Preview: Basic Sailing In The Nutshell Pram

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The first of our how-to-sail videos, this one presents the basics via a Nutshell Pram put through her paces on a dock before she hits the water. Beginners will get clear pictures of what goes on aboard as the dinghy turns through the eye of the wind. Veterans might pick up some handy ideas for when they teach others.

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15 Responses So Far to “Basic Sailing In The Nutshell Pram

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    Charles Neuman says:

    I’m here because I’m checking out the Nutshell Pram. I’m thinking of building one. Looks like a great boat. I’m trying to limit my project to one that I can actually finish, and not have it drag on for years. I also like the easy set-up. I think I’m reaching an age where less is more.

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    Neil Henderson says:

    Great video – well done. I can still remember the first time we rigged our Gull dinghy – Dad knew we had sailed at school and was convinced we knew how to rig a dinghy. We didn’t, chaos ensued but we managed in the end. We still have that Gull some 55 years later. What fun we had, but we could have avoided the chaos with a video like this.

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    Tim Charles says:

    This video is still so good for a newcomer to sailing, to understand the vital basics. Will watch again and soon with the grandchildren. Love it, thanks.

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    Tony Craddock says:

    just great for me I,ve yet to sail my dinghy

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    Edward Hedden Jr says:

    I picked up an OAK ISLAND storm damaged sailing rig. Just learning what mistakes I`ve been making. Think I`ll do much better next year after watching videos.


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    James Weber says:

    great beginner video! Do you think that type of main sheet connection; through two blocks and clipped to the traveler would be beneficial on a Bolger crab skiff ? We have one season on the water with our ‘surf” model and tend he main sheet directly tied to the end of the boom, very tiring.

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Best thing is to give it a try and see. Your instinct is probably right on.

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    Todd Griner says:

    Wow, what a great video. Hi, I became a member of Off Center Harbor yesterday and I have not been disappointed. This was the first video wanted to watch.
    I have read books such as The Complete Sailor and have sort of understood how the process works but actually seeing it in action was great. I learn how to do things better if I See how they are done so this site is going to be great for me.
    I plan on building a small boat and get my sons to help me. This video has also given me insight on what small boats might be best to build. I’m trying to decide between the Nutshell or Shellback.
    Thanks again for the video, It is very well produced and filmed. Eric did a great job in explaining the process.

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      Hey Todd. Thanks for your note — the inspiration you have felt is a big part of why we do this.
      I own both, a (large 9.5′) Nutshell and a Shellback. They’re both great. Must say that the Nutshell has much greater initial stability and I can’t imagine a better boat for getting kids into this. I wouldn’t go with the smaller 7.5′ version — doesn’t sail near as well and can’t really get dad and a kid both in comfortably. Shellbacks are awesome too, but more tippiness goes along with the extra speed under sail and oar. BTW, one boat is great until they’re about 11, then having two of them changes everything and they take on a life of their own as the two kids can’t wait to go out, each in their own boat, dodging and racing and running off to beaches with their friends.

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        Conbert Benneck says:

        Steve you’re so right! I built an OPTIMIST for our children (2) in Munich, Germany assuming (stupid adult) that one child could sail the OPTIMIST and the other, our 9 foot dinghy.
        Of course, the OPTIMIST walked away from the round bottomed dinghy, so then our children were fighting, “It’s my turn to sail the OPTIMIST”, “No it’s not….”
        Solution: I had to build a second OPTIMIST. Then each child had their own boat; could race against other OPTIMISTS and there was peace in the family again.

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    Jack Camillo says:

    I would like to see more of this basic sailing instruction. As I stated previously, I got a lot out of this simple video. Update: and now due to this video, I was able to sail my 17′ dory for the first time! I’d now say it’s like riding a bike for the first time. Before getting on, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it, and would capsize or something. But alas, watching this video gave me confidence and I did it. Must see more!

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    Jon Arcuni says:

    Wonderful demonstration. Great video. Great boat!

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    Jack Camillo says:

    I got a great deal out of this video! Thanks! Wonder if you guys could do a short video like this, rigging up and sailing a small boat with a sloop sail, demonstrating how the sheets and halyards are run and how the jib works? ( I have a Chesapeake Light Craft 17′ Dory with the upgraded sailing kit, sloop that I haven’t rigged or sailed yet.)

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    daniel snyder says:

    Nice video. I’m thinking, if you are really introducing sailing to rank beginners, some of the salty language flies by kind of fast here. Could there be a stop in the action from time to time with a diagram insert and a clearer definition? Picky, picky.


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