Our Modified Eastport Pram "Gigi" Maidens

Was a beautiful morning on the East River. Took Gigi out on her first sail and row.

She will make a good tender for Luna and a nice dinghy for others to learn and play in. Here are some backyard pics.


And here are some from this morning.
A good fit.
First taste of water.
Dream house.

Eastport/Nutshell Pram Finish

After hanging in the shed for months while the kayak took center stage, the final coats of varnish are going on our pram Gigi. She is decidedly an Eastport Pram in hull form and sail, but in all other respects she’s influenced by the Nutshell pram by Joel White. Ultimately she will likely be 6-8  pounds heavier. I hope to take some pics of her in the backyard rigged, or better yet, sitting atop the water soon. Before Luna was in the picture, the dinghy was to be painted the sky blue used on Una. Now that her role will be mostly as a tender to Luna, she is painted “white” to match Luna with Petit Easypoxy and her inside is the tinted “blue” of Una’s interior.

Rudder, thwarts, tiller and dagger board drying.

Transom view. Brass on rub strakes and keel. Dagger board is offset to port.

Running out of room.

As much as can be said of RIB’s (rigid inflatable boats), there simply is no comparison to the rowing and sailing this little dinghy will be capable of doing. After a good day of cruising to a nice anchorage, sometimes a sunset sail further up the same creek can be a whole other perspective.

More detail shots as she is rigged or splashed later this week. Ciao!

UNA Gets A Sister

This was not even on my radar, but I stumbled upon a Chesapeake Light Craft Eastport Pram kit one week ago. At 1/3 the current CLC price, I thought it was a real find. Initially I figured I could just sell it for a few “cruising” bucks. That quickly changed as I studied the boat’s attributes compared to our current 8′ fiberglass dinghy that has been well loved. It is a Sumner 8 that has ferried us from big boats to shore for years. With a 2 hp Honda has served us quite well. The sailing, however, has always seemed somewhat of a compromise in my opinion. With longitudinal buoyancy tanks, you are forced to sit on, and not in, the boat. Also, the sprit rig is complicated with shrouds and the halyard forms a head stay.

At MASCF I saw several Nutshell dinghies that made a lot of sense. Very quickly a kit to sell became one to sail. I could see towing the little bateau behind UNA or our big boat. Exploration via sail in port is an added benefit. Also, it can help teach the children better sailing skills too. So, I had to snag it and did. UNA will have a sister.

I’ve now probably 26 hours in the build. I’m amazed at how quickly it has come together. Smaller boats are indeed easier. The laps are an interesting hybrid of lap and stitch and glue. Each plank had a rabbeted edge eliminating any planing of the lands. I don’t know if it would work on larger boats, but it seems to work fine here.



aft end.

The hull was wired up in about 6 hours! Looks like an upside down boat. Epoxying the laps followed. I’m actually going to follow the Nutshell pram for the interior. Any flotation can be added with a few fenders. I will use the CLC Mk2 sail for this boat. I’ll add a single reef point for “training wheels”, the foot will be loose, and the spars will be fashioned differently. Many of the details will mimic UNA. I even had left over lumber for thwarts, gunwales, etc.

Inside and out I’ll finish her to match UNA. Oh, and the little boat already has a name: Gigi. I have to give my wife credit for this one. It fits I think.

The meaning of Gigi per the Urban Dictionary is:

The best woman you will ever meet in your life and regret losing when she leaves you. If you leave her you will never forget her and always wish you were back with her. She is too cool for all the fools. A Gigi is hot and finer than any other and she doesn’t even care because she doesn’t need to rely on her looks to get by in life even though she could if she wanted to. She is the new definition of being “in style”.

That may be a lot for this little boat to live up to, but I think she’ll be game.

Here are a few more photos of the build so far. The laps have been epoxied and filleted, the inside bottom fiberglassed, and various parts of the furniture have been shaped and installed. Dagger board case is next up.

Glassed bottom.


Cleats positioned and clamped.


Shear bead added per UNA.


Weighted seats to hold cleats.


Bow knees and plugs.


Clamped thwart cleat.


Stern knee with traveller hole.