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Thread: What is a catboat? Their history and future

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    Default What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Like, I suspect, most denizens of the WoodenBoat forum, I'm a big fan of Jim Ledger's thread on building a 25' Cape Cod Catboat. So when he took issue with my thread on my try at an updated catboat, I took it pretty seriously. Building something like what Jim is building is a huge commitment, and the work he's doing is way out of my league.

    Here's the question he asked me:

    I'm not sure what your point is in comparing your boat with a Cape Cod catboat. With the exception of the basic rig, there are no points of similarity. Keep in mind that the Cape Cod boats were working boats before they became over-canvassed yachts, while most Gil Smith boats were pleasure boats and racing craft. There were many working boats on Patchogue Bay during Smiths time with many similarities to his craft, but all were bigger boats, used for oyster tonging, fishing and as summer party boats.
    Which is a really good question, because it brings up the further question, what is a catboat? Should we call anything with the basic rig a catboat? And given that some of the most famous racing catboats had jibs, is it even the rig that makes it a catboat? Nautical terms tend to evolve over time, but words give us the categories we think with, so if we are to think clearly, they need to have meaning.

    If you're unfamiliar with Jim work, and don't know why I take his question so seriously, here's the boat he's building, which is the pinnacle of one direction of catboat evolution:


    It's a great boat, and the work Jim is doing will make it a great build of this boat. It is also, if memory serves, something like six tons. The thread on his build is here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ght=jim+ledger

    I've been lurking on it for quite a while, too awed to comment.

    I've been fascinated by catboats most of my life, so when I found out the lines and offsets for Una, the catboat that introduced the type to Europe, are still available, I had to have a look at the lines.

    Here they are:


    That's the earliest evidence of the shape of a catboat that we have. 1852 is an important year, because the first Cape Cod catboat, Little Eva, was named after a character in Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852. We know from the Crosby family that they had been building boats with leeboards, and learned of centerboards being used in New York. As near as I've been able to determine, centerboards (but not daggerboards) are an American invention. The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for a pivoting centerboard to three brothers from Cape May, N.J. in 1811. In 1815, the first centerboard vessel of any size was built at Nyack, N.J., according to these folks http://www.ulster.net/~hrmm/diglib/h...technical.html who also tell us that by the 1830s, the device was being used on Hudson River sloops in the 60' range.

    What is seldom written about is what was happening with small boats. Una is a pretty well-developed little boat, and I suspect she had plenty of predecessors. Bob Fish built her in New York, probably in 1851, and she reached the Isle of Wight in 1852, where she spawned many imitators. The British soon added jibs to theirs, and the type no doubt contributed to the development of centerboard dinghies.

    Jim raises the point that some catboats were workboats and some were yachts. I suspect in the early years, that would be about as important as work pickup trucks and pleasure pickup trucks, where the finish and equipment might be different, but the shape and machinery are the same. I don't imagine boatbuilders much cared whether the client would be tonging oysters or visiting the neighbors in the boat as long as they paid for it.

    But sailors being sailors, pretty soon differences crept in. Here's an 1867 jib & mainsail boat, sailed in the summer as a sloop and in the winter as a catboat. She was built as a workboat but later used as a yacht.


    You'll notice the two mast steps, one in the eyes of the vessel. It's not so different, really, from this boat, built in 1862 as a racing yacht:



    Again, a jib & mainsail boat, raced as both a catboat and a sloop. I confess, this is one of the boats I had in mind when I started messing around with catboat lines.

    By 1868, sandbaggers had evolved into this:


    That's Cruiser, still a crack vessel in the 1880s. Again, a vessel successfully raced as a catboat and a sloop. Like Comet, she relied on moveable ballast, and when moveable ballast was banned, boats evolved in a new direction.

    Or actually, a couple new directions. But I'm only allowed so many illustrations per post, so...

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    In keeping with our time line, here's an 1870 catboat Chapelle showed us in American Sailing Craft, which if you don't own, you ought to. Not quite as important as the later American Small Sailing Craft, but right up there.


