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Old 15-06-2013, 09:45   #1
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Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Hi all, My husband, Russell, and I have spent large portions of our lives cruising. These days we feel lucky to escape on our boat for a few weeks a year. This is due to having started our own, land bound, business. Don't get me wrong. We love what we do. Russell has experimented with nesting boats since he was a teenager, having built his first nesting kayak in my shed in St. Croix in 1979. Throughout his travels, other cruisers eyed his nesting kayaks and dinghies enviously. Thus, the focus of our fledgling business, has been to create a kit version of his best yet, nesting dinghy design. The PT 11 nesting dinghy has attracted many types of customers, mostly folks preparing to go cruising, casual rowers and sailors, and some who have the dinghy built for them... The PT 11 was designed as a tender for serious cruisers and our dream is to replace more than a few inflatables.
My question is, how many active cruisers might find the time and space to build their own dinghy? I would like to hear back from the community about this.
Even though our business is all about the kits (and the art of working with epoxy), several people have talked about doing a production version of this boat. We do not see that happening in the near future. The kit is really cool. The manual is amazing by all accounts of customer feedback. It is not a dinghy that can be built in a week, but that is because lots of longevity details are incorporated in the building process. In addition to being a lightweight nester, a good rowboat and a fun sailing dinghy, those extra details are what make this little boat exceptional. You are invited to visit our page. Or see the . We are sponsoring advertisers here and it was suggested that I post a relevant question. Your thoughts are important to me. Many thanks, and fair winds to all.

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Old 15-06-2013, 09:57   #2
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

Great little boat. I liked the video of unloading it from the back of a small vehicle by assembling it as it was unloaded. Price seems pretty good, although I didn't see the price for the sail kit.

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Old 15-06-2013, 10:10   #3
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

Thanks for the reply. I think my website is a little confusing. Still working on it. Here is the options page link. Any thoughts about cruisers having the time and space to build their own dinghy? I guess if you are not on your boat all year round or remain in port for a couple of months out of the year... This has been a topic that I have made some assumptions about but have not asked enough active cruisers about. Cheers.
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Old 15-06-2013, 19:12   #4
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We are currently setting aside a winter in Maine to build our dream nesting, sailing/rowing dinghy. It'll either be your PT 11 or Danny Greene's Chameleon once we figure out the details geometrically. Assuming we get the boat funds together, anyway. We've been towing an old Atkin Vintage my dad built from Maine to Georgia in hops and there's nothing like towing a dinghy offshore for three days to make you long after a nester, especially when you end by having to work to windward and the dinghy's been taking on water...

I think you've done an incredible job with the design and there is a lot of detailed thought that has gone into that boat. I don't think most folks realize just how subtle an art dinghy design is. I also appreciate how much thought you've put into durability...because we're going to use the hell out of our next dinghy, just like we have this one.

BTW, you don't happen to know of anyone on the East Coast between Long Island (where we are now) and Maine that's built a PT 11? Being able to test one out in person and haul it up on deck to test fit would be a dream...
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Old 15-06-2013, 19:19   #5
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

I haven't built a PT (yet) but I had a chance to look very closely at them last fall at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Having built my own 11'6" Whitehall and a fair amount of boat cabinetry I can tell you I was mightily impressed with their kits. But more impressive, at least to me, was watching one sail through the fleet of anchored vessels there for the festival. It sailed like a Banshee so if you do get one, definitely get the sailing kit. These look like very nice tenders indeed.
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Old 15-06-2013, 20:32   #6
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

Very nice! Good video.
Thanks and welcome aboard.
kind regards,
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Old 15-06-2013, 22:06   #7
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

I've spent quite a bit of time on your website and I really admire the PT11 design. I'm not a cruiser like most of the folks on this website but I do build small boats for fun. I met a man today who is a retired college prof and he's taken up building small boats. He's started selling them to pay for his hobby. I bet he would love to assemble one of your kits for a cruiser who doesn't have the time or skills. I have no idea what he would charge but it's an option to get one built.
I bet there are many people like him scattered around.
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Old 15-06-2013, 22:08   #8
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

Hello ptwatercraft.

You have a very appealing small boat design that many cruisers would love to have as a supplement to their watercraft arsenal. However, I think most cruisers view their dinghy as a utility vehicle that is prized for its ability it withstand tremendous abuse and thrashings. I know that for myself, I would be limited to where I would go if my dingy was as lovely as what you offer.

35 years ago (as I kid), I built a Rabl Midge (8 ft. plywood pram) that my father and I used as our dingy for 18 years aboard Panope. Dad sawed it in half for nesting during his trip to Mexico. It was a very successful dingy for us because it was built heavy and a bit crude. We never worried about gouging chunks out of the bottom while dragging the thing over oysters and rocks or leaving it unattended at a crowded dingy docks with other people's outboard motors protruding like jousting sticks.

