boats prams

One class of craft that few people ever think about is probably the first boat that anyone ever uses, the humble pram. Its not a new craft as it has been around, in one form or another, for at least two centuries or more. Indeed, some might consider the pram to be the original keelboat because that is really all it is.Usually 12-feet or less, they are more apt to be used as tenders or marina launches, if equipped with a 5 horsepower motor, than anything else. And, if you look at their construction closely, youll find they are very simply built.A prams basic construction is very simple. It consists of a keel laid down and then the hull pieces are cut and toenailed into place at roughly a 30-degree angle. From those base pieces two side base pieces are toenailed into place and then the hull support pieces are toenailed into place. Since the pram is usually constructed with its keel in the air, you can see the outline of the craft once the framing is completed, however, the as the only pieces that remain to be put into place now at the slightly cantilevered bow and vertical stern boards as well as the two pieces of wood that are cut and nailed to the keel and bottom side framing pieces. These pieces tie the bow and stern pieces together and provide anchor points for the port and starboard body pieces.With the hull pieces in place, the only chores that remain are caulking all of the seams (the keel seam and two halves of the bow and stern keel seams. Then all that remains is caulking the bow and stern seams themselves and waiting for the caulking to dry so you can paint the pram inside and out with a good marine primer and marine topcoat.During the construction process, it is also a good idea to make sure that all the surfaces are well sanded so that not only does the paint adhere better, but also the small boat appears as a finished piece of work.Once you have completed the construction tasks which should take less than a week, if youre taking your time or a couple of days, if you are in a hurry, then you are ready to put your pram into the water so that the wood swells and helps fill in around the caulking. This makes the pram more weatherly and enables it to move from place to place without sinking its first trip out.On the interior of the pram you will usually find that there are not only the top and bottom framing pieces but also a middle piece of framing that extends from the stern to the bow. This piece, while it does reinforce the top and bottom pieces isnt strictly necessary to have a functional pram, provided you dont mind not sitting.The reason this piece of framing is included is so that the rear, middle and front bench seats can be inserted. They are usually cut to fit and may have support pieces toenailed into the keel, side rails and the seats themselves. Its best to add them while you are completing the final details of the bare-wooden hull, although you can certainly include them later on.Each of the bench pieces must also be painted the same color you have chosen for the pram.With this work completed all that is left is adding brassware such as oarlocks and, possibly any support brass work you would like if you are planning to run an engine at the rear.The pram is a nice, lightweight tender that draws very little water and which can easily be drawn up onto shore. Since it can easily be rowed, it is also a great little boat for marina or mooring work.