View Full Version : Nutshell Pram (7'-7") owners please comment

01-04-2001, 02:12 AM
I'm thinking about building a small Nutshell to use as a car topper fly fishing boat. Can you give me some hints as to it's stability in one important respect (for a fly fisherman): "How tiddly is the small Nutshell with a single occupant standing up?" Since most of you probably aren't fly fishermen, gauge the following situation in your mind. Would it bother you to stand up and toss a line 20 feet to a dock to get hauled in? Well, I mean, other than being bummed out by the fact that you couldn't simply row to the dock? Actually, tossing out a short line should be roughly the equivalent "up-setting" motion as fly casting. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

01-04-2001, 03:38 AM
My Nutshell sails, rows and tows beautifully, but I never considered her for fly fishing. Hmmm.
To answer your question, yes, I have stood in mine, but very carefully. I'd think a boat with a single chine bottom, like an El Toro, Sabot or Optimist might be a better choice, as the triple chine of the Nutshell approximates a round hull pretty well, which explains it's sailing, rowing and towing proficiency, but makes it a little more tender.
To be honest, though, I'd think you'll have a hard time finding an 8' boat with enough stability to stand in, comfortably.
Another thought that just popped into my mind is to add a flotation collar under the gunwales, a la Larry Pardey's Fatty Knees modification.
Food for thought...

Keith Wilson
01-04-2001, 10:10 AM
The only boat of that length that I know of in which I'd want to stand and cast would be one of two Phil Bolger designs: the "Rubens Nymph", or the "Brick". The Rubens Nymph is 7'9" x 4'6". Just like the original Nymph, but a foot wider. Straightforward taped-seam construction, with all the virtues and faults of that technique. Rows easily, although not fast, tows well, and carries four adults easily in reasonably smooth water. I've never tried her under sail or power. She's not as pretty as a Nutshell, but not bad looking either; looks like a boat. See: http://www.instantboats.com/rnymph.htm

The "Brick" is 4' x 8', absolutely square except for a highly rockered botom, and works much better than her crude shape would indicate. Construction is incredibly simple; one could finish her in a short weekend except for painting. She's as stable as most swimming floats, if not drastically overloaded. A person with rather too much imagination once attached two sailing bricks together with a floating connector piece, making an 18' schooner of sorts. The connector was named "Grout". The main disadvantage of the design is that she's um, rather . . . uh . ."unconventional" looking, and people will look at you really funny. The Brick page is the following:

BTW, I have heard that the longer Nutshell (9'6" or so?) is a lot less tender, but I've never been in one.

Classic Boatworks - Maine
01-05-2001, 05:43 AM
We have had customers tell us that they do use our 8' pram for flyfishing.
You can see a picture of it on our website. http://www.nemaine.com/classicboatworks
click on pram page
The design is the Sabot which can be built as a rowboat or sailboat.

[This message has been edited by Classic Boatworks - Maine (edited 01-05-2001).]

01-06-2001, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the comments, gents. I'm attempting the impossible most likely. All I want is the smallest, lightest boat which will allow me to stand and fly cast BUT, I also want a good looking little boat (which eliminates the Brick). This last summer, I built a "One Sheet Pram". The complete hull comes from a single sheet of 1/4" ply. She's 6' 2" LOA with 40" beam. So now I know of at least one boat which is too small. Somewhere between 6 feet and 12 feet, or 10 feet, or 8 feet LOA there is a boat that will do the job AND look good. Your comments are helping me dial in on it - I hope. Hmmm, I wonder, are there any 7' 7" or 9' 6" Nutshells within a couple of hours driving time of Walla Walla, WA? I'd easily trade a dozen flies or a six pack of Henry's for a short ride in one.

Mike Vogdes
01-06-2001, 07:03 PM
Whats Henry's?

I don't know if you or anybody else is intrested but there's a Nutshell on ebay today, the owner says the reserve is the cost of material to build one.
Anybody know what it cost to build a Nutshell?

01-07-2001, 01:10 AM
Henry's is Henry Weinhard's Special Reserve beer. A pretty good brew with Northwest roots (Portland, OR to be exact).

I can't seem to find my Woodenboat Catalog right now, but I THINK they list the 7' 7" kit at $1,100 or $1,200. The 9' 6" Nutshell kit is more, maybe $1,500???? (Those are NOT firm numbers.)

01-07-2001, 07:47 AM
Check out the on-line catalog;

Charlie J
01-07-2001, 10:34 AM
I fly fish also- fresh and salt. I've been looking at the CLC Mill Creek with some interest. I'm wondering why you must stand? I've fly cast quite well from a seated position in my canoe, and certainly from my float tube.
site for the Mill Creek- http://www.clcboats.com/millcreek.php3

01-07-2001, 11:29 AM
Standing is not NECESSARY for flyfishing, but it can be helpful when sight casting or casting into the wind, or for greater distance. I think rycophyla just wants the option to be able to stand and cast safely.

[This message has been edited by rbgarr (edited 01-07-2001).]

Greg H
01-07-2001, 11:44 AM
This site has an excellent collection of pram designs:

01-07-2001, 12:12 PM
rbgarr has it right. I just would like the option to stand when it would be especially helpful. I'll check the sites mentioned, at least one of them is new to me.

01-13-2001, 09:20 AM
The Don Hill Mini-drifter drift boat looks like an option. Their web site shows two guys fly-fishing from it. It is 10 feet. www.dhdriftboats.com (http://www.dhdriftboats.com)

Hans-Henning Lassen
01-20-2001, 09:23 AM
A 7'-7" Nutshell would not not really work, it's probably too tender. I built a 9'-9" 4 years ago as a school project, and it proved a very forgiving boat all right; you'd be quite safe standing up in that one. It may even be cartoppable, yet you you might have to add some sort of spreaders on your roof rack as the beam may be too wide for your standard rack. On the other hand the boat can be built from 4 mm ply which keeps the weight down; as to the costs, I don't think you have to buy the kit. The plans are so easy to follow. My 13 - 16 year-old pupils built the boat with little help! And it looks great. People have instant longing smiles on their faces when they see it on the waterfront (for German boatnuts: Kühlungsborn Sailing Club, Ostseeallee, 18225 Kühlungsborn). Have fun!

Hans-Henning Lassen
01-20-2001, 09:44 AM
yuk, made a mistake: delete 4 mm ply, you need 6 mm; the 4 mm ply I used was for a Selway Fisher Christine canoe (won't do another one with that stitch & glue method; far too messy).