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Ben Miller

Catspaw 8 #799

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On the centerboard, I just glued the seat down, drilled a small hole inside the trunk slot, then ran a router through it.

 

Small holes in the frames I did with a Dremel and a small burr grinder.

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Thanks for the input! Maybe I'm overthinking things, but I wanted to make completely sure that I aligned the center seat properly to the bottom of the boat before I gooped it up and glued it down. My solution was to drill a couple of small holes in the hull just to one side of the keel and then insert finishing nails into the holes. That way I could drop the centerboard trunk down over the top of the nails and register the side of the trunk against them. It's all glued down now, so hopefully it worked!

 

I had some time over the holidays and I made some good progress on Mo (named after a "dinghy-shaped" cat my wife and I used to have). I'm using Gaco oarlocks, which required a little extra thought compared to a standard oarlock. These oarlocks get mounted into a 5/8" hole. After some thought, I wound up gluing a small reinforcement block on the outside of the hull directly under the oarlock and then drilled the holes.

 

Having the knees glued in is really making the boat come together, and shaping them to match the curve of the transom and gunwale was very satisfying.

 

My next task is to build the mast step and drill the hole in the upper mast support. I'll be reaching out to B&B for advice on making sure those bits are properly aligned with each other, since I imagine that would have a big impact on sailing performance.

IMG_0501.jpeg

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Thanks Paul! I'd probably go with some different art for a permanent workshop, but in this case, what I have works fine. Speaking of (unintentional) art, I've been appreciating the interlocking of all the different parts and layers that make up the aft corners of my dinghy:

 

 

IMG_0527.jpeg

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I weighed my Catspaw yesterday: right now it's at 57 pounds. The exterior still needs some fairing and a couple coats of epoxy, plus paint over the whole boat and a metal rub strip on the keel, so the fat lady hasn't sung yet, but I'm very pleased with the results so far. Looks like I'll come in within the spec page's estimated 60-70 lbs weight for a Catspaw 8, and hopefully on the low end of that. One of my requirements for this boat was that it be light enough for me to pull off the dinghy rack and drop into the water on my own, and it looks like I'll be able to do that.

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I would think so...I carried mine anywhere from a few yards to about 200 feet (depending on the tide) twice a day every day for nearly six months this year while I was living on a small island.  Every morning I'd get up, walk down to the beach, pick up my Catspaw from the logs I'd leave it on overnight, carry it to the water, hop in, row out to my mooring and get on the big boat and head to work.  In the evening, the reverse.

 

I'll admit that by the end of the season I did look forward to high tide, but I would hoist it up on to my shoulder every morning about dawn and every afternoon around dinner and I never had a day when I felt I couldn't, even when I gave my lower back a bit of a strain sometime in June (hauling logs all weekend, then falling asleep in a hammock...holy cow did that ever lock up on me).

 

Anyway if you aren't doing it constantly and you aren't carrying it a really long distance I would say a C8 is pretty handy to carry.  I have pulled mine out of the water and picked it up and set it on top of my pilothouse a few times - that's a pretty awkward lift but as long as your centre seat is glued down well, you can grab that with one hand, the close gunwale with the other, and just roll it towards you as you stand up.

 

Worked for me around 300 times this year!

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Good to know! I wasn't too worried about it, but I figured I should check on the weight and I'm glad it's coming out in this range. For the past few years I've been using an old (as in 1980-something) Achilles inflatable to get out to my mooring. It probably weighs somewhere in the 60-80 pound range, based on this awesome old Achilles catalog: https://achillesboats.com/pdf/files/1980achilles_catalog.pdf (I think my particular dinghy is an ST-4, and I use it without the seats or outboard mount.) It's not too hard to haul it off the dinghy rack at the marina, rest it on my shoulder, walk it 20 feet to the dinghy dock, and slide into the water, although it can get a little fun when there's a good breeze. I was hoping for the Catspaw to be no heavier than the inflatable, and ideally a little less, and it looks like I'm on track for that.

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