View Full Version : suggestions for plans on a lapstrake catboat

Jim Paulson
07-01-2010, 9:17 AM

While I'm unpacking boxes and trying to a get shop together again, I've been dreaming of building a lapstrake catboat of less than 20 feet in length. I plan on going to a show when I get a chance too. Any recommendations on boat designs that worked for you?


Nate Carey
07-02-2010, 11:00 AM
Jim, why lapstrake? Day boat or pocket cruiser?

This is a good place to start - Charles Wittholz Catboat Design Booklet traditional catboat designs from 11' to 29'.

Jim Paulson
07-02-2010, 1:21 PM
Thanks Nate.
Like looks of lapstrake I guess. Thinking of day sailer kind of boat too.

I'm open to suggestions for sure.


Nate Carey
07-02-2010, 3:04 PM
Jim, I don't think I've ever seen a lapstrake catboat. I've built a few lapstrake boats that I've "cat rigged", Iain Oughtred's "Acorn Skiff" and Joel White's "Catspaw Dinghy" for example. But the catboat design, with a beam half its length, is (to my knowledge) always a round bilge boat, built carvel or strip plank, or cold-moulded. That's not to say that it can't be built lapstrake, just no lapstrake design comes to mind.

Jim Paulson
07-03-2010, 11:50 AM

I am hoping to figure out a way to break the ice on building a day sailer, but honestly I have much to learn about boat building. in general. My dad built a couple boats, and I'd like to build a sailboat for getting away for my wife and I, say for a day. My criteria is to build something big enough that I won't outgrow it too quickly, be trailer friendly, and which can be easily pulled by a 1/2 ton PU.

What I'm after is something that I could build in a year, rather than stretching someone out for 2-3 years. I am not really sure about the lapstrake thing as well. Plywood probably would be easier to handle I suppose. A couple issues of Wooden Boat have me thinking about all the possibilities, but the challenge for me is to build something that I'll be happy with for awhile.


Mac McQuinn
07-04-2010, 12:37 AM
Joel White's Marsh Cat is very nice and lists Lapstrake as an alternative construction. Plans list Lofting as not required. Check it out at WoodenBoat Store on the net. IMO Joel White never designed an ugly boat.

Fredrick Goeller also designed some very lovely Cats....Perhaps Mystic Seaport Mueseum can help you, I believe they have some of his plans on file, works of art.


Jim Paulson
07-04-2010, 1:39 PM

Heh, I'll check out those suggestions. Thanks so much. I was looking for an excuse to visit the Mystic Seaport Museum one of these days anyway.

Take care,

John Powers
07-05-2010, 7:22 PM
I have plans for Arch Davis Sand Dollar, haven't started but I plan to...soon. You have the Woodenboat thing and the Glen L thing. I know choosing a Glen L design would get me under sail and on the water long before a design out of Woodenboat. Lapstrake construction takes some real skills, Under the Launchings on Woodenboat you read that some one took 5 years from start to finish. No doubt they learned a lot of skills but thats a lot of time. Just a thought from someone whose taking a second look at the Glen L catalogue.