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New adult(52) sailor here. Got a little dinghy mid summer and have been taking her out regularly. I want a slightly larger sailboat that I can bring  my wife and maybe a third person on that's also a little dryer now that fall is coming. I sailed a Beetle last weekend and really liked it and the idea of a Cat rigged boat. There is a 15' SturDee with a Marconi  rig for sale locally. What is the consensus on cat rigged boats in general, and would a gaff rig be preferable to a Marconi rig?

 

Thanks.

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I've coveted Reuel Parker's Hooper Island Sharpie... but the catch is you'll likely have to build one .

Mast forward sprit rig cat, so no big low boom (which can get massive on some cat rigs) to hit you in the head on gybes.

Building Tempo

 

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6 hours ago, llama said:

New adult(52) sailor here. Got a little dinghy mid summer and have been taking her out regularly. I want a slightly larger sailboat that I can bring  my wife and maybe a third person on that's also a little dryer now that fall is coming. I sailed a Beetle last weekend and really liked it and the idea of a Cat rigged boat. There is a 15' SturDee with a Marconi  rig for sale locally. What is the consensus on cat rigged boats in general, and would a gaff rig be preferable to a Marconi rig?

 

Thanks.

SturDee Cats are awesome little boats. There is one near me that I see an older couple sail together, with their dog.

Catboats have some quirks that you should learn to work with, not against, if you're going to sail one. The Cape Cod style cat (of which the SturDee Cat is a fine example) has a lot of weather helm and can be balky to steer. They can generate a lot of horsepower but don't like to pinch. The mainsail affects the steering more than the rudder some times, so be aware of that especially in close-quarters maneuvering.

FB- Doug

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23 hours ago, thengling said:

I've coveted Reuel Parker's Hooper Island Sharpie... but the catch is you'll likely have to build one .

Mast forward sprit rig cat, so no big low boom (which can get massive on some cat rigs) to hit you in the head on gybes.
 

That's a pretty slick boat. Alas I do not have the talent to build one or the scratch to hire the job out. Very nice looking.

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17 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

SturDee Cats are awesome little boats. There is one near me that I see an older couple sail together, with their dog.

Catboats have some quirks that you should learn to work with, not against, if you're going to sail one. The Cape Cod style cat (of which the SturDee Cat is a fine example) has a lot of weather helm and can be balky to steer. They can generate a lot of horsepower but don't like to pinch. The mainsail affects the steering more than the rudder some times, so be aware of that especially in close-quarters maneuvering.

FB- Doug

Thanks, this is very helpful advice. I noticed some of what you say in the short time I spent in the Beetle. I am going to try to look at the SturDee this weekend.

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My main ride is a gaff head cat.  21 ft.  I think one of the biggest advantages to a gaff cat is trailering.  Shorter mart, mounted forward on a tabernacle doesn't over handpg the stern on the highway like a marconi would.  Beyond that, lower bridge clearance with a gaff.

 

As far as cat boats in general go, they are nice for single handing in confined waters; harbours, rivers and the like.  No headsail to manage, just push the tiller over.

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1 hour ago, llama said:

Going to look at a Westport Sharpie today. Have not called the SturDee guy yet, boat has been listed for a long time, hoping for a price drop.

 

Thanks all for the advice so far.

Nice! How is she rigged?

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Just now, thengling said:

Nice! How is she rigged?

The person I am corresponding with can't really answer any questions on the boat. Its a donation to a scout troop, and they are selling it for the funds. From the plans i have found on line, they are typically gaff rigged so I am hoping that's the case. I will find out tonight.

 

https://www.by-the-sea.com/bakerboatworks/bbwestsh.html

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1 minute ago, thengling said:

Shame the troop has found it necessary to raise funds that way.  

Not to diverge too far off topic, but I was thinking the same. Thing is it is a very affluent Fairfield County town, on the shore. My first thought is the scouts should be sailing her, not selling her.

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53 minutes ago, llama said:
55 minutes ago, thengling said:

Shame the troop has found it necessary to raise funds that way.  

Not to diverge too far off topic, but I was thinking the same. Thing is it is a very affluent Fairfield County town, on the shore. My first thought is the scouts should be sailing her, not selling her.

Agreed but as a person who has helped start and run a youth sailing program and help run another, it's more difficult than you might think to 1- raise money and 2- get the kids sailing in non-standard boats. They may not have an instructor who is familiar with this kind of boat.

I would love to have a set of boats suitable for 2 ~4 kids that could be rowed as well as sailed, but I would need 2 or 3 identical ones to make it worthwhile, and they would need to be outfitted with students in mind. We've given up accepting donated boats to sell for fundraising because the only reason people donate, in my experience, is that they can't sell the boat -at- -all- and it's trashed beyond trash.

