I posted this in my other thread but felt that it belonged here. This pupose of this post is to try to reduce the history of modern catamaran design and construction to just a few posts if that's even possible. If you have any info especially pics and dates then come on in.
Early modern Europe
's first documented catamaran was designed by the polymath and Royal Society member William Petty
in 1662. It was designed to sail faster, in shallower waters, with less wind
& crew than other vessels of the time, but the unusual design met with scepticism and was not a commercial
The first catamaran built in the US was built by Nathanial Herreshoff in 1876. He also patented it back then. This link has a pic of a 1933 replica built of that boat. I'm not sure if he built more than these 2 cats.
THE MULTIHULL PIONEERS, MAGAZINE ARTICLE, JIM BROWN
Then came Eric de Bisschop in the 30s with his Hawaii
built Junk rigged cat.
Amazon.com: Kaimiloa: Eric De Bisschop, B & W Illust.
This was built about the same time as replica mentioned above. I think the replica was first so that would be the 2nd cat built and Bisschops would be the 3rd.
Here is a excerpt lifted from Wiki.
In 1947, surfing legend, Woodbridge "Woody" Brown
and Alfred Kumalae designed and built the first modern ocean-going catamaran, Manu Kai, in Hawaii. Their young assistant was Rudy Choy, who later founded the design firm Choy/Seaman/Kumalae (C/S/K, 1957) and became a fountainhead for the catamaran movement. The Prout Brothers, Roland and Francis, experimented with catamarans in 1949 and converted their 1935 boat factory in Canvey Island
, Essex (England), to catamaran production in 1954. Their Shearwater catamarans won races easily against the monohulls.
The speed and stability of these catamarans soon made them a popular pleasure craft, with their popularity really taking off in Europe
, and was followed soon thereafter in America. Currently, most individually owned catamarans are built in France
, South Africa
, and Australia
In the mid-twentieth century, the catamaran inspired an even more popular sailboat, the Beach Cat
. In California
, a maker of surfboards
, Hobie Alter
produced the 250-pound Hobie Cat 14
in 1967, and two years later the larger and even more successful Hobie 16
. That boat remains in production, with more than 100,000 made in the past three decades.
A largely forgotten designer
is Bob Harris who published his book, Modern Sailing Catamarans in 1960 and there is a pic on the cover so there must have been some of his designs built somewhere before then but I can't find any specifics. See this
The cat-crazy men who got me sailing
MacLear & Harris, Yacht Designers - Boat Design Forums
Anyway this was some gapfilling on the history of the modern cat. It's stuff I didn't know. Obviously there are much older cats, tris and proas that go back millenia. Thanks all