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In Reply to: 'Micro' - a small single-hander cruising sailboat posted by barnacleid on August 16, 2001 at 12:59:57:
Say how about a 'thumbnail' bit on the sailing and handling differences between your old boat, the Roamer Dinghy (as shown on the SBF Small Boat Adventure page "Roamer Cruising Dinghy"), and 'Micro"?
Also, on your site in Gallery #1, you show the hull panels (how thick?) going together (pic #2). It looks like the only structure to define the shape of the boat is the CNC cut panels, supplied by Swallow Boats, and the 2 precut bulkheads. Not even a 'ladder frame' was used...? How 'easy' is this part of the construction of the hull? The method: Tying the hull together with wire (wire ties even) to tack the panels with thickened epoxy, then after set up "filleted the joints with resin, then overlaid with fibreglass tape" seems to get a sweet boat shape and a very strong structure without all those ribs and chines... How much boat work time is involved from Pic #1 to pic #3 in Gallery #1?
Thanks for the answers, Thom V
Differences between Roamer and Micro:
Roamer is much heavier and more forgiving. Micro needs more skill to sail well
because she is less stable and responds rapidly to sudden wind speed changes. Unlike
Roamer, Micro is not self-righting, neither can she go to windward so well in higher
windspeeds, but one would not expect this, since the two boats are designed for
different purposes. Roamer has a ballasted centreboard, whereas Micro has shallow
Roamer is designed for two people to coastal cruise for days and perhaps weeks at a
time, whereas I designed Micro for singlehanding. She was to be used for short
cruises of about two or three days on semi-protected waters, such as the east coast
esturaries of England. She has an advantage over Roamer for day sailing, because she
is easier to launch and recover from a road trailer. Unlike Roamer, she is not a
dedicated sailboat, being 70/30 for sail and oars respectively. For example if one
were to cruise the non-tidal upper sections of the River Thames, it is likely she would
be rowed more than sailed.
She was meant to be an eco-sailboat, that is one which is friendly to the environment
in her construction and use. As a starters, she does not have an engine. (Consult the
Web site: http://www.micro-sailboat.co.uk )
The more I sail her, the more I am impressed with her capabilities. On smooth water,
she is an absolute joy to sail. One can sit on the floor while resting an arm on the side
deck and, with fingertip steering, direct ones course. In rougher conditions, I have
now gained confidence to sit her out and drive her over the waves. This is fantastic
fun, but over a long period could become demanding.
Regarding Gallery #1, I did not take a measurement of the panel thickness, but
perhaps they are 4 mm? For a definitive answer, why not try Nick Newland of
Swallowboats who supplied me with the hull bits: email@example.com ?
Pic #2 shows the assembly by using copper wire to join the panels together. This is
very easy to do. Initially do not tighten them, but when all the bits are put together,
use your eye to make the hull symmetrical, while inserting and fixing the bulkheads
using wire in the same way. Then gradually draw the panels together by tightening
the wires on either side of the hull while maintaining the symmetry.
It took 28.5 hours to reach pic #3. You will observe that internal taping had not yet
been done on the sheer strake.
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