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Thread: Catboat plans

  1. #1
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    Default Catboat plans

    i am looking for plans for a catboat that is
    1. between 16-20 feet
    2. is traditional carvel construction
    3. is reletively easy to build
    4. sails well
    thank you

  2. #2
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    Do you want a cabin or just an open boat? There's a Catboat Association where you could post your question also.

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    i was hoping for a cabin but if that would complicate it alot than an open boat would be fine

  4. #4
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    A cabin cat boat (for the cabin to be useful) needs to have a full shape to provide volume in the cabin area, especially in the 16-20' length you mention. That shape makes for more difficult carvel planking since the hull is wider and deeper, requiring longer planks with more twist. Just a consideration. One of the more attractive ones in that size, with a small cuddy cabin if wanted, is a 16+' Winthrop Warner design that one of the Forum members owns called TIDBIT. I think a search of the forum with that term may turn up a reference to where plans could be found. At least you'd find pictures of the boat to see if it appeals.

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    Your criteria 2 and 3 could be somewhat contradictory. A full hull shape like a catboat could be on the "more advanced" scale of traditional carvell planking.

    Charles Whitolz (sp?) drew plans for a 17 ft cat boat with cabin that has been built in sheet ply. Plans are available from the WB store.

    --Brian
    Last edited by Brian Palmer; 05-29-2007 at 08:56 AM.

  6. #6
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    Davin,

    You've said in other posts that you want to have a boat that can be trailered and that can be used at Cape Cod and on rivers. You may want to ask your local library if they can get (through interlibrary loan) any of the books by Walter Simmons listed here:

    http://www.boatbuildingbooks.com/books.html

    These books describe the various ways of building small boats that can suit that purpose.

  7. #7
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    Quite a difference between 16 and 20 feet. What do you think of the Fenwick Williams 18er?


    18' Catboat
    function ShowlargeImage(whatimage) { popupWin = window.open(whatimage, '', 'scrollbars,resizable,width=500,height=450'); }//--> Item Number: 400-056 Unit Price: $125.00In StockQuantity Bookmark This Page!
    Refer this page to a friend
    Detailed Description
    Husky, round-bottomed centerboard cruiser with accommodations for two. LOA - 18'
    LWL- 17' 6"
    Beam - 8' 6"
    Draft (cb up) - 2'
    (cb down) - 4' 8"
    Displ. - 3,763 lbs.
    Sail Area - 247 - 265 sq. ft.
    Construction: Carvel planked over sawn & steamed frames

  8. #8
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    It's a lot of boat for a young teenager to build and trailer, especially for a first boat building effort. It may be more fun and as rewarding (building wise) to start out smaller.

  9. #9
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    A few to choose from at the Woodenboat store. Dont know about easy, but some nice ones. And then there is Tomcat, but it is only 14'.
    Fenwick Williams 18 looks good. I like the Breck Marshall @ Mystic Seaport - 19' and a total traditional build, but as what the others have said, not easy. I am just getting started in traditional building and this is my Witholz 17.
    Last edited by ddeaton; 05-28-2007 at 10:52 AM.

  10. #10

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    http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ad.php?t=62337

    I asked a similar question not too long ago. Follow the above thread.

    Good luck and happy hunting.

    Andrew G.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SawmillBrook View Post
    http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ad.php?t=62337

    I asked a similar question not too long ago. Follow the above thread.

    Good luck and happy hunting.

    Andrew G.
    So what did you decide on Sawmill?

  12. #12
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    I really like the J.R. Benford catboats. They have a lot of character .Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars on a set of plans,you can spend about 20 bucks for his book, Tabloid Yachts and Pocket cruisers which has the complete plans for his 20' catboat, and a bunch of other neat designs. A real bargain.


    http://www.tillerbooks.com/Pocket_Cr...oid_Yachts.php

  13. #13
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    sounds good, how hard is it to build

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davin View Post
    sounds good, how hard is it to build
    The Benford boat will take a formidable effort to build. Note the fantail stern. She is 20'x8' which is not wide for a catboat and might be expected to sail a bit better than most. Draft is 3 1/2 feet so she is fairly deep, too.


    http://www.benford.us/index.html?pcty/

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    Davin.....welcome to the forum. ....and stay out of the Bilge......less heartburn.....
    This is a polite question, but why do you want a catboat, and how do you intend to use it, what type of vehicle are you going to use for towing........where do you intend to sail......where are you going to build the boat, and what tools do you have available.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  16. #16
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    i'm new to sail boats ,
    i'm curious
    what makes a cat boat a cat boat
    what are thier strengths and good points , are they fast ? comfortable ?
    what are they lacking , are they a good first sail boat

    thanks
    stephen

  17. #17
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    Let's all keep in mind that Davin is thirteen years old and frame our suggestions with that in mind, financially and otherwise. I wish there were a boatbuilding class near Cambridge that he could take advantage of. Does anyone know of something like an afternoon program at a school/museum near there?

