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By Stephen Collins - Duluth, Minnesota - USA

- Part 1 - Part 2 -

On Memorial Day weekend, 2007, my family and I  became boat builders, not just people working on a couple boats. After three years of dreaming, working, and getting epoxy in my beard, we launched the Micro Trawler.

After three years of dreaming, working, and getting epoxy in my beard, we launched the Micro Trawler.

Before we could launch, we had to get the boat out of the garage, and that took a bit of doing. During the building process, I was asked many times if it would fit out the door, to which I always replied, of course! All the while hoping and praying I had not made a miscalculation. The original idea was to hook the truck to the trailer and slowly pull the whole works out the door. This was needed, I thought because the wheels were off the trailer. The wheels were off the trailer so I could work in the garage and keep the boat level and solid. After a close examination I decided this plan was too risky. As you can see, we made it, but there was only about one inch on each side of the boat going out the door. Instead of pulling it with the truck, I hooked the comealong to the trailer hitch and slowly pulled the trailer and boat out. A couple problems we had were the boat was too heavy, and the truck was moving up the drive way and the boat was not moving at all. A block of oak behind the wheel of the truck, and several pieces of 1” pipe under the trailer frame solved that problem. Once out of the garage, the wheels were put on, the motor mounted and the boat balanced on the trailer.

I hooked the comealong to the trailer hitch and slowly pulled the trailer and boat out.
As you can see, we made it, but there was only about one inch on each side of the boat going out the door.

On to the launch. We invited any and all people that had helped with the construction in any way to the launch celebration. I was not as confident as Emily was when she launched her pram, so I did not go to Lake Superior for the splash party, but rather to a local county park. I knew we were building a large boat, but did not realize just how large until I towed it to the lake. It was decided then that we needed a larger tow vehicle. After seeing the photo of me towing the boat, I understood why I got some of the looks I did! I christened the Micro Trawler, named “Someday”, with Crème Brule`, the finest crème soda in the world. No alcohol for me, as I have been sober for over 30 years.

I knew we were building a large boat, but did not realize just how large until I towed it to the lake. It was decided then that we needed a larger tow vehicle.
I christened the Micro Trawler, named “Someday”, with Crème Brule`, the finest crème soda in the world.

The launch was a total success! She  floated perfectly, and every thing worked. Several people asked if I was nervous, but I really was not. At least not about if it would float. I was far more worried about things like the motor not starting, or the steering not working. Those sorts of things. But, it all worked. Every one at the splash party that wanted to got a ride on the Micro Trawler, or had a chance to pilot it around the lake. It was a blast, as every one who has built a boat understands.

We have been out on Lake Superior, gone under the Duluth Ariel Lift Bridge, and shared the harbor 1000’ ore carriers.
Emily and the neighbor’s son Dylan have made sure that the dinning table works for lunch on the water.

Since the launch, we have been learning a lot about the boat. In the first article, I stated the goals of my boat building were a boat that Emily felt safe on, that we could camp and fish Lake Superior on, and that would be trailerable. Someday meets and exceeds these goals. We have been out on Lake Superior, gone under the Duluth Ariel Lift Bridge, and shared the harbor 1000’ ore carriers. Emily and the neighbor’s son Dylan have made sure that the dinning table works for lunch on the water. We have gone fishing several times, and I am usually out fished by the kids. Building the Pram and Micro Trawler were wonderful experiences and using them is just as much fun. I encourage any one who has thought about building a boat to do so. I do not think you will regret it.

Thanks for letting me share,

Stephen.


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