Smith's Boat Shop 8' Pram

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by yellowlab, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

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    Paul,

    What are the length, bottom width, and gunnel width on the 8 foot boat? Do you feel comfortable standing to cast in it? how do you like the bench seat compared to the pedestal seat in the spring creek?
     
  2. Rob, it measures in at 7'11, gunnel width is 56", which is 4' wider than the SPC Classic and lighter and more stable. I didn't measure the bottom width, but as it sits atop my SPC, you can tell that its visibly wider.I think the sides and the transom height are an 1 or 2" higher as well. I feel a heck of alot more comfortable casting from this platform than the SPC. The SPC is ok, but I've always had some sort of problem with the transom separating from both of my SPC prams. They need to IMO do a better job sealing that portion so that it doesn't separate and rot as a result of water penetration. These are two similar but different application boats. My SPC, can be rough handled and used hard and put away wet. But I have a feeling that I'll spend more time fishing out of the Smith boat. Its just so easy to row and light, at 47 lbs. I don't mind the bench option, as I rarely need to spin around 180 degrees in the SPC. These 8' boats you can reach the rope, anchors and gear without having to spin. Might be ok to have on the 10' model, but I've had em all and find that the 8' is the right combo of weight, transportability, and stability for me. The nice part of the bench is the side storage spots for fly boxes or lunch.
     
  3. Still life pics from the stillwater today...
     
  4. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    Paul,
    Your pram looks terrific and you've got it set up so nice. Beware of the non-slip floor, it's hell on fly line under foot.

    IMHO, the fish-on mount looks just fine. Nice featherlights too. I will be trying out a new set of Sawyers soon to compare to my old featherbrand oars.

    One thing to consider, a wood handled net ! I just finished a net refurb and it tops the boat off. My next project is to refinish a ribbon maghony gear box to store spools, etc.

    Again - very nice pram you've outfitted
     
  5. Thanks Jeff, I tried to use my Cataracts, and it just didn't seem right. I love the Featherlights and will look into a wooden landing net as well. I have a Mahoghany cigar box that I'm going to convert to a Chironomid box for when I fish out of this boat. I love just going in the garage and looking at the boat, and its a joy to row and fish. Love these Smith boats!
     
  6. DrCrush

    DrCrush Never2Tired2Fish

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    Does this pram have a fiberglass coating? Thanks.
     
  7. Nope... thats why its not heavy. Its just Spar Varnish, glossy coated.
     
  8. James W. Haan

    James W. Haan Member

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    Paul, beautiful boat. I just posted one that I built. I also used Spar varnish. The thing I like about these boats is how easy they handle although mine weights about 70lbs due to the extra wood in the panels.
     
  9. flyphish

    flyphish New Member

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    Paul, I'm currently refinishing a Smith Bros 10' pram. I have been trying to come up with an idea for a seat back that would compliment the boat. I saw the pics of yours on it's maiden voyage and love the seat back design. At my age I need the support for long days on the water. I've tried a swivel seat bracket and seat but it was all wrong, got me up to high for the oar locks and it just was painful to see a plastic seat in that beautiful boat. i was wondering if you could take some close-up pics of your seat back and how it is fastened and post them or PM me. At long last, no pram envy anymore!
     
  10. I had the exact same issues until I was poking around the garage and found a pair of vintage folding chairs that I'd picked up for free at a garage sale about a year ago. They were solid oak frames, with red leather seating and back surfaces. I chopped the legs so that it would accomodate the seat height and screwed them into place. This works beautifully and matches the wood on the boat. If I need more support, I just bring a floatation cushion, but most of the time, I can fish a full day and have the back support, good looks, low profile (can haul it upside down and not interfere with the truck rack), and light weight. I think I have more photos on my blog, which you can check out to see the folding chair. I'll try to upload pics with detail, but I think you'll love the way that its engineered once you see it in photos.
     
  11. flyphish

    flyphish New Member

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    Paul, Thank you for leading me to your blog space, there was a better shot of the seat. Better yet was your explanation of the seat choosing process and application. I had thought you just applied a back to the bench not a whole chair frame minus the sawed off legs. I may design it to be removeable for ease of storage and transport. I'm off to junk stores today to see what I can find while the 1st coat of spar varnish cures on the hull. I may not post much, but the information I find on this site from people such as yourself is invaluable. Maybe see you at Chopaka, I'll know the boat.
     
  12. Thanks... but why even bother with taking it off for storage or transport, when you know you have to use it? The seat is fixed and folds down to less than 2" flat. I bungee cord it down to prevent it from lifting up when transported upside down on my truck rack. My buddy I fish with loves how I fabricated the seat more than the boat, go figure!!! Did you buy that 10' boat from Craigslist about a month ago, from Everett? Would love to see pics once you're completed with the modifications.
     
