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Cape Cod Catboat by Marcus Botanicus – FINISHED - Bluejacket Shipcrafters – Scale ¾”=1’


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Started on a simple kit of a Cape Cod Catboat by BlueJacket. I suggested that I built this model boat for my sister as she had one made in true scale.

 

The specs of her boat is as follows:

Cabin Catboat

18'-0" by 17'-7' by 8'-6" by 2'-0"

Scale 1/2" = 1 FT

F.C.W - April 27 - 1932

Fenwick Cushing Williams

Jones Cove, South Bristol, Maine 04568

 

History of the Catboat.

A catboat or a cat-rigged sailboat, is a sailing vessel characterized by a single mast carried well forward (typically near its bow). Generally a catboat has a light and shallow draft hull, wide beam approximately half its length, is gaff rigged, and carries a centerboard.

 

Although any boat with a single sail and a mast carried well forward is 'technically' a catboat, some catboats such as the Barnegat Bay type and more modern designs carry a Bermuda sail. A jib is sometimes added, but this may require a bowsprit, and technically creates a sloop sail-plan. A typical New England style has a very long boom that extends over the transom and may carry foresails stayed from a bowsprit.

 

It is generally accepted that the origin of the catboat type was in New York around 1840 and from there spread east and south as the virtues of the type — simplicity, ease of handling, shallow draft, large capacity — were discovered. Historically, they were used for fishing and transport in the coastal waters around Cape Cod, Narragansett Bay, New York and New Jersey. Some were fitted with bowsprits for sword fishing and others were used as 'party boats' with canvas-sided, wood-framed summer cabins that could be rolled up.

 

Designer Fenwick Williams summarized the original design philosophy as: “The ample beam made the use of stone ballast feasible the high bow provided good support for the unstayed mast the barn door rudder provided adequate strength high coamings served to keep water out of the large open cockpit side decks provided a handy ledge on which to set a lobster trap."  Modern catboat fans appreciate the catboat's traditional design and classic appearance and the features that make it a versatile recreational boat: simplicity, large capacity, shallow draft, stability, and safety in a boat that is easy to sail.

 

The Kit.

Cape Cod Catboat scale ¾”-1’

Model will be approximately 19” long, 28” high and 8” beam.

The overall kit is good. The plans are accurate and easy to read, the laser cut parts are accurate as well there is plenty of strip wood and the metal Britannia pieces look good.

 

Instructions are so-so and there not enough pictures in the manual. It is suggested this kit is for a beginner but I must disagree. The instructions on what to do is sparse or non-existent. It is pretty much a guessing game. If I have the energy I might re-write the instructions and add more pictures and submit this to Bluejacket.  The model is also of a size to be a R/C pond-boat.

 

The kit-bashing department.

I will built the kit pretty much the way it should be but will also incorporate the way my sister’s boat looks. Trying to make it look as much as her boat.

Furthermore, the blocks, cleats and chocks are from Britannia and are nice but I will not use those. I am making them from wood (more realistic). I will forego the rigging line and use the material from Chuck (Syren). Not making the mast hoops from metal wire but instead using a method by Bob F. Stropping blocks will be with rope and not wire.

 

Pictures of the actual Catboat

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Original plans used to built the boat and plans from the kit.

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Keel and other parts.

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Gluing pieces of the keel together.

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Adjusting & gluing frames.

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Adding the bilge stringers after they have been soaking in water.

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Next up was the deck and soaked that in water as well. This would bend it much easier. Also added little blocks on either side of the frame to give the deck more gluing surface.

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It is going to be a crowd. Thanks for the interest.

Overall a good kit with room to follow the instructions or room to bash. The planking is basswood and walnut. Quality material. For anyone to built this boat it is doable at all levels of experience.

 

Piet.

I thought of adding mirrors inside the cabin so you could see what is on the inside when the cabin door is open. I need to ask her what is actually in the cabin.

 

 

I think your feline Boomer will rightly want to supervise construction - it is after all a "cat" boat and not a "dog" boat!

