Points East Pram featured at WBS Family Week

Naval architect David Wyman puts the Points East Pram through her paces on the Saco River. Photo by Clint Chase

Winter 2023

By Clint Chase
For Points East

Since the last installment on the Pram project, we have tested the pram, received much feedback, and done the design tweaks to the boat based on the prototype build and sea trials. In the words of one of my mentors and naval architect friend, David Wyman of Castine, Maine:

“It seems to row absolutely effortlessly and feels very stable and roomy for an 8-foot pram.” In fact, David Wyman and I recently developed a new Hydrodynamic modeling approach that combines classic mathematical formulae and analyses with modern outputs from the design software we use, Rhino. This has enabled us to really refine the Pram shape and get the number as well as the construction right on.

Some specific improvements over the prototype include a split aft compartment where the stern quarters have foam flotation, and the middle has a storage cubby. The hull shape and rowing ergonomics are refined for even more efficiency under oars without losing the ability to carry a small (2hp was tested) outboard on the transom. The plan is to have a small sail rig for the boat – most likely, we will specify the same rig as the Optimist Pram, a ubiquitous sailing pram design used by many yacht clubs for kids’ programs. A daggerboard and rudder will be fitted to the boat by summer 2023.

Speaking of 2023, the Points East Pram will be a featured boat project at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine. The program is called Family Week, and it runs every other year. This year we will be building up to five PEPs in the newest open-air classroom at the school over the course of July 17-22.

The WoodenBoat School is a world-class school for all things maritime founded in 1981 as an extension of WoodenBoat magazine.

Family week started as a special week of programming that focused on the needs of families: more kids and their parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members sharing in the joy of building a boat or getting on the water together. The lodging on campus and even the menu is chosen with kids and families in mind. The Points East Pram is one of six classes offered this coming Family week, and it was chosen because of the unique design brief: to be not only a great pram for use as a tender or all-around boat but a great model for teaching and learning with beginners in mind. For those of you who have been following the development of the PEP, you will know that the design incorporates three methods of boat construction in one 8-foot hull: screw-and-glue, stitch-and-glue, and glued lapstrake construction. As a result, the pram is also the model chosen for our Boatbuilding 101: a 3-day introduction to boatbuilding at Chase Small Craft.

Eric Stockinger, director of the school, notes: “Family week at WoodenBoat School is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any adult to share the wonders of building and sailing wooden boats with the next generation.  Because we concentrate all the family-oriented courses into one week, there are plenty of young people around, so kids don’t feel stuck with a bunch of adults.”

We look forward to seeing this cool little boat begin to dot many a harbor around Maine as people begin to discover the joy of building their own boat that they can use and enjoy knowing full well that they built it with their own hands.

To register for the Points East Pram course, you can visit the school’s website WoodenBoatSchool.com or go to ChaseSmallCraft.com/workshops to learn more about classes being offered.

Clint Chase is the owner of Chase Small Craft, a builder of boats and boat kits in Saco, Maine.