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Thread: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Looks really good Ofer! I would say that I think I have over-built a little... I don't think the deadwood requires a large filet as I have done. I did not think of smooth water flow; that's for sure. Nice work on the slot too!

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Nice build, Ofer. I just now got this far on your thread.

    Looking very nice here. Compared to Mr. Ledger's build, your little cat seems much more manageable, in terms of building a boat you can live to sail in. As you say, you want to build something you can take out sailing. Will you sail it in the bay, or up more into the delta?
    The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    A question about paints. I am getting ready to paint the hull. What type of paint should I use under the waterline? The boat will stay out of the water most of the year. Do I need to use an Anti-Fouling paint?

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by webishop14 View Post
    Nice build, Ofer. I just now got this far on your thread.

    Looking very nice here. Compared to Mr. Ledger's build, your little cat seems much more manageable, in terms of building a boat you can live to sail in. As you say, you want to build something you can take out sailing. Will you sail it in the bay, or up more into the delta?

    Hi Bill, thanks for the feedback. It's a good question where to sail it. I will need to see how she handle the bay. I have never sailed a catboat. I have experience with dinghies sailing around Berkeley but they were not so bottom flat as this one. Any recommendations?

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Small progress this week. First sealing coat of epoxy and some filler work. Getting ready to glass her.




    Glassed the transom. I will need to add few more layers but I want to sand it once before building the next layers




    And last, between the epoxy layers, I am building more hardwood parts. This time it's the transom knee. I decided to build it by joining two pieces of wood. I have seen someone building it this way on another thread. It is probably not the best way to build it but since it will also be glued in place I think it will be strong enough.


  6. #76
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by oferraz View Post
    Hi Bill, thanks for the feedback. It's a good question where to sail it. I will need to see how she handle the bay. I have never sailed a catboat. I have experience with dinghies sailing around Berkeley but they were not so bottom flat as this one. Any recommendations?
    I don't expect you will have any trouble enjoying your catboat on San Francisco Bay. I sail a 14' catboat regularly on the Bay, mostly out of Redwood City. The shallow draft is convenient for the thin water found outside of the dredged shipping lanes. Of course, afternoon Summer breezes often require a reef or two.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    I don't expect you will have any trouble enjoying your catboat on San Francisco Bay. I sail a 14' catboat regularly on the Bay, mostly out of Redwood City. The shallow draft is convenient for the thin water found outside of the dredged shipping lanes. Of course, afternoon Summer breezes often require a reef or two.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Good to know. Nice boat. what is it?

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Thanks, although my boat not as nice as you beautiful hull. My catboat has a plywood hull based on Bolger's 12 foot Bobcat. My garage was large enough to build a 14 foot hull so I expanded the dimensions to 14x7, changed the forward sections so the bow would have a proper tumble home profile, and added a small cabin. The original sail (the one shown in these photographs) was a based on the mainsail on the Breck Marshall (the catboat at the Mystic Seaport). Because of the strong Bay Area winds I put the foot on my sail where the first set of reef points are on the Breck Marshall's sail. This was a mistake - the Bay Area also has light winds - so I added back in the missing area on a new sail I now use.

    Like you, this was my first catboat - I grew up sailing sloops in the Seattle area. The biggest difference is running, especially with a following sea. On a sloop, running is when you break out the beer and relax. In contrast, running is when you really have to pay attention with a catboat. Moving all that sail area outboard makes the boat want to round up. A following seas can lift a shallow rudder out of the water with scary consequences. On days with strong winds, I would much rather beat up wind.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I know this is a silly question but when to you hope to have your Tom Cat in the water?

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    Thanks, although my boat not as nice as you beautiful hull. My catboat has a plywood hull based on Bolger's 12 foot Bobcat. My garage was large enough to build a 14 foot hull so I expanded the dimensions to 14x7, changed the forward sections so the bow would have a proper tumble home profile, and added a small cabin. The original sail (the one shown in these photographs) was a based on the mainsail on the Breck Marshall (the catboat at the Mystic Seaport). Because of the strong Bay Area winds I put the foot on my sail where the first set of reef points are on the Breck Marshall's sail. This was a mistake - the Bay Area also has light winds - so I added back in the missing area on a new sail I now use.

