By Bob Perry
Areys Pond Lynx: A Classic Cape Cod Catboat
The Lynx has distinctive catboat character - exciting and fun to sail
From Arey’s Pond Boat Yard in South Orleans, Massachusetts, comes this 16-foot Cape Cod-type catboat. When I was a kid, the Cape Cod cats were one of the first types to really catch my eye. With their pugnacious plumb stems, they had a proud and purposeful look to them. Their exaggerated beam and sharp entries gave them lots of shape for a 14-year-old’s hungry eyes to feast upon. Later I was lucky enough to live on a houseboat next to a guy who rented Beetle Cats. It was love at first gybe.
This cat was designed by G. Anthony Davis. Mr. Davis should feel lucky that I am not going to show his hand-drafted drawings to my junior high school mechanical drawing teacher Mr. Kibby. Shame, Mr. Davis. You should take more pride with your drafting. The finished boat is a gem, but I like to see well-crafted drawings. It is clear that the hull lines were developed on a computer.
The hull form shows almost 8 feet of beam, which is combined with a delicately hollow and very attractive entry. The garboards go slightly hollow for a deadrise angle amidships of about 16 degrees, fairing to about 11 degrees at the transom. Draft is only 14 inches with the board up and 4 feet, 6 inches with the board down. The rudder is the traditional barn door-styled outboard type.
The rig is a big gaff mainsail with both peak and throat halyards. This means you will use two lines to raise the mainsail. The peak halyard controls the angle of the gaff and the throat halyard controls the height of the gaff and luff tension. It requires precise balancing of both throat and peak halyard tensions to get the mainsail looking right, but it is certainly not difficult – and you get to say things like “throat halyard.” The SA/D of this boat without any crew is 20.2. Spars are Sitka spruce.
Performance has to be judged by catboat standards, and catboats do have their idiosyncrasies. With only a headstay and no side shrouds, you can sail a catboat downwind by the lee quite easily. There is no shroud to impede the outward travel of the boom. In some cases this may be fast, but consider the loads on that long boom or on your head when you gybe. Jibing a catboat in a breeze can be exciting. Now add to that excitement the tendency of catboats to develop an armload of weather helm. During close maneuvers the helmsman had better be holding the mainsheet so he can ease the sheet if he needs to fall off. Catboats can have a mind of their own, but all that is part of the fun of sailing a catboat. The techniques needed to be a successful catboat sailor can make you a better all-around sailor.
This is a wooden boat built with 3/4-inch cedar strip planking for a very durable hull. There are two layers of fiberglass and epoxy inside and out, in addition to frames on 24-inch centers. This boat is built to last. Trim and detailing are beautiful and add to the traditional charm of this boat.
I’ll tell you a catboat racing story. One day after work I challenged a friend to a race around the lake in Beetle Cats for beers. I knew I was the better sailor, and I had no trouble working my early lead to a comfortable margin at the finish. I had worked every angle of the simple catboat’s meager controls: board up, board down, more draft in main, less draft in main. Later over beers, I asked my friend if he had raised his board when he was off the wind.
“Raised it? I never put it down.”
The Lynx has distinctive catboat character – exciting and fun to sail.
|Draft Board||Up 14″||Board Down 4’6″|
|Sail Area||200 sq. ft.|