Prams and Punts  

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Sturdy 9 ft Pram (Pub. No. 5012)

(For Oars, Sail or Outboard Motor) Developed years ago by seafaring Scandinavians, whose very lives depended upon the seaworthiness of their boats, prams have rendered valuable service as ship's dinghies and in countless other ways. In their modern form, embodying the numerous refinements that have been added from time to time, these sturdy little craft can be used successfully for purposes never dreamed of by the original designers. The pram is easily ad cheaply built or ordinary materials available anywhere. The completed boat will weigh from 75 to 100 pounds, depending upon the materials used. As a yacht dinghy, the pram tows better than any other type of boat, and will accomodate safely just about as many persons as can find room for their feet. It sails well, and may be easily rowed. Due to its light weight and generaous capacity, it makes a fine general-purpose hull for transporting on top of an automobile or by trailer. With a one to sixteen-horespower outboard, it can be used for trolling, or its speed can be stepped up to rival that of an outboard racing boat. Though only nine feet long, the pram, because of its broad beam and scow bow, is superior to the average fourteen-foot rowboat in roominess and seaworthiness.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Bouncing Betty--A Round-Bottom Lapstrake Pram (Pub. No. 5036)

Based on a successful boat built a few years ago by the well-known naval architect Sam Rabl, who needs no introduction, this pram is constructed of white oak, white cedar, and mahogany. It has a round bottom and lapstrake planking. Right here a lot of you will probably turn pale and gasp, “A round-bilge hull? That means steam-bent frames. I could never do it! That’s bunk! Any professional boatbuilder will tell you that a round-bottom boat is easier, quicker, and cheaper to build than one that has a V-bottom. The delusion of difficulty starts in the greenhorn’s mind with the words “steam-bent.” He conjures up a picture in his mind of a high-pressure boiler, a mess of piping, and a complex steambox. Nuts! These frames are not steamed at all, but boiled, which gives better results. All the apparatus you need is a length of old pipe, any kind. Plug one end with cement and prop the other up so the pipe forms a 30-degree angle with the ground; then build a scrapwood fire about the lower end. That’s all. Anybody who can boil an egg can boil a stick of wood.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Ring-A-Ding--A 7'9" Pram Dinghy (Pub. No. 5050)

by C.P. and E.D. Burgess

The 7’9” pram dinghy illustrated is a small but useful little boat: it can be fitted with an outboard motor, set up as a rowboat or rigged for sailing. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to make. If you’re a beginner at the boat building business, you could start with this design before tackling a more complicated plan. Although simple, it embodies many of the principles of boat building in wood. The design is worked in oak, mahogany and fir plywood, with spruce or fir for the mast-- if you wish to rig her for sailing. For the plywood, use Douglas Fir Exterior Grade A-A, which is intended for use where both sides of the panel are to be smooth and tight. Mahogany is used for the keel. The framing is in oak, while the seat risers and supports may be oak or mahogany.

17 pages, 11 plate(s)

Hot Foot--A Speedy Outboard V-Bottom Pram (Pub. No. 5225)

by Luther H. Tarbox, Naval Architect

For the chap who desires to build a high-performance, V-bottom outboard having nearly the simplicity of construction of a flat-bottom boat, "Hot Foot" will prove to be just what the doctor ordered. She will plan with moderate power, yet she is rugged enough to take a 25-hp motor. Powered with a hot motor, she could give some of the service outboard racing runabouts a run for their money. While she won't pound too much and will be reasonably dry in choppy water, she was not designed for open-water use. The construction of Hot Foot is fairly rugged. No attempt has been made to secure light weight at the expense of adequate hull strength, so she can be depended upon to give years of satisfaction. This cannot be said of many designs of her type and intended service. She can be planked with either waterproof plywood or conventional wood.

12 pages, 4 plate(s)

New Hope--An 8 Ft Weekend-Build Pram (Pub. No. 5287)

by Hal Kelly

Originally planned as a tender for a large boat, this little pram became a sailboat at the insistence of youngsters in the family. It has served both purposes welL Up to four people have been rowed ashore at once and even the slightest breeze carries the kids along under sail. We used less than three 4x8-foot sheets of quarter-inch exterior plywood for the planking, seats and gussets. The bottom was fiber-glassed for added protection in beaching. As a study of the drawings will show, a handyman in a hurry could finish most of the work in one week end. The jig is nothing more than two parallel 2x4’s, cross braced and leveled on blocks or sawhorses. The jig lumber needn’t go to waste, either, for there are many uses it can be put to around the house. We used white cedar for the framing but straight-grained fir would fill the bill, too.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

