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Thread: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

  1. #1
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    Default Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    I'm really digging the Bolger Catfish design, but now I've looked at the Wittholz Corvus boat (14'11" Plywood Catboat from the WB plans page) and it is rather appealing too. I went ahead and spent the whopping $.99 to download the study plans for the Wittholz boat so I could get a better idea of what it involves.

    I'm wishing that the search feature would allow boolean operators (or does it and I'm just doing it wrong?) because I feel that there is a good chance that this topic has already been covered, I just cannot find it.

    To my untrained eye the boats look about equal. Similar size, similar lines, etc.., to my untrained eye.

    The plywood on frames approach of the Wittholz boat is appealing, slightly closer to 'real' boat building I guess.

    Does anyone have any arguments for one versus the other, or is it kind of a six of one, half dozen of the other issue?

    Thanks, Thomas

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Can't speak to the boats, as I've never seen either. Here's a link from a previous thread on this Forum -
    http://catboat.home.texas.net/cb01.html

    Searching, now....

    I find the internal Wooden Boat Forum search engine to be pretty limited, as it doesn't seem to allow Boolean searches.

    I find that the Google Advanced Search ( http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en ) works much better. Just copy and paste the Forum's URL ( http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/ ) into the last field named "Search within a site or domain:", and then put in search strings like "tow dinghy bridle" or whatever.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Thank you for the Google advice. I've never used that feature before.

    Oddly enough, this discussion hasn't come up before. I was worried it would be one that had been beat to death.

    There is lots of discussion about the weight of the ply on frame boats versus stitch and glue, so that is something I'll have to add to my pros/cons list.

    -Thomas

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Where did the other response go?

    Anyway, thanks to whoever that was, I looked up the New Plywood Boats book. It is actually the Bobcat, not the Catfish, that Jones builds as a ply on frame boat, but I would imagine the process is the same. Our library system has that so I will have to request it and check it out.

    -Thomas

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Err, that was me. I realised after I posted that you were probably talking about the Catfish beach cruiser, not the Bobcat (which has other names, too).
    But yes, I suspect the process would be the same.

    Good luck!
    Dave Gentry

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    From a bit of past experience I suspect that the Wittholz boat may be an easier build, and the better of the two.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish




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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Roger, I'm guessing that's the Wittholz. Nice work.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Roger, nice craft, thanks for the photos, they give a better idea of what kind of space one of these critters will take up dry. Do you have any build pictures or photos of the cabin and cockpit?

    Would it be safe to assume that since the Wittholz has a frame that changes to the cabin size would be easier? In other threads I've seen reference to extending the cabin slightly to give room for two to nap and also reference to doing away with the cabin completely.

    Is it just me, or are catboats about the only small boats that manage to have a nice 'yarr' factor without being a novelty?

    Although not nautical, my formal schooling is in design, so any question that I get answered general causes me to have twenty more that I want to ask. Once I learn the what, I get to dwelling on the how and why.

    -Thomas

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Quote Originally Posted by OconeePirate View Post
    Is it just me, or are catboats about the only small boats that manage to have a nice 'yarr' factor without being a novelty?
    -Thomas
    Dorys have it ("yarr") but in a hard scrable, gaunt, hungry sort of way rather than the cute, cudly, warm "yarr" of a small cat

    Dan


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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Just a guess but I wouldn't be surprised if the Catfish behaved a bit better, with its double chine and beam to length ratio.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Hi Roger,

    That is a beautiful Wittholz catboat. I am currently in the process of building the same boat. I do not have the plywood on yet. It is great to see a picture of what the boat will look like. I was thinking of building it without a cabin and using it for day sailing on the Hudson River.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    David-- I'm lofting Corvus and hope to start building this winter. I may PM you with some questions. In the meantime, I'm sure the Forum would welcome photos and commentary on your build.


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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Bob, call on me and I will answer any questions if I can. This is only the second baot I built. I am a little busy at this time but will post some pictures soon.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Quote Originally Posted by paladin View Post
    From a bit of past experience I suspect that the Wittholz boat may be an easier build, and the better of the two.
    I know this thread has run it's course, but if anyone is still there....

    Paladin.
    I was looking at the same comparison and got the impression that the Wittholz would be complex to build (qualifier: I know nothing about boats, and even less about woodworking, yet).

    I thought the whole idea of "Instant Boats" like the Catfish, and JM's Fatcat2 which was my other consideration, was that they were quick and easy to build ?

    Corvus is far and away the better looking boat IMHO but I have limited spare time to apply to such an undertaking. Would it really be of similar skill level to build as the Catfish or Fatcat - I mean, for a novice like me ?

