Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 63

Thread: Portage Pram

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Portage Pram


    From the good folks who brought you the Scamp comes this 6'-10" beauty, the Portage Pram.

    Why this boat? Not particularly happy with the weight and performance of my Iain Oughtred designed Feather Pram I was intrigued by the claims of weighing 35 pounds finished and an idea that perhaps the flat bottom of this boat would be a bit more stable than the very round one on the Feather. We'll see in a couple of weeks how that all plays out. Also, I've been advocating for kits on this forum and this is as kit as you can get. Out of the box all the parts are not only cut but have slots and tabs to locate the various pieces, 1/4" holes for locating dowels in some parts that need laminating and even smaller ones for cable ties to pass through before gluing the whole assembly together. It reminds me a bit of the entry-level snap together dinosaur models I built as a little kid.



    I went to Port Townsend and brought mine home (fits easily in the back of a 2018 Honda Pilot) but if you had it shipped a box like this would show up. Not very well shown are two rope handles on the top edge for carrying, pretty sure the local UPS driver could handle it.



    Lots of parts...no manual? Turns out they were supposed to send me a line to the online manual. Good thing it is online, there are almost 200 pages of pictures and information that frankly needs editing down but what you need is in there...someplace.



    Day one, there are a bunch of parts to epoxy together. The pieces that puzzle joint together will eventually have a second layer of unbroken plywood laminated over the joint, for now they just get straight epoxy. The transoms get a double layer of plywood across their top edges as do knees for the 4 corners.



    Close up of the locating dowels in on of the transoms.

    Waiting on some 4oz fiberglass cloth to show up today, I thought I had enough leftovers kicking around but not quite. Duckworks offers a cloth and epoxy add-on package. There is also a sailing kit available, I opted to keep this one as a straight up rower, reserving the option to change my mind down the road.

    No, it isn't a camp-cruiser, I doubt many of us could sleep in it even curled up in a fetal position. But as a fun little project that will end up as a tender for my "big" (19'-9" LOD) boat Marianita? This has possibilities.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Duckworks also says that the techniques used on the ultra-lightweight Portage Pram were also used on the ultra-lightweight Scout, which IS a solo camp cruiser. https://duckworks.com/scout-cnc-kit/

    Looking forward too seeing your photos of the Portage build!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    5,088

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Cool!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Mosier Oregon
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    I love my Portage pram!

    Believe it or not, I have slept aboard. I bridged the gap with a cooler and had enough gear to fill all the other space. (didn't sleep much, but the stars were great)

    My favorite feature is that the balance point when inverted is right at the end of the rowing seat, this works as a shoulder carrying yoke. Once to the water I just toss the boat in.

    I've also capsized on purpose (hard to do). I wanted to see how much buoyancy the for and aft chambers offer, the answer is PLENTY. She floats like a cork, I climbed back in and was happy with the amount of freeboard left (If I remember right, 4 inches?) my first thought was, "I could bail this," but I swam it to shore and dumped all the water out.

    Build note, I had to add another lamination inboard in order to have enough wood for the oar lock sockets to fit.

    -Derek

    Scamp #169
    Last edited by Liberty53; 04-15-2022 at 08:22 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Mosier Oregon
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    IMG_4948.jpgIMG_4984.jpg3481630B-3088-485C-9F7F-265499CED513.jpg

    I opted to install my hatches vertically on the bulkheads, out of the rain!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Mosier Oregon
    Posts
    85

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Quote Originally Posted by Liberty53 View Post
    I love my Portage pram!

    Believe it or not, I have slept aboard. I bridged the gap with a cooler and had enough gear to fill all the other space. (didn't sleep much, but the stars were great)

    My favorite feature is that the balance point when inverted is right at the end of the rowing seat, this works as a shoulder carrying yoke. Once to the water I just toss the boat in.

    I've also capsized on purpose (hard to do). I wanted to see how much buoyancy the for and aft chambers offer, the answer is PLENTY. She floats like a cork, I climbed back in and was happy with the amount of freeboard left (If I remember right, 4 inches?) my first thought was, "I could bail this," but I swam it to shore and dumped all the water out.

