Sunday, December 18, 2011
We Love Our Pram Hood
The round hatch and pram hood combination located centrally at the stern of the cabin is without a doubt the most defining feature of Easy Go and any Badger true to the original junk rigged design. The round hatch provides a stable, safe and practical location for all sail adjustments. With a headlight on I am able to make minor sail adjustments on the darkest of nights. When we are hit unexpectedly by a squall in the middle of the night I can get the sails down without going on deck. This one safety item is well worth incorporating into the design of any boat and would make a great alteration to a factory made yacht. I have to admit that I am not a metal worker so the pram hood as presented in the Practical Junk Rig would have been a challenge. The cost of the bronze rods in Canada seemed to be paralleling the price of gold so we looked to a different construction method that would provide a comparable pram hood. When we had our port lights cut at a plastic shop we also had some flat pieces about 1.5 inches wid cut to make the bows required. This included the captive bow under a lip around the top of the round hatch and two other bows to support the original Sunbrella top. These two bows were secured by pockets to the material and with some screws to a couple of blocks of wood that were mounted on the captive ring of plastic. A little adjustment made the pram hood completely collapsible so that the hurricane hatch can be closed as required. The captive ring is held on with a short piece of rope that spans a gap in the plastic. This is tightened until the ring is secure but can still be rotated easily. Watch keeping is easy with a couple of steps up the ladder under the round hatch then a quick look around. In stormy weather one can peak out from under the pram hood then judge when the next wave is going to strike for a quick look around from the top of the highest wave. I usually don't bother with a raincoat even in the heaviest of weather. The first design lasted four years before I broke one of the pram support bows. We were not near a plastic dealer so went to a local hardware store a bought some flexible plastic water pipe. I crushed the ends with pliers then mounted them on the same bolts as before. Kathy made a new top with Top Gun. Kathy misses the sunlight affect that the original yellow Sunbrella provided. The Top Gun is dark blue and does not allow light to come in as before, when closed. This pram is working well and will suit our needs for many years to come and if it needs repair we can find suitable materials regardless of where we are at a reasonable price..