Techniques of Pram Boat Building: Old World Boatbuilding Traditions
An old Norse saying goes, “A man without his boat is a mere prisoner.” This class is a one-of-a-kind study and hands-on look into the techniques of traditional Norwegian and Swedish boat builders: we'll explore the developments and skills required to build wooden lapstrake boats that have plied the fjords and fishing villages for centuries - stemming as far back as the Viking era and into today across Scandinavia and the Baltic. In a group setting, you will build a 10-16' wooden rowing pram. Along the way, you will learn how to 'loft by eye,' design and build a full-size rowing pram using lapstrake techniques, bevel watertight planking, cut compound bevels for framing and riveting while working on a full sized boat. After this course you’ll be capable of returning to your own backyard and building a pram at minimal cost. Simplicity of boatbuilding, use of readily available lumber (from your own lumberyard!), no mold construction, minimum number of tools including simple carving knives, versatility of creating different shapes or customizing the boat to your needs, (which may include sailing, iceboating and a variety of rowing positions, depending on how many people wish to use the boat), make this approach to boatbuilding a valuable investment of time and energy.
Students will also learn how to set up your own mold in the garage or in the backyard under a tarp for ease of construction space. Rigging this particular watercraft for sail is also covered in this course. Tools used for this project are easily constructed including wooden clamps (patterns available), backing irons and rove sets. Discussions about how to make a set of oars and spars will also be included. The design and construction techniques and materials of other inshore craft that plied the fjords of Norway for generations are also covered through a series of optional evening presentations, books and films. Students are welcome to extend their stay beyond 5 days to continue working on the project, with an additional tuition cost of $85 per day. Please call for more information about this option.
You will need the following tools for this class:
All required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins. Feel free to bring whatever tools you feel may be appropriate for this course (see optional tool list below).
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.