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Re: Bolger Micro

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  • Martin Roberts
    Hi, I sail a micro in the UK. She was built by a single man over a 4 year period. Her total build cost in 1999 were £6000+ incl trailer (bespoke) and sail
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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      Hi,
      I sail a micro in the UK. She was built by a single man over a 4
      year period. Her total build cost in 1999 were £6000+ incl trailer
      (bespoke) and sail from Common Sense designs.

      However she is up for sail for only £1200 excluding engine but
      including two rigs - original and junk.

      So a secondhand one seems to cost in better.

      Martin
      >
      > Hello Bolgerites. My questions concern the Micro.
      > 1) What are the plan costs?
      > 2) How many have been built?
      > 3) Per plan, How many manhours in construction?
      > 4) Per plan, What is the estimated total construction cost (including
      > new sails, new 5 h.p. 4-stroke marine outboard, and a new aluminum
      > trailer)?
      >
    • Bill
      1. A fax to PBF should produce the cost of Micro plans. You should buy your plans from PBF, since there are some royalty issues with other entities selling PFB
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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        1. A fax to PBF should produce the cost of Micro plans. You should buy
        your plans from PBF, since there are some royalty issues with other
        entities selling PFB plans.
        2. My complete guesstimate is that at least 100 have been built. The
        old Common Sense Designs newsletter reported quite a few Micros being
        built and launched. I recall that the old newsletters are archived on
        one of the yahoo Bolger sites. They make for interesting reading.
        3. Per plans, I imagine you could knock a Micro out in about 300
        hours. The old CSD newsletters report various building times. But the
        plans call for a plywood boat which is glued and nailed together and
        coated in paint. Most people opt to sheath their boat in epoxy cloth
        and resin. Some people are using MDO (which should save time and
        epoxy costs). How long you spend is related to the degree of care you
        take during the build. And completing the hull represents about 25-30
        percent of the total building time. It's the little, detail items
        (interior stuff, deck, spars, etc.) which eats a lot of building time.
        I completed my Long Micro this summer after 920 hours of building time.
        4. How much you spend depends greatly upon your materials. AC
        plywood, or marine ply, or MDO? Epoxy (and if yes, which brand?)?
        Hardware? Paint (porch paint, latex, or something expensive?). I
        spent close to $9,000 building my Long Micro, including marine ply,
        epoxy, buying my sails (from Dabbler Sails), a new 6 hp outboard,
        electronics, etc. This price does not include a trailer- I got a
        used, flat-bed utility trailer for hauling duties. I cannot dunk it,
        but launch my LM with a sling at the boat yard. I suggest that you
        look at the materials and figure out how much various grades of
        materials will cost. You can score some great deals on older
        outboards. Some people opt for polytarp sails, etc., thus saving lots
        of money. Like everything else in life, it's all a compromise. But
        it's a lot of fun to figure out.

        Bill, in Ohio

        --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "endsley_t" <endsley_t@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello Bolgerites. My questions concern the Micro.
        > 1) What are the plan costs?
        > 2) How many have been built?
        > 3) Per plan, How many manhours in construction?
        > 4) Per plan, What is the estimated total construction cost (including
        > new sails, new 5 h.p. 4-stroke marine outboard, and a new aluminum
        > trailer)?
        >
      • Bruce Hallman
        ... Just a small percent of the total investment. The price isn t fixed, my guess is it will be about $150-$200. For exact price, contact: Mr. Philip C.
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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          On 9/30/07, endsley_t <endsley_t@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello Bolgerites. My questions concern the Micro.
          > 1) What are the plan costs?

          Just a small percent of the total investment. The price isn't fixed,
          my guess is it will be about $150-$200. For exact price, contact: Mr.
          Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA, 01930, Fax: (978)
          282-1349

          The price of the plans will be recouped many times over in the resale
          price, as a boat designed by Phil Bolger is worth something. While a
          'self designed' amateur backyard boat is worth about zero.

          > 2) How many have been built?

          My guess, one or two hundred. Hard to know for sure.

          > 3) Per plan, How many manhours in construction?

          A huge variability, depending on your experience and your building
          style (work boat versus museum piece).

