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Some Discoveries and Some Plans

Posted by Tom Benedict on 27/04/2012

I ran across a rigging diagram for a Pacific Cat 2/18 (the later revision of the P-Cat) in the 50th edition of Royce’s Sailing Illustrated: The Best of All Sailing Worlds. It differs from the Pacific Cat 18 in some respects, such as the taller mast and higher aspect ratio sailplan, but in most other respects it’s a copy of its older sibling.

Actually, that’s not strictly true. The other major difference is that the P-Cat 2/18 added a bunch of controls that make it better suited for racing, and shed over a hundred pounds of weight. The newer boat added barber haulers, replaced the boom vang with a cunningham, added a jib downhaul line, changed the main halyard out for something closer to a Hobie’s locking hook, and added a sheeting system for the jib traveler. Since the two boats have very similar hulls, adding any or all of these to an older P-Cat wouldn’t be that onerous a task. With the diagram in hand, most of these mods could be done with a single order from a sailboat supplier and a full day ashore.

What caught my eye, though, was the traveler sheet and the jib sheet system. Both of these were complete mysteries when I began sorting through the bucket of hardware that came with the boat. As it turns out the traveler on my boat is not stock, and was likely added by one of the boat’s owners at some point. The original (which used hardware I found in my bucket o’ sailing bits!) was a 2:1 similar to what you’d find on a Hobie or Prindle. And the jib sheet system? I was close. Close, but no cigar. I had the lines exiting the jib traveler blocks running to the wrong cam cleat. When I rig the boat for sailing, I’ll set it up correctly.

It goes without saying that I ordered a copy of the book. Even if that’s the only page I ever use from it, it was worth the $13 I spent.

Besides, after reading Arvel Gentry’s articles about his sail telltale system, I found myself wishing for barber haulers. With this diagram in-hand, I can see it wouldn’t take much to install them on Smilodon. Because of all the extra rigging I picked up to replace the stuff that had died, I have most of the necessary blocks lying around. The only bits I’d have to pick up are a pair of cam cleats that would be bolted to the deck.

Barber haulers would be nice, but they aren’t strictly necessary for us to get out on the water. What’s actually left at this point before we can get the cat wet?

On the boat, not much. There’s a bunch of hardware still on its way that needs installation, such as mast spreader boots, trapeze wire adjusters, and adding telltales to the sails. The only really work-intensive job left on the boat is to give it its final wax job before we install the name decals and open the champagne.

On the trailer, there’s still a fair bit left to do. I dropped the mast support off at my friend’s office this morning so he can weld the mast cradle to it. Once we get it back there’s the week long process of applying Ospho and painting with Zophar before it’s waterproof. Tonight I’m planning to install the vertical rollers, which arrived today. Once that’s done the only work left on the trailer is to get it weighed, safety inspected, and registered. Then it’s time for that champagne party!

We’re about a week and a half from the water.

– Tom


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