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International Fourteen Catboats
This is the most pure fun to sail of any boat I’ve been on. A good singlehander might be a hair more responsive, but the International Fourteen really flies . This is not only a hard-core racing boat, it’s one of the few active development classes left, and if you ask how much one costs you can’t afford it. But check it out if you get a chance! Also check out the International Fourteen class page. Ever since I tried a trapeze on a Fourteen I’ve speculated on using one for casual daysailing as well–it’s not just far more efficient…
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Catboat (Cape Cod Cats)
Compass Classic Yachts Rainbow The harbors of southern New England are sprinkled with Beetle Cats, and I’ve never heard a bad word about them. These jaunty little 12-footers aren’t speed demons but hang tough when it breezes up, partly because their forward half is all deck. This is the only wooden sailboat still built in anything like volume in the U.S. and you can snap one up used for under $3,000 if you pounce on an ad. Unfortunately, you want to keep them on a mooring rather than a trailer. And most of us, alas, just lack the time for…
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Catboat (Eastport Pinky - Free Plans)
Designer Roger Long’s comments on the 27′ Eastport Pinky: “Looking back over nearly a quarter century, I can’t see how the lines of this boat could be any sweeter. It’s a relatively small boat but it was intended for serious sailing. It would be hard to find a more seaworthy hull of traditional type. The biggest problem in bad weather would be dragging the long boom in the water. She should run quite well under bare poles with her sharp stern and forward-placed mast. As long as you have searoom you can just go below and try to figure out…
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Little Boat
At a hair under 7′ long, here’s a leading candidate for the title of world’s smallest catboat. If you know of a smaller, gaff-rigged catboat that can carry an adult and child, we really would like to hear about it. This is the first boat in which I took my daughter sailing; the Rubens Nymph (below) seems like a houseboat in comparison. “Built sometime between the great wars, Little Boat was originally a sloop of flat bottom skiff construction. I re-rigged her as a catboat in 1963, as I was ntering eighth grade. The rig had long before disappeared and…
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Catboat (Truly Small Boats)
Cape Cod Frosty This 6′ 4″ boat is justly famous as the world’s smallest racing dinghy. As advocates say, you don’t get into it, you put it on. It comes from Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich on the Cape–a harbor so overrun by marina that the Frosty is probably the only sailboat that can maneuver there. More than a thousand Frosties have been built, mostly by their owners. For more information, see Cape Cod Frosty Association. Photo copyright Jen Kano/Cape Cod Frosty Class Assocation.     Bolger Rubens Nymph Here’s Escargot under construction last winter in my brother Bruce’s basement in…