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This is a recently finished 'Catspaw Dinghy'. This boat is about 4' shorter than the 'Coquina' and has fuller bilges but only one sail. Its name "Islatiana" is a combination of two granddaughters' names.

As indicated on the home page, N.G. Herreshoff had designed this boat as a tender for the large yacht Columbia. Joel White modified the design, in response to some pretty specific requests of a customer,  and made it about a foot longer, changed the dagger board to a pivoting centerboard and moved that quite a bit forward. He also converted a leg-o-mutton rig to a simpler sprit rig and changed the original lapstrake construction to carvel planking thinking that that would make the boat more rocky beach friendly. All of this was intended to make the boat more family friendly in terms of safety, interior room and shoal and beach accessibility.

This build started in November 2018 and generally followed the Joel White 'Catspaw Dinghy' construction plans. However, I went back to the lapstrake planking using plywood and epoxy. Not only is the original lapstrake more attractive, but using the plywood and epoxy approach greatly reduces the shrink/expand issues with traditional carvel or lapstrake planking and also creates a strong but light hull form where every piece in the hull is interlocked with every other piece in the hull almost as if it were all cast as one piece. I have also moved the centerboard trunk back toward the middle of the hull in order to give better sailing balance given that I included a larger gaff and boom sail which will move the sail area and its center of effort aft a bit.

Finally, there was no deck on the original design or the White modification of it. No deck is fine for a tender or a rowing boat, but my primary purpose for these boats is sailing. Trying to hold down a small light sailboat with little or no deck is hard on the butt and frustrating for people who love to sail. The deck also keeps the boat drier and adds a greater margin of error in a knockdown.  Needless to say , this boat has an all-around deck.

This boat was entered in the 2019 Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT where it received Honorable Mention recognition in the Concours d' Elegance sail category.

As previously indicated, this was my second build and I am currently on my third build of a larger Caledonia Yawl. In addition to the Coquina, I have the two small motor boats, Butterfly and Yellowjacket, and I have simply run out of storage space. Something has to go and this is the smallest of the boats I actually sail. Being the smallest, it requires more agility than the the other two of which I no longer have much. This was driven home to me since capsizing it once on a quick jibe on the third time out. As a result of that, I have added six buoyancy bags and reduced the centerboard size. It is a fun boat to sail or row but it may require at times the agility of a younger person.

SOLD 6/21:




Delightful Herreshoff/Joel White design modified by owner/builder as follows:

  • for strength, lightness and reduced maintenance, boat is lapstrake planked w/ ¼” Okoume marine plywood and epoxy

  • for improved sailing performance over the 67 sq. ft. sprit sail design, it utilizes a larger 83 sq. ft. main gaff/ boom rig sail taken from the Herreshoff Coquina cat-ketch design. Easily reefed when desired.

  • for the larger sail plan balance, moved the centerboard trunk aft 11”

  • for easier rigging, the boat utilizes a spring-loaded toggle mast stepping partner also from the Coquina design

  • for improved strength, comfort and safety, decking was added all around



2019 Wooden Boat Show Mystic, CT -  Honorable Mention

 LOA 12’ 9”

BEAM 4’ 6”


WEIGHT w/ rig 287#

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