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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Building a cat using pontoon floats
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Thread: Building a cat using pontoon floats Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-05-2011 07:22 PM
WanderingStar I don't know what the bottom profile of the pontoon is, but if it's dead straight, you might find that it resists turning
This is from a guy who put a tarp sail on a double paddle canoe (kayak without a deck).
04-05-2011 06:35 PM
scottyt just by a stelleto, its safe and already built.
04-05-2011 04:07 PM
bljones I get the feeling you're gonna want leeboards to keep from sailing sideways. A lot of chicken-gybing is going to be in your future as well. But give it a shot.
04-05-2011 04:05 PM
sailorjerrytoo What would be the advantage of Lee boards over a Center board? Would you use two and switch when you tack. using the side of the pontoon for leverage??
04-05-2011 04:02 PM
sailorjerrytoo I made a raft (8' * 8') using 6 30 gal drums. It was like sitting on a fishing bobber. Way to much flotation!!

I thought about using the 30 gal drums and making a "pointy" end and tail. After great thought though, I found there are old pontoon boats out there very cheap, and they are shaped better. Thanks for your thoughts.

I am certain it will sail well on a beam reach to a run, just not certain of running up the wind. We will start out without the jib and reef the main to play around with. I will use my C&C for a chase boat, but I am not certain it will be able to catch the new boat!!

jerry
04-05-2011 03:24 PM
P35juniper I'd say make a sailable float, if you can get 24 foot pontoons, deck it over with 80 16 foot 2X4s would be better if you could get 3 pontoons one down the middle to help suport the mast, at least a beam in the middle to tie all the 2X4s together, I've thought of simalar using 55 gallon drums, insteat of a centerboard think about lee boards,

Then later if it all work well you could build up some arc beams and put a tramp in it and sail it fast. then build up a pair of foil hulls and and

bottom line go for it, sound fun
04-05-2011 02:16 PM
sailorjerrytoo Overbored . . . sad to say I did think of that!!

And the C&C is in great shape! Except it is old and ugly and beat up . . . but we love her!! That is why she is called "Audacity"
04-05-2011 01:45 PM
overbored Why not get another Mac 22 ,they are cheep and strap them together with a platform, then you would have your Cat with side by side sails and two rudders, then the motor would be in the middle. Me I would spend my time and money on the C&C and then go real sailing.
04-05-2011 01:17 PM
sailorjerrytoo Thanks for all the comments! And some of you may be right, I just like being outside the box a bit. And Islanderguy, you are correct, I have thought of the things you mention. First, a float on the mast to keep in from becoming a turtle, and even some thought to a controlled knockdown close to shore to see what it would take to right the boat if it did go over. No cavities in the boat to get stuck in. I do have a chase boat to try it out with. No motor or fuel on board and only essential sailing personnel on board in proper safety gear to find out how it will sail.

There are no plans out there for a boat of this kind. My plan is to use the parts off my Mac 22 and design the forestay and shrouds, etc to match the angles and heights of the Mac 22. The Mac, of course, has a 650 centerboard which I would not want on this craft. I plan to mimic the rudder of the Mac, only have two of them. The dagger board is the real problem, and I think I will design it so I can easily move it fore and aft and also up and down, and even try several sizes to see what works. I do know that many cats that do not have a centerboard are designed that way for safety. They get a lot of leeway, but will not knock down easily because the leeway takes to pressure off.

Tacking or running close hauled is the only problem I see, and I might find out that is what the motor is for!! Be like drift fishing . . . run up wind, pull the sails and go back!!

I would, however, like to know if anyone out there would have any input as to why the pontoon floats would not work as well as the hulls of a small cat. Other than the fact of there is no storage space and the cat hulls may have more weight. And weight is no problem, it is easy to add weight. Of course performance could then be an issue. It would be quite easy to add water ballast when running up wind to keep the boat from heeling. How fast you could add the water would be the issue.

Again thanks for the thoughts.

Jerry
04-05-2011 11:56 AM
IslanderGuy Thinking about this more, I think a nice big loose footed, square rigged sail on the front would work well for a starter. It would obviously only be a down wind rig, but it would be a nice, safe-ish way to start, and keep your deck nice and free. Add a few cannons, and you got yourself a themed party boat!

Small sail on each corner?! I actually like that idea, interesting! Could work down wind (wing and wing style) or broad reaching. Hmm...

I think we are straying into Bolger design territory here. There was a brilliant designer doing odd and crazy things that actually worked. If you want some inspiration for alternative boat designs, take a look at his work. Here are a few links with some pics, you can google him to find more, plans, and books.

DE7
https://picasaweb.google.com/Pemaqui...fIndianSummer#
Phil Bolger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've seen a boat like the Indian Summer linked to above, now there's a boat that makes you go "huh?" when you see it in person. But the owners absolutely loved it.
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