Preview: My Favorite Dinghy – The Nutshell Pram, by Harry Bryan

The 7’7″ Nutshell Pram

Right away I must say that I don’t like designating any person or thing as “the best”. It is such a bummer for all the other contenders. Having said that, I have no problem in putting the Nutshell Pram in the hard to beat category. When we needed a dinghy as tender toPATIENCE on a voyage to Australia, I bought the plans for the 7’7” Nutshell. I modified the bottom forward slightly, eliminating the V-shape so that I could do that part of the boat with cross-planked cedar. This was not meant to be an improvement, but to create a hull that I felt could be easily repaired with basic materials in some remote spot. That dinghy rowed two adults and two young teenagers across many wide harbors in spite of its small size.

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4 Responses So Far to “My Favorite Dinghy – The Nutshell Pram, by Harry Bryan

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    Thomas Dalzell says:

    I love Joel White’s designs, in particular his variant on lapstrake plywood (or the one he uses), is something we could see more widely used. Unfortunately it requires a that little more skill than S&G, though it would be a worthy substitute in many situations on many styles of boat. Of course for people with slightly better than beginner skills, and who want an excellent looking boat, that is fun to build, it is ideal.

    My one caveat is that I ended up at the Wooden boat school one summer, and didn’t like the pulling qualities of any of his boats compared to Bolger boats that were there at the time. It is a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparison to compare a Shearwater to a Glouchester Light Dory, but at the end of the day, I would probably only build one, so they line up on that basis. The same was true of the Nutshell compared to the Nymph or EP.. Shearwater still has my heart, but I never seriously considered it again after rowing it (same sectional approach as the Nutshell).

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    Jim Hansen says:

    There are few things in my long life that have consistently given me the instant sensation of pure joy as when I look back at my little pram, Bobby, on the water.

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    Richard Schneider says:

    I don’t think that we give enough credit to this little boat and impact that both it and it’s designer have had on the rebirth of traditional wooden boat building in the northeast as well as the entire country. This little boat has started many on their first boatbuilding project and the start of a hobby or career. The enjoyment and pleasure of this craft is a credit to Joel White and his design. I wish I had had the chance to say Thank You to him.

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      Ahoi Mench says:

      Joel White was also a really nice guy. I once wrote to him inquiring about a design I liked and thought to build and he replied personally with a carefully thought out letter without the slightest hint of being hurried. . I thought then, this is one heck of a fine man.