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Lyman 15' Cat Rigged Sailboat

The Lyman Catboat is a traditional beamy catboat, one of the first organized class boats actively raced on the Great Lakes. All Lyman Cats were built prior to World War II, and there are perhaps a dozen or so of these fine crafts afloat today. The Lyman Cat is of wood construction, lapstraked and clinker-built in the Lyman tradition. The planking is of cypress with structural parts of white oak. All the trim in these boats was originally varnished Philippine mahogany. The decks were canvas covered marine plywood, treated with aircraft sealant, and painted green. The hull is standard white with copper bronze bottom paint. Hardware fittings are of bronze as well as hull fastenings.

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Photo from the 1935 Lyman Brochure

Distinguished by its wide beam of 6 ft., the 15 ft. Cat Boat is a remarkably able and roomy craft. It is extremely steady, safe, and seaworthy, making for an ideal family sailboat. The centerboard on these boats is a 3/16" galvanized steel plate pivoted at the forward end which permits it to rise into the box in the event of grounding. The fifteen foot Cat Boat carries a maconi cat-rig sail of 148 sq. ft. Equipped with sail slides and track on the spar and boom. The spar measusres 26 ft. in height. Hopefully, the association will have one of these rare boats on display a the 1993 Cleveland Boat Show. Although time does not permit the total restoration of the boat to be displayed, we hope to have it in clean original condition, under sail, to give the public a glilmpse of a truly classic and rare Lyman Boat of the 1930's.

Tom Koroknay,
Lyman Boat Historian

Webmaster's Note for non-sailors: The term cat refers to the boat's rigging. Sailboats are classified by the arrangement of their masts and sails. The most common rig for small (under 35') sailboats today is the sloop rig, which consists of a single mast carrying a mainsail behind and a jib or genoa ahead on the forestay. The cat rig is similar, but with the single mast stepped far forward and lacking a jib, so the cat carries only a mainsail.

Further confusing this matter is the existance of the catamaran, which has two hulls connected by a platform or trampoline. These boats are also commonly called cats regardless of their rigging configuration, so you have cat rigged catamarans; sloop rigged catamarans and so on.
Tom deLombarde
Blow Boat Webmaster

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Photo from Mr. Koroknay's Collection
A Lyman Cat idyllically at rest

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Photo from Mr. Koroknay's Collection
A whole fleet of Cats on the Sandusky Bay

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Copyright 1987 - 1999 Koroknay