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Interest in the catboat is on the increase these days, probably because people have finally discovered just how versatile the craft is. The cat has been around for a long time; its history dates from before 1850, and possibly as far back as the colonial era. At various times the cat has been a workboat, cruising boat, daysailer, and racing boat. Even though its origins are unclear, the catboat has been recognized as one of the true American boats, since it reached the peak of its development on the shores of the northeast United States.
Information and references to the catboat are scattered throughout nautical literature--a quick glance at the bibliography of this book will bear that out. But surprisingly enough, this is the first serious attempt to bring together the story of the cat in one book.
Many knowledgeable people have contributed to this book. The information and illustrations are primarily the result of the efforts of the members of The Catboat Association, an organization of people who have banded together to preserve the tradition of the catboat. Under the overall editorship of John Leavens, co-secretary and one of the founders of the Association, these writers have analyzed the catboat from its beginnings to the present.
Here, then is the story of this distinctive American boat--its development, its career as a racer, its design elements and construction details, including new materials; its restoration, maintenance, and auxiliary power.
"There must be a book reviewer somewhere who could perhaps find fault with some aspect of this very fine book, but he'd have to be a landlocked individual who had not the slightest idea what a boat was, and how small craft played such an enormous part in the developing traditions of this country, for this is the kind of book that we ought to see more of, for its depth and clarity inspire nonstop reading."--WoodenBoat
Catboat buffs will welcome and enjoy this book, and so will any sailor having a taste for the romantic lines of a classic ship."--SEA Magazine
"A must for fans, and your reviewer could easily become one."--The Ensign
"International Marine and The Catboat Association have combined efforts under John Leavens' guidance to present what will probably stand as the most definitive work on this distinctive craft in our American marine heritage."--SAIL
"The contributions themselves stand individually, much as magazine articles do--one or two on restoring old cats, on powering cats, on catboat racing over the years, on fiberglass, and even on ferro-cement cats. The book is rounded out with a 53-page "album" of catboat photos and plans, including a number of brilliant examples by the great New England photographer, Nathaniel L. Stebbins. A loving and skillful tribute to a class of boat which inspires love in all who encounter it."--Motorboating & Sailing
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