94-Inch Featherweight Pram for Rowing or Towing (Pub. No. 5317)

by Roland Cueva

Owners of small cruising boats, sail or power, in the eighteen to twenty-five foot class, will find this little 8-ft. plywood pram the answer to their ship-to-shore and towing problems. Torp, as the original was named, was designed specifically as a tender to the 18-ft. auxiliary sloop Bonnie. A craft the size of Bonnie obviously could not tow a heavy rowboat on cruises, and lacked the deck space for storing a dinghy aboard. A very light, easily towed tender was needed; one that would be small enough to appear in proper proportion to Bonnie when trailing astern, yet would be capable of shuttling three, or even four persons in a pinch, from shore to the mooring.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Corky--A Simple Pram (Pub. No. 5329)

by Henry Clark

Anyone can make this simple pram for about $20 and from a single sheet of exterior plywood.

You can easily bend together this 8-ft. dinghy, or pram, from only one single panel of 4x8 plywood! This is cutting boat building to the bone, lumberwise and labor-wise, but nevertheless, you come up with a durable, stable, able and extremely light rig in which you can paddle out to your mooring, car-top to a favorite fishing spot, turn the kids loose in for frolic, or just plain build for the heck of it You will end up with a worthy boat, all 35 lbs. of her. Clamp a 3 hp. Lightwin Evinrude (or other small engine) on your transom, and this midget moves along at a good 12 mph clip, thanks to its flat bottom.

7 pages, 2 plate(s)

Graefin-10 (Pub. No. 5354)

designed by Will Graef

Sailing pram ideal for learning the basics of sailing, is also fun for more experienced sailors.

Sailing enthusiasts and backyard boatbuilders are not likely to find plans for a sailing pram that can be built faster, lighter, stronger, or less expensivelv than Graefin-10. Two men can begin work on a Friday evening and have a smart, lively 10-ft. 85-pound sailer in the water by Sunday evening. It's been done. Graefin sailers have been dropped two stories in tests without damage and have been suspended by one gunwale while an Army Jeep was suspended from the other. Graefin sailed away. You can build this sailing pram from scratch, using exterior or boatstock plywood from your local lumberyard and any of the dozens of plastic resins on the market.

8 pages, 4 plate(s)

Shipmite--An 81/2-Ft. Plywood Pram (Pub. No. 5405)

by Leonard H. Cross

Shipmite rows easily, has great carrying capacity and is the best behaved tender I ever towed in a following sea.

Shipmite is the direct result of a daughter’s persistence and it required months of hard work—on her part—before the lines were finally laid out. That settled, it. I had gone too far to back down and so the material was ordered and the pram built. I have already jumped ahead of the building of Shipmite, so let me first give you some idea of the way she acted. For a little 81/2-foot ship (and I use the word intentionally) it is truly surprising how well she goes to windward and the balance is good. In the lightest breeze she has a distinct tendency to head into the wind and in a strong northeaster required very little rudder to hold her off the wind. In a good breeze she will run away from my tender with a five horsepower outboard. This I know, because I tried to catch my daughter for dinner one day and failed. My wife and I spent most of the summer at Coecles Harbor, Shelter Island, aboard our cruiser Shipmate, but not daughter; she lived aboard Shipmite. In the little water-tight locker, forward, she had canned goods, matches, a spare bathing suit, and many other miscellaneous articles. With this equipnient she would leave early in the morning, sail to some deserted beach, build a fire, go for a swim, eat and just generally have the time of her life. One day, before daughter had time to get the mast in place, I sneaked off with the outboard on Shipmite’s stern. With the motor opened up I crawled to the forward thwart and had all the sensations of being in a fifty-mile speedboat. Shipmite weighs only eighty-seven pounds and really gets up on top with this motor, but I realize boat speeds are generally over-estimated and of course fifteen miles is a good clip on the water. Frankly I had never thought of a pram as possessing particularly good looks, but there is something about a whole lot of good qualities that tend to beautify and after a full summer’s use Shipmite looks positively handsome.

25 pages, 3 plate(s)

Hitch-Hiker--A Running Board Boat (Pub. No. 5412)

by Jack Beater

I'm just one of a vast number of poor but presumably honest folks who have felt the urge to own a boat but can’t follow the usual way to satisfy said urge. The reason probably lies in the fact that our bank accounts (if any) are entirely too slim-waisted to stand the strain of a twenty footer, or even a glorified skiff. As a consequence many thousand of us potential boat enthusiasts have been cornpelled to spend our holidays in the family car, inching through traffic jams, breathing exhaust gas, and eating picnic lunches beside a dusty highway. And don’t forget the flies. Since the free time at my disposal was limited and I was unable to use a boat regularly, it was essential that the hull be simple. There are no planks to steam or bend into graceful curves, and no seams to caulk, yet the result is a very snappy, trustworthy boat. A saw, a hammer, a plane, tin snips and a soldering copper are literally all the tools needed. While the boat is only 31/2 feet wide and 8 feet long its buoyancy is very much greater than a conventional row-boat or skiff of even larger size. This is due to the fact that its square, flat bottom displaces a maximum amount of water. Its draft with two persons is only 4 inches, and light it is less than 2 inches. The cockpit is roughly 3 by 5 feet which offers ample room for two people on short trips. Its small size and light weight make it easy to mount and carry on the running board of most any car.

