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3313[bolger] Re: Yellow Leaf & Catfish

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  • John Tuma
    Feb 29, 2000
      KF4call@... wrote:
      > Matthew and all;
      > I have sure enjoyed the few pictures of Catfish. . . If one was sitting in the cabin, how high up on the sides
      > would your head be? Regards, Warren

      Warren and all,

      IF one built a Catfish as designed with the open interior, the coaming
      would be right about head height. I am 5'11" tall, and I couldn't sit
      under the side decks without scrunching. I put in bench seats at the
      same height as the lazarette, and that seemed to work pretty well. The
      coaming went right across the middle of my back. Higher seats would have
      been more comfortable (they were about 10 inches above the cabin sole),
      but would have precluded laying on the bench under the deck.

      The Catfish was an interesting boat to sail, and not at all like the
      fin-keeled sloops to which I am most accustomed. It is quite fast, even
      on the wind, but it doesn't go to windward that well. A dagger board
      would help, but the added complexity is probably not worth it. Off the
      wind the Catfish screams. Except in big following seas with that long
      boom--then I was the one doing the screaming. The boat is quite light,
      and it surfs pretty well in waves. I often found myself going downwind
      faster than much larger boats, especially in smooth water and light
      winds. The Catfish has a narrow waterline beam, so it accelerates
      readily with each little puff.

      With the deck stringer run under the decks (rather than on top as shown
      on the plans), I generally found that the best place to sit was out on
      the side deck with my feet resting on the benches in the cockpit.
      Coudn't do this in very light winds upwind though (induced too much
      heel), but off the wind with the boom out I often sat out on the decks
      to create more clearance between the boom end and the water. Dangerous
      spot in an accidental jibe. Most of the time, I preferred to stand while
      sailing the boat. It is a very stable platform, and standing seemed a
      natural way to sail it.

      John Tuma
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