Monday, April 8, 2013

Love Me Tender, Volume I

As we inch towards better weather, I have been dreaming about the many exciting adventures that I'd like to have with Solitude III in her first sailing season.  Daysailing is great, but this boat is made to go places, to cruise, and to see experience the world from the unique perspective of a small boat.  I can close my eyes and picture gliding into an quiet anchorage in the San Juans, dropping the hook, rowing my tender ashore, and romping about.  Of course, there is one minor issue with this dream.  I don't have a tender.

One could easily question the need for a tender for a boat that is under 15' on deck.  But Solitude III feels like a much larger boat, and beaching her every time it is time to go ashore just seems wrong somehow.  So, despite the nonsense of having dingy that is over half the length of the mothership, I've decided to start construction of an Eastport Nesting Pram.

The Eastport Pram is a John Harris-penned 7'9" rowing and sailing dinghy.  The neat feature about the Nesting version of the Eastport Pram is that you can unbolt the bow, stow it in the stern, and have the whole affair package down into 4'9"x4' rectangle. Not small enough to store aboard Solitude whilst under way, but it should allow me to transport it in her cockpit when headed to the boat ramp. 

From plans plywood will spring great adventures.  This will become a boat.

Although it is available as a kit through Chesapeake Light Craft, I have chosen to build for plans.  It sure would be faster and easier to start with the kits, but after the precedent set on Solitude, I'm not sure if I can seriously contemplate building from a kit again. 

So, here goes...  I have already ordered plans and plywood.  I still have epoxy left over from the PocketShip build, so this should be a good opportunity to use it up.


  1. Hi, Jon. Curious about the comment about not seriously contemplating a kit again? I'm building my PS from a kit after much (much) internal debate, which was only finalized after I ironically routed a huge gouge in my carefully constructed MDF-laminate router table top. Been there, done that, or something different?

    As an aside, I believe Tattoo's owner has/had a nesting pram as a tender, too.

  2. Yeah, I exchanged some messages with Pete about Tattoo's tender. It definitely set me down this path.
    About building from kits...its now a pride thing. I'd love to indulge in the luxuries of perfectly fitting parts, slot-together tabs, and the like. But knowing that I can buildin it from plans has forced me into feeling that I MSUT build from plans...