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Old 16-06-2013, 07:17   #16
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

All good advice, Richard 5, and I would also respectfully suggest a bit more time on the web site to make it easier to use.

I don't know whether it is too expensive or not. For products like this where the limiting factors are money and time/skill the cost could be real cheap but the limit of time/skill becomes the deal killer. Anyone who has built a dink themselves from scratch will appreciate that $1,500 for the non nesting version plus $500 for epoxy is not unreasonable. There is a lot of labor to be saved with a kit like this, which is why I would be a buyer if I can find someone to buy my elegant little Whitehall.

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Old 16-06-2013, 08:33   #17
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Hi PTWatercraft,

That is one sweet little boat! When I started reading the post, I was anticipating some slab-sided, blunt-bowed little pram... then I watched the video. Wow.

Do I think cruisers would build their own dink? Well, I think anyone seriously into boats might have at least once looked at some home and kit-built craft and briefly entertained the idea of building a boat. The right kit at a trigger price would probably find wide acceptance, especially those of us with 6 months of winter to spend on it.

Possible objections
- ... it's too nice Cruisers' dinghies can have a hard life - bashed on docks, towing strain, neglect, beaching, kids, theft... I think one would weep after each injury to such a nice boat, especially if it reflected a few months of your dedicated work.
- price (for some). As mentioned, it's not out of line for that quality of kit and boat... but it's hard to put it up against a plastic or inflatable dink, and then consider your labour. For some boaters and boat-lovers, they'd leap at the chance to build such a nice boat because the pride and satisfaction of building is the draw. Others might see it as a chance to have a fine handbuilt little craft for less than retail.

Personally, I couldn't justify the full-up price of the complete kit, but because there's a good boat-building supplies store 15 min from the house, it's tempting to buy the plans and cut my own parts, assuming the plans have full-size parts templates? I would conceivably pay maybe $100 for a manual plus templates.

Last thought - you're marketing the small BMW of dinghy kits. If you could also come up with the Honda Civic of dinghy kits, something a bit more suited to a hard life, and available for say $995 for just plans & cut wood, you might get alot more interest from the average cruiser.

Nice boat. I wish you success.

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Old 16-06-2013, 08:58   #18
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Having just completed a nesting dinghy from plans and as a reply to your inquiry:
1) It would take a shore-based cruiser to build this. No way could I have done it without a dedicated workplace (and the lack of interruptions, as another noted).
2) Your kit is nice, but too much for my purposes. I built an 8 ft. nesting plan all in for less than $600 in materials. It's not a sailing version, but materials are cheap if you do a little scrounging. Your connecting hardware is much nicer, and maybe that's a significant investment, but for almost $2000 I'd expect an assembled boat where I just needed to sand, paint, and add some hardware.
Again, not trying to be negative, but my honest opinion.
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Old 16-06-2013, 08:58   #19
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
You asked, Do cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?
[...] I think that ol bugaboo "marketing" is the big hurdle.
It was a rhetorical question, one whose exigence was marketing.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 16-06-2013, 10:10   #20
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Not sure if this suggestion a little off topic - but I figure every thread bump counts!

But what about "outsourcing" the building to..........Cruisers!

Always seems to be folks who are looking for ideas to top up the cruising kitty, obviously won't go RTW solely on building these - but every little helps. And likely "boaty helping boaty" enough (and low in numbers) to fly under the radar work permit etc wise.

What I am thinking is that you have "Authorised Builders", and to achieve that status you have to buy a kit and build it (it's their demo as well), plus pre-order (and pay for) at least 1 kit (held at your premises for delivery on demand) and to keep the status sell one dink every year (or 2?), either built by them or as a kit (obviously will need to factor all that in to the prices / profits).......could even come up with an "Authorised Builders" Kit, not quite 2 sheets of ply!, but nonetheless more fiddling around and cutting(?) for them but cheaper for you to make and sell and with more margin for the Builder.....perhaps to qualify for that they have to have sold at least one kit they made (in addition to the one for self), so a fair idea of WTF they are meant to be doing! The quality control is that their demo has to look decent to catch a punter, plus the sale relationship is solely between them and punter and not the comfort of the deal being abroad means that any attempt to involve you (as supplier) into a legal case (for a sh#te build) would be prohibitively expensive (crossing borders legally usually is).

