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Thread: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

  1. #1
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    Default PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    I looked for a thread to attach these to, it seems there was one. Someone asked for shots of this skiff so here is what I took.












    "The hand feeds the mind."
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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival



    "The hand feeds the mind."
    Weston Farmer

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Looks exactly like a Wayfarer hull!

    Jim

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by JPhoenix View Post
    Looks exactly like a Wayfarer hull!

    Jim
    And that is a problem. It is a powerboat, not a sailboat. It is tender and not what I would like to be fishing over the side in. It also runs with the bow too high unless extra weight or passenger is up forward. It will also bank steeply in turns. Reminds me of Bolger's Diablo, a notably skittish little skiff. Getting a lot of press but cute does not guarantee a good boat.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    And that is a problem. It is a powerboat, not a sailboat. It is tender and not what I would like to be fishing over the side in. It also runs with the bow too high unless extra weight or passenger is up forward. It will also bank steeply in turns. Reminds me of Bolger's Diablo, a notably skittish little skiff. Getting a lot of press but cute does not guarantee a good boat.
    Have you been in this boat? All I can see in the photos are the topsides, versus below the waterline.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    I basically copied what McMullen, Yeadon and Hvalsoe use because it worked so well.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    I've looked this boat over a couple times and I just can't warm up to it. Can't quite put my finger on why it has no appeal, but it certainly would be a prettier thing in glued lapstrake rather than those horrendous butted knuckles. Sheer looks a bit flat, stem is awkward, length a bit shortish. Overall it just doesn't move me.

    Some boats grab you on the first look, and you can't quite say why. This one doesn't.

    Workmanship is first-class, but fine art requires more than fine technique.
    Last edited by TerryLL; 09-13-2010 at 08:25 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Have you been in this boat? All I can see in the photos are the topsides, versus below the waterline.
    There were some photos and video of two of the entrants, including the PT Skiff, in a recent edition of the Proboat website. http://www.proboat.com/ The video showed just what I described. Unfortunately it seems WB cleans off the site for each new issue and the archives are not free. Not sure if the archives of the magazine would have the videos or not.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    And that is a problem. It is a powerboat, not a sailboat. It is tender and not what I would like to be fishing over the side in. It also runs with the bow too high unless extra weight or passenger is up forward. It will also bank steeply in turns. Reminds me of Bolger's Diablo, a notably skittish little skiff. Getting a lot of press but cute does not guarantee a good boat.
    I found the Wayfarer to have excellent secondary stability - I don't pretend to understand why, but when it heeled over and we were late responding to a gust, it would get to the second chine and hold - it would just wait for us to do the right thing - not keep going over. Initial stability seemed normal. It was a pretty dry sailer, probably due to that high bow.

    Jim

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by JPhoenix View Post
    I found the Wayfarer to have excellent secondary stability - I don't pretend to understand why, but when it heeled over and we were late responding to a gust, it would get to the second chine and hold - it would just wait for us to do the right thing - not keep going over. Initial stability seemed normal. It was a pretty dry sailer, probably due to that high bow.

    Jim
    Yes, the Wayfarer does have good stability for a small sailboat, certainly better than those I am most familiar with. The PT Skiff is a powerboat with an altogether different operating mode. In a powerboat, is is normal for crew to stand or walk around near the side of the boat. That is definitely not normal in a Wayfarer or any other small sailboat. The need for stability is quite different for these two boats. I can't see an angler bringing a fish in near the the side and a second crew dipping it out with a net in either boat. A powerboat intended for general use needs this kind of stability. The PT does not have it and the Wayfarer does not need it.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Here's the link to the videos Tom is referring to:

    http://www.proboat.com/design-challengers.html

    The Marissa runs obviously flatter than the PT Skiff. I agree the Marissa, with the clipper curve to her stem is the more attractive boat.

    The Proboat text on that same page notes that "Byrnes had recently powered Marissa with a 30-hp Suzuki, but hadn’t had time to tune it or the prop for optimal performance. Marissa ran very evenly with the PT Skiff powered by a 20-hp Yamaha."

    If "runs evenly" means "has the same top speed" that seems like a big difference. The PT Skiff designer's web site states the boat has a top speed with just one person aboard of 23 kts with the 20 hp OB. There is a video on the PT site with two in the boat zooming in to a GPS screen showing 20.5 kts.

    Tom, you have no doubt run Graham's boat - whats the real top speed with one person?

