Model: Length: Hull Weight: Beam: Max Payload: Cockpit Size: Rowing Draft: Sailing Draft: Sail Area:
Eastport Nesting Pram 7' 9" 75 lbs. 48 in. 375 lbs. OPEN 5" 25" 42 sq ft.

See other dinghies  Eastport Pram  Passagemaker  Passagemaker Take-Apart  PT Eleven Nesting Dinghy  PT Spear

Eastport Nesting Pram Configurations:
» (click here to learn about kit options)
Standard Configurations:
Base Eastport Nesting Pram Kit
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Eastport Nesting Pram Sailing Component Kit
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Alternative Configurations:

Wood Parts Only Kit
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Nesting Pram Plans & Manual Only
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Manual Only
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Manual Only - Emailed PDF
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Study Plans - Emailed PDF
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Additional Components:

Spacered Inwale Option *See Note
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Egyptian Cream Sail Upgrade (special order)
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Tanbark Sail Upgrade (special order)
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Gasket Material (For Plans Builders)
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Sail Package - Line & Cordage
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Materials List for Plans Builders:
» view the Eastport Nesting Pram materials list and order a la carte!
Popular Accessories:
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Supplies List for Kit Builders:
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Recommended Add-Ons:

Nonskid Flooring for Smallcraft - Eastport Nesting Pram

$ 160

Shaw & Tenney Spoon Blade Oars - 6'6" Length (pair)

$ 399

"Dinghy" is derived from an old Hindi word for a sailing or rowing passenger vessel.  In English, a dinghy is a small rowing and sailing boat, often (but not necessarily) serving as a tender to a mother ship.

At Chesapeake Light Craft, "dinghy" means "Eastport Pram" and her larger sister, the Passagemaker Dinghy.  Both boats are champion tenders.  They can carry a decent load, don't take up much space, and were designed to be rowed and towed.  They sail, too.

The Eastport Pram is 7'9", which is pretty small, but still not compact enough for storing aboard the smaller classes of cruising yachts.  If you need something with a tiny footprint, one choice is an inflatable.  Dinghy snobs like us refer to them as "deflatables."  They are heavy, expensive, prone to failure, and can't be rowed or sailed---so you're committed to carrying around an outboard and its fuel along with the soulless rubber bladder of the inflatable.  

So that leaves a nesting dinghy, and here's a very fine example. The Eastport Nesting Pram shares its hull with the stock Eastport Pram.  With some 800 of them built, it's probably one of the most popular dinghies in the world.  The Eastport Nesting Pram has a demountable front half which nests completely in the back half.  The "nested" package is a manageable 4'9" x 4'0" rectangle.  It can be stowed on the decks of cruising yachts down to pocket-cruiser size.  Or, it can store in your apartment, RV, shed, or marina.  The Eastport Nesting Pram takes two minutes to assemble or disassemble casually.  You'd need some sort of pyrotechnic device to inflate (or deflate) an inflatable dinghy that fast.

We spent a lot of time refining the Eastport Nesting Pram.  We were concerned that the only thing many extant nesting dinghy designs do well is....nest. We have kept all of the fun and function of the stock Eastport Pram---including the sailing rig---with no compromises for its nesting function.  The nesting version is still just as easy to build. Though the nesting components mean that the assembled Eastport Nesting Pram is slightly heavier, sailed, and rowed against a standard Eastport Pram, it is just as fast.

Here's how it works.  If you don't need the sailing version, just order the "rowing kit." This gives you the complete boat, ready to row. The daggerboard trunk, for sailing, is INCLUDED in this version. 

Builders who will go sailing will order the "Rowing Kit" AND the "Sailing Component Kit."  Adding the Sailing Component Kit gives you the mast, boom, yard, daggerboard, rudder, sail, mast step, and a center thwart that's integrated with the daggerboard trunk.  The sailing kit includes a proper plug so you don't ship water through the daggerboard trunk while rowing or towing.

Sawing an Eastport Nesting Pram in two
Sawing an Eastport Nesting Pram
in two at The WoodenBoat School:
Click here to watch the video!

The Eastport Nesting Pram is built full-length using the LapStitch™ technique and only cut in half later.  (You have to build full-length so that you don't end up with a "kink" at the joint in the boat.  The Nesting Pram is so "fair" that even quite close up, it's hard to discern that it's a nesting dinghy.)  At the joint are two very strong structural bulkheads.  Six stainless steel bolts with large, easy-to-handle wing nuts fasten front and back together.  The waterline is below the top of the bulkhead, so theoretically, it's impossible to ship water through the joint.  A rubber gasket is included, however, which truly seals the joint and helps protect the finish on the two parts.

Build this boat if:

  • You need an excellent rowing and sailing dinghy that packs in a small space.
  • You need a dinghy with a maximum payload of 375 pounds.
  • You want a perfect small sail trainer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Eastport Pram weigh?