    Like you, this was my first catboat - I grew up sailing sloops in the Seattle area. The biggest difference is running, especially with a following sea. On a sloop, running is when you break out the beer and relax. In contrast, running is when you really have to pay attention with a catboat. Moving all that sail area outboard makes the boat want to round up. A following seas can lift a shallow rudder out of the water with scary consequences. On days with strong winds, I would much rather beat up wind.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I know this is a silly question but when to you hope to have your Tom Cat in the water?

    Thanks for all the information. Beautiful boat. I have heard from few people that the rudder is the biggest problem with these types of boats on the bay. Running and also heeling may lift the rudder out of the water. Is it make sense to redesign the rudder to be deeper?

    I planned to finish the boat this summer but I think I was over optimistic. I will probably finish it in about a year from now.

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    My solution to the rudder problem was to make an oversized rudder. As you can see in this photo, I may have over done it; however, I have yet to loose steerage or broach.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The big disadvantage of this rudder that extends below the skeg, thereby defeating one of the advantages of the shallow catboat hull - the rudder is the first non-movable part of the hull to hit when I run aground. On the other hand, my oversized rudder allows me to scull my boat at about 1 knot, which is handy when the wind dies.

    Personally, I would stick with your original design. Garden was a brilliant naval architect who knew what he was doing whereas I was just a fool who made a lot of lucky guesses. I was lucky that my guesses resulted in a nice handling boat; however, luck is no substitute for knowing what you are doing. The Tom Cat has always looked to me like an ideal design. In fact, if I had built my boat a decade later, I probably would have made the same design choice you did.

    This photo also shows my solution to another problem you may face - how to step the mast. My mast weighs around 70 pounds. Your mast will be lighter; however, balancing a 16 foot long spar, even if its only 30 pounds, can be a scary, especially if you consider what will happen if it ever gets out of control. The tripod shown in the photograph, makes this a one-hand operation and folds flat against the spars when trailering.

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    My solution to the rudder problem was to make an oversized rudder. As you can see in this photo, I may have over done it; however, I have yet to loose steerage or broach.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The big disadvantage of this rudder that extends below the skeg, thereby defeating one of the advantages of the shallow catboat hull - the rudder is the first non-movable part of the hull to hit when I run aground. On the other hand, my oversized rudder allows me to scull my boat at about 1 knot, which is handy when the wind dies.

    Personally, I would stick with your original design. Garden was a brilliant naval architect who knew what he was doing whereas I was just a fool who made a lot of lucky guesses. I was lucky that my guesses resulted in a nice handling boat; however, luck is no substitute for knowing what you are doing. The Tom Cat has always looked to me like an ideal design. In fact, if I had built my boat a decade later, I probably would have made the same design choice you did.

    This photo also shows my solution to another problem you may face - how to step the mast. My mast weighs around 70 pounds. Your mast will be lighter; however, balancing a 16 foot long spar, even if its only 30 pounds, can be a scary, especially if you consider what will happen if it ever gets out of control. The tripod shown in the photograph, makes this a one-hand operation and folds flat against the spars when trailering.
    wow, nice boat. The Bob cat is a good looking boat but I think your tweaks may have even improved her looks a little, I would not have noticed it was a chined hull from the photos, I think the black hull goes a long way to hiding her chine line.

    have you considered putting some drag in the rudder, tapering the rudder from the height of the skeg aft to the tip? it might be less likely to catch a bouy line that way... but maybe bouys from mooring and lobster pots are not an issue where you sail...

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    My solution to the rudder problem was to make an oversized rudder. As you can see in this photo, I may have over done it; however, I have yet to loose steerage or broach.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The big disadvantage of this rudder that extends below the skeg, thereby defeating one of the advantages of the shallow catboat hull - the rudder is the first non-movable part of the hull to hit when I run aground. On the other hand, my oversized rudder allows me to scull my boat at about 1 knot, which is handy when the wind dies.

    Personally, I would stick with your original design. Garden was a brilliant naval architect who knew what he was doing whereas I was just a fool who made a lot of lucky guesses. I was lucky that my guesses resulted in a nice handling boat; however, luck is no substitute for knowing what you are doing. The Tom Cat has always looked to me like an ideal design. In fact, if I had built my boat a decade later, I probably would have made the same design choice you did.

