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Thread: 16' Catboat design

  1. #1
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    Default 16' Catboat design

    Hi guys, I'm new here though I've been lurking for quite a while and picking up tips. I wondered if anyone could point me in the right direction for plans for a 16' catboat? I know you like a few criteria to narrow things down so here are mine: (1) centreboard to allow easy trailering (2) strip plank hull ideally but happy to consider other methods (3) a cabin to allow for weekending (either solo or with two children - me under a boom tent on such occasions) (4) use will be inland and sheltered waters in UK (e.g. Norfolk Broads, the Solent, Poole Harbour, the Lake District, maybe the Wash). No open sea except maybe coastal but only under really benign conditions (5) ideally a mast in a tabernacle as I usually sail solo or with children (6) easy to build - I'm not a master craftsman and I'm currently building my first boat (a 9' Paul Fisher stitch and tape dinghy) but of course I am learning and getting better. I have looked at all the sites I can find but plans only seem to be about for either 14' and below open cats or 18' plus with cabin. I've seen some beautiful 16' cats with cabins but unfortunately only as completed boats, not as plan sets to buy. Here's the sort of thing I'm after to help if anyone has any ideas:http://www.areyspondboatyard.com/apb...-16-with-cuddy. I apologise in advance if I've missed something obvious but I feel as if I really have searched everywhere now. And finally; why an Englishman wanting to build a catboat? Well - two things really; beauty and simplicity. The American catboat is truely a beautiful thing. I like the look of them, I like the coaming carried back at the same height as the cabin, I like the shape of the hull, the cut and look of the sail. I also spend most of my sailing time single handed so would prefer less string to pull. The reason for sailing solo is Mrs J doesn't like the 'tippiness' of dinghies so a broad, stable catboat under 'normal' conditions would also mean more sailing time if I can persuade her to come along...Thanks in advance chaps

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    The Wittholz "Corvus 15" meets some, but not all, of the criteria (old school ply-on-frame). I found this thread that has some interesting and educational photos and discussion of her.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...at-by-Wittholz

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design


  4. #4
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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Fundycat 16.

    http://www.mcgowanmarinedesign.com/Fundy_Cat_16.html


    Joel White's Marsh Cat is nice, but you'd have to add the cabin. Plans from WB store.

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    No plans that I know of for this John D Little catboat but its an eye catcher in lapstrake. As an alternative to strip plank you get plenty of shape:







    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...strake-Catboat

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    There's a 16.5 footer, lines taken from an 1885 design at the Baker website: http://www.by-the-sea.com/bakerboatw...f/catboats.pdf

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Phil Bolger designed several cabin catboats in that size range, in different styles from very traditional to the Micro types. I wish there was an online catalogue of his designs like Bob Baker's. Or is there one that shows profiles and layouts that i don't know about?

    I've always like the Lynx design, 15' with a drag keel and more open cabin (no cb box). It's just a big flat below from a bit aft of amidships to the mast, room for two or three to gather out of the weather. I would daydream about sitting below with my kids playing some board game and drinking hot chocolate while a thunderstorm boomed over after a day's sail.

    It was strip built, I recall, but remember that strip building can be more difficult in a hull like a cat's with all the twist between the flattish bilge and plumb stem. Marshall Marine offers mast tabernacles in two sizes.
    Last edited by rbgarr; 08-20-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Thanks for the advice gentlemen - I had seen that John D Little boat before and golly she really is beautiful! If only there were plans she'd be pretty much perfect! I knew an American forum would be place to ask - there are so many designs which seem to be half lost which you chaps know about.

    The 1885 Penguin certainly seems to do the trick but I'm not sure I'm up to the job. I'm happy(ish) lofting but with modern plans you get a heck of a lot more guidance and even with a wonderful resource like this I think this boat is beyond me. Those Wittholz designs are interesting though - I prefer the rounded traditional front to the cabin (purely because I just do) - I wouldn't have thought it would be too difficult to change the design as this wouldn't be a major structural change. If you more experienced guys think otherwise please say so; I wouldn't want to make a pig's ear out of the job.

