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A Mistake in My Bobcat Project
by Wim Verstrate, Almere, The Netherlands

Reading the articles (and enjoying Duckworks Magazine) I was wondering if anybody else was making mistakes, all the projects look so smooth and easy going. Am I the only one out there struggling to make a boat?

I started with buying “Build the instant catboat” from Dynamite Payson in april of last year, and after a month of reading and making my own dictionary (not everything is in the Webster’s) it was time to start building.

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Photo 1, my carport

There was still one bump to take: use the dimensions in inches or recalculate everything to millimetres. I decided to use the inches because recalculating is a lot of work and a mistakes are easily made. My brother-in-law from Ketchikan sent me an inch-ruler so there was nothing in the way now.


The only change I made was the nesting of the parts.  Because I made the centerboard out of inch scrap marine-ply I could save one sheet of ply (even in Holland a sheet of brynzeel marine ply is expensive).  I am building next to my house under the carport so I had to clean up every day for the night, I never realised that a weekend is so short.

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Photo 2, short side panel

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Photo 3, the extra feet

After a month of drawing and sawing it was time to put it all together. So I put up the frames and the side panels; put the stem in place and pulled in the spanish windlass. Since I have never used this method before I thought it was normal that there was a lot of tension on the rope but when I stepped back I saw that the shape of the bow was a bit on the short side.
After remeasuring I found out what the problem was. The bow part of the side panel is divided in parts of 0,9,0 and the last is 1,0,0. But my last part was 10 inches, so used to metric system I read 1,0,0 as 10 inches in stead off one foot!!!!.Sharing a problem puts the weight off your shoulder so I called my wife but the only thing she did was laugh.( I teach drafting and machine building).

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Photo 4, inside detail

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Photo 5, the result

After a few laughs and a beer or was it the other way around, I decided to fit in a one foot panel with a extra butt-block( so the butt was not too close to the stem).

As you can see in the photos the result is OK. This summer I almost completed the hull, she is now laid up for our wet dutch winter.

If I had to do it all over, I would use the method of Feet,Inches,Eights again.  Even for us used to the metric system, it is easy to learn and use.

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