    This was a workboat, but the Cape Cod boats hadn't become as attenuated as the New York boats, so she differed little from a pleasure catboat of the same era. When the Cape Cod catboats started racing, they didn't use moveable ballast, but they did use rigs nearly as large as those carried by the sandbaggers. They did this by becoming wider and heavier than the sandbaggers ever were. For example, here's the 1889 catboat Harbinger, built by C.C. Hanley. In a famous race against two crack cutters, Harbinger established the catboat as a racing type to be reckoned with, and the type started to spread more widely.



    Now, when a racing yacht's life ends, what use is it? In the case of Harbinger, the answer is obvious. She has a commodious and stable hull and can cruise waters too shallow for other types with the same accommodations. In fact, you've got a boat not so very different from the one Jim is building. His carries less than half the sail area, and will be less than a tenth as much work to sail, but has even better accommodations.

    If you retire the 1868 sandbagger Cruiser from racing, what have you got? Well, clearly not a cruiser. People who wanted a light-displacement daysailer wanted something more like this:


    Gil Smith's catboats were elegant, light, and easily driven. He took the evolution of the catboat in a different direction, but his boats were forgotten by most of the boating public. The old Cape Cod catboats, whether built as workboats or as yachts, retained the same virtues of a roomy, stable boat with a minimum of strings to pull and a certain pugnacious charm. And they were kept alive by people who wanted boats like that, and by builders like Breck Marshall who adapted them to new materials as the boatbuilding business changed.

    But what if we could combine the types, with the freeboard and cabin of a Cape Cod boat and the light displacement, smaller rig of a New York type catboat? For one thing, you could build a longer catboat that could be trailered.

    For me, the inspirational boats in this regard are Comet and the 1870 Crosby catboat at the top of this post. In addition, one of the nicest small catboats I've sailed is a Wenaumet Kitten, which has a little bit of a wineglass section at the bottom of the transom and some hollow sections aft. It seems to give the boat some buoyancy aft on the centerline, and help keep the stern from squatting while letting the boat have fairly straight lines in the run.

    And I've just realized, I forgot to post a link to the thread where Jim asked me the question that led to this thread, so here's that link: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ry-at-Deftship

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    It's been too long since the last catboat thread. Too bad I have to go to work right now, I'll check in later. Meanwhile, I'll bump the thread with a couple of views of a reproduction Gill Smith boat, an early plumb-stem version. This boat was built by the volunteers at the Long Island Maritime Museum.






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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    I'd say there are boats that are cat-rigged and boats that are catboats. Potter Stewarts's judgment about obscenity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it describes my understanding of what's a catboat and isn't, but I'm from Osterville on Cape Cod (Crosby cats)... and don't even consider Gil Smith's boats to be catboats. How narrow is that, defying Chapelle !?

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    John, it looks to me like you're heading in the direction of the Rhodes designed 'Wood Pussy' but in a size which requires ballast. The Mark Ellis design 'Naiad' has a ballasted hull which is even further removed the "traditional" catboat lines but even at 18' her mast is a handfull to step. If I were wanting a new, high performance cat it would be a Wylie 30, fast, but not much of a cruiser.
    I'll be interested in seeing what you come up with :-)
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    In the Catboat Association we recognize that there are different hull types that are nonetheless catboats, just as there are very diverse hull types that are sloops or cutters or ketches or yawls or schooners. The term does refer to the rig, not the hull shape. A "Cape Cod Cat" on the other hand means a hull of 2:1 length to beam under a cat rig. Except when a great long sword fishing pulpit is added and for fun it gets a jib, but it's still a catboat.

    Marmalade is the first built of the Chappequiddick 25 that Jim is so wonderfully building. Can't wait for the launch.

