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.
(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.
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 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.



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 modifications and feel free to consult us if you have concerns based on your planned use of the boat. We may not have a full time tech line but we do try to be available for customer concerns.
There are lots of ways to personalize your boat but please do not attempt to alter the structure. Also, a well built Pt 11 is a valuable boat and modifications could negatively affect resale value.

Boat building is a creative process. With our kits, it may be said the Russell has thought of 'everything' and thus, the margin for builder inventiveness is limited. I beg to differ and 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. It is difficult to make guarantees, and especially so if any part of the design and/or the described building method, is omitted or modified.
In reference to some questions we have received ;
Flotation vs Storage;  about the PT 11: The three compartments, one in the bow and the two in the stern, are completely sealed flotation and have the same value as foam flotation in this type of boat. If access ports to flotation compartments are installed, equal foam flotation would then be required to replace the sealed air. This would be a lot of work and totally pointless. Trying to use designated flotation compartments as storage can be dangerous if the boat flips or floods. On the PT 11 & Spear, there is a large storage aft of the mast step with ample space and the PT Skiff has 3 separate storage areas. We had to calculate flotation for the PT11, the non nesting PT SPEAR, and the PT SKIFF in order to satisfy the USCG safety guidelines. It is the builder's responsibility to abide by those rules, and, it is just plain smart.

Re-enforcements; 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. Our boats are already designed with heavier glass on the bottom and solid fiberglass caps on the skegs for added toughness. If it is expected that the dinghy will be typically dragged over rough landings rather than carried, one could beef up the fiberglass on the bottom further, but it will add weight.
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. If you plan to use a small outboard, (max 2HP) you would use bearing strips on the outside and clamp pads on the inside.
Builder resources; Our PT 11 family is growing. This is very exciting for us as we are a small company of just Russell and myself. Even more exciting is that our customers have been building beautiful boats! This year, 2013, we  established a registry of sorts (see the map) as an owner/builder resource and aim to create an interactive community. (see our Builder  Center page) The questions, comments, shared experiences of each builder are all welcome material that I will look forward to adding to the blog for others to learn from and enjoy.  Our heartfelt thanks to our customers, followers, and friends who share their opinions and enthusiasm about our products. We would not be here without you.

PTW Ashlyn