  18. #18
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    I didn't check the profile.......but......
    I would suggest if you have the resources to build the first boat, I would start with something no larger than 12 feet......I would also suggest a pram type boat of sheet plywood construction....sails would be in the order of 75 square feet for the main, and if you opted for a jib it would be 30-35 square feet. Such a boat could be built entirely of wood with rope shrouds and everything required to sail can be made in your shop with minimum tools.....and could be built with no power tools required....such aboat would weigh perhaps 400 pounds so could be towed with a very small trailer....
    It could be built using 4-5 sheets of 3/8ths inch plywood.....plus lumber yard fir and with a fabric epoxy on the outside....for a first boat you could use A-B exterior grade plywood.
    A pram type boat will have the same basic dimensions of a catboat, approximately the beam will be one half the length, and the pram will have more interior space. You can build a small cuddy cabin for overnight sleeping or to get out of the rain.....
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3pepper View Post
    i'm new to sail boats ,
    i'm curious
    what makes a cat boat a cat boat
    what are thier strengths and good points , are they fast ? comfortable ?
    what are they lacking , are they a good first sail boat

    thanks
    stephen
    Stephen,
    This is a small catboat, single sail, mast forward, most of the time they are centerboard, also most of the time the beam is half of the length. Payson has a 12' plywood catboat, called the Instant Cat.


  20. #20
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    Here's a copy of Bolger's Bobcat -- possibly the same plan that Payson sells -- which is a sheet ply version of the long-popular Beetle Cat. And probably a catboat that's not too much as a first-time project.

    One really nice thing about catboats in general is that they feel like bigger and heavier boats than they actually are, thanks to all that beam. I think this, plus the simplicity of the single sail, makes them good boats to get started in.

  21. #21

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    ddeaton,

    I like Dix's Cape Henry designs, the 19 or 21. Not a Catboat, but as I studied cats and sailboats in general, the CH stood out vis a vis my needs and limitations.

    I wish someone sold plans for Jim Ledger's Rover, she's a beaut.

  22. #22
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    Hey Davin,

    I hope the suggestions here have been helpful for you. Catboats are intriguing designs. As a first build, something small is a good place to start. The Bobcat above is a nice design and easy to build, and is in keeping with the "classic" catboat proportions. Tomcat, from Bill Garden and offered by our host here is also a very nice boat, and can be adapted to different build methods.

    Another cat rigged boat........ not a catboat per se, but cat rigged, small, buildable, easy to sail, and very beautiful is the Melonseed skiff.
    No, it is not a catboat in the pure sense, but I thought I'd throw it in just for kicks

  23. #23
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    [img][/img]
    Hi Davin
    here is a little cat I designed and built with my fathers help when I was 14. it is sheet plywood built of three pannels, one bottom and two side pannels. I have enjoyed sailing it for over 15 yrs. and just recently restored and relaunched it.

    In your previous post you mentioned Atkins "krazy cat" and you also mentioned possibly cartoping your boat. you should keep in mind that the crazy cat is not a traditionally dimensioned cat boat, she is very narrow and light for her length. when you say a 16-20' cat boat you are almost talking live aboard size. it's tough to get a bigger boat on a shorter length-over-all than a traditional cat hull.

    you also mentioned that you don't want to tip over, any of the boats based on a beetle cat size hull would probably work for you or you could choose a longer and lighter hull with a little less sail and it should be plenty stable.
    happy Catting!
    Dan

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by garland reese View Post
    Hey Davin,

    Tomcat, from Bill Garden and offered by our host here is also a very nice boat, and can be adapted to different build methods.
    is it very dificult to build? how about cost?

  25. #25
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    I have photographs of a Fenwick Williams designed 18ft Gaff Cat on this thread.

    http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ad.php?t=65545

    Ethan admired the boat so I put more photograhs on the thread, I hope he saw the new photographs.

    Warren.

  26. #26
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    Hey Davin,

    Tomcat likely is not a boat for the pure novice craftsman. It is a small boat, really along the same size of the Bobcat mentioned above, from Phil Bolger. That boat is an easy project, and one that can be done within a reasonable budget. I've seen pretty basic Bobcats and I've seen a few that the builders went to great effort to make their boat very attractive.

    Although Tomcat is pretty much the same size, it is a much more complex boat to build. You did mention that you wished to build with carvel construction, and the Tomcat is a boat that is built along that method with a few modifications, or that is my understanding. It can also be built using the "strip built" methods, sheathed with cloth. Certainly a doable method, but not as enjoyable as pure wood construction. Tomcat was, I think, designed to be kept out of the water, yet still maintain good watertightness..... again, that is my own concept of the design. If you are wanting to do a small boat, with methods that are traditional (like carvel), Tomcat would be a good choice, I think. But, it wouldn't be cheap to build, nor would it be "easy" by most definitions. But with determination, tenacity, patience, and maybe a bit of creative resoursefulness, I'd bet you could get it done. Do you have a good support system, to give you a hand or a bit of guidance over the rough spots? Do you have a good source for the quality of wood that is required for carvel construction? I know in my part of the country, good cedar for planking is hard to come by. I'd have to order it in here at great cost.

    I'm sorry Davin, I'm rambling on here. Keep your head up, and keep doing the research. You will find the right design.

    Also, there is a book available, profiling the build and concepts of Tomcat. It can be had through the WB store too. Bill Garden is a very well respected designer, no doubt. Tomcat would be a pleasure to own. But, there are a good number of boats out there that would fit the bill for you........ good luck, young man!

    Many men here have a lot of experience in building. I am not one of them, to be sure....

  27. #27
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    Welcome to the forum Davin. I did a quick google search for boat building classes up Cambridge way and didn't turn up anything, but it's late and it was just a quick search. I'd do some more looking if I were you, especially if you are able to get up to the North Shore in possibly the Marblehead-up-to-Ipswitch area. There are a slew of boatbuilders up there, and I'd bet there's at least one who would like to teach. That brings up a question; Are you planning on doing this all by yourself? Some of what's recquired to build a traditional hull involves elbow grease of the kind that generally takes two people. Have you looked into strip planking at all? I don't want to discourage, I couldn't be happier that someone is committed to building a traditional boat and if that's all it can be, then go build it! But, if there's a possibility that a plywood or strip planked boat could satisfy you'd learn enough that when you took on a carvel project you could really make it shine. Good luck!

  28. #28
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    Default 17' Witholz Catboat

    DDeaton: Being a fan of Witholz designs ( I have built Little Moby) I am very interested in his 17' Catboat.

    It looks like you did an outstanding job with yours. Perhaps you have already posted them, but I would sure like to see more photos of your boat, including the interior.

    I have lots of question. But I particulary would like to know how she sails, how difficult is she to launch, etc. I am especially interested to know how you step the mast. Can it be done single handed.

    In any event, great job!
    Alan Peck

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    DDeaton: Being a fan of Witholz designs ( I have built Little Moby) I am very interested in his 17' Catboat.

    It looks like you did an outstanding job with yours. Perhaps you have already posted them, but I would sure like to see more photos of your boat, including the interior.

    I have lots of question. But I particulary would like to know how she sails, how difficult is she to launch, etc. I am especially interested to know how you step the mast. Can it be done single handed.

    In any event, great job!
    Alan,
    I cant answer yet how she sails or launches, as it hasnt happened yet, soon though. I cant imagine any difficulty launching with the trailer she is sitting on. Now that question about stepping the mast, no way single handed, unless you have a winch on a pole. Some of the more salty sailors on the forum could probably give us both some tips on stepping procedures. The ramp where I will launch her has a pole with a winch on it just for that purpose. I will post more pics if you like, but the interior is not finished yet, it will be bare bones this season.
    Last edited by ddeaton; 06-03-2007 at 11:05 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Wassa View Post
    I have photographs of a Fenwick Williams designed 18ft Gaff Cat on this thread.

    http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ad.php?t=65545

    Ethan admired the boat so I put more photograhs on the thread, I hope he saw the new photographs.

    Warren.

    Thanks Warren!!

  31. #31
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    Someone should build a replica of "Una," the catboat that introduced the type to England. Built in 1852, she's the oldest catboat I know of for which plans still exist. Dixon Kemp published them in his "Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing." It's a pretty expensive book these days, but you can probably get it through interlibary loan. She's a New York catboat, and would probably be easier to plank than the Cape Cod type. I think there are some mistakes in the reconstruction of the rudder and centerboard, but you could look at a Beetle Cat to get those right. Also, Kemp shows the boat with the waterline parralell to the keel. I think that's true of the lifts on the half model, not the way the boat was trimmed. She's 16 feet long, and would be quite a nice daysailer.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Someone should build a replica of "Una," the catboat that introduced the type to England. Built in 1852, she's the oldest catboat I know of for which plans still exist. Dixon Kemp published them in his "Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing." It's a pretty expensive book these days, but you can probably get it through interlibary loan. She's a New York catboat, and would probably be easier to plank than the Cape Cod type. I think there are some mistakes in the reconstruction of the rudder and centerboard, but you could look at a Beetle Cat to get those right. Also, Kemp shows the boat with the waterline parralell to the keel. I think that's true of the lifts on the half model, not the way the boat was trimmed. She's 16 feet long, and would be quite a nice daysailer.
    Anyone have any pics John?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddeaton View Post
    Anyone have any pics John?
    Photography was in a pretty primative state in 1853, but there is a profile, body plan and waterlines in Kemp's book. There are also plans for an 1870 Cowes Una boat. There are offsets for both, rig dimensions, planking thickness, etc. There are also some thumbnail sketches in Stan Grayson's latest book about catboats.

    She was a New York catboat (the Cape Cod kind had yet to evolve) and would be easier to plank than her tubbier sisters from Cape Cod.

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