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By Fred Nightz - Florida - USA

Well the fever got me again. I was doing pretty well, down to three boats and trying to stay busy when I saw the articles by Mark Gumprecht on his boats; Glider and L'il Nip. They are small catamarans used for rowing but he had a picture of Glider with a sail. I contacted mark and he stated that Glider sailed okay but she should be wider if that was going to be her primary purpose. Now I looked at his beautiful creations and wondered how you could fit a catamaran in the back of a small pick up. No way.

Now I looked at his beautiful creations and wondered how you could fit a catamaran in the back of a small pick up. No way.

Then one day while getting my daily Duckworks fix I read about Ray Aldridge and his love affair with his Slider Cat sail boat. Going to his web site was interesting but what caught my attention was the building of a folding version of slider by a gentleman in Italy. What if you made a small folding catamaran to fit in the back of a pick up?

After playing with the measurement of a six foot bed, plus a tailgate, and the width between the tire wells it became apparent that folding would not work but a take apart cat with ten foot hulls and detachable six foot beams was a possibility.

After playing with the measurement of a six foot bed, plus a tailgate, and the width between the tire wells it became apparent that folding would not work but a take apart cat with ten foot hulls and detachable six foot beams was a possibility. I was toast. First two hulls of Luan with a 12 inch bottom width and 16 inch height on the sides would slide in the bed with room in between for beams, deck, and fittings. I bolted two beams on the hulls using washers and wing nuts. I followed Ray again on his new Slipper cat by using lashings on the mast holder and a bow tie.

This boat was growing like topsy, so many pieces, so much work.

This boat was growing like topsy, so many pieces, so much work. I took the small sail of my tiny 8 footer, got Duckworks to send me some clamp on oarlocks and nylon bushings and made some 8 foot oars.

Now I really needed to get on the water, so pack up the pieces and head to Lake Allamanda behind my daughter's house.

I tested the hulls in the swimming pool, three hours in the water with cinder blocks for ballast. Now I really needed to get on the water, so pack up the pieces and head to Lake Allamanda behind my daughter's house. My first mate granddaughter Amanda greeted me with bad news; she had to go skating with a friend. The boat wasn't even assembled yet and she was bailing out. The lake was high and some strange grass filled the shoreline but I was not to be deterred. Hulls, beams, wingnuts, and lashings were whipped together in a half hour. Cameras were popping out along the shoreline (what has that crazy man built this time, oh, it is a catamaran, how cute).

This boat has a name, Kool Kat, given by my mutinous first mate.

This boat has a name, Kool Kat, given by my mutinous first mate. I needed to get a point of balance for the boat and find a rowing position. The boat sets well with me on the deck and rowing facing forward. The oarlocks worked super and the Kool Kat moved right along. The small sail did its job, tempting me to go with more sail and a 10 foot mast.

The small sail did its job, tempting me to go with more sail and a 10 foot mast.

I have some ideas for a rudder and possibly a lee board but the kool kat has finally hit the water.

Now what about twin rudders and a centreboard?

****

 

Read other articles by Fred Nightz: Ruby and Sweet Itch

 

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