Monday, October 30, 2017

Catboats from Readers

My catboat posts elicited more email and comment than usual. Two of my readers pointed out their favorite catboats (which happen to be from English designers).

Max from the Bursledon Blog owns a Cornish Cormorant, a smallish non-traditional catboat from the designer Roger Dongrey. The Cornish Cormorant is one of his favorites and he has written a loving post about the Cormorant over here. The high freeboard and a smallish rig of the Cormorant seems to be just the ticket to handle lots of wind and waves in a 3.73 meter length dinghy.



Kiwi Neil Kennedy likes this traditional catboat from English designer, Andrew Wolstenholme. I'm not sure what the design name is for this catboat (that is, if you were searching within Andrew's design portfolio for plans), but this design just oozes classic beauty. Below is an example on display at the London Beale Park Wooden Boat Festival.




Describing a sailboat as a catboat can cover a huge spectrum of design shapes and rig choices and evokes a passionate attachment to this type, or to that type. It is a catboat, where many of us focus so keenly in putting our study and experience and joy with the beauty of sailboats and in how a boat moves us when we are on the water.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Music Whenever: The Log Drivers Waltz

No sailing here. Just work, watersport and romance. That just about sums up life.



Did I ever mention I lived in Canada from age 3 to 11.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ian Oughtred on Building a Gwen 12

Famous classic boat designer, Ian Oughtred, got his start in the sporty Australian Gwen 12, a single trapeze, DIY plywood, double hander. He was class champion sometime in the 1960's. Andrew Chapman has been feeding me some Gwen 12 material including this article by Ian Oughtred on building the Gwen 12. This looks to be from Seacraft issue of boat plans.

The Gwen 12 was designed by Australian Charlie Cunningham in 1948 as one of the first stressed ply dinghies. Like most Australian designed plywood dinghies, the Gwen 12 was extremely popular in the 1950's, 60's,  and 70's but died out in the 1980's. Below is the cover of the May 1958 Seacraft issue with what almost looks like a colored post card of the Gwen 12.



Here is the article by Ian in PDF format. There was a newer double-bottom version of the Gwen 12. I'll post those plans later.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Catboats at the 2017 MASCF

In keeping this catboat thread going just a post or two more, here are two photos from the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

A catboat out romping on Saturday afternoon.


Two catboats amongst the scrum before the start of Saturday's race.




Sunday, October 22, 2017

Don Betts: A Micro Catboat Design: The "PeaCat"

From the very large (Silent Maid) to the micro; a 7' by 4'6" (2.13 meters by 1.37 meters) catboat. In the early 1990's, Brooklyn NYC artist Don Betts designed a very small catboat; the PeaCat. Despite the tiny size of PeaCat, I always thought Don did a good job at replicating a catboat design. I never saw a PeaCat in person but, from the following photos, at least two were built. It is unclear if anymore were built. The hulls were built using stressed plywood.

The boating magazine "messing about in BOATS" had two articles on the PeaCat. Several of these photos were scanned from an article in the February 15, 1992 issue of "messing about in BOATS."


messing about in BOATS
Carrying capacity; one adult or four small kids.

messing about in BOATS

Don Betts didn't skimp on the rig for PeaCat.
messing about in BOATS


messing about in BOATS

Don took one of the unfinished hulls and treated it as a hanging sculpture for a photo shoot. You can see the bend-em-up shape in this photo.

messing about in BOATS

Nice high, catboat coamings provides some measure of dryness for this tiny sailboat. I'm not sure how the tiller arrangement worked.

messing about in BOATS


messing about in BOATS


Click here for a writeup on another micro catboat, the Bolger Queen Mab.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Catboat "Silent Maid" at NSHOF Wooden Sailboat Rendezvous

Peter Kellog, owner of the sandbaggers Bull and Bear, brought his reproduction of the 1924 Sweisguth catboat, Silent Maid, to Annapolis to compete in the 2017 National Sailing Hall of Fame Classic Wooden Sailboat Rendezvous. Unless you see this catboat in person, it is really hard to fathom how big, how massive, the mainsail Silent Maid sets. I took several photos of Silent Maid before and just after the start of this pursuit race. Silent Maid went on to win the race.






Before WWII, Silent Maid was the biggest of the cruising catboats competing in New Jersey waters.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Header Photos: Australian Historical 18-Footers Rigging

The previous two header photos celebrated the Australian Historical 18-Footers. The first photo shows the rigging lawn of Sydney Flying Squadron, Australia, and the second photo shows the three visiting Historical 18-Footers rigging on Bembe Beach in Annapolis, Maryland.





Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Cricket Dinghy Uncovered!

I have written about the Cricket dinghy, one of North America's first dinghy classes. I had despaired of ever seeing one in the flesh but, in wandering the docks this weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival, my mouth dropped open; there she was, floating peacefully tied up to the dock, an old timey Cricket! Turns out that Richard Scofield, assistant curator at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, had found one "upriver" as he said (I assume he meant the Miles River). It had been in one family for years and was outfitted with an outboard motor with which they puttered about the river. The bow had been bashed in. Richard purchased her because he found her a pretty dinghy and being, at one time, head of the boat shop, did a top-notch restoration. He also did some research which will allow me to update what is known about the Cricket.

The Cricket tied up at the dock. Not much is known about her origin. The name on the transom is Jiminy Cricket.


This Cricket is planked which does indicate a pre WWII build time.


Underway. A sprit rig with a club at the clew. A large, low aspect ratio cat-rig with no battens. This one looks to have a lower freeboard than some of the later Miami Yacht Club Crickets.




A very sharp bow. I can see how the Cricket could have influenced the Classic Moth Cates design which also has a very sharp bow.


The Cricket led the Saturday sailboat race at MASCF for a long time, finally finishing third to a C. Lowndes Johnson 18 footer and a Thistle.





I've had this file photo from the Baltimore Sun sitting on my computer for a while now, classified "mysterious dinghy." After looking at Scofield's Cricket at MASCF I can now positively identify the photo as another Cricket. Most likely the photo was taken in the 1950's.



Saturday, October 7, 2017

More Photos of the Australian Historical 18-Footers

These couple of photos should wrap up my posts on the Australian Historical 18-footer visit to Annapolis.

The 1932 reproduction Aberdare rolled on her side. You can make out the moderate V section shape which is not too dissimilar to the section shape of the 1870 Sandbaggers (though every thing else on the hull shape is completely different).



Australia IV before the mast went up. The reproduction 18-footers are cold molded in plywood with an outer layer of cedar. The originals were built single planked, bent nailed into interior seam stringers (batten seam construction). The reproduction hulls weigh around 270 kg (600 lbs.), which seems to be about 100 kg less than the original hulls.


The daggerboards are simple metal plates.


The two architects of the Australian Historical 18-footer visit; Lee Tawney of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and Ian Smith of the Historical 18-footer organization. Ian Smith has written a book on the old Australian 18-footers; half the book is a history, the other half a construction primer on how they were built. The blogmeister bought the book and can vouch that "The Open Boat" is well worth adding to your yachting book collection.


Masts are raised on a tabernacle which makes it a simple task. The reproduction 18-footers have aluminum spars. The amount of old and new that is allowed on the reproduction 18-footers is arrived at by consensus among the fleet. One thing is clear, these vintage reproductions are not babied, either on the beach or on the water.