Shipyard Memories #12: The Catboats: Framed Plywood Construction, Finished Photos and Sailing.

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-10-2010 02:22 AM 6004 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: The Catboats: Framed Plywood Construction, Fitting Out Part 12 of Shipyard Memories series Part 13: Two Cape Scott 36's: Cold Molded Construction »

Well, the construction part of this blog is over such as it was, so it’s time for a few shots of the finished boats. Again the differences will be evident between the economical build and the “luxury suite”.

This is the only interior shot I have of Catspaw after all the time I owned her. She’s every bit as comfortable and useful as Sylvester, but nowhere near as pretty. The interior layout of these boats is almost exactly the same as “Friendship” , the exception being that although two feet shorter, the catboats are much bigger inside.

These are some interior photos of Sylvester. Notable details are the mahogany and yellow cedar louvered doors, book shelves, wood burning stove and heavy bronze portlights. The Brynzeel plywood cabin sides were more than eight feet long so they too had to be scarfed. You can just see the scarf behind the port above the seat in the last photo. These had to be done on the table saw with a rather large jig to make a stepped scarf that would show as little as possible and as a thin line both inside and out. The scarf was of course arranged to land on the porthole area.

This is an old black and white of Catspaw when she was sailing in Hardy Bay, Port Hardy B.C. With her very shallow draft forward you could actually pull her up on the beach and step off on dry land. The ship’s dog is my best friend of the day “Freda”.

Sailing shots of Sylvester, Catspaw and the somewhat rare photo these days of two catboats sailing together.

And last but not least the boat builder’s favorite photo of a custom build: From the stern leaving the yard to start her new life.

That’s it for this one folks. If you’re still interested I could do a couple of cold molded “Cape Scott 36’s” That I built in the 80’s and I still have one secret group of boats to post one day…. Several of you have probably actually been on a boat that I built.

Just a tease, I’ll get around to them.

Comments, questions critiques are always welcome.

Bye for now


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

11 comments so far

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#1 posted 12-10-2010 02:36 AM

well done paul

i worked the boats
for 10 years in ft. lauderdale
mostly stinkpots
as sailors prefer to do the work themselves

did help lot’s of friends though
on sailers

brings lot’s of memories


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2826 days

#2 posted 12-10-2010 02:44 AM

Thank you David. I am pleased that you approve.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3098 days

#3 posted 12-10-2010 02:59 AM

Really beautiful craft, it’s amazing it really didn’t look that big on the photo’s of the hull construction, I would really love to do that one day.
Thanks for sharing it Paul

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3265 days

#4 posted 12-10-2010 03:11 AM

Like I said before… That’s the most usable space I’ve ever seen in a 19’ boat! My 21’ sailboat has enough room for day sailing and sleeping on the seats outside with a tarp over the boom. In case of storms, there are two side bunks with about 2’ of headroom under the seats. The tiny v-bunk isn’t big enough to sleep on. I have two mains, 3 jibs and two spinnakers. Rolled up they fill all the available space down below.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4105 days

#5 posted 12-10-2010 03:40 AM

so nice…great shots! I really do love the sailing shots…lets me dream a little…

I hope it is okay to ask—-how much did each of these cost to build/buy when you made them? And how about in today’s dollars?

I am excpecting mine to come in around $4-5000 when all is said and done…of course mine wont be nearly as nice!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2826 days

#6 posted 12-10-2010 03:45 AM

Long time ago but seems to me Sylvester went for around 30K. Friendship cost me that much to build! You may be a little optimistic if you are counting sails, anchor, etc. etc. etc. It adds up quick.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4120 days

#7 posted 12-10-2010 04:57 AM

Great journey you let us take with you. It would be wonderful to create something like this. It must feel so rewarding. Maybe someday…

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Schwieb's profile


1858 posts in 3489 days

#8 posted 12-10-2010 02:37 PM


Again, thanks for the boatbuilder’s view of his work. This has been a joy for me to see. I have gained greater respect for the shipwright’s skills.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View sedcokid's profile


2733 posts in 3626 days

#9 posted 12-12-2010 12:46 AM

Thanks Paul!! This has sure been fun!!

Thanks for Sharing…

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3362 days

#10 posted 11-03-2013 03:51 PM

Both great looking boats Paul. I think a catboat would be a good choice for someone with a restricted budget. I did want to take up sailing earlier on, but my wife doesn’t like being on the water. When she was a student nurse in Haugesund, Norway, she was able to get home via fishing vessels to Stavanger. Her and the other students made only about $12 a month, so the fishermen were kind enough to take them over on their smallish wooden boats for free. The price was right, but there was often some pretty bad weather and really rough rides. I can remember taking the ferry over there one night from a business trip to Haugesund and it was so rough I really thought there was a chance we wouldn’t make it! So I can’t blame my wife for not having a love for the sea. I still get a lot of enjoyment reading about it though.

In 2001 we had some friends from the U.S. visiting and we toured about the whole southern part of Norway. We were lucky to see the Tall Ships Race participants while they were in port in Ålesund and we had a tour on a couple of them. There were also quite a few sailing yachts also in port at the same time, so we got to see a lot of very beautiful ships and boats all within short walking distance of each other. We also visited the Viking boat museum, The Kon-Tiki museum and my favorite, the Fram museum which houses Amundsen’s polar exploration wooden ship. Fram was built by Colin Archer. It is a fantastic vessel and once onboard I found it hard to leave. If you haven’t seen it already, I hope you will. Please let me know if you ever want to visit Norway, there are a lot of interesting things to see here.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3362 days

#11 posted 11-03-2013 03:54 PM


-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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