    This photo also shows my solution to another problem you may face - how to step the mast. My mast weighs around 70 pounds. Your mast will be lighter; however, balancing a 16 foot long spar, even if its only 30 pounds, can be a scary, especially if you consider what will happen if it ever gets out of control. The tripod shown in the photograph, makes this a one-hand operation and folds flat against the spars when trailering.
    Thanks for sharing al that knowledge. I am keep learning as I am making decisions along the way. It's a great idea regarding stepping the mast. Do you have a photo of how it all looks when it is ready for driving?

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    This photo is the best I can do. When folded, the tripod is mostly hidden by the spars. The crosspiece on the main leg, just below the turning block (see photo in earlier posting), rests on top of the mast and boom. In turn, the mast and boom rest on a temporary spar cradle I erect at the aft end of the cockpit. That crosspiece, together with the retainer that holds the mast and boom in place, form a cradle that holds my tender. It looks complicated but is works great. I have used this arrangement to haul my boat up to Port Townsend for the Wooden Boat Festival, for the past 13 years.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Thanks for the compliment. You make an excellent suggestion; however, the real fix is to remove the portion of the rudder that extends below the skeg. I just can't bring myself to make that big of change, given how nicely she sails as is.

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    This photo is the best I can do. When folded, the tripod is mostly hidden by the spars. The crosspiece on the main leg, just below the turning block (see photo in earlier posting), rests on top of the mast and boom. In turn, the mast and boom rest on a temporary spar cradle I erect at the aft end of the cockpit. That crosspiece, together with the retainer that holds the mast and boom in place, form a cradle that holds my tender. It looks complicated but is works great. I have used this arrangement to haul my boat up to Port Townsend for the Wooden Boat Festival, for the past 13 years.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Thanks again for sharing and thanks for taking the time and annotating the photo. This is very helpful. Although it is early in the project I did start to work on the mast and spars so this is very helpful.

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Thanks for not objecting when I hijacked your thread. You are building a beautiful boat. I look forward to seeing it on the water next summer.

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    The first side of the hull is glassed. It needs more layers of epoxy but it is getting there. I am starting to think about what type of color to use. After reading a lot I think I will go with TotalBoat Wet Edge Topside Paint.





    And the transom knee is also ready


  18. #88
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    You may want to put a coat of varnish on your transom if you want to finish it bright. I found out the hard way that clear epoxy will cloud after about a year, if not covered with something that blocks ultraviolet.

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    You may want to put a coat of varnish on your transom if you want to finish it bright. I found out the hard way that clear epoxy will cloud after about a year, if not covered with something that blocks ultraviolet.

    Hi Mike, thanks for the feedback. You are absolutely right. There is more work on the transom like connecting the rudder and a hole for the tiller but when it is done it will be coated with varnish to protect it from the sun.

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Last 10 day was mostly focused on installing the outer stem and keel parts. Started with shaping the outer stem



    I decided to end the tapered part with this neck sahpe (I am not sure if it have a prefecional name)



    and after some chisles work



    Dry fitting after finishing



    And with the keel in place




  21. #91
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    Next was drilling the deadwood. I am not sure where I have seen it but I created a jig for drilling straight through the deadwood



    And then moving to the boat and drilling through the hull. I needed to add support to keep the deadwood perpendicular while drilling.



    Next was drilling through the transom knee. After drilling the hull I could see exactly where to locate the knee. I used hot glue (only on the sides) to hold the knee in place while drilling carefully through it.



    Bow keel and outer stem are glued in place



    And last is the image of the deadwood glued in place


  22. #92
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    A question about flotation chambers. The design of this boat is not included any floatation chambers. As someone that sail dinghies for some time, I know capsizing is part of sailing. I have also been in dinghies without flotation chambers and we ended up floating gunwale to the water without any chance to flip the boat without help.


    Is it make sense to add flotation chambers?
    Greg, did you think about it while building?

  23. #93
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    Default Re: Building the 12' - 6'' Tom Cat

    You have great skill working wood! I have no plan for flotation at this time. I have thought about it but so far, it's just a future item on the list. that could change at any time like my most recent decision to leave off the cuddy. It may depend on how she sails; my current 18' catboat has never given me cause for worry but, as you say, she's a dinghy and I have capsized 1 or 2 of them ...

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