    I know it's off the original brief but what do you make of Paul Fisher's Duette catboat (http://www.selway-fisher.com/PCup16.htm#DUETTE)? I know it's smaller but it score on most other points - and also as a newbie I like the detail in Paul Fisher's plans. I would think about changing to a rounded front to the cabin as with the Wittholz but the main thing is the rig; it's a sloop, which is not what I'd want. If building as a pure catboat would I need to reduce the main? Just interested in your thoughts; there's not much opportunity to talk to catboat owners or builders this side of the Atlantic.


    One more question... how DO you split posts into paragraphs??? I put them in but when I preview it's all just one big block of text again!

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Oh - and look at that! Bloody paragraphs!

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Quote Originally Posted by Bozkashi Jones View Post
    ...The 1885 Penguin certainly seems to do the trick but I'm not sure I'm up to the job.

    ...

    I know it's off the original brief but what do you make of Paul Fisher's Duette catboat (http://www.selway-fisher.com/PCup16.htm#DUETTE)? I know it's smaller but it score on most other points - and also as a newbie I like the detail in Paul Fisher's plans. I would think about changing to a rounded front to the cabin as with the Wittholz but the main thing is the rig; it's a sloop, which is not what I'd want. If building as a pure catboat would I need to reduce the main? Just interested in your thoughts; there's not much opportunity to talk to catboat owners or builders this side of the Atlantic.


    One more question... how DO you split posts into paragraphs??? I put them in but when I preview it's all just one big block of text again!
    Re 1885, I think with such a small boat you wouldn't need much besides the offsets, a book on strip plank building basics, and a little common sense

    ...

    I'd ask Paul if you could stretch the Duette a foot or so. You probably can just by spacing the frames a little farther apart. I agree on a rework of the cabin to give it a more classic catboat look. That should be easy. I'd also ask about a single, larger sail. That would also mean stepping it farther forward. Back in the day when catboats were workboats they often had two mast steps, one farther back to allow for a jib in light summer wind and one farther forward for a single sail in winter, or so I have read. A sloop rigged catboat is sometimes called a 'Noank', after the town of Noank, Connecticut which was well known for building them that way, or so I have also read.

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Quote Originally Posted by keyhavenpotterer View Post
    Fundycat 16.




    Joel White's Marsh Cat is nice, but you'd have to add the cabin. Plans from WB store.
    Now this could be a great idea for you! The Marsh Cat is a great design with modern plans and construction technique. Small enough to fit your needs yet still large enough to fit a small cabin. You may need a bit of help from an experienced boatbuilder to get the cabin just right though.
    Do keep in mind that raising and lowering a catboat mast for passing under bridges will not be as easy as those slick counter-weighted spars used on the broads boats.
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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Cheers Keyhavenpotterer and Michigangeorge - Those Joel White designs are indeed particularly lovely, and I've seen the Fundy Cat here before - though the reception seems to be a little mixed. Not being an expert I can only really go by what I've read. Looks and accommodation certainly hit the mark but again there's that question of rig - the Fundy Cat just seems a little out of keeping really.

    And I take your point about the tabernacle - broads yachts are counterweighted and particularly easy to strike the rig for shooting bridges. I had in mind that without the counterweights I would arrive at a bridge and probably stop the night (all the Broads bridges are handily next to moorings and pubs!) then the next morning strike the rig, shoot the bridge and then raise the rig again - even if the operation took a couple of hours. Am I being naive? I'm used to a dinghy with an aluminium mast which I can easily step even without a tabernacle - with a mast like these cats would a 6' guy of average strength be able to lift the mast into place single handed when using a non-counterweighted tabernacle - even if that meant taking the sail off if necessary? Hardly convenient I know but there are only a handful of bridges on the north Broads so it would be something one might have to do maybe 2 or 4 times in a week's holiday.

