage structural modification especially. We may not have a full time tech line but we do try to be available for customer concerns and expect builders to contact us with any ideas of deviating from the instructions..

Nested dimensions of the PT Eleven?

LOA: 11ft
BEAM:4′ 2″
NESTED HEIGHT: 20″ at one end, 17″ at the other end.

Non-Nesting version? YES! The PT Spear can be viewed on our website HERE

Ordering: PT 11 Nesting Dinghy Kit: Chesapeake Light Craft is happy to help you.

OUTBOARD? The PT 11 and Spear are rated for a maximum 2HP outboard. If you plan to use a small outboard,  you would use bearing strips on the outside and clamp pads on the inside. read an early post about outboards. We will say up front, that we are personally anti-outboard for this boat. “A good row boat is not typically a good motor boat.” Even so, the PT 11 can be used with a small outboard. A 2HP outboard is plenty of power to move this little boat with ease. An Electric motor is encouraged. We have used the EP CARRY on the PT 11 extensively and really liked it. The EP Carry’s original mounting bracket was modified to fit over the inwale of the PT 11.See a video testing an EP CARRY electric motor.

PLANS? No. We do not have plans for the PT 11.  -- Why not?
The PT 11 is designed in CAD from the ground up to take full advantage of kit technology using tongues and slots, scribe marks and alignment notches and multiple thicknesses of plywood.
There are 7 hull panels that are put together without any sort of jig (except for the bulkheads and machined gunwales). If the panels are not super accurate, then the bulkheads would not fit.  The slightest inaccuracy over length would also lead to a wonky hull shape.
The PT 11 is machined from 5 different thicknesses of ply wood, to both make the boat as light as it can be for its strength and make building it easier.
The goal from the beginning has been to make this rather sophisticated little boat as easy as possible for anyone to build. To that end, the very detailed, instructional manual includes hundreds of photos. The  daunting task of writing a manual specific to, and adequate for, building from plans is not being considered right now.

Will you ever have plans?
We hope to one day design a simpler boat that could be built from plans but it would be a compromise.

REEFING THE SAIL? and the shorter top batten to facilitate reefing?... An explanation from Sandy Goodall:
"No, the short batten version did not evolve in order to facilitate rolling / reefing the sail around the mast. We had started with a bigger sail, with a larger roach, and to support that roach we needed the support of the full length top batten. We then decided that we wanted a smaller, simpler (and cheaper to build) sail, which would better suit smaller users, but still be enough for bigger people to have fun. Having said that, the shorter battens DO enable you to roll the sail a couple of times around the mast, which is the only reefing option, but I think the sail is small enough that your 80 pounder is going to do just fine with the sail as is. The way to flatten the sail is to put some pre-bend in the mast, using the vang, for fresh winds. The current smaller, short batten sail works well for someone as small / light at Ashlyn (Russell's wife), and also for me, at 240 lbs. So I think it's a good compromise. Enjoy! Sandy Goodall"

Re-enforcing the boat?  Any additional wood or glass than what is prescribed in the manual, serves to add weight and will not necessarily make the boat any stronger than designed. The exception would be additional glass on the bottom if it is expected that the dinghy will be typically dragged over rough landings rather than carried.
The transom, as designed, is strong. The rudder is a kick up rudder so there should be no chance of ripping off the transom of the boat with this rudder.

SHIPPING OVERSEAS? How Much to ship a kit overseas?
  Port Townsend Watercraft no longer ships kits. Chesapeake Light Craft will be able to advise if they are able to do so. When we did export, Ocean freight was the cheapest freight but landing fees were higher than airfreight. Shipments of 3 or more kits could fill the minimum LCL of 1 cubic meter, drastically reducing the shipping cost per kit. Orders had to be addressed to a commercial entity.  Find out what the import costs are in your country. The more questions you ask locally, the fewer surprises.
AIR FRIGHT can be reasonable depending on the destination but again, import duties are the most important to find out. Contact your local customs offices with the shipment value and note the schedule B 8903.99.9000

Canada: charges somewhere near 15% HST. If you are in the USA for 48 hours, there an exemption on $800 value per person. Also see KINEK.COM for hold locations along the USA-Canada border.

Side-decks on a larger version? Side decks are nice for racing dinghies but do not work with the nesting parameter. This is a compact nested package and side decks would add a lot of width, for one, as well as a lot of complexity.

Smaller nesting dinghy? We had considered a smaller nesting dinghy. A 9.5 would be interesting as a smaller nested package. It would not be as nice to row as the 11 footer. It would need volume so it would look quite different. One would expect it to cost a good bit less too. right? This is the dilemma due, among other things, to the connective system we have developed, which is expensive. Russell is not capable of shipping anything that does not measure up to his expectations. His degree of detail and quality does not lend itself to an economy kit.

Technical assistance? Please study photos and their text, read forward or back-track in the manual, eat some chocolate, to make sense of a seemingly unclear instruction. If it is still not making sense, Get Help LINK PT watercraft is run by 2 people. This makes our ability to answer a lot of questions limited. For this reason, Russell wrote the manual with as much detail as he could. Phone calls are not encouraged for questions. We do  answer emails and sometimes will call you back with answers. WEST SYSTEM also has a great technical assistance line to answer epoxy questions.

Tough? Russell and all of our design consultants have a lot of experience with wood and epoxy boat building and a lot of thought and science went into making sure our boats are designed to be both light and strong. No boat is indestructible of course, but please consider carefully, any reinforcements and feel free to consult us if you have concerns based on your planned use of the boat. See above "modifying the design" and "re-enforcements".

Towing performance?
Towing the PT 11 in calmer weather or at lower speeds is very easy. It offers no drag in contrast to heavier dinghies. Key to towing is to make sure the connective hardware is securely tightened, the daggerboard trunk cap and hatch well dogged down, and the painter is pulling from the tow eye at the stem and not the breast hook. As a very lightweight dinghy (one of its main features) it is going to jump in rough conditions and at higher speeds. Being a nesting dinghy, it will ride happily on deck for more serious passages.
We put the PT 11 through the ringer in this tow test video.

Varnish? The manual has a section about varnish. It is recommended to protect epoxy with a UV coating. Since WEST SYSTEM Special Clear Hardener 207 has a limited amount of UV filter, (more would compromise the epoxy) a UV protective coating is recommended. Conceivably, you could wait a couple of years if sun exposure is limited but it is preferable to varnish or paint right away. Having someone spray with 2 part clear coat is tougher cured than varnish.

Weight? The completed PT Eleven weighs  90LBS. The sailing kit weighs 10.5 Lbs. The weight is fairly evenly distributed between the two halves, each half weighs roughly 45 LBS.

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