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Old 28-10-2009, 16:01   #1
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Boat: Leisure 23“Stormy
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pirate Bobcat Catamarans

Hej,
Is there anyone here sailing a Bobcat catamaran or know of this catamaran.Is it a safe long distance cruising, liveaboard Cat for a family of 6 . Im looking at buying a 1969 model in the Med, but cant find much info about it. Any info would be great, cheers
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Old 28-10-2009, 22:30   #2
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Hi Densha,
Many years ago I and a couple of friends bought a Bobcat. We sailed it for a year and a half, covered a lot of sea miles.
Pros:
A very basic, small boat, so not much to go wrong, and not expensive to fix.
Shallow draft, very useful for thin water, and greatly expands anchoring possibilities.
Good storage for it's size.
Basic but good size heads.
Very usable galley.

Cons:
Slow, can't point very well, makes lots of leeway.
Outboard engine, so not really usable for passage making.
Open interior, so no separate cabins for anyone.
One good bunk in each bow, a double athwartship forward of the main bulkhead, and the other two use the seats either side of the table. (Good size, almost 2 metres long by 0.6 metres wide.)

If you are not in a hurry, the slow sailing is not really an issue. And on a good day even a Bobcat has it's moments. We generally accepted 3.5 knots, but did average 6 knots at times, and saw 12 -13 on great days.
I would not worry about capsize or pitchpoling, and a benefit of the small size and shallow draft in heavy weather is that the boat tends to absorb wave impact by moving instead of resisting. It is built out of light plywood, though, so extreme seas could do a lot of damage.
Bear in mind that these were built in the 60's and 70's. Condition might not be so good. However, it is very easy to inspect every centimetre/inch of the structure.
Also, because it is a small boat, all the repairs/replacements will be much less expensive than for a larger vessel.
Overall, it's a possibility, though really quite a bit too small for long distance cruising with 6 people. If the kids are small, maybe.
If the size seems ok, and you can stretch financially a bit, the 8 metre Catalac ( in effect, the evolution of the Bobcat ) would be better. The 9 metre Catalac can be found for about the same price as the 8, so better again. 10 metre is generally a lot more. The Catalacs have possibly a better interior layout to try and fit a family of 6. They were also built of solid fibreglass, so last very well. Some even were fitted with inboard diesels.
From the same era check out Heavenly Twins. Similar size, similar performance, similar drawbacks and benefits, fibreglass, usually with inboard diesels, with the advantage of a centre cockpit, a forward cabin and a stern cabin. The stern cabin was often split into two, so very useful layout for a family of six.

I would be happy to go into more detail if you like.

Blue Skies
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Old 29-10-2009, 00:58   #3
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bobcat

Hej Triakis,
thank you for the much detailed info you have shared with us. WE have been looking at Wharrams, Prout Quest and the Bobcat. And yes if you have more details to share we would really appreciate it .
We may re-think the Bobcat buy cheers
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Old 29-10-2009, 16:33   #4
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Home Page
Have a look at this site
Bobcatandcatalac
Also this
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Old 29-10-2009, 16:34   #5
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Catalac, an affordable cruising catamaran

This one also for catalac
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Old 29-10-2009, 20:01   #6
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Fergie,
Nice to see a Bobcat/Catalac enthusiast. My friends and I had a great time with ours.
I personally think there is a need for an inexpensive modern version of the Bobcat, probably still built with plywood. For the volume inside, the large deck, cockpit and coach house areas, the stability and shallow draft --- I could accept the mediocre sailing performance. Side by side with any 20' - 35' monohull I think the Bobcat is more fun and more versatile.

Simplicity is really a virtue on the ocean.

As to ruggedness, we had our share of storms, with no major problems.
We surfed some monstrous ocean swells, so large that the rudders were barely effective. One rudder blade eventually snapped. We replaced it with a piece of the ply floor.

I am traveling at the moment, but when I can I will dig out old photos, etc, to post on the Bobcat site. We even have some Super 8mm movie footage, edited.

Blue Skies
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Old 30-10-2009, 08:15   #7
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Originally Posted by fergie_mac66 View Post
There is a relationship between Bobcats and Catalacs as Tom Lack (of Catalac Catamarans) and Bill O'Brien of the Bobcat Catamarans worked together in the 60's and 70's before Tom formed a separate company and developed his own designs. The boats are similar in layout but completely different in construction.

Catalacs are GRP boats with solid glass hulls. The only wood is in the two internal bulkheads. Layouts and descriptions are on my website that Fergie_mac66 already posted.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-04-2010, 14:35   #8
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Bobcat 8m

Hi Densha,

We have an 8m Bobcat based in the Mediterranean and think they are wonderfully designed boats. We have owned her for about 10 years and have yet to find anything better at just 8m long! However, you might keep a look out for the 10m versions or the Oceanic also 10m - some of which are still available and should suit your needs as far as space is concerned.

First Bobcat 8m across the Atlantic was Rudi Wagner's "Hobby" in 1967 and Rosie Swale wrote her book "Children of Cape Horn" after being the first catamaran to sail round Cape Horn in the 8m Bobcat's big sister - a Bill O'Brien Oceanic 10m the "Anneliese" in 1971. This she did with young children on board and indeed I believe one was born en route! I think that should set your mind at rest as regards suitability for long distance cruising with a family.

If you search for Rudi Wagner and Bobcat or Rosie Swale and Oceanic you should come up with some interesting information! Good luck in your search but I think with a family of 6 the 10m would be a more comfortable boat and they are great cruisers.

The first Bobcat ever built is still in commission and I noticed recently up for sale at £6500. We are very happy with ours - except for the maintenance required for a wooden boat. The designer Bill O'Brien (hence BoBcat) originally designed aircraft ie flying boats so he knew a lot about strong lightweight designs.

'Bobcat'
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:11   #9
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thank you for the information everyone,we are now looking at Prout quest and snowgoose
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