A 17' 8 1/2" Catboat
By William Atkin
An Able Little Cat Boat
A little boat, a useful boat, a handy boat, simply rigged and simple in construction; a mast and a sail, a tiller and a cabin for two -- an able little craft, this cat boat, Trim. There was a time when most small boats were rigged as cats. Mast in the eyes, gaff, boom, barn-door rudder, single head-stay, and the handiest kind of running rigging. This is the best rig in the world for the beginner in sail, and, may I add, a handy sail plan for the experienced sailor-man as well.

A cat boat of an older day carried a sail having a very long boom and a long gaff with, usually, less length in the hoist than in the head of the sail. This formed a difficult sail to reef and to handle because the boom extended very far abaft the stern; out of comfortable reach. Trim has a sail plan that is practically inboard and with throat and peak halyards, and topping lift leading to the cockpit. And the proportions are better, a higher sail plan of greater efficiency than the sails of similar craft of yesterday.

Trim is 17 feet, 8 1/2 inches over all; 17 feet on the water line, 7 feet, 6 inches in breadth, and 1 foot, 1 1/2 inches draft to the bottom of the skeg. The freeboard at the bow is 2 feet, 11 inches and at the stern, 2 feet, 1 1/2 inches. Her draft with the centerboard lowered is 3 feet, 6 inches, and to the bottom of the rudder, 2 feet, 5 inches.

The cockpit is 5 feet, 3 inches long with an average width of 5 feet. Comfortable for two; but big enough for day sailing for four. The seats are fitted well below the deck and thus give a nice sense of being in the boat rather than on it which is a comfortable feeling. The cockpit is not self-bailing, and it is wise not to alter the design to make it so.

The cabin is of the simplest variety. Two berths with enough room in the bow for stowing a few things and for setting up a small alcohol stove. The headroom is 4 feet, about as much as one can expect in this very little sailing-cruising boat. And, ye who change things, please do not attempt to increase this -- no, not so much as even an inch!

The hull lines show a model that will propel easily and one that will be fast. The sections have firm bilges and these always spell wholesome stability. The buttock lines and the diagonals are flat curves and so the little boat will go about her business without fuss and bother, and without drag aft. If the material weights are close to those shown in the construction plan I should figure on carrying 600 pounds of lead, ballast inside.
Plans for Trim are $100




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