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67030Re: Micro Bow Modification

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  • etap28
    Oct 13, 2011
      as for the mast taper .... one of the things that most impressed me was the mast taper for the Black Skimmer. A 36 foot stick that started out at (I think) around 5" diameter and ended up about an inch and a quarter. Bolger knew what he was doing--the whole point was to de-power the sail in gusts and help keep the mast from breaking. It worked amazingly well. I wondered when I was building that mast how he managed to even figure it out, since it was a graduated, i.e. curved, taper, and the dimensions over that 36 feet were down to the 1/16th of an inch. Truly a Zen understanding of the forces at work, I thought. It looked very fragile (and dramatic) in the boat, but stood up to 30mph gusts with no sign of failure.

      Anyhow, maybe that applies to the micro, too. IE, mason's right--don't mess with it. It's part of a well-thought out system.

      Also, as for pointing the bow of a micro... I'd apply the exact same comment: don't mess with the vision of the guy who was one of the world's great sharpie designers. Visually it would be like putting one of those fake Bentley grilles on a Porsche 356. The reason the flat sides work (visually) is because of the vertical sides and transom and the flat on the bow. All the elements are in balance--there's art happening. Bolger had a design vocabulary that was deeper and broader than anybody else I can think of. If you pointed it it would look horrible, ass-heavy, and plywood-y.

      --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, <masonsmith@...> wrote:
      > I concur with Bruce that "bow slap"
      > isn't a problem and you say the reasons
      > for pointing the bow would be mostly
      > cosmetic. My sense is that a pointed bow
      > would have a negative esthetic effect.
      > The boat is awfully nice as it is, and
      > the esthetic change needed is in the eye
      > of any beholder (and they are legion)
      > who says different. What's so cute about
      > Micro? Well, for one thing, the profile
      > view with plumb ends and masts at both
      > extremities. That aspect would be
      > destroyed by carrying the sides forward
      > past the mainmast. Esthetically it is
      > important (in my eye) to paint a
      > slightly sheering waterline above the
      > bottom paint, and probably dark
      > topsides, somehow to accentuate the
      > horizontal. Otherwise the boat is,
      > granted, pretty homely on a trailer.
      > Otherwise, handsome is as handsome does.
      > All the same, I have not
      > ever camped aboard my Micro enough
      > nights in succession to learn to sleep
      > well through the bottom slap, which is
      > troublesome even in the slightest
      > ripple. I don't care, really, but if I
      > were to make any modification to Micro
      > it might be something to divert wavelets
      > so they don't cluck so loudly against
      > that flat bottom. Nothing reasonable
      > comes to mind. Some old long-johns full
      > of planer-shavings suspended over that
      > square bow? -Mason
      > And while I am at it, anent
      > my new Micro mast. I have the clear
      > spruce in hand and have looked into
      > doing it birdsmouth but there's one
      > problem: The designed taper brings the
      > diameter down to an inch and a half at
      > masthead. If you make the staves a
      > reasonable thickness for a good
      > birdsmouth at the wider parts, where it
      > is 3.5" in diameter, and this means
      > about an inch thick, what happens at the
      > masthead? Taper the staves in thickness?
      > Reduce the birdsmouth accordingly? No,
      > no thanks. I think you would need to
      > make the mast much thicker than designed
      > up there and when it's all glued up
      > plane it down. That rather spoils the
      > fun and the wood-efficiency of
      > birdsmouth construction. So I think I
      > will be making my mast just as Phil
      > proposes in the plans. Comments most
      > welcome. ---Mason
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