    And Tom, if you don't mind a hypothetical question, how would Marissa compare to your Bluejacket scaled down to 18 feet? Fuel economy in 15 - 18 kt range? Ride in choppy water?
    Last edited by mcdenny; 09-14-2010 at 08:28 AM.
    Denny Wolfe
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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Neither of the boats in that vid have a bracket. Do they even have power trim?

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by mcdenny View Post
    Here's the link to the videos Tom is referring to:

    http://www.proboat.com/design-challengers.html

    The Marissa runs obviously flatter than the PT Skiff. I agree the Marissa, with the clipper curve to her stem is the more attractive boat.

    The Proboat text on that same page notes that "Byrnes had recently powered Marissa with a 30-hp Suzuki, but hadn’t had time to tune it or the prop for optimal performance. Marissa ran very evenly with the PT Skiff powered by a 20-hp Yamaha."

    If "runs evenly" means "has the same top speed" that seems like a big difference. The PT Skiff designer's web site states the boat has a top speed with just one person aboard of 23 kts with the 20 hp OB. There is a video on the PT site with two in the boat zooming in to a GPS screen showing 20.5 kts.

    Tom, you have no doubt run Graham's boat - whats the real top speed with one person?

    And Tom, if you don't mind a hypothetical question, how would Marissa compare to your Bluejacket scaled down to 18 feet? Fuel economy in 15 - 18 kt range? Ride in choppy water?
    Hi Denny,

    Marissa still does not have an optimum prop, nor is there power trim but top speed with better instrumentation is now about 26kts, or was that mph?. The prop was a bit dinged and I cleaned it up, but that is all.

    Denny, there is no magic to speed when the boats are very similar in hullform. From 24 to 18 feet LOA is too much of a range to scale well but these boats are essentially similar in potential. I would expect that a Bluejacket designed to 18' would perform very closely to Marissa if the extra weight of the cabin structure is taken into account. Being very normal in hull shape, both boats can be expected to stay close to predictions based on Crouch's planing speed formula. Bluejacket is a bit slower in top speed than the Marissa form because the aft bottom is optimized for low speed planing.

    Edited to add about the video. The video shows the PT Skiff running at a trim angle much too high to suit me in waves or chop. It will likely give higher top speed though. Its easy to see that the light chop is hitting the PT further aft on its flatter sections while Marissa will be taking the chop on the steeper forward sections.
    Last edited by Tom Lathrop; 09-14-2010 at 10:03 AM.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Running a boat like these WO power trim is like telling time with a broken clock. It has the right time twice a day. With trim locked in, there is only one RPM that is correct. Setting the engines on a bracket will let the engine UP an inch or two, adding again to performance, not just top end, but holeshot, fuel economy and saftey. It is pointless to even choose a prop until one has a power trim bracket.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by JPhoenix View Post
    Looks exactly like a Wayfarer hull!

    Jim
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    And that is a problem. It is a powerboat, not a sailboat. It is tender and not what I would like to be fishing over the side in. It also runs with the bow too high unless extra weight or passenger is up forward. It will also bank steeply in turns. Reminds me of Bolger's Diablo, a notably skittish little skiff. Getting a lot of press but cute does not guarantee a good boat.
    Don't knock the Wayfarer. They will plane off the wind like a powerboat and are seaworthy enough for ocean cruising, if you know what you are doing.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    ...almost any boat is seaworthy, if y' know what yer doin.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Don't knock the Wayfarer. They will plane off the wind like a powerboat and are seaworthy enough for ocean cruising, if you know what you are doing.
    You are reading way more and way less in my post that I put there. I'm a fan of the Wayfarer sailboat and said so in the comparison. That entire quote is about the PT Skiff. A good general purpose powerboat, the Wayfarer is not.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    This shot shows a little of the bottom.

    "The hand feeds the mind."
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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Hey guys, good discussion, but since I am the builder and driver of the blue PTSkiff in the pictures above, I feel compelled to chime in with some real world experience rather than what seems like conjecture based on watching videos and pictures.

    The skiff was not designed to run at a certain top end speed. It was designed as a fuel efficient commuter and camping skiff, and it was designed to answer the parameters of the design challenge. Those were to run 4 people in 2 ft chop at 15 kn at less than 2 gal/hr with less than 18.5 ft LOA. That goal it achieves brillianly!