    Edited to add: I see that in the other thread Jim specificly said "Cape Cod Catboat". There were catboats from other areas that were first working boats but that had different lines than the 2:1 immortalized on Cape Cod. Some, both Cape Cod shape and others, have keels. Some amazing boats owe almost nothing to a workboat heritage but are really just very heavy non-planing dingheys.
    Last edited by Ian McColgin; 12-03-2011 at 10:44 AM.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Great thread.

    Re/ definitions I think that Ian has it right.

    It is my guess that since the rig was the first thing noticable at sea of a vessel, that generally (important modifier) all type names refered first to the rig "back in the day".

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    I remember an article in W B about building a replica of this Peggotty: Catboat, PEGGOTTY: construction commentary, photo, plans, 23:39

    which suggested that she was an early forerunner of the catboat.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    And Peggoty certainly is a catboat. I'm inclined to agree with Ian and the catboat association, but what about Harbinger? She's one of the greatest of the catboats, yet she carries a jib.

    And it wasn't always the rig that defined the craft. If you look at Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, Chapman used the terms cat, pink, and frigate to refer to hulls (these cats had nothing to do with those under discussion.) He shows pinks with sloop rigging, ship rigging, ketch rigging, and schooner rigging, if memory serves.

    I'm sure the Catboat Association his run into the problem and given it more thought than anyone else. Is there room for cat yawls?

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    I'd say there are boats that are cat-rigged and boats that are catboats. Potter Stewarts's judgment about obscenity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it describes my understanding of what's a catboat and isn't, but I'm from Osterville on Cape Cod (Crosby cats)... and don't even consider Gil Smith's boats to be catboats. How narrow is that, defying Chapelle !?
    Now, I take an opposing view. I think catboats were tremendously influential in the evolution of sailing craft, not just in the U.S., but throughout the world. I can see the Laser as Una's descendent after 160 years of intense evolution. I can see the International 14s, where the development was most intense around the Isle of Wight in the early years, as descendents of Una. I think catboats were perhaps the key type in the development of modern centerboard boats.

    But I'm wondering if the centerboard had been adopted in England before Una arrived. Certainly the Royal Navy experimented with "sliding keels" (daggerboards) but had small-boat types with pivoting centerboards developed elsewhere in the world by 1852?

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    As far as I know the working boats of England have never used centreboards, although I beleive Thames barges were often fitted with lee boards, an influence from Dutch sailing barges prehaps. I really don't know enough about the evolution of the catboat to contribute anything useful, but it seems to be a uniquely American innovation - the single mast stepped in the eyes of a shallow hull fitted with a centreboard. That would be my definition of 'catboat' although boats like Harbinger blur the lines a bit. She is technically a sloop and not a catboat at all, but in essence she is a catboat with a permenant jib.

    Beyond the Una influenced pleasure boats of which the laser is the most direct modern decendent that is in widespread use here, I wonder why the cat rig is not more popular in Europe. How much is down to pure practicallity for local conditions and how much is just builders sticking to what was known for their area. I wonder what might have happened if somebody had brought a boat like that Cape Cod Catboat from Chapelle's book over to England in 1870 and introduced it to some South Essex fishermen. The local Bawley was already reaching almost a 2 to 1 L/B ratio in some cases and carried only internal ballast. It is not such a big leap to adopt a centreboard and cat rig.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    I think by the time the centerboard was invented, most of the British types had evolved to the satisfaction of the local fishermen, except perhaps some of the larger classes such as the Zulu. In any case, workboats had the centerboards first in the U.S., and yachtsmen picked up the type, but yachtsmen in Britain took up the type, and working watermen never did to any great extent. In the U.S., working water craft often picked up on things that were happening in the yachting world as well. I wonder if there was much of that in Britain?

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by quercus robur View Post
    As far as I know the working boats of England have never used centreboards, although I beleive Thames barges were often fitted with lee boards, an influence from Dutch sailing barges prehaps. I really don't know enough about the evolution of the catboat to contribute anything useful, but it seems to be a uniquely American innovation - the single mast stepped in the eyes of a shallow hull fitted with a centreboard. That would be my definition of 'catboat' although boats like Harbinger blur the lines a bit. She is technically a sloop and not a catboat at all, but in essence she is a catboat with a permenant jib.