          I would take a bet I could build one Standard Micro, 'work boat
          finish', in 150 manhours or less. I am sure that many have been
          built taking 1,500+ hours.

          I personally built my Micro (Navigator version), in 450 manhours, with
          a couple hundred hours being spent on cabinetry, upholstery, windows
          and cabin finish details. And, at least 150 hours spent (wasted)
          doing things that I saw as 'improvements' from the plans, but in
          hindsight...were not.


          > 4) Per plan, What is the estimated total construction cost (including
          > new sails, new 5 h.p. 4-stroke marine outboard, and a new aluminum
          > trailer)?

          Again, huge variability. With lots of scrounging and improvised
          parts, I spent about $1,400 on the boat. Again, I bet that most
          Micro's have been built for closer to 10x that price. Yet, a cheaply
          built boat can be serviceable if not immortal.

          By the way, I am *very* happy with my Micro since I finally got a
          convenient (and coveted) marina berth in downtown San Francisco,
          California. She was not nearly as fun to own when stored on a trailer
          in my driveway, but now that she is floating in the marina nearby, I
          enjoy using her several times a week if only for short pieces of time.
        • graeme19121984
          Bill s LM: $9000 / 1500lbs, empty = $6/lb Bruce s Micro: $1400 / 875lbs, empty = $1.60/lb Bill s LM: $9000 / 2400lbs, displacement =
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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            Bill's LM: $9000 / 1500lbs, empty = $6/lb

            Bruce's Micro: $1400 / 875lbs, empty = $1.60/lb


            Bill's LM: $9000 / 2400lbs, displacement = $3.75/lb

            Bruce's Micro: $1400 / 1650lbs, displacement = $0.85/lb


            About a 4x leeway factor for cost there.

            I'm sure that these boats have been built for less and for more
            depending on builder preferences. My example of a Micro was a quick
            rough basic build, though of good materials I think, by a guy who
            knocked out about six for family and friends in just a few years in
            the early 90's. It is kept on a trailer, not sheathed in frp except
            for some taped seams, has original house paint, and has one small
            patch of rot in the topsides near the bow which used to protrude
            from the garage of a former owner for some years - dry, covered
            storage has markedly extended the life of this boat. If it had been
            better built and sheathed, who knows, left on a mooring for the same
            time it may have stood up just as well.

            Graeme


            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <kingw@...> wrote:
            time.
            > 4. How much you spend depends greatly upon your materials. AC
            > plywood, or marine ply, or MDO? Epoxy (and if yes, which brand?)?
            > Hardware? Paint (porch paint, latex, or something expensive?). I
            > spent close to $9,000 building my Long Micro, including marine ply,
            > epoxy, buying my sails (from Dabbler Sails), a new 6 hp outboard,
            > electronics, etc. This price does not include a trailer- I got a
            > used, flat-bed utility trailer for hauling duties.



            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Bruce Hallman" <bruce@...> wrote:
            >
            > On 9/30/07, endsley_t <endsley_t@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hello Bolgerites. My questions concern the Micro.
            > > 1) What are the plan costs?
            >
            > > 4) Per plan, What is the estimated total construction cost
            (including
            > > new sails, new 5 h.p. 4-stroke marine outboard, and a new
            aluminum
            > > trailer)?
            >
            > Again, huge variability. With lots of scrounging and improvised
            > parts, I spent about $1,400 on the boat. Again, I bet that most
            > Micro's have been built for closer to 10x that price. Yet, a
            cheaply
            > built boat can be serviceable if not immortal.
          • endsley_t
            Thank you gentlemen for your responses. I asked per plan for a general idea of the price and time involved for a workboat type finish. Even though my
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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              Thank you gentlemen for your responses. I asked 'per plan' for a
              general idea of the price and time involved for a 'workboat' type
              finish. Even though my goal is a 'Gold-Plater' finish on a strong
              over-built boat.
              I intend to use marine grade plywood throughout. 1" Hull, Transoms
              and Sides (or would it be better to have 1" sides to about 5" above
              where the Transoms meet the Hull and go 1/2" from there up?). 3/8"
              Deck and Cockpit.
              Everything exterior will be sheathed, everything interior will be epoxied.
              I want a true keel with solid deadwood with the ballast through-bolted
              into the Hull.
              I also wish to beef-up the Deck (such as LESTAT) with three laminated
              beams for deck support.
              None of this is new and has been done on some existing Micros and Long
              Micros.
              In essence, I want a boat capable of pushing the Elements to the
              limit. One that, if caught out in a squall, will get me home safe.
              What are the disadvantages of the added plywood weight?
              Any other modifications anyone would use (or did use) building their
              Micro?

