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Cape Cod This Is A Cape Cod Cat

A Cape Cod cat on dry land is a feline animal, but a Cape Cod cat in the water is a sailboat of a particular type of hull and rig. You may wish to be able to recognize the next one you see sailing while you are at the beach.

To begin with, the Cape Cod cat is a one-sail boat. Secondly, its stocky mast is set well up in the “eyes” of the boat -— as far forward as it can be set without going overboard. The hull into which the mast is set or stepped, is probably some eighteen or twenty feet in length, and broader across the deck —- or as boatsmen say, of greater beam than most boats of the same length. This beamier construction helps to give the Cape Cod cat greater “stability” or steadiness, in all kinds of weather.

Her bow or forward part is somewhat chubby. The hull is decked over but provides for a good-sized cabin that can “sleep” two to four persons, though the man at the tiller or steering stick usually has to be outside in the little cockpit and so exposed to the weather, be that what it may.

From the foot of the big sail a long, strong spar called the boom extends from mast to well over the stern or rear end of the cat. The sail is lashed to this. The forward edge side of the sail is fitted with hoops that go loosely over the mast, and about three-fifths of the way up the mast an-other spar, the gaff, holds up the top of the sail and extends sternward and upward out from and higher than the top of the mast.

The Cape Cod cat is an old style and very popular boat, sturdy, seaworthy, a good sailer, and ideal for our Cape waters. Usually this gaff rigged sailboat is commonly called a “cat boat” or “catboat”. The Cape Cod Maritime Museum is building a replica of the original Herbert F. Crosby Catboat Sarah, which was built in 1886.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 04/25/06
Categories: Boating
Keywords: boating, maritime


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