    Beyond the Una influenced pleasure boats of which the laser is the most direct modern decendent that is in widespread use here, I wonder why the cat rig is not more popular in Europe. How much is down to pure practicallity for local conditions and how much is just builders sticking to what was known for their area. I wonder what might have happened if somebody had brought a boat like that Cape Cod Catboat from Chapelle's book over to England in 1870 and introduced it to some South Essex fishermen. The local Bawley was already reaching almost a 2 to 1 L/B ratio in some cases and carried only internal ballast. It is not such a big leap to adopt a centreboard and cat rig.
    Brits did try centre boards e.g. Hastings luggers, Lancashire nobbys, and others. They were generally given up as they jammed and the cases always developed leaks. It is doubtful whether the fisherman would have tried a catboat form, they were a conservative lot, and the boats that they used were evolved to suit their needs completely. The cat boat may have failed here as it was too much of a niche solution to do well in our waters. It would seem that after trying the Una boat in the Solent, on Windemere and I think in Germany, the rig soon fell out of favour. This suggests that it is a rig most suited to its home waters, but unsuited to our, possibly rougher, seas.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I think by the time the centerboard was invented, most of the British types had evolved to the satisfaction of the local fishermen, except perhaps some of the larger classes such as the Zulu. In any case, workboats had the centerboards first in the U.S., and yachtsmen picked up the type, but yachtsmen in Britain took up the type, and working watermen never did to any great extent. In the U.S., working water craft often picked up on things that were happening in the yachting world as well. I wonder if there was much of that in Britain?
    This certainly happened where there was a benefit to be gained. The Essex smacks, some Solent boats, and Lancashire nobbys all used lessons learned from racing in developing the form and rig.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Brits did try centre boards e.g. Hastings luggers, Lancashire nobbys, and others. They were generally given up as they jammed and the cases always developed leaks. It is doubtful whether the fisherman would have tried a catboat form, they were a conservative lot, and the boats that they used were evolved to suit their needs completely. The cat boat may have failed here as it was too much of a niche solution to do well in our waters. It would seem that after trying the Una boat in the Solent, on Windemere and I think in Germany, the rig soon fell out of favour. This suggests that it is a rig most suited to its home waters, but unsuited to our, possibly rougher, seas.
    The brits seems to have been big on adding jibs to their una boats. Until a way was worked out to keep the forestay taut, sloops were not reputed to be as weatherly as catboats, although those catboats with tiny jibs and huge mains like Harbinger seem to have done quite well. I wonder if rig development was the key. Although, of course, the more sails you have the flexible the rig is, and your summers are for the most part windier than the American northeast (Buzzard's Bay is an exception.)

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    I will happily mention that these were almost exclusively used inland and they were double ended but.....

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I will happily mention that these were almost exclusively used inland and they were double ended but.....
    How old is that type?

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    How old is that type?
    Hard to give a definitive answer,but here is a link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfolk_wherry .

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    How old is that type?
    They started out at about 1600 as passenger wherries of up to 8 ton burthen, developing to their final size by the end of the 18th C. I have added the reference to the source of this data to the Wiki.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    I just came across this new design today and it's kinda gotten my juices flowing...

    http://rockportmarine.blogspot.com/2...-catboats.html

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Could it be that the cat boat (Cape Cod Cat) as a hull type really is a sailing hull of the type in common use about 1880 +- and the hull simply survived (albeit in an extreme form) on cape Cod with the relatively inexpensive single gaff sail as propulsion...

