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Thread: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

  1. #1
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    Default Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Hi
    We are trying to locate information on diamond bottom catboats that were built and raced in Pascagoula in the 1950s. Mr Olson (sp?) was one builder who worked at Mike Flecha's shipyard. We know of several that were built, ROSE, REBEL, DRIFTWOOD, MOONLIGHT, TROUBLE and BLACK CAT. By description the bottom was cross planked and the sheer lengthwise, with only 6 inches or so of sheer. Built from cypress. Longleaf keel and spars. Centerboard with a barn door rudder. ROSE was last seen in Biloxi, painted yellow.

    From another thread I saw lines from Chapelle of a Newport Diamond Bottom from the 1880s, curious if the Pascagoula boats were derivatives?

    Last edited by signalcharlie; 07-16-2017 at 08:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Copy of Chapelle's lines arrived today from the Smithsonian.


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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Probably had a big rig and sailed Fast.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Wondered what the Newport diamond bottom would look like. The Pascagoula boat is 16 feet. Probably have to build one.


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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    I'll bet it was tender.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    A new project? You know I love it.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Scratched together a model of a 17 foot Diamond Bottom Catboat, lines taken by Chapelle in 1953 from a half model he saw at the Newport Yacht Club. The boat raced from 1880-1882. We are researching a similar 16 foot catboat that was raced around Pascagoula in the 1950s, and once we get enough information we plan to build one, gaff rigged, with a cross planked bottom. Only 2 of those frames would be used for the fore and aft bulkhead in the cockpit, the rest are just paper showing the cross sections. The cross planks would be 4-6 inches wide, and get smaller in width towards the bow. Inside the hull there would be 6 stringers running fore and aft. Cross plank builds were fast and economical, very few parts to cut, stem, keel, transom, centerboard trunk to form the spine. Put in 2 permanent bulkheads and a few temporary molds to define the beam and sheer, attach the sides, then start laying planks. Flip her right side up and put on the deck. Looks like there would be room in the cockpit for a horseshoe shaped seat.

    Does anyone have spar and sail dimensions that would be suitable for a 16 footer gaffer?











    Cheers
    Kent


    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 01-16-2018 at 06:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    I don't, but I would look through design catalogs for boats with similar dimensions to get a range. I would also read articles on balancing rigs. Maybe check Chapelle's Yacht Designing and Planning. Good luck, keep us posted.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Thanks John, I was just looking at the 1925 Friendship 16 designed by Kirkpatrick. Buzzards Bay Yacht Services built a couple new age versions in 2013. 130 sf for that rig.

    Friendship Catboat article

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Looks like getting her upright if you knocked her down could be a task and a half I think I'd want a "chase boat" first time I took her out in a stiff breeze!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    Thanks John, I was just looking at the 1925 Friendship 16 designed by Kirkpatrick. Buzzards Bay Yacht Services built a couple new age versions in 2013. 130 sf for that rig.

    Friendship Catboat article
    I grew up sailing Beetle cats and Cotuit skiffs. A boat shop I worked in built two Friendship catboats in 1979. The Cotuit skiff was the best sailer of the group and most demanding. As you know, I posted this on your FB page and think it would offer a flexible and interesting alternative rig. The free-standing mast needn't be carbon fiber. I'd think a birdsmouth spar would do. http://sparkmanstephens.blogspot.com...sign-2596.html

    Many Beetles (solid spars) and all Cotuit skiffs (many with hollow, box section masts) sail without shrouds, so they aren't entirely necessary.

    The size of the centerboard shown on your plans suggest that the sail area of a Cotuit skiff is closest to what you might want (148 sq ft.). (The Friendship catboats seemed undercanvassed to me) https://www.google.com/search?q=cotu...9WLiujHX1WCzM:
    Last edited by rbgarr; 01-16-2018 at 11:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Hugh MacD

    The Friendship article, a similar size boat, mentions that in a stiff breeze the Capn might want to take more crew, put in a reef, or both. The oral histories we have on the Pascagoula boats reflect that on breezy days they'd load up 4 high schoolers or maybe 4-5 sandbags. The extra crew was handy for capsize recovery. I did talk the Skipper into getting a Race Committee and Rescue boat back in 2015, that's why we have the Sorg 15. I followed her out one day and the clouds built, I turned tail and ran back to the beach through the chop at 10 knots, she was not far behind me on her Sunfish.



    NOT the same day...



    RBGARR,

    2 of those Friendships were built for Richard Armstrong at Buzzards Bay Yacht Service, is that the same shop/boats? Or are the article boats from a different shop in 2013? Christian Smith wrote the article.

    I do like the idea of two mast steps, the Penobscot 17 we had could be sailed as a single or double balanced lug. The first boat we build will be pure catboat cat rig. Right now I am leaning towards a solid mast with forestay.

    As far as the centerboard shown on the lines, Chapelle took the lines from a half model, so I don't know if the centerboard was represented or he came up with it.

    Thanks for the input, keep it coming!

    Cheers
    Kent and Audrey
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Hey wait, I know a guy with a catboat, I bet I can get parts off of it while he is distracted with something shiny and Harry Bryanish...