              If you were going to build today...
              Micro or Long Micro?
              Why?
            • graeme19121984
              I d suggest that you run your suggestions by PB&F. They could quickly tell you what such a significant increase in the overall scantlings might do to the Micro
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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                I'd suggest that you run your suggestions by PB&F. They could
                quickly tell you what such a significant increase in the overall
                scantlings might do to the Micro performance. I think they would be
                quite interested to hear of your wanting "a boat capable of pushing
                the Elements to the limit."


                It's not just that with the extra hull weight you will have a much
                reduced payload, it also may not be as stiff. 3/8" is good, and I'd
                guess up to 1" around the bottom would be alright.

                The Micro figures of 420lbs ballast, 875lbs empty weight, and 1650
                lbs displacement are for a boat constructed from 1/4" ply, and only
                painted. Jim Michalak has a rule-of-thumb somewhere that for 1/4"
                calculate 35lbs per plywood sheet finished, which comes very close
                to the specified Micro hull weight. For 3/8 it's 50lbs and for 1/2"
                it's 70lbs (or there abouts), and I think that may be only for boats
                sheathed on the bottom.

                Graeme



                --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "endsley_t" <endsley_t@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thank you gentlemen for your responses. I asked 'per plan' for a
                > general idea of the price and time involved for a 'workboat' type
                > finish. Even though my goal is a 'Gold-Plater' finish on a strong
                > over-built boat.
                > I intend to use marine grade plywood throughout. 1" Hull, Transoms
                > and Sides (or would it be better to have 1" sides to about 5" above
                > where the Transoms meet the Hull and go 1/2" from there up?). 3/8"
                > Deck and Cockpit.
                > Everything exterior will be sheathed, everything interior will be
                epoxied.
                > I want a true keel with solid deadwood with the ballast through-
                bolted
                > into the Hull.
                > I also wish to beef-up the Deck (such as LESTAT) with three
                laminated
                > beams for deck support.
                > None of this is new and has been done on some existing Micros and
                Long
                > Micros.
                > In essence, I want a boat capable of pushing the Elements to the
                > limit. One that, if caught out in a squall, will get me home safe.
                > What are the disadvantages of the added plywood weight?
                > Any other modifications anyone would use (or did use) building
                their
                > Micro?
                >
                > If you were going to build today...
                > Micro or Long Micro?
                > Why?
                >
              • Peter Lenihan
                ... Keep this in mind; it will be the elements that are going to push you around, not the other way around ;-) Most well built boats will pretty much
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 2, 2007
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                  --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "endsley_t" <endsley_t@...> wrote:
                  > In essence, I want a boat capable of pushing the Elements to the
                  > limit. One that, if caught out in a squall, will get me home safe.

                  Keep this in mind; it will be the elements that are going to push
                  you around, not the other way around ;-)
                  Most well built boats will pretty much accomplish the task of saving
                  you.The master and/or crew however may not be able to take as much
                  as the boat can handle.



                  > What are the disadvantages of the added plywood weight?

                  Added costs and added difficulty of bending 1" ply...unless you
                  laminate 2 layers of 1/2"....but then there is the cost thing again.

                  > Any other modifications anyone would use (or did use) building
                  their
                  > Micro?

                  I used stainless tube for rudder post instead of the called for
                  piece of wood.

                  >
                  > If you were going to build today...
                  > Micro or Long Micro?


                  Micro.

                  > Why?

                  'cause the first one worked so well :-)


                  Sincerely,

                  Peter Lenihan,ex owner/builder of LESTAT..............


