The term daysailer may incorporate more divergent types of boats than any other category. The Maine Cat 22, designed by Dick Newick, is an interesting combination of catamaran performance features and pragmatic comfort factors. The end result is a boat that is unique in its class. During my visit to Sail Expo this year, I was impressed by this design and, in fact, I came away from the show thinking that this was the boat I would like to have taken home with me.
To begin with, this cat, with 13 feet of beam, folds in half for trailering. It literally hinges on centerline for a folded-up beam of 8 feet 6 inches. Time from trailer to water is about 45 minutes. Hinging the hulls together is accomplished with a small electric winch.
The Maine Cat 22 was brought to life by Dick Vermeulen with the help of Mark Raymond, a Landing School student who did the computer lofting and working drawings. The hull plug was built by Newick himself. Production is managed by Peter Walsh, another former Landing School student.
The 22 has both pivoting centerboards and rudders. Draft, with all appendages up and the boat loaded, is 11 inches. There are four watertight compartments accessible for stowage. There is a Porta Potti located in the port hull, exposed but convenient. The biggest feature that separates this cat from other small cats is the rigid bridgedeck, which gives the 22 the feel of a bigger boat. The cockpit extends down into the hulls, providing comfortable seating for daysailing. The cuddy cabins are ideal for storing the camping gear and keeping it dry.
My own recent involvement in multihull designs makes me more than casually interested in the hull form of the 22. I immediately noted that this hull shape has considerable deadrise. I am not sure it makes any sense to drag "corners" through the water. I prefer a shape with deadrise forward fairing out to a flatter or tangential shape aft.
The Maine Cat 22 also shows considerable flare to the topsides to help throw the spray away. This gives the boat a handsome and shapely look, and even if it didn't work it would still be nice eye candy. The additional volume afforded by the flare forward will help keep the leeward bow from diving in when hard-pressed. With the smart-looking little windshields over each cuddy, the entire package is good-looking enough to have caught my all-too-critical attention.
The rig is as simple as it could get. There is one set of shrouds, port and starboard, that holds up the rig. The headsail is on a roller furler and tacks to a wire bridle. The jib is self-tacking. Trial sails reveal the Maine Cat 22 to have a deliciously light helm.
I would like to have a Maine Cat 22 to singlehand up and down the beach at breakneck speeds.
A cat that's fast and keeps you dry.
|Beam||13', folded 8'6";|
|Draft||board up 11", board down 3'4";|
|Sail Area||257 sq. ft.;|
|Auxiliary||3- to 6-horsepower outboard.|
This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.