Sorry for verging off-topic. If 'llama' can get a nice practical pretty boat out of it, I'm for it.

FB- Doug

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So, some research leads me to believe that this boat has been in various states of "for sale" since about 2014. 

 

This is the current listing: https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/boa/d/darien-14-sailboat-westport-wooden/7198774924.html

 

This is an old listing: http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=274382688

I don't think there are too many of these around, so pretty sure its the same boat. Anything I should be looking for when I go see it? Listing says minor work needed. I'm taking that with a grain of salt. I'm thinking I can get it for 1000. But I will walk if it's going to need any type of surgery.

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Perfect.  Sharpies can benefit a low aspect rig like a gaff.  Easier to keep them on their feet.

Make sure the sail is in decent shape because replacement sail is likely going to need to be custom.  Not likely to be able to find a suitable replacement on Craig's list.

I am starting to think about a replacement gaff main for my 21 foot Sharpie.  Suspect it's going to be $1200+.

Same thing with the trailer.  Nothing worse than a cheap boat that needs $600 put into the trailer just to get it home.

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21 hours ago, llama said:

Sharpie was a bust. Punky spots, damp spots, gaps. Looks like it’s been sitting on its trailer outside for a while. 

You can make your own compost heap at home.  

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If budget is tight, maybe look for an old fibreglass dinghy.  Or even aluminum.  I just picked a 50+ year old aluminum dinghy for ~500 usd.  Wood is nice, if you have the time and money.

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4 hours ago, TBW said:

If budget is tight, maybe look for an old fibreglass dinghy.  Or even aluminum.  I just picked a 50+ year old aluminum dinghy for ~500 usd.  Wood is nice, if you have the time and money.

If I bide my time and wait until December my budget will be a little better. What happened is I sailed a Beetle and fell in love with it. Now I want something similar to a cape cod style catboat. I’m watching a fiberglass boat right now. A Sturdee. Ticks all the boxes except it’s not a gaff rig but that’s  OK. I’m not looking for wood necessarily but not against it. My carpentry restoration skills are lacking but what I am good at is maintaining things that are in decent condition  To begin with.  The sharpie looked good on paper but the outcome wasn’t a shock. Too good to be true at 1500. And it was. Sturdee is 4000 right now which is more realistic. 

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Tiempo is an amazing boat (your video posted).  I forget the guy's name that built it but he is on the WoodenBoat Forum from time to time, goes by Mac.  I don't know about the East Coast but on the Left Coast wooden windmills pop up from time to time for around $750 or so and they are planing hulls, which may or may not interest you.  I can't speak to condition.  If I were to build another skiff (I have built three, one without plans rack of eye) I would build an Arch Davis Laughing Gull.  If you like skiffs, and I think they are highly under rated, your best bet might be a Lightning, Comet, or Blue Jay.  I always prefer a wooden boat over a glass boat but that being said I own and sail a glass Wayfarer clone.  It pains me to admit that it is lower maintenance than my wooden boatsToo bad about the skiff though.  

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On 9/25/2020 at 12:58 AM, Coquina012 said:

  It pains me to admit that it is lower maintenance than my wooden boatsToo bad about the skiff though.  

Just maintaining the varnish on my rowboat gunwale / oars is 10 hours a year. The fiberglass cost in time? About 50 hours total over 15 years.

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16 hours ago, Newport Coast said:

 

No worries about maintenance, bailing and you can row row row your boat!

Zest is a cool boat. I'm good on a 1-2 person dinghy, I have a Topper. Also very low maintenance. I'm looking for a catboat that will hold 4. Have my eye on something, but just got sidetracked, I'm going to look at a well kept Catalina 22 at the advice/referral of a friend. If that doesn't work out I am back to the catboat.

16 hours ago, Newport Coast said:

 

 

 

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OK, so I looked at the Sturdee Cat listed above today. It's in the water on a mooring at a yacht club. I dealt with the dockmaster on behalf of the owner. Owner apparently sails the boat every week. Has a 4hp Yamaha that looks clean and is serviced every winter. Boat needs paint on the deck surfaces. Paint on mast is chipped too. Coamings and benches are good, will need varnish sooner than later. Rub rails have some rot at a few of the joints and one corner. Sail cover is pretty shot. Trailer is OK, not awful, not great. Serviceable. Long story short, boat needs some love but is seaworthy as is. I offered $3000 and the owner accepted it. I have to go leave a deposit tomorrow, and then they will take me for a spin, run the motor etc.