                  >
                • endsley_t
                  I think maybe my comment about pushing the Elements to the limit may have been misconstrued. First off let me say I live in Gulfport, MS. For those who may
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 2, 2007
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                    I think maybe my comment about "pushing the Elements to the limit" may
                    have been misconstrued.
                    First off let me say I live in Gulfport, MS. For those who may not be
                    familiar with our geography, we have several barrier islands with
                    three being a sort sail (5-7 miles offshore). The water depth between
                    shore and these islands averages around 12 feet (deeper in some
                    places, shallower in many!). Even though the islands give protection
                    from the ocean, when the wind conditions are right and the tide is
                    running in the opposite direction the seas get confused. Producing
                    short, flat, irregular waves usually up to 3 feet (although I have
                    seen 6).
                    Of course a prudent sailor is aware of the weather and always keeps an
                    eye out for deteriorating conditions, But what if I were on the open
                    ocean side (South) of an island, which happened to be the Lee side,
                    and was completely unaware of the Windward conditions until the
                    fateful return trip?
                    Per plan, would the Micro stand up to 3 foot seas?
                    The real reason I wanted a 1" Hull was due to Katrina debris. Efforts
                    are ongoing to remove more but it is a slow process. I worry that
                    eventually I may run into something and I wanted the piece of mind
                    that the Hull would stand up to it without puncture. Maybe I'm
                    over-worrying...
                    My intention for this boat is to sail with the family out to islands
                    on the weekends. I just want to be able to get home in bad weather
                    conditions if we are forced to by time constraints.
                    Mr. Lenihan, I have seen pictures of your boat and I aspire to achieve
                    the level of finish you did with LESTAT. A true Gold-Plater!
                    I have read a lot of Mr. Bolger's comments pertaining to changing his
                    designs and that is not what I intended. I just thought thicker was
                    better...
                    What about 1/2" Hull, 3/8" everywhere else? With sheathed exterior
                    will it be beyond the reasonable towing capacity of a 6 cylinder?
                    Or will the Micro with 1/4" plywood throughout and sheathed exterior
                    be more than enough for my needs and intended uses?
                  • Bruce Hallman
                    ... I think so, but you would probably knock out a few teeth.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Oct 2, 2007
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                      On 10/2/07, endsley_t <endsley_t@...> wrote:

                      > Per plan, would the Micro stand up to 3 foot seas?

                      I think so, but you would probably knock out a few teeth.
                    • graeme19121984
                      ... Wind against tide, 3ft chop? Yes. ... The outboard motor you mentioned earlier will get you home through some pretty hairy conditions :-) Your best
                      Message 10 of 15 , Oct 2, 2007
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                        --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "endsley_t" <endsley_t@...> wrote:

                        > and was completely unaware of the Windward conditions until the
                        > fateful return trip?
                        > Per plan, would the Micro stand up to 3 foot seas?

                        Wind against tide, 3ft chop? Yes.

                        > on the weekends. I just want to be able to get home in bad weather
                        > conditions if we are forced to by time constraints.

                        The outboard motor you mentioned earlier will get you home through
                        some pretty hairy conditions :-)

                        Your best insurance is to include the flotation as designed :)
                        .... many do not :-(

                        (... perhaps for added security include a bailing pump too?)


                        > What about 1/2" Hull, 3/8" everywhere else? With sheathed exterior
                        > will it be beyond the reasonable towing capacity of a 6 cylinder?
                        > Or will the Micro with 1/4" plywood throughout and sheathed
                        exterior
                        > be more than enough for my needs and intended uses?
                        >

                        I'd say 1/2" ought do for the bottom. 3/8" is good on the cockpit
                        deck and the cabin top which also serves as a deck at times, and, I
                        think, can do with the extra stiffness. 3/8" could do for the rest.

                        If you've yet to order the plans from PB&F then briefly include your
                        queries and concerns about the intended use with the order and
                        payment - maybe a rough sketch or two to illustrate your thinking as
                        well. I'm sure you'd receive a reply to that. They may just
                        say "Nay" or "Yay" to any particular modification, but you will then
                        know that with authority. They may make further recommendations to
                        your own suggestions.

