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  #1  
Old 11-20-2011, 06:12 PM
grizzly grizzly is offline
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small sailing pram

I am looking at starting a project boat with my son and am hoping for some advice. I love to sail so that is what I plan to build. I am looking at a boat like the Optimist. Only requirements are 8' or less and be able to float 2 adults without sinking. I dont expect it to be very fast with 2. I have plans for a D5 from bateau and am concidering building this boat. My question is how well does the boat sail and how does it compair to an Optimist? Any suggestions on a better design would be great, I prefer stich and glue. Thanks
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:01 PM
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Corley Corley is offline
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It could be worth a look on woodenboats designs listing

http://www.woodenboat.com/boatplansa...tenders-prams/

Initially I was going to build an 8' pram but ended up buying PAR's Dace 8.4 plans. These plans are excellent and the boat easy to build its on the queue after I finish some other projects.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:38 PM
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lewisboats lewisboats is offline
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You could browse here:
http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/r/plansindex/prams.htm
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:24 AM
grizzly grizzly is offline
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I have been planning this for awhile and just took a long time to settle on a style of boat. I have worked with FG before and have no problems with it. I have a very good book by CLC on stitch and glue and want to go that route. I have the plans for a D5 and am planning on using them. Before I do I was wondering how the D5 compares to boats like the Sabotina. I found an article describing the Sabotina and it sounds good. However I looked at lots of pix and cant see a real difference between it and the D5. I know that this has been beaten to death but I cant really find any info on prams and seaworthiness or sail-ability
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:26 AM
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As a rule 8' boats don't sail well with 2 adults aboard, though are much better with 2 kids. The D5 would be typical of most boats in this class and though it'll sail, 4 MPH is her top speed on a good day. This is a taped seam build, so the "goo factor" is going to be high.

As to the comparison of one pram to the next, such as the D5 and Sabotina, well speed differences will be in the fraction of a knot range, because both are designed to row, sail and motor, which is a set of conflicting requirements that detract from each other. Sea worthiness is about the same with both boats intended for protected waters and very modest chop and wind conditions. As to "sailability", well if you like to sail, you'll quickly bore of a small pram like these. They can't "power up" and scoot, so you'll be left wanting fairly quickly. What they do well is teach kids and sailing novices the basics, so they can advance to an intermediate sailboat in a year or two. On the other hand, with Dace's rig options you can almost double her sail area a year or two later and keep the kids interested with the new, more powerful rig.

My Dace will carry slightly more then a D5 and it has a pointy end too, so it looks more boat like. I've always disliked "truncated" boats, feeling there are missing their bow. Don't get me wrong, I understand the concept and it's good and bad points, I just don't like the chopped off stem look. Since Dace has a bow, she's slightly longer, which makes here moderatly faster and offers a bit more elbow room for crew as well. Dace is also a taped seam build, but doesn't have to be if you'd prefer a traditional plank over frames build. She will not be as light as the taped seam build, but still easily car top ready or tossed in the bed of a pickup.

Again, there are lots of choices available, don't be quickly swayed, look around. Dace has several rig options, which some other designs don't include. Pictures of Terry's completed Dace are on this site somewhere (it's been a couple of years since he posted them).

After looking at hundreds of designs, several will "stick" in your mind and you can then from these candidates, for the features, looks and functionality you desire. Lastly, pick a design from someone alive and breathing, as you can call and ask questions, whereas free plans from designers that died a few decades back, aren't as talkative . . . Selecting a design is more then just a boat with a sail. It has to fit and feel "right". Maybe it's just style or rig preferences, but you'll enjoy it more if you like the shapes involved.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:04 PM
grizzly grizzly is offline
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Thanks for the info. Thats basically what I expected to hear about the d5. I am going to go ahead and build one anyway for a first boat. What are the characteristics that make it a row boat? Could it be modified to sail better and still be under 8'? I have seen videos of Sabots, and Optimists that looked to be going faster than 4 mph. I am planning on building a more advanced boat later. I am mostly using this as a learning boat. I had a Hobie 14 that I liked and am hoping to build a higher performance mono hull boat later. I have plans for a 3.8M dinghy by Radoslaw Werszko that I like (except they are metric). What I really want eventually is a race style boat like a National 12.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:56 PM
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As this is your first build, you shouldn't even consider attempting to make changes, for anything other then cosmetic reasons. Sailboats, unless designed to plane off, are speed limited by the length of their water line. Since the D5 has 1/3 of it's length out of the water, it's painfully slow, especially compared to a Hobie 14.

Personally, I think you're better off, building something that has a potential to grow, as your skill levels increase. A D5 isn't going to do this, nor will any other 8' dinghy or pram. You need at least 12' and a wholly different design approach, for this to occur. At 8', it's about as much as it can do, just to carry two people, let alone anything else. The D5 will tow especially well, which a yacht tender should. It'll also row and sail fairly well, again considering what it is. The 4 MPH speed limit of a D5 is frankly generous, even though Opti's and other small prams seem like they're going faster, they're not.
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