    JimD - I see your point on Penguin and off course if I feel confident enough when I come to start this project then she is pretty much ideal; she hits basically every criteria. And also thanks for the idea of spacing the stations on the Duette to make a 15' boat - this is done all the time on strip planked canoes after all so it makes perfect sense! And any decent 'trad' sail maker would be able to advise on a new sail plan so that's a real possibility... hmmm

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    [QUOTE=Bozkashi Jones;3508725]Cheers Keyhavenpotterer and Michigangeorge - Those Joel White designs are indeed particularly lovely, and I've seen the Fundy Cat here before - though the reception seems to be a little mixed. Not being an expert I can only really go by what I've read. Looks and accommodation certainly hit the mark but again there's that question of rig - the Fundy Cat just seems a little out of keeping really.

    And I take your point about the tabernacle - broads yachts are counterweighted and particularly easy to strike the rig for shooting bridges. I had in mind that without the counterweights I would arrive at a bridge and probably stop the night (all the Broads bridges are handily next to moorings and pubs!) then the next morning strike the rig, shoot the bridge and then raise the rig again - even if the operation took a couple of hours. Am I being naive? I'm used to a dinghy with an aluminium mast which I can easily step even without a tabernacle - with a mast like these cats would a 6' guy of average strength be able to lift the mast into place single handed when using a non-counterweighted tabernacle - even if that meant taking the sail off if necessary? Hardly convenient I know but there are only a handful of bridges on the north Broads so it would be something one might have to do maybe 2 or 4 times in a week's holiday.

    BJ, I did not mean to include the Fundy Cat in my reply- only the Marsh Cat :-) As far as raising/lowering the mast goes, I doubt you will find it to be a one person job even on a 16'r. You would want a hollow spar of course, not a tree trunk like my boat. The problems arise due to the deck and cabin layout. You start by lifting almost the entire weight of the mast and rigging (the rigging may weigh almost as much as the spar) and then need to walk it forward (without snagging any lines) while treading on an unstable surface. This is usually do-able until you get to the cabin when you would hopefully hand off to someone already standing on the cabin top but he needs to be a real deck ape to stand on the highly crowned traditional catboat housetop with a sliding companionway hatch and the halyards running aft along it. Much easier with your crew pulling the headstay while standing on a bridge or lock. Of course this happens to some degree with all small cruising boats with tabernacles but most are not gaff rigged, the mast is more in the middle of the boat, the side decks are wider and the cabintops flatter. The 'Corvus' cabin may be short enough to let you get the mast vertical without going on deck and you could possibly design a cabin for the Marsh Cat which would allow the same.
    If I were in your location I think I would employ a local designer to come up with a chubby little cat rigged 'broads' yacht using that wonderful counter-weighted mast system. Best of luck !
    When the last tree is cut
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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    It's a wee boat and you don't need a counterweighted mast. What would be finastkind is the gaff and luff on a strong track. That way the boat could sport a relatively high tabernacle that holds the lower track section just long enough that when the sail is struck and furled it's all on that lower track and the mast can be swung down above it making a neat stack of three spars supported in front by the tabernacle and at the rear by the boom crutch. Leave the shrouds attached and have a tag line on the headstay so you can push the mast nearly upright and then sweat it snug. The work of moments.

    If you trailer the boat with the mast folded down and the sail on the boom and gaff, you'll want a very well designed sail cover to protect the sail and keep it from blowing about at highway speeds. Again, easily done.

    G'luck

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Ian, I'm glad you are coming around to to the idea of a mast breaking above the folded gaff such as Com-Pac's. http://www.com-pacyachts.com/mastendr-mastraising.html. They will sell you this hinge for around $150.00, 3 sizes, and it mates with a Dwyer mast. really like the idea of a 16" cat similar to the Areys Pond and, more specificaly, David Littles lapstrake cat. One of the prettiest I have seen. I spoke to Paul Fisher at Selway Fisher about plans for that boat, and he was willing to do a clinker ply cat for around $2,000.00. Well that was my budget for wood. Maybe you can get a few people together to share in that expense. I have decided to do an "expanded" Selway Fisher "ABLE". This will end up at a length of 17'4" beam of 7'2". I am currently expanding the plans on a 4x8 sheet to make sure I don't screw up to much. If you look at the photo I think I have attached, you see that the lines share a wide beam catboat look. The measurements are pretty close to the Com-Pac SUNCAT. http://www.com-pacyachts.com/trailer...s/sun-cat.htmlI felt with the water ballast that a litte extra weight will soften the tenderness. I plan to use a dodger in place of a cabin. I thought this would give me more flexibility in a small boat. The plans for the "ABLE" are for stitch and glue, but I am doing the clinker ply version as I just like the look.
    Half the fun is just in looking for the perfect boat, but one day we have to get out on the water. Good luck. Roger

