Vancouver Isle to Alaska & Mexico - Can a 20' to 25' Catboat do this?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Richard N, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Richard N
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Victoria BC CA

    Richard N Junior Member

    Well I have a willing partner but no idea where to begin locating a design for our desired cruising range. Also the more I look the more I seem to be going in circles.

    I absolutely love the catboat designs I am finding @ 20' and up, Ted Brewer's Chappiquidick, and John Alden's Molly II are both pure art to my eyes. The Selway Fisher keel cat Dily's Catboat is very intriguing too, however I can find no info other then the designers site.

    Can a catboat be single-handed from Vancouver island to Alaska or Mexico? My wife Dana would join me at destinations as her work permits, however my job can travel with me at will.

    Some of the info I am finding would suggest that this is doable but others say that the catboats are coastal only and not intended for open ocean or lee coasts.

    Thank you for reading.
    Richard

    P.S. I would love to find other 20ft plus catboat designs so if you have any please post a link or some info.
     
  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Many such things are doable. But I would not recommend that adventure.
    Your question shows that your knowledge is limited (no offense meant) and the west coast of North America is not a swimming pool. Get some stable sealegs first and you will answer this question yourself!

    Regards
    Richard
     
  3. Richard N
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Victoria BC CA

    Richard N Junior Member

    Yes my knowledge of catboats is limited, hence the question. I am aware that the PNW is no swimmingpool and as for sea legs I dare say that I have several thousand hours at sea on various craft over the last 40 odd years. Also no offense taken, thank you for your response.

    Richard
     
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Ha, hmm, yes.
    Sorry, I thought there was a "real" novice asking. So lets wait for the cat boat specialists here to chime in and reply with their fisrt hand knowledge. I am a "stinkpot driver" for as long as you "dry your linen".

    Regards
    Richard
     
  5. Richard N
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Victoria BC CA

    Richard N Junior Member

    Hmmm that was a very abrupt reply on my part, I apologize for that.

    I believe what I really wanted to ask was; what would suggest that this is not an able design for this type of cruising?

    Would you say that there is a design more suited or is this beyond the size requirement of twenty to twenty five feet?
     
  6. Gilbert
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Cathlamet, WA

    Gilbert Senior Member

    I believe Fenwick Williams was one of the top catboat designers and if I recall correctly some of them had fairly substantial keels; in other words more seaworthy than the centerboarders.
    The vast majority of the Alaskan coast is deep water so you will find no need for shallow draft unless you want to explore rivers there. The only other justification for shallow draft would be if you wanted to trailer sail in the area.
    I believe you would be happier with a more conventional sailboat in Alaskan waters. But I wouldn't tell you not to use a catboat because seamanship is the main thing that is required for a successful voyage.
    Someone else will have to advise you about Mexico, I've never been there.
     
  7. Gilbert
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Cathlamet, WA

    Gilbert Senior Member

    Richard N,
    I didn't see your last post before I wrote my post.
    I would suggest 25 might be preferable to twenty, but any good sailer that you can be comfortable in would do.
     
  8. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Richard N, I have spent more than seven thousand days asea in the zone you are talking about and am not as ready as I could be. Please bear in mind that I don't care if I offend you when I say that a sailor has an inviolable obligation to not endanger other people on the water (unless you are good, don't take kids, wives or others that trust in you - No pretending).
    Tho I don't know a catboat from a catbox, I looked at the ones you are talking about and if you pick your weather with care, always have a port of refuge within grasp well before the next low, be aware of what current will do to waves, leave plenty of room between you and a lee shore, don't trust that other boats will always avoid you and sail accordingly, sail only completely puckered in VTS zones and shipping lanes, bear in mind that some commercial fisher is always rounding the next point on autopilot while nodding off or peeing, master your mechanical skills, learn to navigate without a GPS, Decca, Loran, etc., in short, if you learn everything in Chapman Piloting and Seamanship and Bowditch's American Practical Navigator and get some sea time under your belt, you'll do fine with some luck. Best of that!
     
  9. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    You got good advice from Apex1 and Gilbert
     
  10. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Richard,

    Yes you could, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

    Tom
     

  11. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Puget Sound

    Zappi Senior Member

    Something to consider on a long voyage of that sort... Most cat boats dont have the hoveto capability. Sometimes a very necessary ability. You wouldnt find me on a sailboat voyage without having that ability.
     
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