The designed weight is 75 pounds (34 kg). Most builders will finish between 70 and 80 pounds (31.75 and 36.28). 

What is the Eastport Pram's payload?

375 lbs (170 kg). 

How long does it take to build an Eastport Pram?

The average build time is about 125 hours.  The boat wires together in a single day, so the bulk of this time is for epoxy and fiberglass work, plus sanding, painting, and varnishing.  Add another 25 hours or so to the total building time for the sailing option.

Can I build the Eastport Pram in one of your build-your-own classes?

Yes. We usually have one class a year for the Eastport Pram. But since this is a relatively easy boat to build, attending a class can be fun and educational but unnecessary. The classes get you through about 45 hours of construction, which is enough time to complete the major assemblies and have the boat fully sealed with epoxy.  You'll do the finish prep work, painting, varnishing, and rigging at home. To learn more about our build-your-own classes, click here.

How big an engine can I use? 

A 2 hp outboard will power the Eastport Pram to about 4 knots and is all you need. The maximum engine size is 2 hp as long as the engine does not exceed 30 lbs (13 kg) in weight. 

Short or long shaft engine?

The transom is designed for a short-shaft (15" or 38 cm) engine.

Can two people row the Eastport Pram in tandem?

No. The two rowing stations are meant to accommodate multiple seating options.  For solo trips, you'll row from the midship station. With passengers sitting aft, you'll move to the forward rowing station. You must purchase a second set of oarlock sockets for the forward rowing position.

What sort of trailer do I need for the Eastport Pram? 

Although you can cartop the Eastport Pram or put it in the back of a pickup truck, a small trailer is convenient and assists in launching and recovery. We use the Trailex SUT-250-SCLC, a lightweight aluminum trailer that conveniently ships to your door via FedEx.

What are the plans and manual like if I want to build from scratch instead of from a kit?

Plans include full-sized patterns, including parts for the sailing rig option.  The manual includes photos and diagrams covering the entire build process. Building the Eastport Pram does not require scarfing plywood panels.

Can you send me the plans digitally?

We’re sorry, but we currently do not yet offer downloadable plans for the Pram plans. We do offer a downloadable PDF manual.

Can I build the rowing version first and add the sail kit later?

Yes. The Base Kit includes the daggerboard trunk, which is also the center seat support, and the mast deck cut-out. These are integral structural members of the Eastport Pram.   Converting to a balanced lug sail rig involves adding a mast step, mast partner, daggerboard, rudder, tiller, mast, spars, sail, and rigging. These components can be added at any future time.  If you do not plan to sail the boat, cutting out the daggerboard openings is unnecessary, but because the daggerboard trunk is already in place, you can decide to add the sail rig at any time.

How skilled do I need to be to build my own Eastport Pram?

Patient first-time boatbuilders can easily manage an Eastport Pram, especially working from a CLC kit.  We have gone to tremendous lengths to simplify assembly; all plywood parts are pre-cut and pre-drilled for the copper wire used for the stitch-and-glue setup. The builder’s manual walks you through the steps involved in working with epoxy and fiberglass.

Can the Eastport Pram be kept in davits?

Yes. If you plan to use davits or a mechanical hoist you should install backing plates for the lifting hardware and also install a drain plug in the hull bottom and keep it open while the boat is hanging high and dry to prevent the hull from filling with water.

How does the Eastport Pram tow behind a bigger boat?

With a properly located bow eye, the Eastport Pram is well-balanced and tracks well under tow, which is one reason why it is such a popular tender for larger boats.

How does the Eastport Nesting Pram differ from the regular Eastport Pram?

These two boats share the same hull, but the nesting version has extra bulkheads, a gasket, and bolts with Star knobs to hold the two boat sections together.  The seating arrangement is a little different.  The “nested” package requires 4’9” x 4’ (145 x 122 cm) of deck or floor space for storage, and the two sections bolt together easily in under two minutes.

How stable is the Eastport Pram?

The Eastport Pram is very stable once you are seated in the boat rowing or sailing.  At less than 8 feet long, you need to use normal caution in getting in and out of the pram from a higher boat or dock.  Adding our non-skid SeaDek pads provides additional traction and is a big safety factor for this boat.

Can two adults sail in the Eastport Pram?

There is plenty of room for two adults in the Eastport Pram when rowing or under power, but it can get slightly cramped for two adults when moving about under sail.  The Eastport Pram is a perfect size for one adult to introduce a child to sailing or for an adult sailing solo.  If you plan to sail regularly with two adults, you might want to consider building the slightly larger Passagemaker Dinghy.

Builders also looked at:

Eastport Pram (Standard) | Passagemaker Dinghy| PT 11 Nesting Dinghy

Please note: some photos in the Main Gallery may be of the non-nesting version. Some photos submitted by builders other than CLC may show custom modifications that are not part of the standard kit.