For $3000 does it seem worth it? Its a well used boat, which to me is good but she needs some tarting up.

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3 hours ago, llama said:

OK, so I looked at the Sturdee Cat listed above today. It's in the water on a mooring at a yacht club. I dealt with the dockmaster on behalf of the owner. Owner apparently sails the boat every week. Has a 4hp Yamaha that looks clean and is serviced every winter. Boat needs paint on the deck surfaces. Paint on mast is chipped too. Coamings and benches are good, will need varnish sooner than later. Rub rails have some rot at a few of the joints and one corner. Sail cover is pretty shot. Trailer is OK, not awful, not great. Serviceable. Long story short, boat needs some love but is seaworthy as is. I offered $3000 and the owner accepted it. I have to go leave a deposit tomorrow, and then they will take me for a spin, run the motor etc.

For $3000 does it seem worth it? Its a well used boat, which to me is good but she needs some tarting up.

Only you can say if it's worth it, in terms of how much that $3k represents of your heart's blood and meals for your children, etc etc. versus how nice the boat is.

I can tell you, as a perfectionist who is working hard to reform his ways, NO boat is perfect. At one point I owned and campaigned a small one-design racer that literally lived inside fleece-lined cover that was connected to a dehumidifier during it's non-sailing time. No sail more than a season old, no frayed line, etc etc, as close to perfect as a boat can be that is sailed hard a couple dozen times a year.... and all  I saw were the scratches, the slightly mis-led lines or misaligned or sticky cam cleats, the difficulty in adjusting the mast step, etc etc. I had to stop myself from cussing and kicking that poor little boat (it was a Cima 470, for the curious).

If you can do the fix-it-up work yourself, that can be a great outlet and source of pride. Sounds like new covers (a very worthwhile expenditure IMHO) would be a good investment.

How much do you need to spend on it, to get it into the shape you want? That's the real question. How much of that does $3K represent? Sometimes FREE is too much, sometimes it's such a good deal you can't pass it by.

I think you'll have fun with it though. Hope the weather allows you to get in some good sailing, soon.

FB- Doug

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On 9/18/2020 at 2:16 PM, llama said:

New adult(52) sailor here. Got a little dinghy mid summer and have been taking her out regularly. I want a slightly larger sailboat that I can bring  my wife and maybe a third person on that's also a little dryer now that fall is coming. I sailed a Beetle last weekend and really liked it and the idea of a Cat rigged boat. There is a 15' SturDee with a Marconi  rig for sale locally. What is the consensus on cat rigged boats in general, and would a gaff rig be preferable to a Marconi rig?

 

Thanks.

Goat Island Skiff, can carry anywhere between 1-3 people. https://www.storerboatplans.com/boatplans/goat-island-skiff-simple-sailing-boat-excellent-performance-lightweight/

Goat Island Skiff | WoodenBoat MagazineWhy the Goat Island Skiff is fast. - Storer Boat Plans in Wood and Plywood

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12 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Only you can say if it's worth it, in terms of how much that $3k represents of your heart's blood and meals for your children, etc etc. versus how nice the boat is.

I can tell you, as a perfectionist who is working hard to reform his ways, NO boat is perfect. At one point I owned and campaigned a small one-design racer that literally lived inside fleece-lined cover that was connected to a dehumidifier during it's non-sailing time. No sail more than a season old, no frayed line, etc etc, as close to perfect as a boat can be that is sailed hard a couple dozen times a year.... and all  I saw were the scratches, the slightly mis-led lines or misaligned or sticky cam cleats, the difficulty in adjusting the mast step, etc etc. I had to stop myself from cussing and kicking that poor little boat (it was a Cima 470, for the curious).

If you can do the fix-it-up work yourself, that can be a great outlet and source of pride. Sounds like new covers (a very worthwhile expenditure IMHO) would be a good investment.

How much do you need to spend on it, to get it into the shape you want? That's the real question. How much of that does $3K represent? Sometimes FREE is too much, sometimes it's such a good deal you can't pass it by.

I think you'll have fun with it though. Hope the weather allows you to get in some good sailing, soon.

FB- Doug

Well, long and short of it is, kids won't miss a meal at all. I'm not looking for perfect at 3000, just functional. I am realistic. I'm willing put in the sweat equity to keep her seaworthy and pretty her up a bit. I bit the bullet. Put a deposit on it today, will try to get it this weekend and bring her home and get her registered. I can do trailer wiring and repack bearings in my sleep. The outboard runs great. sail is serviceable. So the adventure begins. Thanks for all the perspective.

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