                        Graeme
                      • 9buck crowley
                        Hi again,_ I don t know what a spec micro would hold up to but mine feels incredibly stout. Years ago I ran mine aground at full speed. This is no small feat
                        Message 11 of 15 , Oct 3, 2007
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                          Hi again,_

                          I don't know what a spec micro would hold up to but mine feels incredibly stout. Years ago I ran mine aground at full speed. This is no small feat in a boat that draws a little over a foot of water and I was sure after jumping the boat up on that ledge that she'd been ruined but the only damage I could find was a little curl of lead ( picture a mallards tail ) in the bottom of the keel. As far as seaworthiness mine has been outside the San Francisco Golden Gate in high winds and at least sixs foot seas. The boat was fine but like others have said the real limits are in the crews abilities to sail and endure the physical demands of bad weather.
                          You mentioned you wanted to sail with your family and here I'll say we did so as a family of four. We cruised for tenor more days at a time in Mexico,in the pacific Northwest and in Maine but the boat is really best suited for two people even as a day sailor.
                          Again I'll urge you to consider the Birdwatcher especially if your going to trailer your boat. A micro takes time to set up and because of the rocker of the bottom needs a steep ramp to float it off the trailer. With a micro your going to need a dinghy and a motor so add that into the equation when your comparing costs. There was an article on the birdwatcher in Woodenboat and if you haven't read it I would urge you to.
                          I don't want to give the impression that I think the micro is not a good design I've sailed mine for ten years now and just spent two weeks cruising the Maine coast this summer with my wife. I just bought new sails for her and would find it hard to sell her but that said it's easy for me to see the merits of the Birdwatcher design.

                          Buck__________________________> To: bolger@yahoogroups.com> From: endsley_t@...> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 01:59:05 +0000> Subject: [bolger] Re: Bolger Micro>> I think maybe my comment about "pushing the Elements to the limit" may> have been misconstrued.> First off let me say I live in Gulfport, MS. For those who may not be> familiar with our geography, we have several barrier islands with> three being a sort sail (5-7 miles offshore). The water depth between> shore and these islands averages around 12 feet (deeper in some> places, shallower in many!). Even though the islands give protection> from the ocean, when the wind conditions are right and the tide is> running in the opposite direction the seas get confused. Producing> short, flat, irregular waves usually up to 3 feet (although I have> seen 6).> Of course a prudent sailor is aware of the weather and always keeps an> eye out for deteriorating conditions, But what if I were on the open> ocean side (South) of an island, which happened to be the Lee side,> and was completely unaware of the Windward conditions until the> fateful return trip?> Per plan, would the Micro stand up to 3 foot seas?> The real reason I wanted a 1" Hull was due to Katrina debris. Efforts> are ongoing to remove more but it is a slow process. I worry that> eventually I may run into something and I wanted the piece of mind> that the Hull would stand up to it without puncture. Maybe I'm> over-worrying...> My intention for this boat is to sail with the family out to islands> on the weekends. I just want to be able to get home in bad weather> conditions if we are forced to by time constraints.> Mr. Lenihan, I have seen pictures of your boat and I aspire to achieve> the level of finish you did with LESTAT. A true Gold-Plater!> I have read a lot of Mr. Bolger's comments pertaining to changing his> designs and that is not what I intended. I just thought thicker was> better...> What about 1/2" Hull, 3/8" everywhere else? With sheathed exterior> will it be beyond the reasonable towing capacity of a 6 cylinder?> Or will the Micro with 1/4" plywood throughout and sheathed exterior> be more than enough for my needs and intended uses?>

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                        • Bill
                          I have seen two people (on the web) who have reinforced the hulls of their Micro. The Zeiger s sailed a lee-board Micro. After punching a hole in the hull,
                          Message 12 of 15 , Oct 3, 2007
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                            I have seen two people (on the web) who have reinforced the hulls of
                            their Micro. The Zeiger's sailed a lee-board Micro. "After punching
                            a hole in the hull, just above the waterline, we added 1/2" "doubling
                            plates" port and starboard, doubling the hull thickness to 1" to about
                            8" above the waterline. It gave us a bit of extra buoyancy."
                            (http://www.ace.net.au/schooner/zoon.htm#start).

