As of today, June 3rd 2024, this PT 11 nesting dinghy is listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace. These do not come up for sale very often. This boat is nicely built, lightly used, includes sailing options and oars. For someone who can pick it up in Washington State. Click the image to visit the full listing, see more pictures and contact the owner.

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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.

A bit of snow in Port Townsend and things slow down a lot and, like so many, we too saw some record low temps for this area. For Christmas Eve we are back to wind and rain and all is green again around our house, the Salal and conifers having shed their blanket of white. Christmas treePC210791

We wish everyone a safe and warm Winter holiday season and a bright New Year. We are super grateful to everyone building the PT 11 and all of the good folks who participate in the production of our kits, who offer our books, and all who have shared their enthusiasm and friendship. The PT 11 has played a key role in expanding our circle of interesting and valued relationships. As a business, it hardly gets better than that.

Did you see Leo's look at choosing a dinghy featuring the PT 11 nesting dinghy?

In 2023, Chesapeake Light Craft will be adding the PT SPEAR one piece version of the PT 11 to their kit offerings. We made minor changes to the design and are doing a major update to the manual. The change simplifies the building of this boat. If nesting is not a critical feature for your purposes, you get the lines and the performance of the PT 11 in the PT SPEAR without all of the complexity of building a boat to cut in half.

TortPlyhullDSC_2202 (1)Russell has made a lot of progress on the Tortured Plywood hulls as part of a future trimaran and he has learned a lot about this esoteric boat building method.

He has also been helping out Leo on the Tally Ho project.

In January, we expect a whack of carbon tubes from Innovative Composites Engineering and a load of sails. Russell will be busy building sailing rigs into February.

Shipping and postage have really gone up this last year. For those outside of the USA who are interested in our EPOXY BASICS, SCARFING BASICS, and PAINTING PERFECTION print books, you may get better shipping on Amazon or the Bookdepository.com

For our US customers, you can find our books and many others by friends and family on our books page. We ship single books US First Class mail and for multiple books we can ship Priority or Media mail.

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Looking forward to 2023, Thank you again. We hope everyone can stay warm and healthy into the New Year. Joy to All. AEB 😉

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Sunday, March 24th was an overcast and cold day to be out on the water. Russell was not deterred. Paul Bieker's new design (the Riptide 41;"BLUE") was in the water and Russell was invited to check it out. "BLUE" is one of the most innovative racing sailboats around and sailed almost 23 knots on her very first sail.  { read more about it. }ptwatercraft.comBieker Boats design team of Paul Bieker and Eric Jolley are responsible for designing our PT Skiff, the 18.5ft fuel efficient motor skiff kit, sold by PT Watercraft. The PT Skiff, "Pika", built by J. Brandt in Seattle, was also there to compliment the gathering. ptwatercraft.comWhile on the dock at Shilshole Marina, a wedding party came down the dock and the bride and groom asked for a ride in the PT Skiff. Jan obliged and the smiling couple posed for photos. Russell snapped a few along side the wedding photographer. The PT Skiff has been put to work as a regatta chase boat, a marine research commuter, a phototgrapher's platform and now as a wedding prop!ptwatercraft.comSince we sold our PT Skiff, :( .., we have been using our experimental tornado cat motor boat for any over water commuting. The 'Grasshopper" (as we sometimes refer to it) has many many miles on her 15hp motor. The trip from Port Townsend to Seattle takes about 2 hours and generally uses about 2 gallons of fuel. This boat was designed on the back of an envelope and it is definitely a unique boat. No, there are no plans available.. :)ptwatercraft.comRussell was able to surf a cargo ship's wake for about 10 miles before the intensity of it got to him and he exited the wake. The trip from Port Townsend to Seattle and back, with favorable currents and surfing, used about 3 gallons of gas. This short video does little justice to the fun he was having.

 

THE SPEAR is identical in hull shape to the PT 11, but the interior geometry and construction are quite different and deserve explanation.  The PT 11 has a full width foredeck so that water drains into the aft compartment, otherwise there would be three areas that would need bailing of rain and spray. The Spear can have scuppers through the main bulkhead (the nesting PT 11 can’t) and therefore can have what I call a “trunk” seat.
When rowing with three, the trunk seat allows more comfortable seating for the person sitting in the bow. The areas to the sides of the seat are good for holding oars and other things in the boat.
The trunk seat also keeps the hull from twisting under sailing loads. It’s like a torsion box. (Shown below are the PT11, left, and the beta prototype of the Spear)
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Below photo taken in March 2013 of the prototype being built to figure out the process and to write the manual.

ptwatercraft.comTwo of the watertight hatch kits that we offer as options fit really well in this boat, making the boat versatile for carrying (and keeping dry) groceries, camping gear, cameras, safety gear, etc.
The aft hatch is easier to access when sailing and is great for things like cameras, jackets, and food, but because of the baffles under the back seat (more on that next), the volume of area under the forward hatch is much greater.
While the hatches are work to install, the cost of the kits is very small compared to the utility and safety they offer. They also provide access and visibility to the daggerboard trunk, mast socket, and rudder hardware, not to mention a good place to hide valuables left in the dinghy. Coast Guard regulations play a large role in the interior geometry of the PT 11 and the Spear. This may sound like big brother getting in the way of art, but it’s quite the opposite. The regulations are to protect us, the kit provider and especially you, the end user.
Buoyancy built into the right parts of the boat is necessary for safety. Sealed air voids (compartments) have the same value as flotation foam, but access ports or hatches are not allowed in sealed air voids. If the builder insists on inspection ports, it is then necessary to fill these voids completely with foam flotation in order to comply with safety standards. The Below Photo shows the boat before the deck and back seat lid are installed. ptwatercraft.comptwatercraft.comThe bow area (forward of the mast step bulkhead) is a sealed air void in the PT 11 and the Spear. The PT 11 has built in buoyancy tanks in the back of the boat on either side (outboard) that are equal to the volume in the bow. This is what the Coast Guard wants, and it makes sense.
The Spear has a large back seat area, but because it has a hatch, we have to install baffles to form sealed air voids outboard of the hatch where they would do the most good in an emergency. Though the baffles under the back seat decrease the usable volume for storage, they make us legal and make you safer, and they make for a well supported back seat. ptwatercraft.comBelow; Rowing the Spear with 2

ptwatercraft.comThe finished boat pictured was a beta prototype built summer 2012. Due to less specialty hardware required, the Spear base kit will cost several hundred dollars less that the nesting version. The boat will be lighter by 3 - 5 pounds. The various options, including sailing rig, offered for the PT11 nesting dinghy will be the same for the Spear. As of April 2013, we are taking orders for the "SPEAR" kit.

See our website for full information. PTW:)

Every time Russell has a boat to build, he seeks better ways of doing things. In this case, a simplified method for gluing the puzzle joints revealed itself. The manual for the PT 11 'Spear' has this section but earlier versions of the PT 11 nesting dinghy manuals have an earlier method. I have created a pdf file of the 7 page replacement for pages 7 through 14 in "Building the PT Eleven" for those who have an older version and have not yet begun to build their boat. This may also be interesting to anyone building a stitch and glue kit with puzzle joints. Click  HERE to download the .pdf file.  (533kb)ptwatercraft.com

The first PT 11 Nesting Dinghy kit has been cut as of April 15th and construction has just begun. The photo shows the plywood parts only and the finished prototype in the background.Kit Ply Parts

We have really been attempting to set up the pictures to the highest instructional advantage so actual building progress is happening is small steps. We will be updating the blog regularly with construction photos.