About the Boat

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The Oyster River Cat

This boat was specifically designed for our family boatbuilding program. Overall length is 11' 4" with a beam of 5'. Draft is 30" with the dagger board down, less than 6" with it up. The wide beam and flat bottom make it very stable. It easily carries two adults or even three when rowing. The spars are solid spruce. The 60 sq. ft. sail in a Gunter configuration makes her a sprightly sailer. Construction is marine grade ¼" plywood over 5/8" plywood frames and transom. Fastenings are stainless or bronze. Modern adhesives virtually assure watertight integrity. The hull weighs about 120 pounds and can be transported car-top, in a pickup, or on a small trailer. The floorboards and sail rig, which are removable and shorter than the boat, are easily stored in the boat or separately for transport. A sample of the completed boat will be available at the farm for viewing or guidance during construction. Everything (except paint, oars, and lifejackets) is provided to get you on the water.

Oyster River Cat Parts

Photo by John Badger Photo

The parts are all pre-made during the winter before spring construction begins. Precision machining has been done to ensure accuracy. Only hand tools are required to do a professional job completing the boat. Each family is provided a step-by-step instruction manual filled with tips and diagrams to make assembly understandable. And, of course, your Docent mentor will be there to help you every step of the way. When you arrive for the first day of work, all the parts and special building jig will be in place to get you off to a fast start. Counting every piece of wood, nail, screw, line, and hardware you will use more than 500 components. Building is done in a large equipment shed open on one side. Plan to bring your lunch, dress warmly, and be prepared to get dirty.