    Build note, I had to add another lamination inboard in order to have enough wood for the oar lock sockets to fit.

    -Derek

    Scamp #169
    Sounds like you've been having a lot of fun with your Pram. That's encouraging!
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,440

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    It is such a relief to know that a local serial boat builder has another project to keep him occupied. Otherwise, who knows what sort of mischief you'd get into.

    Jeff

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Surprisingly enough starting another boat project was greeted with a certain amount of eye rolling by my partner. You think she'd know me better by now...

    She also hasn't seen this:


    But that is a subject for another thread
    Last edited by stromborg; 04-15-2022 at 12:50 PM.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    2,140

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    A 35 pound boat that can carry a family of 3? Impressive! Looks like a perfect solo fishing boat too, if only for sheltered waters. How close did your boats come to that 35lb mark? Is it stable enough to stand up while casting?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    I dinked around in one of these prams recently and was surprised at how well it handled. It turned on a dime, tracked fine in flat water, and was reasonably stable, probably not good for fly casting though!
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    The bottom plank comes as two long pieces with registration marks on one side. You lay them out flat on the floor, tape the seam, flip the assembly over and proceed to cover the whole thing by epoxying on a single layer of 4oz fiberglass. Trim the edges, cut or drill out the various holes and give it a light sanding while flat on your work surface. This glassed surface will become the inside of the boat so make sure the weave is filled, I like to do additional coats while the prior coat is still fairly "green". The System 3 epoxy I use gives you a 3 day window for this but you can go faster depending on the warmth of your shop. I did not manage to take any pictures of this moderately tedious process.





    In the above picture I have glued the keel assemblies to the assembled bottom panels. The kit comes with two sets of holes to anchor the keels while the epoxy sets up. I added a set at the forward ends of the keels to positively keep them lined up and firmly against the plywood. The keels set the curvature of the aft part of the hull, I found the cable ties I was using were not up to making the ply conform to the designed curve, a few clamps took care of that.

    Eventually the bottom will get another layer of 4oz fiberglass that will wrap the corners formed by the transoms and the lowest planks. Tomorrow I'll flip the hull and start fitting the interior and planks. A run to the hardware store for different cable ties might be in order too. I noticed they have an "exterior grade" that might have a bit more strength, worst case scenario I use some of the stove pipe wire left over from building some Pygmy Kayaks (RIP).
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Started the morning off by trimming the keel locating tabs where they protrude through the bottom.


    That was followed by a bit more sanding, with emphasis on the edge and where the various bulkheads are going to get glued on.



    Digital photo time stamps are a fun thing. At 1100 I had this flat bit of plywood



    By 1300 there was boat-shaped object in the room. In the 25 or so years since building the kayaks I had forgotten how fast stitch and glue boat building goes from floppy and flat to stiff and round.



    Interior shot of the forward watertight bulkhead and the open locker/thwart support.

    At this point most of the ties are still a bit loose. I'll spend the remainder of the afternoon gradually working the gaps (especially around the two transoms) until everything is tight then make sure the hull is level and "square" before any epoxy goes on.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Napier, Hawkes Bay NZ
    Posts
    889

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Instaboat...just add cable ties, brilliant.
    I've just spent the last two hours sanding small blocks of wood and in that time you've made yourself a boat. Well done.
    Looks to be a very functional little dinghy.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Focus on the effort not the outcome.

    "Don't take life seriously. Either way, you won't make it out alive."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saco, ME
    Posts
    2,429

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Steve,
    Wish I had my new pram kit ready earlier for you!
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    I didn't know you had one in the works! Looking forward to seeing it.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    Steve,
    Wish I had my new pram kit ready earlier for you!
    What's different from the Portage Pram?
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saco, ME
    Posts
    2,429

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Don't want to rob the thread but you can see some preliminaries on my website.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    Don't want to rob the thread but you can see some preliminaries on my website.
    Looks neat! Since it's not my boat (and so couldn't be construed as advertising), I'll threaten a little thread drift: looks like a bit bigger (at least, with options for it), including options for motors. Also, construction is very different: a neat looking hybrid lapstrake / chine log screw and glue. I don't hate fiberglass (at least, not for tape), but I know some do, so a nice option.