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    The Friendship catboats we built weren't those ones in Massachusetts. We built them here in Maine for two Friendship summer families. Given the beam of your hull and similar displacement if you will carry 'sandbags' or four people when it breezes up, see the rig for the Beetle 14. Sail area 163 sq. ft. http://beetlecat.com/beetle-14/

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Our boatbuilder buddy Buddy just sent us the sail plan for the 16 foot Hagan catboat designed by Culler, wow! And the rest of the plans are on the way or available through Mystic. Buddy recounted that Mr Hagan lived in Mobile and sailed at the Biloxi Yacht Club, so that bit of info was helpful to know that this boat.

    Here's the sail plan from the Hagan boat.


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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    It's nice that you have found resources.

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    This looks keelish. 1x8x16 select white pine to fiddle around with some lines, may or may not become part of the boat. I'm wavering between building it with box store lumber or head over to the cypress mill. Put it on the prebend jig to see if it would take the tuck up to the transom, appears it will.

    IMG_8059.jpg

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Is that type sometimes called a "file bottom"?
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Is that type sometimes called a "file bottom"?
    Hi Peter,

    Haven't heard that, but I hadn't heard of a "diamond bottom" until a few years ago. V bottom and diamond bottom are what we heard so far. We believe they were cross planked for economy and ease of construction.

    Lots of racing down on the Northern Gulf Coast in the past, evidenced today with the Gulf Yachting Association members spread from Houston, TX around to Sarasota, FL. The core runs from Bay St. Louis over to Pensacola. The challenge to find information is that the different yacht clubs get wiped out by hurricanes and records are lost. Recreational boat building here was usually done after hours on weekends by individual builders, they didn't tend to keep records. Some accounts of races are popping up in local papers, those too got washed away

    We are looking for information on SEA SPRITE, VAGABOND, REBEL, DRIFTWOOD, MOONLIGHT, TROUBLE and BLACK CAT.

    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    14 inch rise from just aft of the centerboard trunk up to the base of the transom.

    IMG_8346.jpg

    IMG_8353.jpg

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Prior to Katrina there was still a small fleet of Biloxi cat boats at the BYC, preserved pretty much the way we did the Fish boats in Mobile. I haven't seen one in years, though I don't sail down there any more, I recently sold my Fish #8 to two guys, one a Norwegian fellow who owns one of the most beautiful 8mr's in the bloody world, and the other a well-known sailor from Pensacola. They want to use the boat to race in the Fish boat regattas, but also to keep in the water at the Pensacola YC (which is freakin' gorgeous if you've never been) so that members, especially younger sailors, can use the boat and experience the fun of gaff-rigged sailing.

    At one time our Fish fleet had built back up to 11-12 boats, but Katrina ate several of them. I can't sail them any more with the bad hip, back, neck, etc., but I would really love to see such boats, including the Biloxi cat boats, make a bit of a comeback, just for the aesthetic beauty if for no other reason. Sailing is supposed to be done on aesthetically pleasing boats, not slab sided Dutch barges, as the expression goes, and many of the small boats used in coastal areas of the south were quite aesthetically pleasing.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post
    Prior to Katrina there was still a small fleet of Biloxi cat boats at the BYC, preserved pretty much the way we did the Fish boats in Mobile. I haven't seen one in years, though I don't sail down there any more, I recently sold my Fish #8 to two guys, one a Norwegian fellow who owns one of the most beautiful 8mr's in the bloody world, and the other a well-known sailor from Pensacola. They want to use the boat to race in the Fish boat regattas, but also to keep in the water at the Pensacola YC (which is freakin' gorgeous if you've never been) so that members, especially younger sailors, can use the boat and experience the fun of gaff-rigged sailing.

    At one time our Fish fleet had built back up to 11-12 boats, but Katrina ate several of them. I can't sail them any more with the bad hip, back, neck, etc., but I would really love to see such boats, including the Biloxi cat boats, make a bit of a comeback, just for the aesthetic beauty if for no other reason. Sailing is supposed to be done on aesthetically pleasing boats, not slab sided Dutch barges, as the expression goes, and many of the small boats used in coastal areas of the south were quite aesthetically pleasing.

    Mickey Lake
    That's the problem down here, ravenous hurricanes. I hope they keep the Fish Class regattas going, would have been nice to keep it as the Gulf Yachting Association boat. Happy to hear they are keeping the thrill alive at PYC. We know of a few folks over there, Tom Pace for one. We sold a Super Sailfish MKII to a Fish Class Champ over Panama City way a few years back, he was fun to talk to and the first time I had heard of the Fish Class, his name escapes me right now.

    We hope this build will be a fun learning experience, and will try to keep the lumber sourced from local big box stores so that other folks can replicate if they like. If it turns out how we like, maybe Pascagoula Cat 2 will incorporate more cypress and longleaf.

    Thanks for the info bamanick!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat 1950s

    Sifting through plans, SANSHEE and SEA DUCK. Gleaning some good info on scantlings.

    1919 Sea Duck from The Rudder.

    Sea Duck Construction Plan 3 rudder cb step.jpg

    SANSHEE

    IMG_8549.jpg

    Also flipping through The Catboat and How to Sail Her, which seems to borrow liberally from Gaff Rig by John Leather.

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