    In other words, about 1880 most sloops looked very similar in hull form to a cat boat... take a look at Herreshoffs Shadow, the same hulls were sailed as sloops and cats when racing, the sloop hull continued to evolve and developed into a very different sort of racing boat in the period of a few short years, while the Cat continued on as a racing and working boat, changing much more slowy.
    This wold make sense to some degree as Cape Cod was a bit of a back watter with far less industry and sail boat racing than Boston, Marblehead/North Shore and Newport/points south...

    interesting thread, thanks

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Since Rockport Marine chose to use a photo of my 'GOBLIN' for illustration I feel I must offer a comment on the CAD drawings of their interesting project. I think the idea of a new keel cat has a lot of potential but take exception to the cabin/cockpit design on 'Cheshire'. Its all well and good to update an old design idea but to stick a Herreschoff Rozinante cabin on a catboat is really out of place IMHO. I would also question the designers grasp of the whole catboat concept given his placement of deck hardware. Halyards turning blocks should be placed outboard, on deck, away from the spar to allow the gaff and sail to raise and lower with the least friction. In addition to the throat and peak halyards the topping lift is a very needed piece of gear which is not even shown in these drawings. I would also question the need for a winch of any type on this boat unless it is to be used to help relieve the mainsheet somehow when it gets snagged on those ill placed stern cleats. The gaff jaws are too short and the hollow aluminum boom are also going to cause problems.
    This is another of those "spirit of tradition" types which don't seem to have the qualities of a modern boat or of a historical type which has evolved over time into the best it can be. This is why most stock fiberglass catboats are so unsatisfactory when compared to the real thing.
    I hope Rockport Marine gives a bit more thought to this idea and then builds and rigs it properly as it could be a great addition to our catboat fleet.
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    As is not uncommon, I usually get inspired by a design and then go into a, "but I'd need to change just a few things..." mode. One of them was indeed the house/cuddy design also. As a former catboat owner, I also was looking for a topping lift and mentally eliminating the mainsheet winch. What michigangeourge is really seeing is the drift between design and a 'pretty computer picture'. They are seldom the same, especially for boats that are still only in the concept stage. In fact, a visit to Rockport Marine's web site will also show a few design sheets of the Cheshire cat which show details other than as illustrated in the above link, such as a tiller that goes over the deck rather than under the deck. ( as a former Yankee One Design owner also, I much prefer the illustrated underdeck tiller). Details, details, they'd all get worked out if someone actually commissioned the boat....

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    The Rockport Marine design looks more like a 19th century Lake Windemere catboat, which is a British type. I don't see the point of the mainsheet winch, just use a couple more blocks and you'll have something you can release more easily.

    A lot of keel cats have been designed over the years, but they've never caught on. There's a much heavier and wider one in Kunhardt's book. There's a Herreschoff one in The Catboat Book, if memory serves. There are a couple in Dixon Kemp's book. And, of course, there are the Wiley cats in San Francisco and the rather sedate and comfortable Nonsuch catboats. But they've never caught on the way the centerboard cats have, and I'm not sure why.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    Could it be that the cat boat (Cape Cod Cat) as a hull type really is a sailing hull of the type in common use about 1880 +- and the hull simply survived (albeit in an extreme form) on cape Cod with the relatively inexpensive single gaff sail as propulsion...

    In other words, about 1880 most sloops looked very similar in hull form to a cat boat... take a look at Herreshoffs Shadow, the same hulls were sailed as sloops and cats when racing, the sloop hull continued to evolve and developed into a very different sort of racing boat in the period of a few short years, while the Cat continued on as a racing and working boat, changing much more slowy.
    This wold make sense to some degree as Cape Cod was a bit of a back watter with far less industry and sail boat racing than Boston, Marblehead/North Shore and Newport/points south...

    interesting thread, thanks
    The Crosby legend has them seeing the type around New York and sort of reinventing them on Cape Cod. Or at least, one of the Crosby legends does.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    In the 1880's (or well before if you like your actual history) most sloops did not look like the Cape Cod catboat hull unless you have a very sloppy view of what's like what. The Friendship sloop, to take just a near neighbor, differes profoundly in bow hollows, run, deadrise . . . and that's before we get to a keel. The common Long Island Sound oyster boat, made fameous when Slocum took one around the world, for another. Lay the lines over each other and if you think they are alike, move to Nebraska.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    And, of course, the New York catboats never looked much like a Cape Cod catboat.