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    There's a nice set of construction photos to launching in the water of Joel White's Marsh Cat. See if it floats your boat.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kmacdon...7594575397172/

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    I give up. No matter how small I make the photo, the manager tells me it is 74kb to big??????????????? Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Quote Originally Posted by rmullette View Post
    I give up. No matter how small I make the photo, the manager tells me it is 74kb to big??????????????? Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!
    Don't post a photo directly from your hard drive. Post the photo to another website such as a photo hosting site, ie flicr, shutterfly, etc. and then post the url from that site to here.

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    I will try again for the pictures which I put on shutterfly. Thanks Jim for the tip. Roger http://www.shutterfly.com/lightbox/v...4ab00f16ca9e1e This should show the expanded plan development for the ABLE. I have made plastic patterns for the centerboard and rudder extension. The original thread request was for a small catboat and I think that the lines of the ABLE are pretty close. Roger

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Cheers for all the advice guys - I reckon it seems to be either the 1885 penguin or the Marsh Cat.

    I've been thinking about stepping the mast; if I packed an 'A' frame to be left ashore then maybe I could step on the hard before getting the cat off the trailer and into the water? Afterwards I'd pack the 'A' frame - building the boat means I could build in a couple of pivots on the fore deck. Now I've never seen this before but if it's a possibility then either I'm a genius (unlikely!) or there's a very good reason why people don't do this already. Of course, thinking about it maybe there's not enough room in front of the mast to do this so I'll leave off my application to MENSA.

    Sorry for this angst about stepping but I want to make sure that if I dedicate a couple of years of my life to building a boat I want to be sure that I can use it the way I know I will be using it - once bitten and that; I used to have a 17' plastic canoe; I chose the size for me and the family as Mrs Jonesey said she was keen to paddle too. In the event there was always a reason why we couldn't go so I usually paddled (very happily in beautiful countryside) alone. For this reason I want to make sure my boat is specifically for me first, then me and the kids, and finally as a dayboat for all of us. Does that make sense?

    Of course the most vital question is: a traditional American catboat; will it look right flying the Red Ensign rather than the Stars and Stripes??
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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    You will definitely want to step the mast while the boat is still on the trailer. Much easier than on a lurching boat in the water. Also, there's no reason you couldn't modify plans to include a pivoting mast tabernacle if you wanted. One thing you might want to consider is build the mast early in the building process and find out well ahead of time how heavy and awkward it is to lift.
    Last edited by JimD; 08-25-2012 at 09:38 AM.

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Quote Originally Posted by rmullette View Post
    I will try again for the pictures which I put on shutterfly. Thanks Jim for the tip. Roger http://www.shutterfly.com/lightbox/v...4ab00f16ca9e1e This should show the expanded plan development for the ABLE. I have made plastic patterns for the centerboard and rudder extension. The original thread request was for a small catboat and I think that the lines of the ABLE are pretty close. Roger
    Unclick the box that says "Retrieve remote file and reference locally."

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    where do I find the box that says "Retrieve remote file and reference locally." Roger

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    Default Re: 16' Catboat design

    Quote Originally Posted by rmullette View Post
    where do I find the box that says "Retrieve remote file and reference locally." Roger
    1 Click on the 'Insert Image' icon (Third from right on the menu bar of the Quick Reply window). 2 Click on 'From URL'. And there is it, below the URL line where you paste the URL from Shutterfly.

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