Whilst giving folks exclusive territory in the Mainland USA* (retaining subject to sales targets) would work for those not going anywhere (at least not yet!) but not so good for those actively cruising, could therefore restrict the numbers of "Authorised Builders" by Cruising Area and adjust as folks move around or fail to achieve the sales (your website having the last location of them could help with sales - and some may even sail to the Punter!, at least if kinda going that way anyway).

Anyway, just a few thoughts whilst I was fiddling around with bits of boat!

LATE EDIT: I just had a sudden doubt that you are based in the USA as realised had not read anything that said this (albeit no mention of country usually means USA on CF!) and that Port Townsend sounded a bit Australian, and maybe WA was Western Australia..........after a fair bit of hunting around on your website I was non the wiser, but followed a link and seems that Port Townsend is something to do with Seattle in USA. But I stand to be corrected (I got bored before becoming 100% sure!).....if selling internationally might want to address that, as well as give an idea on delivery costs (even though likely can't do firm figures).
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Old 16-06-2013, 10:37   #21
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Cool boat. I don't know if you've sent info on it to Duckworks yet, but a lot of homebuilders hang out over there -- or at least stop by periodically.
Duckworks -
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Old 17-06-2013, 14:35   #22
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Wow. The response from everyone is very interesting and appreciated. I am not very forum savvy but I will attempt to address questions. Without loading up this post with a lot of links, I hope the curious will explore our website.

re: Any built in Maine area? Not yet. A couple have gone to Florida. One went to Newport but the mother ship is somewhere in the Pacific now.

Re: rough use? I know everyone will have their own ideas and experience about this. Russell and I have been using our PT 11 for a couple of years now. We show it as is. We have not touched up the clearcoat or the exterior paint. In fact, we have not yet even varnished over the West System 207 clear finish we used on the interior. We tote it around in the back of our little Toyota truck and launch it from boat ramps, docks, and beaches. Recently, we drove to BC and carried the halves down a steep, winding trail about 300ft, to a dock, where we loaded our gear and sailed up into the Okasolo for a few days. We also lash it to the trampoline of our multi-hull when we can get away for longer trips. When we do beach it, and around here, that most often means on rocks, Yes, we take some extra care by each getting on either side of it and carrying it up to a safe spot. The boat is light at 90LBS assembled and it takes little effort to do this. Someone alone could do it easier by carrying one half at a time. The PT11 has a good bumper (custom extruded rubber) designed just for this boat. To make the boat more rugged, ding prone edges are solid epoxy so if chipped, it wont reach wood. Thicker fiberglass is used on the hull bottom and the skeg is capped with a solid fiberglass batten. Russell has a history of really nice looking dinghies. This has not in any way stopped him for using them hard.

Pricing and marketing are challenging subjects to be sure. Our shoestring operation has been very fortunate in having an incredible community of friends and associates, especially here in PT. Even if I could spend the many more hours researching and comparing and crunching numbers, I would still be at the prices we currently list. (starting at $1940) There is no scrimping on quality of materials and specialty parts in our kits and the manuals go way beyond, glue part A to part B. We believe we are providing real value and the resale value for the PT11 fully outfitted (close to 10K) has been very good based on sales of our prototypes.
Shipping varies too much to include it in the price. I can give out quotes to specific destinations.
We do have a smaller and a larger version on the drawing table but it will take some time before we introduce those boats. The PT11 is what we consider to be the ideal size for a nesting dinghy with the fewest compromises.

Again, thank you all for taking the time to send feed back. I will be updating our FAQ page and other pages as a result. cheers to all.
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Old 17-06-2013, 14:46   #23
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Port Townsend Washington, USA,... besides the ply (Joubert) and the sails themselves, we have really tried to keep it local. Thanks for your brainstorms.

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