Compass Harbor pram
... now has her sail rig!

CHpram, Salt Pond Rowing, harbor

The Compass Harbor pram has been designed as a small rowboat and dinghy with plenty of capacity and stability for carrying loads. She is shaped to be a good small rowing boat for one rower (or two kid rowers, each with an oar, side by side.) Her stern transom is large enough to carry a 2HP outboard. The Compass Harbor pram is a particularly good boat for kids: small; light; good stability; ample flotation. . .and an easily driven shape that will reward kids just learning to row, with her narrow flat bottom and a bow transom that rides well above the water. She cartops easily and of course can ride on a simple light trailer. One adult, or a couple of larger kids, can slide her in and out of the back of a pickup. She tows easily, with excellent manners.

The Compass Harbor pram has a narrow flat bottom with generous rocker (fore-and-aft curve) and glued-lapstrake sides. The pram’s shape makes the building go smoothly, since her bow transom means there is little twist to the forward end of the planks, making them easier to fit, and no need to cut any gains (tapered rabbets in the plank laps that make adjacent plank faces flush with each other at a boat’s stem.) She can be built at very reasonable cost with long-lived, attractive, quality materials, or fancied up to yacht style with pricier woods, hardware, and finishes. . .as you choose. She makes an excellent companion to a larger boat, and therefore makes an excellent first project if you’re not sure if you’re ready to tackle the big boat just yet.

The standard Compass Harbor pram weighs about 95 lbs. when built of 6mm high-quality marine ply for the planking; 9mm bottom; a lighter version with 5mm planking and 6mm bottom should come in about 80 pounds or a bit less.

One step at a time
The plans for the Compass Harbor pram are different. We’ve specifically designed and organized them to make building your boat as clear and easy as possible. Patterns are included for every part of the boat, including scaled plank patterns.

Sail rig?
Yes, there is now a great fun sail rig! For more details, please see all the details.

At the moment, we do not produce kits for the Compass Harbor pram. It’s possible we may produce a kit if the interest is there, and we’ll let you know as soon as we do. If you’d be interested in a kit for the Compass Harbor Pram, please let us know.

The pram above, in blue, was begun in one of John’s WoodenBoat School glued-lapstake classes, then finished by Joe Thompson, Salt Pond Rowing,

CHpram interior at dock

length overall. . . . .8’-8”
length on drawn waterline. . . . .6’-8”
beam. . . . .45”
weight. . . . . .95 lbs. (80 lbs.)

More about the
Compass Harbor pram
• Study page
Boat Design Quarterly review
• Sail plan
• More about prams
• Sources and suppliers

SPECIAL: Compass Harbor pram
plus Somes Sound 12-1/2


CH prams are happily portable: this unfinished hull is heading home
from the WoodenBoat School in a Toyota Highlander

The plans for the Compass
Harbor pram are well underway.
John is finishing up the drawings,
then Ruth gets them for labels
and all that. The instruction
manual and specifications are
coming right along, also.


The Compass Harbor pram
is designed so you can build
her as a rowing version, then
add the sailing parts later,
whenever you wish.