Catnip
A 14' Jib-Headed Catboat
By William & John Atkin
A Snug Little Boat
Here, Shipmates, are the plans for an engaging little boat, a cat-rigged open boat that is simple and inexpensive to build or have built. Catnip is a wholesome kind of open boat ideal for use on shallow water, but, despite her very shallow draft, able to sail well and safely on rough water. The single sail has many advantages, especially for the beginner, in its simplicity and efficiency.
Catnip is 14 feet over all; 13 feet on the water line; 5 feet 10 inches in breadth; and draws with board up just 6 inches of water. With board down the draft is 2 feet 3 inches. The hull is of round bilge model and shows generous flare above the water line, and firm bilges. She will carry sail well and not heel quickly this way and that with the shifting of crew weights. When, built, this latest member of our big family will prove to be a very big boat for her over all dimensions; the lines being full, the hull of good depth, and the displacement on the heavy side of the ledger. She will carry approximately 250 pounds of inside ballast. A light boat with a tall mast requires some ballast, either in the form of inside lead or heavy metal centerboard. Otherwise hard squalls while the boat is at moorings or anchor and no one aboard can, and often do, knock it down and fill the cockpit. Also the extra weight down low in the hull makes a steadier and better sailing boat. Water-tight compartments will easily float the ballast specified, as well as the crew.
The cockpit is 7 feet 4 inches long and contains side seats each side; these are spaced so as to form convenient footrests for the helmsman when the boat is sailed hard and heeling sharply. The seats should be made of slats as shown which is old fashioned but very practical. Seats like this will not warp if of any width and water will not lay on them. The side decks are 9 inches wide and with a medium height coaming all around the cockpit the little boat can be sailed hard without shipping water.

Catnip has the characteristics of a very successful boat of similar dimensions which I designed several years ago for a distinguished small boat sailor and one that turned out to be a very fast and excellent kind of small open sailing boat. For the average family this little hooker should fill the needs of the seniors and juniors as well, being comfortable, and at the same time she is a lively sailing boat. The breadth is ample to assure stability and unless very carelessly handled will not easily capsize. Fitted with water-tight compartments at each end Catnip cannot sink if filled with water; and if filled can be bailed out because she will float high even with cockpit filled.

One of my clients who was here while I was designing Catnip, and a man who has put many years behind him in sailing small boats, says that one fine thing about the cat rig is that youngsters and grown-up people, too, who should know better, cannot first set their headsail when getting under way and take it in last after making a few rushes for the mooring buoy. He says this seems to be the general practice now-a-days among people who race one-design boats. In this respect with a cat boat they would be obliged to be seamanlike. There is something in that.

Plans for Catnip are $50
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