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Mrleft8
04-01-2003, 10:03 PM
(Dogs on shore? :D ) No....Really, someone asked me today, what makes a Catboat a Catboat?
I thought a bit, decided it must be the location of the mast relative to the centerline, and a beam to length thing.... But I'm not really sure.... I have heard that Catboats were called that because they "responded quick as cats"....

Wooden Boat Fittings
04-01-2003, 10:24 PM
.
Essentially, it's a combination of the lack of a headsail or the place to put one inboard -- the mast (or the forward mast if more than one) is right up in the eyes of the boat.

Mike

John B
04-01-2003, 10:41 PM
and 'cathouse'?

Chris Coose
04-02-2003, 06:48 AM
From the Catboat Association
http://www.catboats.org/

What is a catboat?

A. A catboat is a boat traditionally fitted with a gaff-rigged sail on a single mast set well up in the "eyes" of the boat. Cruising catboats have cabins and normally range in overall length from 16 - 26 feet. Others are fully or partially decked and suitable for day sailing or camp cruising.
Most cats have centerboards, although some keel cats exist. Many cats have outboard or "Barn Door" rudders but some cats are built with underslung rudders.
A few cats have Marconi sails, but most are gaff headed. Most cats are shallow draft, broad beam boats. The classic Cape Cod Cat's beam measurement is half the waterline length which makes a very stable boat. but all cats have one basic characteristic; a single sail on a mast set well up in the bow of the boat.

Mrleft8
04-02-2003, 06:53 AM
So..... Most sailing dinghies are catboats?

Chris Coose
04-02-2003, 08:24 AM
There are a couple of old time downeasters warming up by the wood stove in the general store. A young fella "from away" enters the store and announces that his wife has just had a new baby.
He inquires to the old guys, "Now does that make my child a native Mainer?"
Earl looks to his friend and inquires, "Now Hollis, Do you suppose that if my cat were to have kittens in the kitchen range oven, would I call em' bisquits?"

A couple more ways to answer this good question. The Catboat association has no sailing dinghies registered. I'm guessing the the Beetle is the smallest cat in the group and if you look at one of these beauts you can see "Cat" written all over them.

If I were to own a cat rigged sailing dinghy that's probably just what I'd call it.

Figment
04-02-2003, 08:44 AM
I think Chris is dead-on here.

A boat that is cat-RIGGED (mast up in the eyes, possibly even with barndoor rudder) is not necessarily a catBOAT.

part of the beauty of catboats is that you know 'em when you see 'em. They have a very distinct visual identity.

TomRobb
04-02-2003, 10:32 AM
Ayup :D

JimD
04-02-2003, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by Mrleft8:
(Dogs on shore? :D ) No....Really, someone asked me today, what makes a Catboat a Catboat?
I thought a bit, decided it must be the location of the mast relative to the centerline, and a beam to length thing.... But I'm not really sure.... I have heard that Catboats were called that because they "responded quick as cats"....I've casually looked for, but never found, a proper explanation as to why they are called 'cat' boats. Anyone out there have a historical source for name?

Chris Coose
04-02-2003, 01:44 PM
I'll give you an improper reason.
The low deck house on a cat does not afford round port lights. So they get these eliptical (cat's eye shapes) ports.
Then you might ask about designers who'd break this rule by placing an extra pair into the house.
Probably for night vision, for which cats are known for.

Victoria the cat.
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid24/p1b0fddc170bf4fe6f6f276f64b03df37/fd9765bb.jpg

BTW Victoria is not "clean". Typically, the only stay on the rig usually goes directly to the stem. The previous owner added the bow plank for easier anchoring. Most of my slips and pick-ups are done under sail, and I have sought refuge from the boom out on that plank many times, so the plank stays.

[ 04-02-2003, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Chris Coose ]

Beowolf
04-02-2003, 03:26 PM
It's like that one senator said about porn. "I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it."

Big fat boat with a mast way up front. Really good looking too.

Jeff

Chris Coose
04-02-2003, 03:42 PM
Saw Comfort down near Falmouth, MA.
By the looks of the transom, this may be a cat with keel?
What a beaut!
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid58/pdeedcd3fdbf72598c92f35b0b8912c69/fc670a01.jpg

[ 04-02-2003, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: Chris Coose ]

Nicholas Carey
04-02-2003, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by Chris Coose:
Saw Comfort down near Falmouth, MA.
By the looks of the transom, this may be a cat with keel?Nah...just a cat with wheel steering. Once you move up to the big cats (e.g., LOA > 20 ft,) they almost all have wheel steering.

Chris Coose
04-02-2003, 07:23 PM
Nick,
Cat stems and transoms are usually plumb, where Comfort has and angled transom and no exposed barn door rudder I thought she might be keeled.
Another clue is that you might see some of the c-board trunk sticking through the doors and into the cockpit, if there is one.
I'm thinking Comfort may have been a working cat and by ducking the transom like that, fishing off her may have been simpler.
Block party cockpit on her.

Nicholas Carey
04-02-2003, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Chris Coose:
Block party cockpit on her.Yeah...there's one here in Seattle (~30ft) that see see around every now and again that's like that. I swear it could easily carry 12-15 people in the cockpit in absolute comfort. It's huge.

Mrleft8
04-02-2003, 09:29 PM
Lots of conflicting info here.... So the answer is.... "Nobody REALLLLLLY knows"? ;)

johnw
04-02-2003, 09:51 PM
Lots of people know. They just don't agree. It's like a religion that way.

Ken Hutchins
04-03-2003, 07:17 AM
Just to muddy up the catboat description Nat Herreshoff made some catboat yawls, one of which (Clara)is in the Herreshoff museum. It is keeled about 30' long with a counter stern. The foremast is right up in the eyes and it has a plumb stem. Go to the museum site, there is a picture of it being restored. CLARA (http://www.herreshoff.org/frames/clara.htm)