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Go for the one you really want. If it takes more time and you waste a board or two that's just the cost of getting the best.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Quote Originally Posted by PsiPhi View Post
    I know this thread has run it's course, but if anyone is still there....I thought the whole idea of "Instant Boats" like the Catfish, and JM's Fatcat2 which was my other consideration, was that they were quick and easy to build ?

    Corvus is far and away the better looking boat IMHO but I have limited spare time to apply to such an undertaking. Would it really be of similar skill level to build as the Catfish or Fatcat - I mean, for a novice like me ?
    Catfish isn't an "instant boat" ... far from it. If you look at the drawings on Harold Payson's site, there's much more interior structure than on any of the smaller designs. And part of the idea with the "instant" boats is that they don't require a building jig, but I doubt that Catfish is built that way. (Fatcat, though, is built without a jig.)

    From what I can see, Fatcat would definitely be the easiest of the three. The other two might be a toss-up. I certainly wouldn't choose Catfish over Corvus solely on the belief that Catfish would be easier.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 03-11-2010 at 06:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Here are a couple of Catfish pics from the Bolger Yahoo site



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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Thanks guys,
    I'm guessing that with his level of skill, to Paladin the Corvus would be an easy build ?

    I'm not to sure what I really want, I'm still finishing off my "Summer Breeze" in order to start learning to sail, then maybe I can make a better informed decision about what I want next.

    With my time constrains I feel that FatCat2 is a good way to go simply because I could finish it in under five years!

    Then too it would give me an excuse to build another, bigger, better one later (like we need excuses).

    Cheers
    Simon.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Paskey View Post
    Catfish isn't an "instant boat" ... far from it. If you look at the drawings on Harold Payson's site, there's much more interior structure than on any of the smaller designs. And part of the idea with the "instant" boats is that they don't require a building jig, but I doubt that Catfish is built that way. (Fatcat, though, is built without a jig.)

    From what I can see, Fatcat would definitely be the easiest of the three. The other two might be a toss-up. I certainly wouldn't choose Catfish over Corvus solely on the belief that Catfish would be easier.
    ''

    Actually, I have Dynamite's books, the catfish is an instant boat albeit one with lots of parts. Bolger, I believe, said that the design was not very good for carrying passengers as the open cabin wasn't high enough to sit under the decks comfortably or well suited for sitting on the decks.

    Dynamite's latest book ( Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson ) covers the Catfish and Chebacco with models of both being made and building keys discussed. I would get that book and read it, me I am not so in heat with the Catfish but that's me.

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    I think Corvus would make a great kit boat. It really is the most family friendly small sailboat one could own, I feel like. Very appealing boat. And if it is not a family you are taking out, the cocktail cruises would be comfortable.
    Clinton B. Chase
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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Hello, and I apologize for reviving this post, but I noticed something on those 2 designs:
    If I look at the Corvus plans in "50 Wooden Boats", it clearly shows a skeg and a kick-up centerboard.
    In Payson's "Instant Boatbuilding", the Catfish does not seem to have a centerboard, only the skeg. Even the picture of the model does not show a CB.
    So I wondered: Does the Catfish really not need a CB? How about its heeling stability? Both models seem to be somewhat equally beamy, so why would one need a CB and one not?
    How about windward performance of each?
    Any other ideas as to why they are different regarding CB?

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Forgive the late hit... I know nobody cares.

    The Witholz plans for sale from our host say its a v-bottom single chine design, and the Catfish is flat bottom multi-chine. This would affect trailering and beach-ability. Further, I believe the "skeg" on the catfish might actually be a minimal keel, not just a skeg. But how much skeg does it take to call it a keel?

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Turns out that the original Bolger design was more of a minimal keel, not just a skeg. Suzanne Altenburger is selling a 7-sheet plan set that includes the most recent design for a centerboard: $150. Dynamite's instantboats.com is selling a 4-sheet plan set for the original design: $45. And of course, the original design is also included in the Instant Boats book that is still for sale.

    But is there a lapstrake design out there that would be better than either the Witholz or the Bolger?

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    Default Re: Wittholz Corvus vs. Bolger Catfish

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
    Forgive the late hit... I know nobody cares.

    The Witholz plans for sale from our host say its a v-bottom single chine design, and the Catfish is flat bottom multi-chine. This would affect trailering and beach-ability. Further, I believe the "skeg" on the catfish might actually be a minimal keel, not just a skeg. But how much skeg does it take to call it a keel?
    A skeg is under the "run" of the keel.
    A keel could be as minimal as a wide plank running fore and aft the length of the hull.
    A skeg is also aft of centerboard,fin or keel. Donald Branscom
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

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