I designed the PuddleCat 8 primarily for use in small lakes or streams close to home. It may be car topped or hauled on a trailer. Ease of transportation and a set-up time of less than 5 minutes means, your PuddleCat8 will be sailed much more often than a larger boat and by opening up opportunities to sail when you normally would not have had the time to do so. You could conceivably go after work or anytime you find yourself with a free hour. After I completed the first PuddleCat 8 in June 2010, I went sailing more often in the following four months than I had in the preceding four years.
The PuddleCat 8 hull is designed to be built from four sheets of ¼-inch plywood using the stitch and glue construction method. The rudders and leeboard are made from ¾-inch plywood. Any type of plywood may be used. Obviously marine grade is the best, but it is also the most expensive. Luan is the least expensive costing around $9.00 per sheet. It works well but needs to be well protected. Epoxy is used with fiberglass tape to connect all the seams. Tightbond III is the least expensive brand of epoxy that I have found and will cost about $30.00 per gallon. One gallon is enough for the entire boat. To finish it off I used hardware and accessories from Duckworks Boat Builder’s Supply.
The final cost depends largely on the mast and sail used. I was able to pick up a complete used sunfish rig including the boom for $75.00. This makes the boat very reasonably priced to build with the average cost ranging from $200 to $400. The higher end would include buying stainless hardware and new sails. I have used single lateen rigs in both 36 sq. ft. and 75 sq. ft sizes. I have also used a biplane rig with two 36 sq. ft. sails.
Because it is a catamaran, it is faster and more stable than a monohull of the same size and it is especially stable for a 7’ 9” boat. Boats of 8 foot or less are not going to be fast, but it’s configuration as a catamaran does make it faster. A 15-inch hull extension is an add-on option that will provide even more speed for those that choose to build the PuddleCat 9.
The thing that I like most about this little boat so far is that, even though it is small, it is very comfortable. Even for two people. You can sit either on the bridge deck between the hulls or inside the hulls. Spending three hours sailing is no issue at all.
The PuddleCat 8 and the PuddleCat 9 can be built from the available plan set. There are also projects in the works to expand the PuddleCat line.
There is more information on the Build Support page and when you’re ready to build, plans are available for download on the Plans page.
- LOA: 7′ 9″
- LWL: 7″ 5 3/8″
- Beam: 4′ 1/2″
- Hull height: 22 3/4″
- Sail area: 36 – 75+ sq ft.
- Weight: 55 lbs using Luan or 85 lbs using Pine BC
- Capacity: 500 lbs
- Theoretical hull speed: Unknown
- Actual sailing speed: 4-5 MPH
- Rowing speed: 3 MPH
- Motoring speed with 5hp outboard: 7-9MPH
Some pictures of the PuddleCat 8.
Video from myYouTube Channel
The PuddleCat 8/9 plans package includes the following:
- 13 Full 11 X 17 inch drawings
- 40 Full color build sequence photos
- 6 Full color photos of the PuddleCat 9 hull extension modifications
After clicking the “ADD TO CART” button below you will see your cart with a Paypal checkout button. Once you click the Paypal checkout button you will have the option to pay with Credit/Debit card or PayPal. After the payment process you will receive an email with a link to download your plans.
Hull Number Registration:
You may request a hull number for your PuddleCat as soon as it goes 3 D. You do not have to wait until it is completely done. Hull numbers will be issued in the order that the requests are received. So the sooner you get yours going the lower number you will get. Please supply the following with your hull number request: A photo of your hull along with your name, address and other contact information. When possible it would be nice to have the builder in the photo. I will let you know your hull number by email. Specific hull numbers cannot be requested. Hull numbers are to keep a good count of how many boats are being finished. You do not have to request a hull number nor do you need a hull number. It is just fun to see how many are being built and where.
Hull Number List