16 pages

7' 4" Plywood Pram (Pub. No. 5446)

by Edson I. Schock

This boat was designed as a tender for a small yacht, where a larger tender would be too bulky or too heavy to take aboard. She rows easily and tows well. Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say that any dinghy tows well, they all give more or less trouble, but this one is no worse than the others. She has good stability, and will carry her share of the load.

22 pages, 3 plate(s)

8 foot Sailing Pram (Pub. No. 5467)

by Jack Payne

This little boat is easy to handle and safe for kids of all ages

This little 8-ft. sailboat is designed to be built of easily obtainable materials with minimum woodworking skills and simple  hand operated power tools. The gaff-rig was used to make the sail easy to cut and sew on a home machine. Total materials for the boat we bbuilt including sails, hardware, fiberglass, resin and paint—came to less than $99. Construction time for two men was aapproximately24 hours, but this does not include time spent getting the tools out, coffee breaks, standing back and looking and clean-up. Exterior A.C-grade plywood was used for all parts including ddagger board and rudder. Clear white pine was used for everything else. Other woods can be used if you wish (marine plywood, sspruce white oak, fir chines and clamps, redwood, spruce or 2-ft-diameter aluminum tube for the mast, mahogany for rudder and ddagger board but they will bring the cost up.

4 pages, 2 plate(s)

Aquapram--A simple little 8 ft. utility pram (Pub. No. 5473)

by Hal Kelly

A useful little boat that can be built in a single weekend and will give many hours of fun for the family

With cars, there’s a concept known as the BTV—the basic transportation vehicle. It’s a fairly self-explanatory idea. All you want is to go from here to there and back, usually not too far, not too expensively and at a pretty low initial cost. We’ve never heard of this concept transferred on a one-to-one basis to boating, but if it were, we’ve got one of the ones. We call her AquaPram and she’s basic transportation on the water. Eight ft. long and 5 ft. 4 in. wide, AquaPram weighs in at a hair over 100 lbs., which makes her just right for cartopping. This means you have no trouble getting her to the water in the first place.     And once there, her virtues begin to show. You can row her. You can put up to a 5-hp motor on her. You can even set her up to take asmall sail if you want. She’s excellent as a tender to a larger boat. Her stability is beyond compare, so there’s no problem of tippiness going from one craft to another. This stability also makes her an excellent swimmer’s or diver’s boat, since she’s almost impossible to turn over crawling in and out of. In fact, as a test, we put four people on her gunwale and she didn’t even ship water. She’s also good as a utility pram for outdoorsmen who might want to use her to shoot or fish from. With her 4-in, draft, she’ll go over all but the shallowest shallows, and is easily pulled up on any beach. She’ll take two men with all their fishing gear and still have room for lunch and beer. But in addition, she has a hidden virtue. She’s unsinkable. AquaPram has her outside sections filled with foam molded in place. Again, as a test, we put three people in her and pulled the plugs. She never even filled to the seats. Not built for speed but for safety and utility, she still hits 7 mph pushed by the 3.6 and carrying three people.

5 pages, 1 plate(s)

Teacup--A Basic-Basic Sailboat (Pub. No. 5483)

by M.M. Matthews

Only 91/2 feet long, this salty little pram is small enough for a 10-year old to handle easily, large enough for dad to enjoy. And it's an easy project even for the first-time boat builder.

Teacup is a design that gets right down to the basics. With almost 5 fet of beam, it's a stable sturdy craft that handles nicely, an ideal learner's boat. While not a hot boat, by any means, Teacup's performance has enough sparkle to make this a fun little day sailer for anyone. Construction is a blend of economy and simplicity. To simplify the two most difficult parts of hull building, Teacup has a pram nose instead of a curved bow and a dagger centerboard rather than the more complicated swing-up board. Even the sail plan is simple. If you've never tried your hand at boat building, Teacup is a perfect choice as a first project. Dimensions were planned to utilize 10-ft. sheets of plywood, available on special order from your lumber dealer. Naturally, 8-ft. sheets may also be used, but this will require butt joints in the planking.