                            The other Micro saw was being built in England, and had reinforced
                            sides. I don't know if they boat was ever launched.
                            http://www.pentode.demon.co.uk/bolger/

                            When I was contemplating my Long Micro (LM) these builders influenced
                            me a bit. I opted for .5 inch sides on my LM (which Bolger notes is
                            acceptable). I think anything greater than .5 inch sides would be
                            excessive. Why not build with 3/8 inch sides (the stock sides for an
                            LM)? Or you could make laminate/sandwich sides (two pieces of .25
                            inch ply with foam board sandwiched between. Plenty of buoyancy but
                            plenty complicated to make too.

                            Both Micro and LM are designed with enough floatation to sit high when
                            full of water. I think about the possibility of being holed in my LM,
                            but it doesn't concern me much. I'll have plenty of time to swear,
                            wring my hands, and then engineer some kind of crude fix. Or just
                            motor or sail towards land with a couple hundred gallons of water
                            sloshing below.

                            Have you read Roger Keyes' accounts of sailing his micro off the coast
                            of Australia? He's modified his micro quite a bit over the years, but
                            he still sails solo, and regularly heaves-to for the night and naps at
                            sea. He's been on some extensive journeys in his micro. This says a
                            lot to me. The boat is a rugged little vessel and she'll take more
                            abuse than the crew will.
                            You can read about Roger and his micro in the "files" section of
                            Bolger7. There are also some good photos of Australian Micros
                            (in Bolger 7 and one of the other Bolger groups)

                            Bill, in Ohio

                            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "endsley_t" <endsley_t@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I think maybe my comment about "pushing the Elements to the limit" may
                            > have been misconstrued.
                            > First off let me say I live in Gulfport, MS. For those who may not be
                            > familiar with our geography, we have several barrier islands with
                            > three being a sort sail (5-7 miles offshore). The water depth between
                            > shore and these islands averages around 12 feet (deeper in some
                            > places, shallower in many!). Even though the islands give protection
                            > from the ocean, when the wind conditions are right and the tide is
                            > running in the opposite direction the seas get confused. Producing
                            > short, flat, irregular waves usually up to 3 feet (although I have
                            > seen 6).
                            > Of course a prudent sailor is aware of the weather and always keeps an
                            > eye out for deteriorating conditions, But what if I were on the open
                            > ocean side (South) of an island, which happened to be the Lee side,
                            > and was completely unaware of the Windward conditions until the
                            > fateful return trip?
                            > Per plan, would the Micro stand up to 3 foot seas?
                            > The real reason I wanted a 1" Hull was due to Katrina debris. Efforts
                            > are ongoing to remove more but it is a slow process. I worry that
                            > eventually I may run into something and I wanted the piece of mind
                            > that the Hull would stand up to it without puncture. Maybe I'm
                            > over-worrying...
                            > My intention for this boat is to sail with the family out to islands
                            > on the weekends. I just want to be able to get home in bad weather
                            > conditions if we are forced to by time constraints.
                            > Mr. Lenihan, I have seen pictures of your boat and I aspire to achieve
                            > the level of finish you did with LESTAT. A true Gold-Plater!
                            > I have read a lot of Mr. Bolger's comments pertaining to changing his
                            > designs and that is not what I intended. I just thought thicker was
                            > better...
                            > What about 1/2" Hull, 3/8" everywhere else? With sheathed exterior
                            > will it be beyond the reasonable towing capacity of a 6 cylinder?
                            > Or will the Micro with 1/4" plywood throughout and sheathed exterior
                            > be more than enough for my needs and intended uses?
                            >
                          • rod_cahill
                            Hi, I previously had contact with two Micro owning gentlemen from/near Adelaide, Australia but lost contact since computer problem. One was Allen, sorry
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jun 30, 2010
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                              Hi, I previously had contact with two Micro owning gentlemen from/near Adelaide, Australia but lost contact since computer problem. One was Allen, sorry forgot other name. If you could please make contact again.

                              Also, Would like to see photos of some Micro interiors set up for solo cruising.

                              Thankyou,

                              Rod Cahill
                              Bowning, NSW, Australia (previously Canberra)
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