Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Building the Rushton Catboat

Lofting and Planking a 15' Clinker Built Sailboat with Douglas Brooks

In a recent conversation with Douglas Brooks, he recommended we visit Amateur Boat Building to read about his Rushton Catboat. You can find articles about the design and construction of that boat there, which detail every step from lofting, to setting up and planking a clinker built boat.
Henry Rushton's 1903 catalog offered his Catboat in a departure from his usual fare of recreational hunting and fishing boats. The utility and versatility of the design is readily apparent. Rushdon's catboat is beamy above the waterline for sailing stability, but narrow on it's static waterline for minimal friction under oars.

As Douglas says:
"Rushton's catboat features a plank keel five inches wide amidships, tapering fore and aft to a 1.5" wide stem and deadwood. The bilges are full amidships, which should give this catboat good stability when sailing, but run smoothly to a slightly hollow entry forward. Aft the hull bottom rises up sharply to the classic wineglass transom so characteristic of whitehalls."

"Her load waterline should come right to the base of the transom, making her effectively a double-ender in the water, which means she will move easily under oars."

Douglas is a boat builder, researcher, and lecturer who counts as part of his extensive resume' the building of traditional Japanese boats for which he has spent considerable time seeking out obscure teachers in regions of Japan. He will be embarking in mid-November to apprentice with one of the last native boat builders in the Okinawa district. The build will be documented on his website, so be sure to stay tuned!

Please visit him and look closely at the detailing of Douglas' boats. The signature of a true lover of his craft.

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