Pico Boating: The Build Begins

Selway Fisher Micro 10. Sunday, April 29, 2012 – A classic post. I’m not proud of this, but I only went for a few weeks on this, then stopped.

I spent Saturday building the center girder of my Micro 10 project.   It started with a trip to the local lumber yard to pick up four sheets of 1/2 inch plywood and a few other odds and ends.   Then it took hours to figure out the layout for it, as the ply is 8 feet long and the boat is ten.    I was able to make pretty good use of it all and to minimize waste.  So many measurements and marks and curves.  It took most of the day, and even with trying to be careful I am not sure I got everything right, but I am close I think.

It’s funny how the boat seems big one moment and so small the next.  I guess it’s how I imagine using it… and what I compare it to.  It’s the biggest ten foot boat out there, just about.. but a ten foot boat can look pretty small.   The five foot beam seems huge at this point.

In the pictures below, taken in my driveway, the yellow ruler is six feet long… as long as I am tall.  In the shot with the horizontal yellow bar it is lying along the  length of the inner cabin.

The frame will actually be trimmed about two inches shorter in the stern.  Not much scrap left.. and some of this will be used somewhere.

There are so many phases in a project such as this.   Later will come the “What the hell was I thinking” phase, but now there is excitement and hope.    Possibility.


LOD 10’ (3.05m); Beam 5’4” (1.63m); Draft 2’4”/4’3” (0.70/1.3m); Displ. To WL 3749lbs (1700kg); Approx. Dry Weight 1103lbs (500kg); Ballast 386lbs (175kg) of lead and 441lbs (200kg) of water; Sail Area 75.25 sq.ft. (7 sq.m).

Background:  Look at all Pico Boating pages.   There is certainly room for debate as to whether or not a boat such as this fits in an affordable boating website.   As editor/founder it’s my thought that even though this boat may well be one of the more expensive ten foot boats ever built, it’s total cost should still be a tiny fraction of most sailboats that are even remotely capable of anything beyond a small lake.   And this could be a liveaboard, of sorts.  It’s designed to cruise around the world, though that is not my intent, so one could certainly spend a few months or more on this little craft. So far it sounds like an affordable liveaboard of sorts, to me.    I live and work a stone’s throw from Puget Sound and the idea of a weekend sail, or even an outing of a few weeks, sounds pretty exciting.  It’s done all the time in boats such as a SF Pelican, so while this may be even slower, it would be even safer, given it’s closed cabin.

Crazy?  To quote Sven Yrvind… “Annie Edson Taylor was a teacher. On 24 October 1901 on her 63 birthday she went over the Niagara Falls in a barrel she had designed herself.

Now if a small boat like that built of oak and iron hoops could survive the Niagara Falls more than a hundred years ago I am convinced that a modern composite boat can survive anything. Now imagin what would happen if you pushed a modern production boat over the Niagara Falls. Me for one would not like to be in it. And still, people think small boats are unsafe.”

and as to the benefits of a voyage he plans around the world in a ten foot boat?

“I expect that it will make people realize the fact that a small boat, properly designed, is safer than a bigger one. Bigger boats create bigger and more dangerous forces. They also demand complicated technology. Complicated technology in the marine environment is vulnerable. Only in a small functional boat do you have absolute control. Only in a small boat are you safe in the ruthless fury of storms.”


Originally posted 2013-05-25 20:38:11.

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