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Jan

CS17 vs Catbird 16

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After building and enjoying Bolger's Teal and Gypsy, (which both have an ultra-simple leg-o-mutton) I would like to move on to something a little more substantial. I realize that the Catbird is a very traditional design, but it looks like it's easier to build. I live in Eastern Europe and the boat will probably be mostly used on large lakes that can easily develop a 2-3 foot chop. I would also like ability to take the boat down to Croatia for some coastal cruising. Advice would be very welcome. I'mm 55 so there is not too much time for trial and error. :) 5a08bb443f896_Catbird16profile.jpg.754a38bea91b82f4b6122b065960573b.jpg5a08bb52b20ef_Catbird16sails.jpg.903cc0a31cb230c374941c4cd69d84cb.jpg

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Since I know little about your sailing area, I would look around at other small craft that's sailing the waters,  Then see which hull is similar in their rigs. 

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Welcome to the forum.

 

The Catbird 16 will be slower and slightly less maneuverable than a CS-17, you'll need to find a custom sail maker, but they're similar in most regards. Being flat bottomed, she will not handle chop as well as a CS-17 and will pound at times. Given the choice, I'd opt for the CS-17, because kits, sails, rigging kits, etc. are all available, deliverable by mail or shipper. Granted, a full kit might have shipping cost concerns, but sails and rigging kits can be easily handled by regular mail.

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Croatia has really fluky winds, and of course the Bora.  Being able to reef easily would be helpful too.  It would seem both could be rigged for reefing.   No small boat will be dry, but as PAR has mentioned a sweet bow entry and some dead rise forward really helps in sloppy water..  

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Thank you for the feedback. It's really hard to make a quick commitment to the big amount time and materials it takes to build a boat. I am always looking for the easy way. Interesting point about local conditions. After WW II, there were absolutely no sailboats in my region. The very first ones were literally plundered from the Germans in the West, In the famous post war film "Knife in the Water" (https://youtu.be/nmcubgR4c6s) the sailboat originally belonged to Joseph Geobbels, the Nazi's propaganda minister. So we don't have much of a sailing tradition. As far as I can tell, I was the first to use a leg-o-mutton sail here and it always created a lot of comments (not to mention an unstayed mast!!!). 

 

I was hoping to take care of reefing the sails by using a third mast position and a single sail, like the Gypsy.

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To get a little more technical, the volume distribution on the SC series, makes her much better suited to rougher water and bigger wing strengths than the shapes employed on the Catbird. In smooth water the Catbird will do very well, though her heavier SA/D will limit her compaired to a CS-17, she (like the SC) can hoist a mule and scoot along. Both can surf, though the SC -17 can sustain a plane, while I suspect the Catbird would fall off pretty quickly with her more dramatic buttock angles. This can be a good thing in building wind strengths, though in lighter air it means she'll surging and falling off, while the SC will find her "groove" and sustain higher speeds. I don't know about their section shapes, but think the Catbird is disadvantaged (compairtivly) with her foil plan forms. In general the SC-17 will out accelerate and maneuver the think the Catbird is disadvantaged with her foil plan forms, if raced side by side in most wind strengths, with higher top speed potential too. If not raced side by side, you'll get just as much enjoyment from either design, as their rigs are similar, as are their general utility.

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