Thursday, January 19, 2012

Catboats big and small

Cockpit of catboat
People assume that a 14 foot catboat is  small compared to its 18 foot cousin. Catboats increase exponentially in all dimensions when you lengthen the waterline. Suddenly an 18 footer becomes a really big boat. The 14 foot Classic Cat is an incredibly roomy boat that can actually accommodate two adults for an overnight or four comfortably for a day sail. What strikes me is the versatility of the boat at this length. The shallow draft allows for some serious gunk holing. The rig is easily stepped by one person. Our hollow birds mouth mast typically weighs 45 lbs or so.
The displacement is 650lbs compared to the 2,200lbs of the 18 footer. Pushing it off a sandbar is never a problem. Getting the Classic Cat ready to go takes minutes, and is easily single handed. Going out for a quick sail after work is never an issue. For many of us that's what it's all about, with our busy schedule: getting out there and enjoying a wonderful sail without all the hassle.  

Cold molded catboat
When we get calls about our boats we try to listen to the type of sailing being described. More and more, the appeal of the small catboat stands up against the romance of a bigger boat. What kind of sailor are you? Solo? Racer? Family boat? These little catboats handle the variety of sailors with ease.
In our world on Pleasant Bay, cruising has taken on a whole new meaning. It can be a moonlight sail, or a picnic with friends or just the dog. It can be a challenge with a double reef or a near walk about from lack of wind. But whatever the circumstances these little boats offer so much more for so little cost and effort.

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