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Thread: 16-18' catboats

  1. #1
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    Default 16-18' catboats

    Hello all!

    I'm looking for plans for a particular style of catboat.


    • 16-18' (bit of a range, yes)
    • Trailerable (beam under 8'6")
    • Large, comfortable cockpit with room to stretch out
    • Shallow draft, of course.
    • A cabin, but it should be sleek and rather low profile. This'll be a daysailer/weekender at best with no offshore sailing. A pair of berths like a Marshall 18 and room for a cooler and gear is about right.
    • Glued lap or strip planked, though the plans don't have to be drawn that way
    • No hard chines, please


    I sail on inland lakes here in the Midwest. It's rare to have much chop here, so I'd like to do lower profile coaming than traditional Cape Cod cats.

    Our favorite nearby lake has a sailing club and an extra long ramp but few berths - most are trailer sailed. There's storage available to allow us to keep her rigged with the mast up, which is nice, and a crane for stepping the mast. A Marshall 18 mast with a tabernacle would be ideal, though. I currently sail a Harpoon 5.2, but with dogs and kids in the future, we need something that's more sat-in than sat-on, if that makes sense. My wife likes sailing, but dislikes being a sailor. Hence the catboat - minimal lines for her to have to pull, and they look great.

    John D. Little's catboat is perfect, but everything I can find says he built the old way, without plans. Chapelle's Martha's Vineyard catboat is also great, though I would appreciate having more detailed plans.

    The Marshall Sanderlings are excellent, but not wood. Baker's 1885 Penguin and Atkin's Trim are getting very close, though Trim is a little boxier than I'd like. The Williams 18 and Wittholz 17 from our hosts also feel too boxy with too much cabin versus cockpit. The Tom Cat and especially the Marsh Cat are great, but I think would be a touch snug with a cabin.

    In a perfect world, I'd just have a Stone Horse 23 or a Folkboat, which are not catboats but are absolutely lovely. Alas, my lake just can't support that kind of draft. Or I'd love to build Atkin's Cupid or any other Gil Smith cat, but I think the cabin and more secure cockpit are necessary.

    What do you all think? I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 3.14.03 PM.jpg

    Hello,

    Came across this Cat.
    It seems to have the proportions you were thinking about... more cockpit than cabin.
    To my eye very nice lines. You might even be able to lower the coaming and cabin a inch or two
    Length? Beam? Might shrink in down a bit?

    Regards,
    Alan

    CARACAL from Small Boats Magazine.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Plywood Bobcat (hard chines)?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/index.html Take a look at Atkin plans he has some nice simple catboats. Also this is my dream catboat by Charles Whittholz if I had time to build. It's 14' 11'' but when you see one it BIG https://www.woodenboat.com/boat-plan...-14-11-catboat I may have a photo of one . I'll put it up if I find it. Dave
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    While I didn't love it in the plans, she certainly looks great in the flesh. I think I would want to take out the galley and enlarge the cockpit, maybe lowering things as Alan suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan71 View Post

    Hello,

    Came across this Cat.
    It seems to have the proportions you were thinking about... more cockpit than cabin.
    To my eye very nice lines. You might even be able to lower the coaming and cabin a inch or two
    Length? Beam? Might shrink in down a bit?

    Regards,
    Alan

    CARACAL from Small Boats Magazine.
    That's a heck of a boat, and maybe exactly what I'm looking for! The couple who commissioned her had very similar building requirements as what I'm thinking.

    She's 8'7" on the beam, which is just over the normal towing limit. A 95% version would put her at 18' and an 8' beam, which would work.

    I shot them a message about plans. I'm not sure if they sell them for home builders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Plywood Bobcat (hard chines)?
    I just don't think hard chines are for me. It would be a lot more simple if I liked them more. I really like Dix's Cape Cutter and Cape Henry, but I wish they had narrower strakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Satter View Post
    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/index.html Take a look at Atkin plans he has some nice simple catboats. Also this is my dream catboat by Charles Whittholz if I had time to build. It's 14' 11'' but when you see one it BIG https://www.woodenboat.com/boat-plan...-14-11-catboat I may have a photo of one . I'll put it up if I find it. Dave
    I like Atkin's Trim, though I'd probably shorten the house and the coaming. I'd really love to build Cupid if I already had this boat. In any case, it looks like they're not taking orders right now.

    The Wittholz 14 is nice, too. Maybe I'm overthinking how much room I need? The Arey's Pond 16' Cabin Lynx looks great and could probably seat 6 very comfortably.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Nicholas Scheuer’s comment about a plywood Bobcat may be a better solution than it seems at first to you. My catboat has hard chines, which you don't seem to like. Also, at 14 feet, she is shorter than your goal. But, except for those chines, the approach I took could easily be extended to your 16-to-18-foot goal. I started with Bolger's 12'x6' Bobcat and extended it to 14'x7' because the larger size would fit in my shop (i.e., garage). I also changed the bow profile to have tumblehome, like a proper catboat. Perhaps my cabin is larger than what you want, but that is an easy change to make. The result is a nice catboat that sails well and goes on a trailer easily. This is a very easy hull to make.

