Campion Sail and Design

Spice 11 foot Praam

Below is the 11 foot version of the Nutmeg praam or pram, now renamed Spice 11 to avoid confusion. The plans are on 2 A1 sheets.

Keyed construction notes and offsets are on 6 A4 sheets with an outline building procedure covering an additional 8 sheets. Full size half mould sections on an AO sheet.

Spice 11 praam


The Spice has straight, flat floors, a firm rounded bilge with gently flaring sides which, combined with the very moderate beam and long waterline, ensure an easily driven, dry, stable dinghy. The width is carried towards the bow but the bow transom is a narrow ''u' shape low down to provide buoyancy without bringing her up short in waves. Too many praam dinghies seem to be reverting to bad characteristics in design simply to provide an easier build, but at what cost:  crank dinghies with cut-away bilges, weak bows with little buoyancy for any reasonably sized adult - or with so much cartoonish freeboard to regain some measure of buoyancy that the bow will catch the wind and blow off in any decent breeze - and sterns more suitable for larger fine-lined rowing skiffs than small burdensome pulling craft. To compound the folly, these characteristics are even presented as the ideal to be imitated.


The idea that a praam dinghy does not have to be narrow bowed with weak sections to perform well is a lesson repeatedly forgotten. Even the 'racing tender' sketch in one of L F Herreshoff books shows a wide bow with good reserve buoyancy - and this English design particularly impressed him with its abiliy in rough water. In around the late 1950's or early 1960's, the British yachting magazine 'Yachting World' sponsored 7ft 8 and 9 ft praam dinghy designs in part at least because of the poor characteristics of many of the then current designs, the 9 footer in particular though no charmer being designed to allow real work as a tender rather than as a pretty toy piece to be admired in a protected anchorage. Of course, the merit of ultra full bows in rather small rowing/sailing craft other than praams was illustrated even earlier by the Fairy built Duckling designed by Uffa Fox in the UK and the 'Merron' dinghy by Arthur C Robb in the USA in the Forties.


The Spice is an attractive and straight-forward design to build, with good performance and stability on the water, as well as having built-in buoyancy as standard. A sailing rig is to be added to the plans package.