This is the very recently finished'Catspaw Dinghy'. This boat is about 4' shorter than the 'Coquina' and has fuller bilges but only one sail.

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.

The build, started in November 2018, generally followed the Joel White 'Catspaw Dinghy' construction plans. However, I have gone 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 intend to use a sail with a gaff and boom and 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 just completed and entered in the 2019 Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT where it received Honorable Mention recognition in the Concours d' Elegance sail category.


An earlier project before either sailboat was a fun winter project a few years ago turning a junky old aluminum boat into a reasonably classy wood trimmed and decked remote-steering runabout affectionately known in the family as 'Butterfly'. I am more sail than motor but this boat gets a lot of looks with people being surprised that it is not a wooden hull. It turned out to be so easy to use and operate that it has seen a lot of exploring and cruising usually to scout out good sailing lakes in New Hampshire.


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