Norwegian Pram plans and book - DIGITAL

Item #: 152-002
Availability: In Stock
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Additional Info


Norwegian Sailing Pram by Simon Watts

Three sheets of plans, 28 page book, plus a supplement on boatbuilding this boat with kids. This is a digital download.

Measured: Simon Watts, 1989, lofted and drawn by Bill Nielsen, 1991.

Length: 11 ft., 9 ins.
Beam 3ft. 6 ins.
Materials: (orig. boat) not known. Copper fastened.

Sail Area: 65 square feet
Skill needed: Basic to Intermediate
Time to Build: 2-3 weeks with part time help

Weight: 120-130 pounds

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    Materials: (new boat) Douglas fir planking, knees and trim, spruce spars.

    Special Features: Good novice building project especially for young people. Easily handled by children under oar or sail. Full-sized mold patterns so no lofting required.

    How to confirm that plans, when printed, are to the right scale.
    Read the Table of Offsets on Sheet Two and find the half-breadth at the aft transom sheer line (18-0). Then measure the width of the half transom on the print-out and it needs to be 18 inches.

    A brief explanation....
    Over the past several years I've had a number of requests for plans of the boats I used to build with small classes across the U.S. and Canada. The idea was to take students through the entire process of building a lapstrake boat from a pile of lumber to a finished boat in a week or eight days. The goal-- which was seldom missed--was to have the boat painted and ready to launch on the last day of class.Most of the students developed the confidence and the skills to go home and build their own boats-which was the point of the class.

    I chose boats that combined elegance with practicality and that had a history going back--in some cases--hundreds or even a thousand years. I call them classics because they were (in the words of a student) carpentry made art. Mature designs that had reached a balance between the purpose for which they were built, the materials then available and the skills and techniques current at the time.

    In 1988 I began recording the class-built boats on paper so as to give the students a preview of what they were embarked on--and the survivors a record of what had been accomplished. Plans were drawn by Bill Nielsen, a friend and colleague of many years which included full-size patterns of the molds, transom and other vital parts. This allowed the builder to skip the arcane, time-consuming ritual known as lofting and proceed directly to making patterns for the actual boat.

    I've now had the original drawings, drawn on 30 by 40 inch sheets, scanned and put on disc. Any large format printer can print them out, full-size, but printers--and their operators--do vary and you should check that the printed version does not deviate from the original by more than 0.25% --about 1/8 inch in 50 inches. Do this by checking two of the longest dimensions, both directions, with a scale.

    I also urge you to study the plans while reading the manual so you have a good grasp of the entire project. When you get baffled by some detail, make it full-size in scrap wood and then again until you understand how it goes together. I had to do this a number of times when building Silver Thread because techniques, materials and fastenings had changed over the intervening century.

    Along with the pleasure of owning a boat you have built yourself you'll find a great satisfaction in building something with a pedigree, a history going back well before living memory. I am convinced that keeping these traditions alive is a compelling reason to continue building small boats-and building them in wood.
    -Simon Watts

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