I Finished My 8 foot Norwegian Pram. Not Quite

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tomstuff, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. tomstuff
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    Location: Redgranite, WI

    tomstuff New Member

    Hi to all, Never did a forum before so here goes. A couple of years ago, I started building an 8 foot Norwegian Pram. After three different surgeries, (one for my ticker) and lots of dreaming about finishing this project, I think I did it. Next is getting it rigged. I like being creative and building with wood, but don't have a clue about rigging a sail boat. Nothing was in my boat plans, and I can't seem to find another boat that look just like it. I have seen several similar sail boats, but I would like to be sure to get the pulleys and ropes in the right places. I put a slide show on YouTube where you'll be able to see about 35 pics of the mold I built, and some pics of the boat during construction. Any help would be appreciated. The boat measures LOA:7' 11" beam 3' 11" Need more info or pics, let me know. Copy and paste the link. Hope you enjoy the photos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCPldCIIICU

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
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  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Gorgeous work!
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    You have done an outstanding job with the little pram. It is gorgeous and you must be a first class craftsman.

    You came to the forum for advice............some of the details that may need a little more work are as follows. Cut the top off that rudder so that it does not extend more than an inch above the tiller. Why? The sheet is sure to wind its way around that protrusion which could very well send you for an unplanned swim. This would happen when you tack or gybe the boat.

    It is hard to tell from the photos but I suspect that the middle thwart (seat) is too far forward for single handed sailing. You will discover the right place for the seat after you sail the boat.

    The sail is about the right size for a boat of this kind. It appears to be about 38 square feet which is near the upper limit for a boat of that size and type.

    Ropes and things: If you intend to leave the sail on the mast when stored, then you will need a short line to tie the top of the sail to the top of the mast. You will need another slightly longer line to tie the tack of the sail down. (that is the lower front corner) Just attach a cleat to the mast a little below the bottom of the boom. You will want this line adjustable thats why you use the cleat. That line is called the downhaul. Do something similar at the end of the boom. A short line will tie the lower rear part of the sail to the boom (that corner of the sail is called the Clew) Another line will extend from the clew grommet toward the end of the boom where there will be a cleat. You will adjust the horizontal tension in the sail with that line which is called the clew outhaul.

    The other line you will need is something to attach to the boom so that you can pull the boom in toward the boat or let it out away from the boat as needed. You will need only two blocks (pulleys). One is to be attached under the bottom of the boom out near the back end. Another one will be attached to the bottom of the boom about a foot or so forward of an imaginary vertical line extending upward from the front of the seat. The last bit of rope or line that you will need is a bridle. That is a line each end of which is attached to the corners of the transom or in a location that coincides with the location of the block on the end of the boom. The bridle will have some slack so that if the middle is pulled up it makes a wide triangle. The bridle will go over the top of the tiller. Tie a loop in the middle of the bridle to receive the end of the sheet line. Tie it into the bridle loop. Thread the sheet up into the rear block and forward into the forward block and let the end fall into the boat so that you can handle it conveniently. Now your boat is ready to sail.

    Your sail is an odd looking one that appears to use one more spar than usually needed. The vertical section of the leach (back part of the sail) needs to be supported so I suppose that some sort of sprit is involved. If so you will need more lines. The sprit, if that is actually the case, will need to be attached to the side of mast in such a way that it is adjustable. This involves more lines. The line is called a snotter. Tie a line firmly around the mast so that it will hold its position. Then about a foot below that location attach an eye (pad eye) so that the snotter line will go through it. The snotter leads downward to another cleat. The end of the sprit will have a deep notch in which the snotter will fit. Slack in the snotter will allow the sprit to move forward, tighten it and the sprit moves aft. The other end of the sprit will be attached to the top of the vertical section of the leach.

    If I have guessed correctly about the sprit, you probably won't need a boom vang. A vang is a device that holds the outer end of the boom down. It is usually rigged somewhere along the boom, behind the gooseneck, and reaches diagonally to the base of the mast. Tighten the vang and the boom cannot lift its outer end. If you can do without one of these things, then do.

