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runner 10-10-2008 04:39 PM

Cat rig VS. Sloop
For a strictly pleasure day boat for use in the midwest where light winds are the norm, which is better? Does the cat rig work well enough? Does the sloop rig have a big advantage if sail area is kept pretty close on both rigs?

JohnRPollard 10-10-2008 04:54 PM

What size boat are we talking about?

If you are talking about a daysailer or dinghy, and don't plan to race, the catboat would probably be fine. Usually you can eek more sailing performance out of a sloop rig, at the cost of increased complexity. On a larger boat that extra performance is usually worth the effort.

WouldaShoulda 10-10-2008 04:59 PM

If I were sailing solo, I'd go cat. The Sturdee cat is as cool as they come!!

Sailing with two, the Catalina 16.5 or similar would do!!

Faster 10-10-2008 05:14 PM

Agree with JRP that you need to provide a term of reference.. that question vis-a-viv a 20 footer or a 40 footer is going to have different answers.

tommays 10-10-2008 05:32 PM

Well i can say in general they go down wind VERY well as they can put there full sail area out very easy

But the down side is the upwind ability they give up

Delirious 10-10-2008 08:13 PM

We have a 17 foot MudHen that is a great little cat boat. The mast is in a tabernacle, drops down onto a gallows for trailering. 4Hp outboard in a well that can tip forward so it doesn't drag, has 10 foot sweeps so it can be rowed, is beachable, and one person can go from driving to the ramp to sailing away in 15 minutes.

Little proambulator dodger/hood and also snap in full-enclosure for camping. And THE ADMITAL likes the Porta-Potti under the teak grate up forward.

It sails better than I thought it would. We point better than Sunfish (no great shakes) but not with the Flying Scots. Downwind or broad reaching you have to pay a bit of attention as there is something known as a "death roll" that the long boom of the cat rig will show you if you get hit with a gust and the boom hits the water. This one has two reefs, and we've been out and controlable in 25 knot winds on Cayuga Lake with that double reef.

runner 10-10-2008 08:47 PM

I am getting ready to rebuild this little Puffer. I am fixing everything with proper repairs. In another thread here I asked about mast length and weight. Minimum full sized sail area using that mast, a shorter boom, and the small jib sail is going to be equal to the spec main and genoa pretty close. The response seems to be that is going a little too far. Since I have to do a little glass work, and I need to put a new step in place, I considered moving it forward and going to a cat rig with a single sail somewhere between, or even a rig like Delirious has in the picture.
Puffer 12' 6" boat.
Sweet looking boat by the way!

CrazyRu 10-10-2008 09:05 PM


Originally Posted by runner (Post 382539)
For a strictly pleasure day boat for use in the midwest where light winds are the norm, which is better? Does the cat rig work well enough? Does the sloop rig have a big advantage if sail area is kept pretty close on both rigs?

I believe that cat rig is more efficient than a sloop if everything else is equal.
Properly designed cat boat is as fast or faster than similar sized sloop.
If we are talking small boat/daysailer, there is no single reason to have two sails unless one wants to keep crew busy.
Examples :
sunfish, laser, finn, Moth, A-class catamaran, etc...

As boat and sail(s) grow, handling become a problem and second sail (or mast) become justified.

And yeah, I race Nacra F17 and cruise in Freedom 28 Cat Ketch. :D

Delirious 10-10-2008 10:42 PM

Hmmm. I'd have to say "all else being equal" the sloop is the most efficient overall - as far as powering the boat. They cost more, are more complicated than a cat, but are well understood and easy to tune. When was the last time you saw a catboat in the America's Cup?

Least imaginitive and boring to look at, but it goes to windward better than any other rig. Crack it off the wind a bit and it becomes less so.

But look at that big head-cracker boom you need for most cats (the sub 20 footers not withstanding). I had a Gloucster 11 sloop - about as small as a sloop goes - and it was a great little sailing boat.

About the best sailing cat boat I can think of is a c-scow. They don't point all that hot, but they tack almost instantly and there is no delay in running the jib in so they can hold their own in upwind duel.

runner 10-10-2008 11:35 PM

I bought a 1955 Y-flyer a few days back. It is in pretty bad shape with rot of some kind. I would almost say time has had it's way. Anyway, I got it mainly for the trailer, but the sails and mast came with it. Another person locally has a hull that needs repairs but is servicable maybe. I have to go look at it Monday. . The Puffer is for me to play with and learn on. The new mast is strong enough, but I keep bouncing between just changing the mast and sewing sails to fit the new rig, or changing it around to be a simple fishing relaxation type boat.
I have a confession! The speed thing may be getting to me! This picture of the Puffer with a 2 foot bowsprit and a full 9' foot on the main using a boat length boom or a touch better. Fairlead slides, a traveler, cunningham, and a boom vang seem to creep into the vision when I am looking in that direction. BFS may be contageous! When thinking the other way, a simple cat rig sounds nice for simple day trips of just a few hours where relaxing with a lure bumping behind the boat .
PS: the Y-flyer came with a fiberglass layup of the bottom hull of a Y-flyer where someone had started to build one sometime in the past. It was turned upside down protecting the old boat from the weather. Wait and see the questions when it is time for that project!

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