    I hope you convince someone who is building one to document it on here
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram


    "Instant boat"? I don't know...8ish hours at fiddle-fart speed and the cable ties are out, interior seams are taped and the wales are on. There was a bunch of heat gun/scraper work along the way to get the seams prepped. The thing about a small open boat is every detail is important, nowhere to hide lumpy epoxy work.



    Five critical pieces of kit when working with epoxy.



    The small keels come with built-in handles, they double as places to clamp the boat to the build table. The little booger hanging down to the right of the clamp is the remnants of a cable tie (one of about 175). Turns out epoxy grips nylon well enough to not pull out of the hole if you get too much on there. Stove wire you can heat up enough to soften the epoxy, not nylon. There will be a few bits left behind, buried in the fillets where they won't cause problems. Something to pay attention too when gluing up.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Nice work, looks good.
    What is the trick to glass taping/ coving/ filleting / fairing/ sanding a 3 way internal corner. Mine usually show thru in the final paint finish.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Getting the epoxy thick enough to not sag helps a lot. I try to work clean, picking up drips when I spot them and circling to boat a bunch of times to see if anything is sticking up shifting out of place. Working in small batches helps too, I buy mixing cups in bulk and rarely have more than four to six ounces (125-175ml) of epoxy mixed up in the cup, it just sets up too fast sitting in the pot.

    The pram uses 4 oz cloth which lays down a lot better than my usual 6.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Mosier Oregon
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Great work! Cruising along.

    Here is some detail on the inboard laminations to build up enough meat for the oarlock sleeves. I think I used 2 extra lams of 4 or 6 mm laying around.

    Also, for my rub rail, I cut some thin white oak and glued it up as my outboard lamination. Probably unnecessary, but I love the way it looks and it didn't add much weight. (I'll weight it soon to share my finished weight.)

    Lastly, I've been very pleased with the epoxy soaked nylon webbing on the skegs, it seems rock solid. Probably overkill, but I do set the boat down on the skegs and pivot it around.

    You can see in some of the pictures that I painted in non-skid in the entire cockpit, not sure If i would do that again. (No I didn't purposely nonskid the bottom, ha. work boat finish and we got out on the water. The black hull is simply graphite infused epoxy)

    Watching your build is great. Keep up the great work.

    -Derek
    Scamp #169

    Screen Shot 2022-04-21 at 7.58.40 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2022-04-21 at 7.58.52 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2022-04-21 at 7.59.03 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2022-04-21 at 7.59.14 PM.jpg
    Last edited by Liberty53; 04-21-2022 at 10:08 PM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,440

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil C View Post
    Nice work, looks good.
    What is the trick to glass taping/ coving/ filleting / fairing/ sanding a 3 way internal corner. Mine usually show thru in the final paint finish.

    Russell Brown did a really good series for Off Center Harbor covering all aspects of working with epoxy. Every video in the series is full of good information. He shows how to do each step while he explains. https://www.offcenterharbor.com/vide...ion-filleting/

    OCH is a pay site but well worth the cost.

    Jeff

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Russell Brown did a really good series for Off Center Harbor covering all aspects of working with epoxy. Every video in the series is full of good information. He shows how to do each step while he explains. https://www.offcenterharbor.com/vide...ion-filleting/

    OCH is a pay site but well worth the cost.

    Jeff
    Russell also has a digital book for a few dollars that, to be honest, I found more helpful than the videos: easier to quickly cross reference so as to not forget stuff, and even though it is great to see the stuff in motion, there were a few details that weren't in the videos (e.g., IIRC, the videos on coating don't mention that the fill coat should happen within the chemical bond window -- there was one video on the initial coat, and a second video on the fill coat, but connecting the two is important!).
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Location
    Harpswell, ME
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Hello,

    First post on the forum.

    A few weeks ago I finished my Portage Pram build. I chose to modify the boat and beef it up a bit.

    6277739C-3B97-4D61-BDC1-933167612F21.jpgC52004DC-04F3-4F9E-88D3-8BCE2FBF6F47.jpg

    The boat has 6 oz cloth on the bottom, 12 oz biaxial tape on the main interior seams, some 6mm marine ply cleats inside the seat boxes supporting the bow & stern, and 1/2 white oak on the top of the bow & stern. I used kevlar felt on the bottom of the skegs. Also, you will see the bronze oar sockets & bow eye. All of this over building added 10 lbs. So the boat came in at 45 lbs. Still very light.