15 pages, 5 plate(s)

Little Giant--A 9 foot Portable Pram (Pub. No. 5493)

by J.B. Temple

Combining the light-weight qualities of a small boat, and the strength of a larger boat, Little Giant was designed to meet exacting specifications. It is small enough to be transported on the top of a car, light enough so that two men can carry it over rough portages, sturdy enough to tow heavy loads safely, and strong enough to bounce off hidden snags. In general Little Giant is nine feet two and a quarter inches long and will rest with ease on a car top. It has a stubby bow which gives the seaworthieness of a boat several feet longer. When properly loaded, its modified vee bottom rises up on the waves like a duck and it will not dunk its nose or push water ahead of it. It has a wide beam of forty-six inches and the splay on the sides makes it seaworthy and comparatively dry in rough waters. It is a wonder with an outboard motor, as the shape of the bottom gives it a tendency to plane and hold its head up even at slow speeds. This boat is very easy and economical to build. The dimensions and bevels given in the accompanying plans are accurate as they have been checked and double checked from finished boats. Therefore, it is not necessary that you go through that bug-bear of boat construction in making full size layouts. If you can work accurately and frame to the dimensions and angles given, the parts will fit.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Kingfisher--A 9' Pram (Pub. No. 5520)

Originally developed separately by Scandinavian fishermen and Dutchmen hundreds of years ago for use upon rough open waters of the Old World, the pram reflects the qualities of these hardy seafarers, for it is exceptionally practical and useful under all conditions. This modernized version of the pram, which is here called the “Kingfisher,” is perhaps the most versatile craft that may be found. It rows easily, sails well, and propels nicely with small outboard motors. It weighs only 90-100 lbs. and therefore is easily handled and carried atop any auto for sport and adventure limited only by road maps. It is wide beamed and due to the commodious design its capacity is the equal of much larger boats. Casting or still fishing is easily accomplished standing upright in it. This pram will safely seat three persons. All construction details have been simplified to permit easy fabrication and material costs are easily within the reach of everyone.

10 pages, 1 plate(s)

Stubby--An Elegant Punt (Pub. No. 5543)

by Edwin Monk

This little boat is similar to one designed by the author for Pacific Motorboat and published in the February, 1930, issue of that magazine. It has proven quite popular and a large number have been built. This boat was 8’ 6” long with a beam of 4’, carried four people nicely and made a light, seaworthy little tender or rowboat. The new design has been simplifled somewhat, and has but one knuckle instead of two, and is a little longer being 9’ by 4’. In ease of construction, this type of boat is excelled only by the simple square-end punt, to which it is in every way superior.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

Imada and How I Made Her, The (Pub. No. 5646)

(A Thames punt)

Reprinted from "The Boy's Own Paper."

by G.H. Bailey

The “Imada” is the name of my punt, with which I drift down the stream of life—which in my case is a very small trout stream, flowing slowly and silently through countless water meadows, eventually finding its way into the river Itchen at a spot just below Winchester.  There are many fellows living near such streams who cannot utilize them because the building of a small boat to them is a matter of great difficulty and expense; and it is for them that I here describe the building of a small flat-bottomed boat, which can be punted, paddled, or oared along, and which only draws an inch and a half of water.  From the instructions given it will be found easy to build; but, of course, great care must be taken in getting the measurements exact, and the seams well caulked to prevent leakage.

8 pages

How to Build a Simple 14' Fishing Punt (Pub. No. 5661)

by Gordon Meggy

Reprinted from "The Boy's Own Paper

Ask the ordinary boat-builder how much he will charge to build you a fishing punt and he will probably surprise you with the extent of his demands. To remonstrate with him is useless. He enlarges upon the expense of material, the skill and knowledge required and the time occupied, and you will no doubt come to the conclusion that the craft is beyond your pocket.  Yet the building of a fishing punt is no difficult matter to anyone with a taste for amateur carpentering, and the cost will not exceed a few pounds, which will cover every possible item for a good punt 14 ft. long.

12 pages

Little Star--An All-Purpose Utility Dinghy (Pub. No. 5706)

by Sam Rabl

A really handsom little round-bilge lapstreak pram. Designed for a variety of uses, this eleven foot pram-type dinghy may be rowed, sailed, raced in the Moth class, or driven by an outboard engine. It is clinker built of white oak and mahogany, copper fastened throughout.

To facilitate construction level a strongback of 2” by 6” timbers twelve feet long on two saw horses. Make the moulds from 3/4" white pine as shown on the drawings. The joints in these can be made with Stanley corrugated fasteners to save the bother of battens and screws. Construct the transom from 7/8” mahogany to dimensions shown on the plan. No attempt to bevel this member to the lines is made as the cuts for the planking take care of this later. The motor pad is screwed and casein glued to the inside of the transom before erection. All screws that might eventually show above the stern seat are let in and covered with ½” mahogany plugs.

7 pages, 2 plate(s)

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