    Approaching the canal.jpg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Sam Crocker drew a pretty 16' catboat he named Dogwatch. I can't remember where I saw her plans. And there's also Phil Bolger's Harbinger.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Smitty, Sound like your on the right track. You'll get some great advise here. I went from a large boat years ago to a smaller one. I was always looking for a catboat, just because I love them. Being unsure if I had the time to build I shopped around. I needed a boat that's safe , roomy and easy to sail in a foot of water if needed. Down the street from my house I kept driving by a 19 foot O' day mariner for sale. Classic old boat. Yes fiberglass , it was a wreck but I did a lot of woodwork to it. Perfect family boat though not gaff rigged Can fit 6 in the deep cockpit and two bunks below to get out of the sun.
    Very happy with it though I'll always be looking for a catboat. My apology for putting up a photo of a glass boat. IMG_0705.jpg
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Stretched Garden Tomcat? I just saw the original and itís a lovely boat. Strip plank would be fine for construction, and you can make a cabin or leave it off.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Higgins.94301 View Post
    Nicholas Scheuer’s comment about a plywood Bobcat may be a better solution than it seems at first to you. My catboat has hard chines, which you don't seem to like. Also, at 14 feet, she is shorter than your goal. But, except for those chines, the approach I took could easily be extended to your 16-to-18-foot goal. I started with Bolger's 12'x6' Bobcat and extended it to 14'x7' because the larger size would fit in my shop (i.e., garage). I also changed the bow profile to have tumblehome, like a proper catboat. Perhaps my cabin is larger than what you want, but that is an easy change to make. The result is a nice catboat that sails well and goes on a trailer easily. This is a very easy hull to make.
    That's a great looking boat you have there, Mike. I don't love the original Bobcat, but yours is a great improvement on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Hazard View Post
    Sam Crocker drew a pretty 16' catboat he named Dogwatch. I can't remember where I saw her plans. And there's also Phil Bolger's Harbinger.
    I've looked for Dogwatch, but I can't find it on the web. I know it's in on page 49 of the December '46 issue of The Rudder, but can't find the issue. Maybe it's in Sam Crocker's Boats, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Satter View Post
    Smitty, Sound like your on the right track. You'll get some great advise here. I went from a large boat years ago to a smaller one. I was always looking for a catboat, just because I love them. Being unsure if I had the time to build I shopped around. I needed a boat that's safe , roomy and easy to sail in a foot of water if needed. Down the street from my house I kept driving by a 19 foot O' day mariner for sale. Classic old boat. Yes fiberglass , it was a wreck but I did a lot of woodwork to it. Perfect family boat though not gaff rigged Can fit 6 in the deep cockpit and two bunks below to get out of the sun.
    Very happy with it though I'll always be looking for a catboat. My apology for putting up a photo of a glass boat.
    Though fiberglass, that's a nice looking boat. I think something like that or a Marshall Sanderling would be a good candidate for a "in the meantime" boat. I learned to sail in a Rhodes 19, so I feel like I already halfway know the Mariner.

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Stretched Garden Tomcat? I just saw the original and it’s a lovely boat. Strip plank would be fine for construction, and you can make a cabin or leave it off.
    I follow Greg Taylor's Tom Cat build and you're right, that is a lovely boat. Just a little small for me. I think between the Tom Cat and Marsh Cat, I'd rather stretch the Marsh Cat by a foot. Bringing the Tom up to 15-16' is an awful lot of scaling.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Selway Fisher has a nice strip planked catboat at 16ft. They will be computer faired molds.

    Inboard electric outboard would be pretty civilised under motor. I think it's a nice shape with some V in the bottom. Not outrageously beamy at 7ft.

    I'm sure he'd draw you a small cabin for it. Always thought it'd make a good heavy dinghy cruiser/ dayboat with an American twist. (680kgs in engine and batteries is under the brake trailer limit here too - less maintenance).

    https://www.selway-fisher.com/OtherDB.htm#LAPWING





    If you like the look of it, Tavy Wooden Boats here in the UK, the chap built one for a customer and has build photos...









    http://www.tavywoodenboats.co.uk/boa...-16ft-catboat/
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 07-07-2022 at 10:59 AM.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Selway Fisher has a nice strip planked catboat at 16ft. They will be computer faired molds.

    Inboard electric outboard would be pretty civilised under motor. I think it's a nice shape with some V in the bottom. Not outrageously beamy at 7ft.

    I'm sure he'd draw you a small cabin for it. Always thought it'd make a good heavy dinghy cruiser/ dayboat with an American twist. (680kgs in engine and batteries is under the brake trailer limit here too - less maintenance).


    If you like the look of it, Tavy Wooden Boats here in the UK, the chap built one for a customer and has build photos...
    That's a nice looking boat. I especially like the baked-in electric pod, which is a very slick touch.

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    Some relevant discussion here:

    Thank you! I thought I had read all of the various small catboat threads. Tidbit is just a really lovely boat.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 16-18' catboats

    Andrew Wolstenholme NA drew a 16ft catboat with a cabin straight out of college. He's got alot of experience with large and small craft, works in CAD and can do all the hydrostatics.

    He might dust off a set of plans for you or redraw what you want exactly.




    https://wolstenholmedesign.com/portf...-2/g2-catboat/


    McGowan Marine drew up a contemporary 16ft catboat with a cabin, electric drive and asymmetric.





    https://mcgowanmarinedesign.com/Fundy_Cat_16.html

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