    A1649136-0420-49AC-91B2-F0A46328B226.jpg

    Dan
    Last edited by DBthal; 04-25-2022 at 05:54 AM.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Indian Land, SC, USA
    Posts
    5,364

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    ^ Wow, that is a nice, clean build, Dan - A good-looking little craft !

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    5,088

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Nice job!

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram



    Nicely done!

    Is that proving to be a good spot for the oarlocks?

    As I finish mine out the impulse to add a little extra here and there is strong but I'm trying to resist.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Location
    Harpswell, ME
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Stromborg,

    It’s just warming up here in Maine, so I’ve only rowed the boat once.

    The aft oarlocks seemed good for rowing solo.

    FC84C051-3D9A-4A99-AF39-75A97E0D43B5.jpg

    I think the forward oarlocks are good too, but would like to try it again.

    Dan

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Location
    Harpswell, ME
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    BTW -

    One unexpected surprise about the Portage Pram:

    I wanted a dinghy with the fore & aft rowing seat to easily balance the boat when rowing with my wife. What I didn’t realize is how much space this design opens up in the boat. We are used to doing contortions with our legs when both of us are in a small dinghy. None of that in the Portage Pram. We could comfortably extend our legs.

    Most of the “beefing up” I did was out of concern that the gunnels might flex too much without a side to side rowing seat. Our Portage Pram is solid, but I’ll never know whether it would have been fine by simply following the design recommendations.

    Dan
    Last edited by DBthal; 04-26-2022 at 07:57 AM.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    5,088

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Thanks for the report. I'm over stocked on dinghies right now, but that looks like a good boat.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,171

    Default Re: Portage Pram



    I've been working on some other projects but progress is being made on the pram. In and out wales are installed with the provided nylon sockets for the oars. Also sealed up the forward and aft buoyancy compartments and got the aft lid glued down with a 6" deckplate for ventilation/access. I happened to have a set of off-the-shelf 7' oars from another skiff that I think will work, especially since I want to sew a cover for this one and using the oar as a support beam keeps things simple.



    This little scrap-ply bracket will both hold the oar up and serve as a handle if I want to haul the boat up onto a dock or something.



    I've been sneaking up on this part. There is a big "T" shaped piece that creates the forward buoyancy tank, seat and open storage. Once the "T" is down access for finishing in there will be limited so holding off for now to avoid creating more work down the road. The little pad on the forward transom is for anchoring a small padeye that a painter will eventually to attach too.

    Next up is a few hours with heat gun and scraper before sealing off the interior with a coat of epoxy. I was originally planning on just priming but at this point 75% of the hull has epoxy on it already and I've found solving the difference in texture between raw and sealed plywood is more work than giving the whole thing a single base to work from. Each of the interior chines has a layer of cloth set in epoxy so it got everywhere, figure I may as well roll with it.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Location
    Harpswell, ME
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Steve,

    Thanks for the update!

    Cool idea to use an oar as the ridgepole for your cover.

    Your boatbuilding experience shows in the way you are thinking ahead on your project. I spent 90% of my time on the Portage Pram removing (scraping & sanding) part of what I just put on the boat. Also, it was tough working inside the storage area of the “T” seat.

    Dan

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Melb, Vic, Aus
    Posts
    757

    Default Re: Portage Pram

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    "Instant boat"? I don't know...8ish hours at fiddle-fart speed and the cable ties are out,
    The little booger hanging down to the right of the clamp is the remnants of a cable tie (one of about 175). Turns out epoxy grips nylon well enough to not pull out of the hole if you get too much on there. Stove wire you can heat up enough to soften the epoxy, not nylon. There will be a few bits left behind, buried in the fillets where they won't cause problems. Something to pay attention too when gluing up.
    last time I built a stitch and glue, once I was happy with the shape, I put little tabs of thickened epoxy between each cable tie. Came back the next day,cut all the cable ties out and glued the fillets.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •