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Old 30-12-2012, 08:12   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Boat: Watkins 27
Posts: 61
Catboats intrigue me

Maybe it's my New England heritage but there's something about catboats that attracts me. Somebody talk me out of this diversion.

Many have unstayed masts, keel-stepped and well forward, lending themselves to rigs, like the junk rig, which are easily handled from the cockpit by an old man. Not having to maintain or replace standing rigging is a plus.

Being beamy and having the mast out of the cabin means the interior volume is comparable to a boat 5-10% longer. Additionally, their usually large cockpits, though worrisome in large following seas, adds considerably to living space while at anchor in warm climates.

They often have swing-keels which I don't like BUT that means the ability to get into some pretty thin water which I DO like.

They're plenty fast off the wind but don't point well <shrug>.

Somebody tell me what's not to like about a catboat.
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Old 30-12-2012, 11:12   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Washington State
Boat: Colvin, Saugeen Witch (Aluminum), 34'
Posts: 1,632
Re: Catboats intrigue me

I share your attraction for these boats. I have not sailed a catboat but have sailed a bit on cat rigged boats and and the simplicity is a very desirable trait. I accept the poor windward performance as long as a good engine is available. Motoring into large seas with a traditional, blunt nosed catboat sounds like a very slow, uncomfortable and wet process however.

The rig that I came up with for Panope is almost a cat rig. The head sail is tiny and easily handled without winches. Only three pieces of standing rigging keep the mast up and like most short traditional rigs, a tabernacle was an easy/natural addition.

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