Converting Gaff Cat Rig to Gaff Sloop or Cutter?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tpelle, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. tpelle
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: Kentucky

    tpelle Junior Member

    There is a particular boat design in which I am interested (Benford 19' Gunkholer), but it is designed with a Gaff Cat rig. However, unlike the traditional cat boats, the boat is not at all so beamy - as a matter of fact, its length to beam ratio and the general lines of the hull look more like a small sloop than it does a cat boat.

    http://www.benford.us/cruisingsail/images/19-gunkholer-arrangement.jpg

    The problem is that I just don't like a cat rig - can't justify it, but I just don't.. I would much prefer a gaff sloop or even with twin headsails with one set set on a bowsprit, sort of like a cutter. Also I would like a mast set in a tabernacle to allow for easy trailering

    If one were to draw up, say, a gaff sloop rig and kept the combined center of effort in the same position as is the center of effort of the cat rig, how far off could one be? I'm thinking that the mast would have to be stepped right forward of the forward cabin bulkhead, and I would use a wooden compression post that extended through the deck with a tabernacle on top.

    Usage for the boat would be on small to medium sized inland lakes, and on inland rivers.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The biggest drawback in a boat so small will be having a mast in the middle of the saloon and having to add a bulkhead that will make the bunks too short to lay on. Otherwise, there shouldn't be too much difficulty if you keep the center of effort in the same place.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Call Jay, he's approachable and likely has had this request previously. Personally, I'd simply suggest you find another fat, flat bottomed sloop rigged boat. It's likely one of the most common home built designs going.
     
  4. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    You wish to replace a simple, proven workable rig with one that requires much more hardware, control lines, sail inventory, and the need for tending more than one sail. Pray tell why you want more complication, clutter, and expense, than necessary.
     
  5. tpelle
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    tpelle Junior Member

    Because I find that more control lines, sail inventory, and the need for tending more than one sail is FUN! The only downside is the expense.
     
  6. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Tpelle; I defer to your perception of fun. I suspect that you may be a traditionalist. Gaff rig, two foresails and all .

    Where do you sail? Kentucky Lake maybe? That's a big piece of water that I have always wanted to explore....The Tenn-Tom Waterway and all that it entails.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've sailed the Kentucky Lake many times and it has a fairly strong sailing community in the western side. Deep water, often fluky winds, twisting around the knobs can make for trying sail sets, which is likely why the western end is preferred for sail.

    That boat could be converted, though (again) flat bottom sloops, intended for home building, in this size range are very common, many offering a lot more performance potential than the design you've selected.
     
  8. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    philSweet Senior Member

    I'm with Gonzo. Find something for $150 and try it and adjust from there. It looks like a tabernacle where the dorade box is would work, and tabernacles can include vents in their structure. It looks like getting the rig far enough forward is going to be a challenge. Either the skeg will need revising, or you can try a balanced jib like this one. They can be set up completely self tending and self tacking with either one sheet or two (as in the pic) - very simple and practical.
     

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  9. Tiny Turnip
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    You might enjoy this 16' Winklebrig (with a heavily modified rig) then!

     
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