  13. flyphish

    flyphish New Member

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    Paul If I can find a folding seat such as you have modified, yeah that's the way to go. A fixed back chair will work but I would want it removeable. Yes, I bought my boat from a friend of Freds in Marysville about six weeks ago. The refinish on the hull is only because I couldn't stand to see scratches on such a beautiful boat. I've wanted a Smith pram for years. I fish with a guy from our club, Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers, who has owned one for ten years. I've fished out of it and an 8' SCP he owns as well, and fell head over heals for the Smith. Something about a wood boat that tugs me. Another friend from our club is building me a mahogany and spruce landing net with a 36" handle. He says the boat won't work right without it. A buddy at work is fabricating alluminum anchor locks for front and rear as well. I probably paid too much but I had the $ and something I've coveted for a long time was there for the taking. Six weeks later, it could have been the 10 footer you have for sale. My fishing partners mostly think I'm nuts cuz I won't put it back in the water until I've got her just the way i want her. I'm enjoying the hell out of this project, except the spar varnish is a beeatch to apply. I haven't located the right seat yet. Thanks again for all your support and input, it's invalueable.
     
  14. I'll try to post a few more pics... in the meantime, I cut down another folding chair that is identical to the one I used. Perhaps we might work out some kind of a horse trade for the landing net, and I can throw you some $$$ to help offset the price. I know what you mean about the love of wood boats. I probably wouldn't own a wooden drift boat, but for stillwater applications, its perfect. I have an 8' SCP Classic, and Im not sure if it will get much fishing time with the new Smith in the fleet. Take a good look at the Thomas Pocket pullers and the extension arms which are very nice to have for an extended anchor system that won't bust up the sides of your pram with a big anchor.

    I am working on a Mahoghany fly box for all my Chironomids, haha...
     
  15. flyphish

    flyphish New Member

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    More pics would be great so I can get a closer look. I'm leaning now toward copying a slat back folding conoe seat from scratch. I can build it to fit onto the back of the existing bench and it will be mahoghany to match the boat. The third coat of varnish is drying as I write. Each coat adds so much more depth to the wood grain, it truely is beautiful. If you are interested in a long handle wood landing net, I could ask my friend Gil if he wants to make another. He builds them for friends and a few club members as a hobby. Club guys pay $69.00 for the long ones. Each one he makes is different laminated woods, truely unique. I think the price barely covers the bags and materials let alone the craftsmanship it takes to build something like that. I looked at the pocket pullers and extensions from SCP but they were too costly for me. A friend at work fabricated one for the bow so far for $20. It's aluminum and extends out a foot from the top of the rub rail, very simple design with nylon pulley and jam-cleat. We'll see how it works before we make another for the rear. The mahoghany fly box sounds very cool. My wife is beginning to wonder about this new pramitis bug I've come down with. let me know when you are planning a trip to this side of the hill, I might have a spot or two you haven't been to.........Mark
     
  16. Mark, I'll take one of the landing nets if he is willing to build me one. Send me a PM with his contact information and I can Paypal the funds. Thanks for the offer for fishing spots, would love to spend some more time in that area, its God's country... love it! I just sold the 10' Smith boat today, I am thinking of ordering up another 8' boat from Fred as I'd like to save it for my son when he is old enough to fish on his own... it will be awhile since he is just 3 months old.
     
  17. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    Here is another way to handle the back rest issue in a wood pram. This is in my 10' smith bros. boat.
     
  18. Dick Warnke

    Dick Warnke was Pram-Man

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    Paul, Nice boat. I really had to take a hard second look when I saw the first pics. It looks an awful lot like my wood Sea Dog pram. On mine the for and aft area is enclosed for storage which is real handy. I had a hard time with sitting on the bench seat without back support. So I put in a swivel seat mount and fold down back seat. The mount is the type you just push down a lever and the seat comes right out and easily snaps back in. I had a member on here that build boats make me some nice wooden oar lock risers to keep the oars from banging my knees because the seat does sit pretty high but I kind of like that. I know what you mean about on the water compliments with a nice looking wooden boat. I have even been parked on the street in Tonasket with the Pram in back ofmy truck and had people come into Mavericks wanting to know who's boat that is and the questions start. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine,maybe we'll run into each other out on the water sometime.
     
  19. Thanks Dick... Here are some more photos of my makshift folding chair seat. Its low enough so I don't have to have risers on the gunnels for my oars. Its light, effective and looks better than a plastic seat, and its comfortable!

    Went out to Pine Lake today for a few hours, hooked a few, but I have a feeling that the full moon last night had some effect on the fishing. May 1st is just around the corner, gotta get the salt water boat out for Lings!
     
  20. flyphish

    flyphish New Member

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    Paul, Thanks for posting the pics of your seat mod, very similar to the folding canoe seat design I'm going to use (no red leather). I see from your other thread that you have solved your long handled landing net needs. I picked mine up from my friend and although it doesn't have the rubber bag and the inlaid length indicators like the one you ordered, it's very nice. Sorry if I didn't get back to you soon enough, but a guy has to get some fishing in sometime. I was headed to Chopaka for the opener but news from my buddies up there was less than stellar on the weather front. I opted for a small lake in the Basin for a few days. Wind was a problem at times but it was away from the crowds. There was some great mayfly hatches most afternoons, especially Sunday and Monday, with fish eagerly taking drys. Upon return, my lake selection seems a good one after hearing what the weather has been doing to my friends at Chopaka. They had a very productive Sunday with chironomids but most days all week have been filled with snow, rain, sleet, cold, lots of wind and the odd five minutes here and there of sun peeking through. The hardier of the bunch are catching a good number of nice fish, mostly deep, but it isn't real relaxing conditions. Many have returned home early and are planning later trips when it warms up a bit.

    Jeff, Great seat design, simple and functional. thanks for the close-up pics.
     

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