I was in touch with Warren Messer while building a Hudson Springs 10’ pram, I would like to thank him for his help and let you know it is finished.
I just got back from fishing, a week at Tunkwa Resort near Merritt, British Columbia. We fished four different lakes in the area with modest success and had an absolutely superb time. There were four of us, two fishers and two hunter/fishers. The other fisher has a pram as well but with less freeboard and it now looks like we will be building another 10 footer. We were able to load both prams into his truck, which was to our advantage as we did not have to trailer one into some of the back country lakes we like where most of the roads are cattle trails.
About the pram; It was very easy to use, either with my 32 pound thrust electric motor or with the 8’ oars. It is very spacious, especially compared to the other pram. I used the pyramid seat system instead of the bench so I can walk around the seat and not try to step over the bench seat. I also altered the height of the seat so the battery is placed under the seat near the center of gravity, Arlen had his under the bench seat at the back of his boat and at times he had almost no freeboard at the transom. The only drawback to this so far is I sit a bit high for working the oars, I’m 6’1”. I used 2 pieces of 1x2 (3/4 x1 ½) for the gunnels and there are gussets in the 4 inboard corners for a nice bit of tidily work. I put a bench at the back to carry gear and a small compartment in the bow for stowing more gear. I may have made a mistake by putting the hatch on the top instead of the face, but I am going to try to seal it as I did for the kayaks I built so water does not get in. I used spruce for the frame of the bench and the locker because of its light weight and tensile strength and then faced the lot with Okoume plywood or mahogany. I put a light layer of sand on the bottom in the last coat of epoxy for “anti-slip” and I put indoor/outdoor carpet in so if I trod on my rod or flies they did not get crushed or broken, just pushed into the carpet. I used oak for the strakes on the bottom as that wood is tougher than mahogany.
|Away we go
|Every clamp I own
|Tidily bits that work
|The oak strakes
|The finished pram, you can make out the raised seat, all the mounting blocks for the oarlocks, rod holders and anchor arms are solid mahogany, bits from another project.
I was able to follow your plans quite well, although I got confused once or twice but you have been great with answers and suggestions. I wish I had kept track of the number of hours I put into the pram just out of curiosity. I started in January and I finished it in September of this year, much better than the eight years it took to finish the kayaks. In my defence I will say this time there was no house fire, I did not get burned, I did not have to get my elbow rebuilt after a work place injury etc. Life is what happens when you have other plans.
I will say that have enjoyed building this craft. It was a pleasure to watch flat bits of wood come alive and turn into shapes and curves to become a delightful and very usable boat for my hobby of fishing. The second one is always better, I know I can do better now with the epoxy to get a smoother finish. There is something about wood that draws people in, everywhere we stopped, at the ferry slip to get off Vancouver Island, for gas, to get supplies, people came out to look at the prams. Most asked where we bought them and got really interested when we said I built mine. Other craft might be easier to build or easier to maintain but, wood speaks to us. I include a few photos of the pram for your amusement and hopefully your pleasure.
Thanks so much for your time and for the design of this lovely craft.