Messing about in boats since 1975.  Online Since 1997.

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The 38' Fantail Cutter "CHINA CAT"

Copyright 2013 Michael Kasten

The 38' Cutter CHINA CAT - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
Perspective Aft | Perspective Side | Perspective Aft Sailing | Perspective Forward Sailing

Hull Form

The China Cat 38 concept was created in response to the novel by Erskine Childers, "Riddle of the Sands" as a modern-day take on the sailing vessel in the story, the shoal water centerboard cutter named "Dulcibella" - probably one of the best sailing stories ever written. Designed as a simple, easy to afford, easy to sail, easy to beach and easy to inhabit shoal water boat - but quite a bit larger than Childers' original watercraft - the China Cat 38 is intended to be a comfortable performance oriented sailing vessel capable of sailing all oceans.

For the sake of easy trailering for winter haul-out, and for easy canal travel in the EU, a tabernacle will allow the mast to lower without any fuss, and a centerboard is provided to reduce draft to less than 4 feet. The centerboard when retracted lies entirely below the interior cabin sole, so there is no interference with the interior accommodations.

China Cat 38 is envisioned as a minimal cruiser, intended for steel or aluminum construction. Plywood - epoxy construction is also possible. China Cat has a secure well-deck forward, a small self bailing cockpit, a "bridge deck" between the cockpit and the companionway, an inboard diesel engine, and a rig that can be easily handled, even by a solo sailor.



The accommodations below have 6' - 6" headroom throughout the cabin. The interior layout is planned to be virtually identical to that of our 36' Grace design. Please see the interior layout drawing here. A walkthrough of the accommodations below is as follows...

Right forward is the forepeak, aft of which is a large double berth that blends into a pair of settee seats to port and starb'd. The settee seats and double berth therefore wrap right around the mast. A table is mounted onto the aft side of the mast tabernacle column, and is arranged to have leaves that fold down on each side. This creates a robust mount for the table within a cozy lounging area below.

Seating is very comfortable due to the cabin trunk having been extended right out to the deck edge. This means that the cabin is almost twelve and a half feet wide...! Try this experiment... Take a regular tape measure, put one end behind your shoulder and extend the tape out to twelve and a half feet... That's how far it is to the other side of the cabin! It is bigger than you think.

The galley is located aft of the settee, more or less amidships to port and starb'd. Aft of the galley is a head compartment to starb'd and a chart table to port. Right aft of the head / chart table are a pair of quarter berths.

23' Cutter - Sarah Cat - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
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A Gaff Rig is provided. An alternate possibility would be the Chinese Lug rig which would be easier yet to handle. With either rig there is no need for sail track, so the sail will never bind or give any trouble. Having been given plenty of sail area, China Cat's performance will be quite brisk - very much up to the antics of the much smaller "Dulcibella" as described in Childers' "Riddle of the Sands."

The spars are aluminum Schedule 40 pipe. When painted, most people assume they are wooden spars. Aluminum pipe is considerably stronger than wood, and does not rot. Pipe has sufficient wall thickness to allow the fittings to be fully welded in place. This whole affair is very easy to build. Fabrication takes requires much less time than making galvanized fittings for a wood spar. In the long run there is far less maintenance than is required for a mast of any alternate material.

Four Trailerable Sister Ships...

A group of four 'sister' vessels each of which share the same hull form and general configuration have been preliminarily detailed as concept designs, one of which is shown here.   Check out each of the four sisters at the following links:

38' China Cat   |   28' China Cat   |   28' Bedouin   |   23' Sarah Cat

38' Cutter, China Cat - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
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