Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Some years ago I bought a kit for the hull of a ‘Storm Petrel’ from Swallow Boats and fitted her out with a deck and cockpit of my own design. I used her for sailing the East Coast Estuaries and DCA rallies, including the Holy Island Rally and the Poole Harbour Rally. I exhibited her at the Beale Boat Show with other DCA small craft. She gave me enormous fun while building her, and as much fun sailing and cruising her.

Here are her statistics:

Hull: LOA 14'0", LWL 12'7", Beam 4'10", Draft 8".

Rig: Gaff sloop. Main 63 sq ft, Jib 22 sq ft.

Hull parts of high quality marine ply, including bulkheads, were purchased from

All hardwood was recycled mahogany taken from the mantelshelf in the lounge of my home!

Work Log

I kept a record of the time spent building 'Micro'. Because she was a 'one-off', every part had to be designed, made, fitted and finished; therefore the time spent building her was high, ie., 476 hours.

To save time, I had the spars made by Bossoms Boatyard Ltd., Bisney Village, Oxford. OX2 0NL.

When undertaking a project such as this, consideration should be given to the time spent designing and the time taken collecting the components.


There were hidden costs in building 'Micro', such as postage for items and fuel when travelling for bits and pieces. Had she been supplied in kit form, the cost would have been far less, but all parts, down to the smallest item, were bought individually, and they had to be obtained from various suppliers. Originally, I planned to make a cheap boat, but as things developed, I wanted her to be constructed from the best materials. Hence the total cost was in the region of £3,500 - that included the purchase of tools, such as a reciprocal sander, jigsaw, clamps, road trailer and sails. I was astonished at the total cost, but had she been built by a professional, the cost would have been much more.


The sails were made by Bohndell Sails, Commercial St., Rockport, ME 04856 and they were supplied by 'Dynamite' Payson of Instant Boat fame.
The road trailer was purchased from R.M. Trailers Ltd., Prospect Road, New Farm Ind Est, New Alresford, Hants. SO24 9QF.


Building the boat presented me with various challenges and difficulties, but the outcome was very satisfying. On the whole it gave me much pleasure. My advice to those considering something similar is, think hard and long, because the project will require patience, basic manual skills, tools, somewhere to build, money, and above all, determination to finish the boat.


‘Storm’ – the Mark 2 version of ‘Storm Petrel’ -
‘Storm’ is longer and beamier than ‘Storm Petrel’ (No longer produced)

DCA Holy Island Rally

Bossom’s Boat Yard.

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