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by Fred Night - Port Orange, Florida - USA

I was enthralled by Roy Schreyer's houseboat Dianne's Rose and when checking his website (, I found his beautiful tender THORN. Well that makes sense, as an old P'PAW to six beautiful gals; I am frequently the thorn among the roses. I see that his tender will run a trolling motor with the battery in the bunk. At 4 foot by 8 foot THORN will not fit in the bed of a small pickup. What if I could make a pram that would fit in the back of a small pickup truck and put in a front to back seat or bunk? Then I could use the 30-year-old trolling motor and battery that are collecting dust in my boat palace. I would have an electric boat that would slide through the water. That is just the name for a trolling motor pram, ELECTRIC SLIDE, (it is the name of a dance, ask your mom).

I found a sheet of LUAN plywood with a crack in the side in the CULL lumber at HOME DEPOT. For three dollars I was off and running, removing the damaged side, left a board of 8 foot by 31 inches. I split that in half long ways, curved the bow two inches per side and bent it back together as the bottom. Next I made a mid frame 31 inches at the bottom and 36 inches at the top. The pram bow was designed with a pull handle to move this boat on dry land. I put twin skids on the bottom and drag this baby from the truck to the water.

I made the bow transom from ½ inch plywood and the stern transom from ¾ plywood. After hooking up the two transoms and the center frame with the bent up plywood bottom, I made a simple temporary frame of 1x2's from side to side and front to back. The boat was then inverted on sawhorses and fitted with side panels of door skin. The sides were glued inside to the floor, the mid frame and the transoms then trimmed with a saw. The sides run from 12 inches in the stern to 16 inches amidships and 9 inches at the bow. The thinking on this was that the 40 pound battery would sit in front of the midframe and the captain could sit about amidships, so in an 8-foot boat a slightly higher side might be desired. The rear transom was reinforced to take the trolling motor and a little 2-foot deck in the front was added. The seat bunk took a little doing in a small pram; I went with 12 inches wide and 48 inches long with a removable top.

The battery will sit in front of the seat bunk.

This boat came out so cute it has a bit of a SCAMP look with the curves and pram bow. The paint job was from my collection of mismatched paint from LOWES.


My long serving first mate is working and going full time to college, alas no time for small boats. Never fear another beautiful granddaughter is found to pilot the ELECTRIC SLIDE. Her grandmother had many common sense questions that were overcome and ignored and we launched the ELECTRIC SLIDE in backwaters of the HALIFAX RIVER. The ELECTRIC SLIDE proved smooth and stable carrying 250lbs of captain and pilot. We frightened a few birds with our silent craft for they had never seen anything like the ELECTRIC SLIDE.

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