LOL - well said

Marc

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It is going to be a crowd. Thanks for the interest.

Overall a good kit with room to follow the instructions or room to bash. The planking is basswood and walnut. Quality material. For anyone to built this boat it is doable at all levels of experience.

 

Piet.

I thought of adding mirrors inside the cabin so you could see what is on the inside when the cabin door is open. I need to ask her what is actually in the cabin.

 

 

 

LOL - well said

Marc

 

 

Hi Marcus

 

I hope the crowd's not too large, because I want a seat as well.  I don't mind standing if there's no room for seating, though.

 

I'm looking forward to following along!

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

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Next to the garboard there will be basswood planking. Then I will use spackle (to hide the seams), sand it smooth and paint it.

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Cabin Side Boards. The kit has 2 windows on each side but the actual boat has 1 window on each side.

Here I will redo that. I am going to use airplane ply from Menards (like a Home Depot/Lowes store, but more items) and use that to redo. I will use the plan as my guide and will guesstimate where the windows are located.

 

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Here is a picture of the inside of the cabin.

If I recreate this, I need to have the cabin door open so you can see the inside. The boat will be in a display case. I am open for suggestions.

 

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My sister did sent me an email with the colors used on the boat and I need to look through the catalog plus will check the big box stores.

 

The following colors are:

The topsides are Semi-Gloss White, deck is Sandtone, and the sides of the cabin are Grand Banks Beige.

Bottom anti-fouling Aquagard - a qt of red.

Cockpit deck and cabin sole are generic battleship gray.

The woodwork is Sikkens Cetol Marine

Maine Silica Sand should be added to paint on surfaces where people will walk, for grit - roughens the surface. On this I will do a practice run on a piece of wood and see hat it looks like. Also use the finest grit I can get as the scale has to match.

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Oh boy does this bring back memories. I grew up in the 60's and early 70's sailing a 24 foot sloop rigged (converted) cape cod cat that looked exactly like this (just a bit bigger). It was strip planked and leaked like a sieve for the first 24 hours after launching it every spring. My bud and I sailed it from Montreal down the St Lawrence and Richelieu River to Lake Champlain one summer. Very sorry to reminisce in your thread - but move over, I will be following your build Marcus and then copying it!

Best, Ian

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Oh boy does this bring back memories. I grew up in the 60's and early 70's sailing a 24 foot sloop rigged (converted) cape cod cat that looked exactly like this (just a bit bigger). It was strip planked and leaked like a sieve for the first 24 hours after launching it every spring. My bud and I sailed it from Montreal down the St Lawrence and Richelieu River to Lake Champlain one summer. Very sorry to reminisce in your thread - but move over, I will be following your build Marcus and then copying it!

Best, Ian

Reminiscing is good. You did some serious sailing. My sister reads this built and this will tell her she can sail her catboat as far as she wants to. I think she has her boat moored in Prince Edward Island (If not please correct me Bernadette).

Marc

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Starting on the cabin. Pictures will follow.

On no. 2 post check the third picture. You will see the sheath where the center board slides into. In real life the boat was able to sail in very shallow water, it could beach itself.

My sister mentioned that her centerboard is attached to the keel. So I will cut the board in half and built the cabin on top of that.

Marc

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Pilot area which has been strengthened with scrap wood.

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The bulkhead has a door opening. Here I will make the door that can be moved, like the real thing.

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The Cabin floor is 1/8” balsa.

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The three ½ oval slats are going to be the inner walls in the cabin.

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Close up how the floor, and inner walls look like.

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Dry Fitted all items.

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How the cabin will look like in the front to the cabin (bow) there will be a door for storage.

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Came across a few when I lived in the Florida Keys and they all were live aboards and had nothing but praise for the Cat Boat.

 

One couple routinely sail the Cat to the Bahamas. For in harbor maneuverability most used a  rubber dingy with a small motor

and tie it along side the Cat.

 

I will also add my chair in the shipyard. ;)

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