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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Lay the lines over each other and if you think they are alike, move to Nebraska.
    Ya gotta love this :-) Well said Ian!
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    In the 1880's (or well before if you like your actual history) most sloops did not look like the Cape Cod catboat hull unless you have a very sloppy view of what's like what. The Friendship sloop, to take just a near neighbor, differes profoundly in bow hollows, run, deadrise . . . and that's before we get to a keel. The common Long Island Sound oyster boat, made fameous when Slocum took one around the world, for another. Lay the lines over each other and if you think they are alike, move to Nebraska.
    Why would a Friendship sloop wich is indegenous to central Maine have been carried on as a historic hull type on Cape Cod??? I guess I should point out that the Friendship sloop hulls were heavily influenced in design by the Fredonia type fishing schooners that sailed from Gloucester and as boats that sailed from the rock bound coast in relatively deep water Friendships would have been unsuitable for use on Cape Cod.

    You may not be aware of the type of historic sloop I am referencing, or so your reply would suggest, but I was thinking of the broad, shallow, plum bowed sloops used around Boston about 1880 +-.
    I mentioned an example of the hull type I am thinking of, Herreshoffs Shadow was a very famous sloop around the boston area and though a litle deeper than a typical catboat hull (Shadow was known as a boat of slightly deeper draft than most sloops of the time) she has a similarly powerfull hull and wide transom as a Cat.

    Here's a beautifull portrait of Shadow by Kathy Bray http://www.brayprints.com/prints/slo...rs/526/shadow/

    and here's the hull... do you think that this hull is more similar to a Friendship sloop or Cat? if it looks like a Friendship you should start packing for... where was it? Nebraska?


  31. #31
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Shadow is not like either the Friendship or the Cape Cod catboat. Look at what the bow is doing.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Shadow was like nothing else. Wave and Schemer were like enlarged New York oyster boats, but Shadow, with her deep, hollow garboards, was quite original. Button Swan's catboat, Peggoty, bore more resemblance to the Cape Cod cats, but was still not that much like them.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Looks like this as for many work boat types needs context. Maybe some distinction as well between catboats and cat rigged boats. For working cats there seem to have been 3 big groups differentiated by hull style. Cape Cod catboats, 2 x 1 length, centerboard, mast right up at the stem as did the others. Narragansett Bay: v bottom keel cat rigged boats e.g. Button Swan, Peggoty, Great South Bay/ New York/ Barnegat Bay, centerboarders with about 3 x 1 lb. Unstayed. Many of these, once you get into yachting could be cat rigged or jib and mainsail rigged. The Cape Cod working cats once they went yachting sometimes had a little jib up forward, but this did not change the basics. Most modern single sailed yachts like Lasers or Finns can be called catboats but are better thought of as cat rigged boats, divorcing the rig from the hull type.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  34. #34
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Although in some respects, the Finn looks like an evolution on Una.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: What is a catboat? Their history and future

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Although in some respects, the Finn looks like an evolution on Una.
    The Finn is a Scandanavian sailing canoe type, I think a Class C which had its stern cut off at 15 feet ( they were 17 feet) and the 10 sq meters put into a single sail instead of the ketch rig that they had. Swedish/ German racing sailing canoes in the 20s had gone a very different way from UK/US into boats with 10 sqm in a ketch rig. These are still sailed in Sweden, Class C, D, E, etc. Lasers as well are cat rigged boats; Kirby did not develop these from small boats like Frostbite dinghies. Rather he was thinking about expanding the size of a beach boat, looking at Sunfish, as were others who were doing similar types for the America's Tea Cup regatta in the fall of 1970.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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