    The lines can be small, about 3/16 for everything except the mainsheet which should be about 5/16 and soft handed.

    I am sorry for the long winded explanations. I hope that this is helpful.

    One last thing....If you have to use a sprit, it will rub against the side of the mast. You have done such a nice job with everything else, that I reckon you will not tolerate a gouged up sprit and mast. You can rig a stitched leather sleeve on the sprit where it rubs on the mast. That'll be one more high class part of the job you have done.
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  4. tomstuff
    Joined: Aug 2014
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    Location: Redgranite, WI

    tomstuff New Member

    Thank you Doug and messabout for the compliments. Messabout, this is the first information I have received that makes some sense. I have contacted yacht clubs and others, with nothing to show. It is a lot of info to work on, and I hope you won't mind me asking more questions. As far as the sail, it's 28 sq. ft. As far as the seat, I glued the seat, and all screws through the seat and knees were dipped in epoxy. Not gonna move the seat. I'll get my brothers together and work on things. Thank you so very much again.
  5. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Lovely. Good luck.
  6. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Depending on your crew weight, there are a couple of strategy's for seat placement

    For a start, you probably dont want to move the existing centre seat, as it looks like it supports the centreboard. If the centre seat gets on the way, you can cut sections of it away - even pare it down to

    Likewise, you are may find the stern seat awkward, especially since the rudder tiller looks fixed ( hard to tell from the photo) . If it is, it will sweep across the seat, so every time you tack you will have to move to the centre of the boat, pass it behind your back, and then go back to the stern to sit down.

    Ideally, the tiller should be able to pivot nearly vertically. You may even find it handy to shorten it, and put tiller extension on it.

    Have a look at the local dinghy sailing club at how they have them set up.

    As someone with um - substantial presence - in small dinghys, I found that I had to keep my weight fairly inboard even in high winds, and out of the stern to prevent 'bum drag'

    The best seating setup I came across that wasnt actually a side deck, was one like the one attached.

    Attached Files:

  7. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    As a kid, before I raced classic Moths with side decks to sit on, I had an El Toro racing pram. Had thwarts located not much different than yours.
    The generous area between the daggerboard case-thwart and the stern thwart, was where I sat, on a boat cushion, on the interior bottom.
    Keeping weight low is a good tactic in prams. reduces windage of your body also.
    The forward of "center" thwart is appropriately located for rowing.

    I could also feel vibration through the bottom, during speed increases, making sail adjustments easier.
    Sailing by the seat of my pants.
  8. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Well done, beautifully built boat, that should give many years of good service.

    Although a fraction longer the nearest equivalent this side of the Pond was/is the hot moulded Fairey Duckling. The link below shows one rowing and sailing. I can personally attest that these beasts are pretty good as all rounders as I used to row one regularly on the Tidal Thames!.

    The link below shows one up at Rutland Water, under oar and sail. Although this design does not use a pram bow, in almost every other respect she is very similar. They are also very light weight.


  9. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    nice work and welcome to the forum.

    If you have no sail plan than unfortunately you will have to learn something about how the sail works and how it is used, and than work out your own rigging. Start by finding a good book on dingy sailing, it should go over all the controls. To save money on your first experiments with sails use a blue tarp or tyveck and duck tape to experiment with, once you have reworked it several times and get it to sail well, than spend the money on proper sail cloth and use the test sail as your pattern. there are lots of websites that help you design a sail.

    I suggest keeping it simple, a junk rig or simple cat rig, will have the least amount of parts.

    You can also, for more money, send the copys of the plans (with dimesions) and photos to a good sail maker and they can design you a sail that should work well for your boat. They would like adpat something about the right size from their existing designs to your boat. That would be the easiest, if not the most costly, way to go.

    The other alternative is to buy a used sail from something about the same size from Craigs list, or a local sailing club, rec department or somewhere they have small sailboats. Sailing rigs from different boats are adopted all the time, from dingys to very large yachts, it should not be a problem to find some production dingy sail about the right size, buy it used cheap, and than adapt it to work on your boat.

    good luck.
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