    The skiff is very efficient though carefull engineering of the structure and incorporation of some pretty nifty features like water ballast.
    Fully rigged, inclusive of 6 gal of fuel and battery, etc. my boat weighs in at 580 lbs. However, I can load over 330lbs of water ballast to settle the hull down when I run solo, or when bashing into some steeper chop. The videos discussed above where taken during top speed comparisons between the skiff and Marissa and thus without water ballast. The skiff is not a speed demon, but I'd say, being able to do with 20 hp what Marissa needs 30 hp to achieve is pretty efficient.

    One of the skiff's better characteristics is that it does not have a displacement hump to climb over. I can run at any speed from 2 to 20 kn without digging a hole or leaving a massive wake. She is just as happy at 10 or 12 kn as she is at 17.

    The skiff is more tender than similar boats with wider flatter runs. But with water ballast it gains all the initial stability I have ever needed. If I want, the ballast loads automatically at rest or idle speed, and drains as soon as I throttle up. Or it stays loaded until I open the valve at the helm.
    I mostly use the boat as a runabout and fishing boat on Puget Sound with my wife and my 10 year old daughter and lack of stability has never been an issue, even when fishing. With her short skeg, she leans over and beautifully carves a turn. One of the most fun times with her so far is to pick a large freighter wake here on Puget Sound and carve sweet bottom turns at 20 kn the way I could not do in a flat wide boat without being afraid of "digging a rail".

    I run the boat with a 25 hp E-tec. Alone she will go 24.5 kn, yet loaded with 3 people cruising at 15-17 kn we use just less than 1.5 gal/hr.

    My wife and I ran the boat up from just north of Seattle to Port Townsend to spend Saturday at the WBF. We ran the boat 3.6 hr for the day at an average speed of 16.4 kn and used 5.5 gal. I am very happy with the speed/efficiency!

    Aesthetics are obviously personal tastes. All I can say is that my bright decks look great from the helm.

    I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions mentioned in this thread. Please feel free to ask any questions. Better yet, I hope to see you on the water.

    Disclaimer: I have no afiliation with PT Watercraft other than having bought the kit from them. However, I do think that Russell Brown and Paul Bieker have created a great skiff for the purpose it was intended.

    Cheers, Jan

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Jan, thanks for the first hand data.

    Woodenboat Magazine is great but they are not sticklers for hard data. They had a perfect opportunity to actually test the PT Skiff and Marissa with a GPS for speed and a fuel flow meter to see just how efficient these boats are. Can't you see the banner across the Jan 2011 cover: Design Challenge I Shootout!!!!
    Denny Wolfe
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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Agreed, they should have run a more structured comparison.

    The nice thing about the E-Tec is that I can just plug in a laptop and use BRP's diagnostics software to get a full report on RPM, fuel flow, etc. No guessing involved.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    ...put power trim brackets on both. Then work out props , then test.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    ...put power trim brackets on both. Then work out props , then test.
    You keep saying that. Yet may I suggest that you run the boat yourself first. You may just find like I did, that it is not necessary to spend the extra 30 lbs and $600 for PT&T on this hull.

    My skiff is set up perfectly. I tuned the motor heigth and changed the prop to reach the top end of the recommended RPM with 1/2 load.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    heck, I'd love to run the boat. Acheiving rpm alone (what trim setting?) does not mean the boat has been tweaked. With PT, you can carry a larger wheel and still reach RPM. Plus plane faster, go faster,and burn less fuel, even with the extra 40 pounds. Neither of the boats have it.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    Ah, you are right, neither boats have it. Do you think that is by accident? Do you think that the people involved in developing either boat don't know about PT&T?

    In a bigger boat, or a different hull shape I would fully agree with you. Not on the PT Skiff hull though. Paul Bieker's website has the line drawings if you are curious. There is no "planing faster" since the PT Skiff is more of a semi displacement hull and has no displacement hump at all.

    I am quite happy with the "simple and light approach", but I conceed, others may want to push more buttons while driving.

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    Default Re: PT Skiff at the Port Townsend Festival

    I saw this boat at the festival, and saw the contest in ProBoat too. I think it is a very attractive boat, but the thing I like the best is it's small HP requirement and fuel economy. I don't know about it's stability or handling, but I was tempted to go for a ride. (Of course I'm always tempted to go for a ride at WBF)
    "Don't tell me that I can't. Tell me how I can!"
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