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Building A Sailing Pram
Building A 7 ft. 10 In. Sailing Pram(or Picnic Table Boat Building) Page 1 of 3.
I was looking for a new project to build. I wanted it to be a sail boat, but small enough for one person to lift and launch, and easy to build. I had some designs of my own but while looking through them I found the plans for a small pram that had been designed for the American Plywood Association in 1958. I had purchased them back when I was a teen, but had never gone beyond studying them. The boat was first designed by C. P. and E. D. Burgess, and later revised by Edwin Monk for the APA, as part of the APA's program to publicize the ease of building with Douglas Fir plywood. Probably the best known boat from the APA is the Thunderbird.
However, the plans are for conventional construction and I wanted to do this one in stitch and glue, slightly modified. Instead of stitching I would use boat nails to tack the hull together before gluing the seams with fiberglass tape and epoxy. I do not want to fiberglass the entire boat. This took some planning on how to proceed. I also discovered that many details were left out of the plans, and some of the dimensions did not add up. But, more on this later. So in a way it is my own design.
The plans called for three sheets of 1/4" Douglas Fir Exterior grade plywood. I decided to use 6mm Okoume BS1088 marine plywood which is rather expensive but well worth the cost. But more important, I had some excellent dark red mahogany wood recycled from a four poster bed made in the 1840's. I would use this through out the boat. In addition to trim and small pieces, the transom, rudder, skeg and part of the centerboard trunk are all of this wood. I also planned to use System Three Epoxy which I had great success with on the FL 12.
I might add that I live in a motorhome, and I am building boats in an RV park. So my work surface is a picnic table. That's why I call this Picnic Table Boat Building. This also affects when I can build and how much I can do. Plus I do not use a lot of large machines. I use hand tools and a few hand power tools. My only large machine is a portable table saw that I bought specifically for this project. I needed it to rip out strips for the miscellaneous parts. They were taken out of the side rails of the bed. The weather has the largest effect, and here in the Pacific northwest it rains; a lot! This significantly played into how long this project took.
Revised 11/7/2010 © newboatbuilders.com 2010 All rights reserved.
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