I have since retired the Midge and now use what is just about the most bland hard dingy available - a Walker Bay 8. I am almost to embarrassed by it to even use it. However, the thing is just about indestructible and even more importantly it will not destruct the big boat when it inevitably slams into her.

I imagine that there are some cruisers (including me) that would have the time to build their own dinghy. Do you by chance have on your drawing board a design that one would be more willing to abuse? Maybe a bit smaller and built a bit more heavy duty?

Thanks for posting and good luck with your ventures.

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Old 16-06-2013, 02:57   #9
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Re: DO cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

I am not a "serious" cruiser - but I am 18 months into a project for building a nesting dink (with a sail).......when I say "into", that means I have not yet got around to even ordering the wood! - but the plan is all ready to go .

I mention that because I suspect I am not alone with these sorts of projects, they kinda fit around other stuff and life so have a somewhat longer time from start to finish than simply the time spent involve cutting and glueing bits of wood! I am pretty sure that will still apply even once the wood (or a kit) turns up - being house based that not such a biggie (have room to tuck the stuff away), but if someone is actively cruising then space will be a limiter.

Obviously that a great motivator to build the bl##dy thing!, but even then not always possible to find the time, weather and place to build as intended (or at least not uninterrupted) will very likely be tripping over the bits onboard for a probably not telling you anything you don't know already!, I note that production not in your immediate plans - but what about a half way solution of a part built as an option.....or simply plans?

All that not really the reason for this post!, I saw the small motor launch on your website and reminded me of an idea that has been kicking around my mind for a few years - a fast day sailing boat (19 foot?). Fast because it cruises on a plane at around 12 knots under o/b motor! Sailing will be compromised, but only intended for around the bay etc not passages. Think Macgregor with no lid (and drop keel not water ballast), albeit I am thinking in style more Orkney Longliner (UK based small fishing launch based on sailing versions - albeit hull shape much tweaked for power, cracking seaboats)......the use? around islands / for island hopping and then chillaxing under sail (or fishing under sail).....before returning ASAP.....would work around here........(France and a couple of islands between 12 and 40 miles away).
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Old 16-06-2013, 04:45   #10
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Very nice boat--very nice indeed !!
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 16-06-2013, 05:20   #11
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

I saw a blog post of someone building one of these PT dinghy's and it looked pretty good.
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Old 16-06-2013, 06:22   #12
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

The PT11 is a lovely little craft. Looks like a joy to sail. However, I just can't get past the price for a kit. Heck, I can go buy a used Catalina 22 for the price of the kit, epoxy, etc.

Sorry to be negative, but for me the cost + effort = end product equation doesn't work.
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Old 16-06-2013, 06:24   #13
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

Nice design! I don't see any mention of it taking an outboard? This would be an important feature for many cruisers.

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Old 16-06-2013, 06:49   #14
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

You asked, Do cruisers have time to build their own dinghy?

I think it will be difficult for individuals to answer your question except in a general sense. Unless one has a finger on the pulse of a loose knit community...maybe you should direct your question to one of the magazines devoted to cruising and sailing in general.

While I would build a PT11 kit, drawing from experience in the construction industry, I think less than 10% of the general population would take on such a project. Perhaps that figure would be higher amongst cruisers but only slightly. Still, how many units to be profitable and for the long term? That is the real question. Also, the over $4k is too much. But that's me and I realize my opinion is skewed since I have the 'curse' of working with my hands and have done so all my life. Chesapeake Lightboats (kayaks) had some of the same problems with pricing. Consult them to see how they dealt with things. I imagine there are plenty of folks who see the current pricing as attractive.

May I suggest you square up your web page before you get very active in soliciting business. As your page is now, it begs a process of Q&A with each customer. I could not confidently decipher the printable price list page.

What does the PT11 weigh? What do each halves weigh? Are shipping costs included in the Basic Kit price? I went to the GACO oarlocks webpage and did not find an answer to how the locks you use are constructed nor of what material. I am sufficiently concerned even though GACO is a reputable company of experience. When I row I lay my back into it and have broken oars in pulling. Or perhaps rowing in moderate chop.... How the locks--with or without the risers--stand up to that punishment is my concern.

The bottom line is you have a fine boat which would be a proud addition to any deck. I think that ol bugaboo "marketing" is the big hurdle.
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Old 16-06-2013, 07:07   #15
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Re: Do Cruisers Have Time to Build Their own Dinghy?

What is the delivered price of the kit?

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