A question about prams.

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
So I've had float tubes, a pontoon boat and a drift boat and each has its place, and each has its limitations. Float tube easily packed, but can be cold and slow going. Pontoon not so cold, opens up more water including rivers, but isn't packable and is a little bit of a pain to assemble. Drift boat great on rivers, good on accessible lakes, but big, trailer is needed and is expensive.

What about the pram. I know they are more popular up North than in the states and I don't have any experience with them as a fishing craft. Aside from quality workmanship, what makes a good pram? Why do they seem to be such a popular choice in BC? What features are most fisher-friendly? Maybe a pram would make a nice boat building project.

Thanks for reading.
I think a pram works well on many of the larger drive in lakes in BC. If you can drive to water's edge and dump the boat in, it works great. If you want to anchor and fish chironomids, it works great. Tough to move and fish at the same time like you can with a kick boat. Also, weight is a concern if you're looking at carting it any distance. But as was said inn another thread, its tough to hasve too many boats.
The water stays colder up there? No waders in a pram, theoretically. You probably still need a trailer and a launch with a pram. I think it boils down to personal preference and tolerance for "inconvenience". Waders and cold water are inconvenient. Trailers and launches are incovenient. Pick your poison.
Prams are really nice because they have a wide enough "foot print" to be more stable for casting. They row pretty well and are light enough (40-60lbs) to put in the back of your pickup or man-handle to the top of a car by yourself. I have built dollies for friends to wheel thier prams form place to place. I go for boats with pointy bows because I don't like beating against the chop in a pram (can be pretty slow going).
I went to a Devlin Peeper about 10 years ago after owning an old pram and have not looked back. My Peeper is 11'-8" long and rows much better than a pram in my opinion, BUT weighs about 85 lbs. Weight is not as big an issue for me, but my Dad has a harder time loading his Peeper by himself.
After saying all of that I am building a cedar strip pram for my Dad that will fit into his van with the doors closed, and will be pretty light for him to use alone when I am at work. He just has to deal with the fact that his boat got its nose chopped off:p
Tom C.
If you do any high lake fishing, prams are the nads. The wind is much less of an issue than in a pontoon, it's warmer, you don't have to wear waders, you can stand up to cast or take a pee, it's easy to attach and use an electric motor, and to install an anchor on both ends.

The wooden pram I built in the 80's had a UHMW non-stick bottom and chine, so I ran Oregon rivers year-round, but a pontoon is probably a better/safer bet for most guys on moving water. The only reason we didn't use pontoons then for rivers, is the same reason we didn't carry cell phones or GPS.

Back then, I loaded the 8' plywood boat onto my car top and pop up camper, or we would stack them several high in a pick up or on a drift boat trailer. I'd prefer a glass hull now, as they are making them lighter.

The Spring Creek model you can see here on the board looks like the right stuff, but I've never actually used one. I talked to the owner lately, he's a little behind on production for personal reasons, so I haven't placed an order yet. Any body out there got one you'd like to sell? I'm scheduled to be camp ghost at Merrill lake in July, and do NOT plan to spend that much time in kick boat. Did I mention that you can relieve yourself in a pram? That a real plus for us guys with 1940's model bladders.
Hey, TomC, are you working from some available plans on the strip built pram? A number of years ago I ran into a fellow who had made two cedar strip prams that were beautiful. I immediately was impressed and thought about building one myself. I never got the guy's name as I thought plans would be readily available. I was wrong. I've never found any and never again saw a cedar strip pram. I'd love to see some pictures and get some details from you. HOw's your project going?
Well, the project??? is now in the theoretical stage:D I have my driftboat in the shop and a long lasting Devlin Egret project clogging the shop. Oh did i mention my wife has madated expenditures for new flooring? Yes, yes, all things have there time...
I am pretty sure this is the boat you saw http://www.raysdreamboats.com/pram.asp I am using a modified version of Hereshoff's tender plans that I tweaked a bit (a lot). I will probably buy a set of White Salmon plans in the end because he has done such a nice job on his boats.
Tom C.
I've got a Sea-Dog Pram, and after spending 20+ yrs fishing out of a float tube, I am loving this Pram. The one draw back has been needing to fish places you can drive right up to, but I just solved that. I just got a good deal on Paddleboy Wide Rider small boat cart which will give me a lot more opptions. I wanted to buy a Spring Creek but the wait was like a year. And then I got onto the Sea-Dog, called to order one and was told he was going out of business than he offered me his demo at an unbeatable price. Occationally a can find a used Spring Creek for sale but they don't last long. Spring Creek used to offer a Wood Pram as well as their glass boats. They are a sponser on this site and make a great product. I don't mean to ramble, but I just can't say enough about how nice it is to fly fish out of a Pram along with all the other reasons given you can take enough gear out with you plus food and drink and stay out on the water all day. Gotta Love A Pram. :thumb:

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
Thanks for the respsonses guys. The ability to pee makes a pram pretty attractive! For those of you who have a wheeled cart to transport your boat around, how far have you trasnported it? Is the quality of the trail (encroaching brush, boulders, down trees...) more of a problem than simply the effort it takes to wheel the boat around?
My buddy and I took our Peepers on the Bowron Provincial canoe loop in 2005 which included about 65 miles of lake and river rowing and 8 portages that avareged about 1 mile each. Here is the link http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/explore/cariboo/trails/bowron.htm
The carts that I made were nothing more that aluminium tube and shaft with Harbor Freight 9" pnuematic tires. the trails were soggy, rocky, and ALL THE TIME UPHILL (not really). We carried enough gear for a long week (and that incudes wine and Bushmills). The Park regulations say that we could only carry 60 lbs of gear in the boat on the trail, so we packed the rest;) The boats weigh about 80 - 85 lbs and our gear put them over 140 lbs. The carts are still being used with no real signs of wear. When you get to that point I will be happy to sned you some pics of what I used.
Tom C.
I have a Walker Bay 8 footer and I just took it down to Lenice by myself without any trouble. It weighs about 70 pounds, plus all the stuff I put in it.

Of course the Lenice trail is nice. The Nunnally trail plainly just su**s, and I don't think I would do my boat by myself to that lake. I am going to take it down with a friend next Friday though. The Nunnally trail has all the deep sand to go through and I hate wheeling my pontoon to it.


Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
Warren, thanks for the links. I have looked at all those pics before in a search of the topic. Nice work from what I can tell. Stitch and glue seems to be the way to go for prams.
I'll have a video of my 8ft pram being rowed by my friend when I can find a way (say money) to convert the analog footage into a digital format. I can then upload that segment on to YouTube.

I've been playing with YouTube video's while I am building my newest design. The link for the short clip I have there already, and for the rest that I will be making is; www.youtube.com/user/redbarnboats I will be adding them as I go along. They are on the rough side now, but I hope to improve them with a bigger SD card for my little digital camera, or a new DV camera. If I could sell one of my boats, things would better. :)

I don't need 6 boats. :beathead: