Yet another Stone Horse story...
The Sam Crocker Stone Horse, Belle Starr has been mentioned in these pages many times. Hopefully you are not tired of hearing about her yet, because here is a new chapter.
Cruising on Belle Starr is a treat. She's a well mannered boat and comfortable. Except for one thing. Headroom. Inside, one must sit down, no options. Please don't get me wrong, the design appeals to me aesthetically, wherein lies a quandary.
Most of the time, the low profile is just what is needed. Under sail, there is no obstruction for a clear view in all directions. The flush deck is a joy for working around. But there are those wet days at anchor when it would be nice to stand up, if only in the companionway, to get dressed, or take a look around.
There is a local boat, also designed by Sam Crocker, called the Macaw. She is obviously a big sister to the Stone Horse. In this photo of her, please note the raised companionway doghouse. Very pleasing to my eye. How would Belle Starr stand up to such a design change? After all, the Macaw is a thirty-six foot boat.
Still not convinced this protuberance would not spoil the look of a well designed boat, I decided to mock-up the add-on in the shop, with heavy cardboard. The full sized model was soon abandoned, because it quickly became apparent that with a tweak here and there, what I would have was a Wee Pram.
A tender less than six feet long apparently has few uses, because I was not able to find many appealing designs for such a vessel. My calculations showed me that the Wee Pram would carry 3-400 pounds, so I designed one of my own.
The pram will fit over the hatch, behind the mast. The aft transom has a removable panel, to facilitate access to the companionway.
(hard to tell which is the bow and which is the transom, eh? This is the view looking aft.)
Cold weather (and an unheated shop) have temporarily suspended construction, though here in the Pacific Northwest, freezing weather doesn't last long, so look forward to photos of the Wee Pram-as-trunk-cabin, in the near future.