Faced with a surplus of dinghies—(a rare treat)— we’ve decided with reluctance to let the smallest one go, since for next summer’s cruising we’re going with a tender that has a sailing rig (in addition to oars).
The Wee Pup, at about 7-1/2 feet, is the original recreational pram design, created 115 years ago by Winfield Thompson, who wrote a feature-length article on the pram that appeared in a 1906 issue of Rudder magazine. (The article was reproduced in an earlier issue of WoodenBoat magazine, here.)
As one of the Rudder photos illustrates, you can pack 692 pounds in the little pram…although you’d never want to in normal use. The pram has two rowing stations and works brilliantly for two full-sized adults…and because the design is narrower than some contemporary prams, it rows better than any small tender we’ve owned, using 6-foot oars.
This Wee Pup was built as tender to a 20-foot cruising sailboat, and it would be great if towed by any small camp-cruising boat—power or sail. While it could be hoisted onboard with davits or some kind of boom arrangement, we’ve found it’s far easier to tow, and it comes with padded gunwale guard, to protect the pram and also the mothership.
As one of the photos shows, it has a fore-and-aft seat for the rower, making it easy to shift to the forward rowing station when carrying a passenger. The oarlocks are bronze.
We’re letting the Wee Pup go for $675, without oars, or $1,075 including like-new spruce spoonblade oars made by Tom Regan of Grapeview Point Boat Works. (The oars cost $475, and we have another potential use for them, so if they go with the boat we’ve got to get $400. If you’re familiar with Tom’s amazing spoonblade oars, perfectly balanced and with custom leathers, you’ll know why we aren’t giving the pair away!) And finally, on the subject of oars, we have an alternate pair—not made by Grapeview Point Boat Works, but perfectly fine—for less money if you’re interested.
Finally, the pram is painted Raven Blue and has black Pettit Vivid bottom paint. It just returned from a three-week cruise, where it performed great, so it needs nothing.
Right now the pram is in the water at Port Ludlow Marina, alongside our cruising boat, if you’d like a test row. It’ll be out of the water by about October 10, if not sold before then.