Building a Micro 10? Prepare to Spend a Fortune. Or is it?

I’m thinking I want to build a pico boat… the Selway Fisher Micro 10.

The plans aren’t bad.  I wouldn’t recommend them to a first time builder, but this is hardly a first time builder’s typical boat.  I don’t know if this represents the usual Selway Fisher level of detail or not.  It’s all there, but a lot is left unsaid.


Plywood, with marine or exterior grade called for.  The prices listed are prices at CLC Boats as of April 4, 2012 for okoume.

13 sheets of 6mm   x $89.75 = $1166.75    21 pounds x 273 pounds

4 sheets 9mm x $99.75 = $399     31 pounds x 4 = 124 pounds.

4 sheets 12mm   x $125 a sheet = $500    42 pounds a sheet x 4 = 168 pounds.

total for all plywood:  $2065.75.  If ordered from CLC, which would be unlikely given my location in Seattle, shipping would be $123 for the first 100 pounds.  Total weight = 565 pounds.    Approximate shipping price is $615 shipping.   Total price of plywood with shipping is $2680.75.

What?  How much?

I also checked on Hydrotek BS Maranti from and their prices are about half those above.  That’s a significant savings.

And then there’s the epoxy.   It doesn’t say how many gallons is required.  Let’s guess $300 to $500.

Then add sails, which are rather minimal.  Let’s say $500 or less.

Hardware, which can be expensive.  Oh, $4oo

Additional wood.  $400

Lead for ballast.  $200

Mast.. I already have one that should work.

Total so far with these estimates…. about $4700 if I lean toward the most expensive… maybe 2500 bucks less than that if I am lucky.

The world’s most expensive ten foot boat.    We’ve officially left the affordable boating experience.

Or have we?   It’s all relative, isn’t it.    That money is the price of a quite modest used motorcycle…. a fraction of the price of a ski boat…. or any one of so many other ways we spend out money.  And what of the thrill of building.. and sailing?

I think I’ll clean out the shop tomorrow… and then… perhaps… begin?

More Pico Boating Posts

Originally posted 2013-05-28 20:55:58.

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  1. Now , I don`t want to sound negative here , but …
    what can you actually ” do ” with that thing ?
    If you don`t suffer from claustrophobia now , you soon will.
    The motion on that ” boat ” on anything but calm water would be akin to a cork bobbing in a washing machine …

  2. You might just be the first person ever to actually start construction of a Micro 10. I am also hunting for a suitable “pico” boat design to build. I had thought about taking scantlings from Serge Testa’s Acrohc Australis but building her out of plywood composite. Wow! Almost $5,000 to build a Micro 10! This is the kind of dilemma you run into. Build the custom boat or simply buy an old used Cal 20 for half the price (or less!) and fix her up. What to do?? I went for the Cal 20 (buy it and sail it now VS build it, finish it-maybe- and sail it) but I’m all behind you on your choice to build the Micro 10. Takes guts!

    • I hear ya… and thanks! I THINK it will cost me maybe $3000. In some ways I know it to be folly… but I seem to love folly. 😉 For MANY years I took the path of buying cheap. There are great points to it.. and some not so great. It took me MONTHS.. make that YEARS to finally buy the wood and make my first cut… and the feeling is just great. In the end I just decided I wanted to live the dream!

      • OK! Now you’ve done it! I just ordered plans for the Micro 8. At least I can sail the Cal 20 while building her. Fascinating little boat. I can’t wait to get started.

  3. RE: The comment from Duncan about claustrophobia.

    See the response I posted about “building” a cardboad emulation of the interior of the Micro 8 on my living room carpet.

    I swear that there is some type of Einsteinian space-time relativism at play in the Micro 8 cabin’s layout. The cabin is actually quite spacious, relativistically speaking. Of course I might be a Calabi-Yau object all curled-up inside Plankian-level space, but I can’t see claustrophobia setting in down there.

  4. Mike.. that’s great. I’ve hit a tough patch where life got in the way of any work. Inlaws and their decline that led us to take a trip to check out nursing homes… that sort of thing.
    I find that the build process always includes times of “what the hell did I do starting this thing!?” That kicked in a bit this past week… but I’m ready to head down to the garage this weekend and pick up where I left off.

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