Martin's Cat click here to read or make an observation about this  article
By Martin Adams - Prescott, Arizona - USA

Martin Adams brought his PVC Catamaran to the Lake Powell Messabout/Kokopelli Cruise this past September. To say it is unsual would be an understatemant. Here are some pictures and a couple of emails from Martin before and after the event. - Chuck

August 31, 2006
Hi Chuck and Sandra,

I sent you a few pics attached to another email. As you can see from the assembled cat, the seats are indeed two feet outboard of the pontoons, and one's feet rest on them. The deck is partly two 7 cu. ft. aluminum boxes I made with plywood covers - storage for gear and food. Next to them will come two ice chests, also merging into the deck. While seated, one will be able to lean forward, open a cooler and take out drinks, food, etc.

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This is one of the pictures Martin sent before the messabout.

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I've moved the seating frame-daggerboard slots (3)-bowsprit forward, making the cat about 22 ft. long instead of 19. So far I have about 10 hours of video of the cat's construction, and that should boil down to maybe two hours of good movie. Of course, I haven't put the cat in water yet, so there will be more footage of it sailing. That will be soon, if I can complete all the tiny things that need doing, like sewing two big sails.

Here is the other one - great paint job, Martin

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When I started the cat, I was sure it would be done long before the Lake Powell Messabout. Now it looks like it will be close. We had months of rain and strong winds. Now things are moving faster, so I expect to see all of you at Powell in a month.

Best regards,
Martin Adams

Martin did make it to Lake Powell in time and assembled his cat on the beach. But when the messabout ended and the cruise began, the weather turned angry and Martin was unable to keep up with the cruisers in the face of a foul wind. Here is his report of the maiden voyage and some pictures we took at the messabout...

October 10, 2006
Hi All Messabouters and Kokonauts,

I'm back in Prescott, having left on Friday. Got back to our camp on Thurs around noon, after rowing half the night and half of Wed - no wind. But what a great time! Yup, I missed the 'boat' on our departure, following the couple with the two-masted, brown sails boat, then realized they were not taking the cruise. By the time I was almost up with others, the wind came up and I mean UP, and I had difficulty beating against it. Then I found what I later realized must have been the turn, but from the water it was nearly impossible to see what it really was. So I sailed on and on and eventually had to pull down sails and ditch into a small cove for two days. Then sailed farther down looking for you guys until the orange marker 86 plus half a mile or so. Nobody there and no more side channels, so I turned around and ended up rowing back to my cove for the night, then rowed the next day back to Bullfrog and across to our camp. Whew, I got blisters - it's a big boat to row for several miles. Found our camp was quite muddy and almost couldn't get out. Dragged the boat out with the Toyota and cleaned it, then roofracked it and left on Fri, the day Jack Hicks arrived. But there's lots more to tell - that was the jist.

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We helped Martin unload and assemble the boat but he had to do the reverse by himself.

The cat performed well and actually went pretty fast. I've noted many small and large changes to make to improve the comfort level and safety of it. Having lots of slots for the daggerboard proved valuable and I found the right place to put the thing later when I make it a rotating centerboard instead - much easier to operate. Slept on the back trampoline one night at the cove with an improvised boomtent. At least I didn't get a mudslide thru it like the night before.

Wish I could have enjoyed the company of the rest of you during the cruise, but I suppose we all got what we needed from it. I got lots of quiet thinking time and technical challenges with the boat.

putting all the pieces together was no small job

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My take on Powell: It's a paradise for motorboats. Sailors are at a disadvantage, especially when the wind stops and going anywhere is harder. Big boats going by at 40mph do tend to make the ride bumpy. Spectacular views, but I found I could only enjoy them when I beached the boat and walked around. While in the water, there were usually other distractions. I had planned to stay longer at Powell, but I expected to see far less motorboats. I confess the smell of exhaust also dilutes the joy of sailing a bit - I suppose I'm a fresh air lover. I also thought it would be possible to get away into less-travelled corners where motorboats don't go, but they appear to be everywhere. It was also difficult, with the turbulence, to navigate narrow channels. At one corner I found myself surrounded by floating debris and realized it was stuck there, as I was, because of the swirl of wind. Quite a challenge to get out of it. The weather was also a factor in deciding to head home. It looked like there could be more of the same.

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All present agreed that the boat, once together, is a handsome and unique vessel

So, I'll make some changes to the cat and look for a place to sail which is relatively more free from motorboats and is more open to steady air. Any suggestions? I hear Lake Michigan is nice.

When I take up another residence and get my own PC online (I'm at the library), I'll send some photos and a bit more coverage from my perspective. I would like very much to get in touch with anyone who filmed (video) my cat under sail. The gentleman with the cute and rather chubby boat with the newly-rigged traveller, with mizzen, appeared to be filming diligently and was actually sailing circles around me, filming with one hand and controlling his boat with the other. I was impressed. Sorry I didn't get everybody's name committed to memory. If he is reading this, I would very much like a copy of the clips he got of my cat. I had camera and camcorder at hand, but I actually needed both hands on my boat and still needed two more at times, so I failed to get anything documented under sail.

Considering it was the first time in the water for this cat, it sailed well in the contratry winds of Lake Powell

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Lastly, I was favorably impressed with all of the participants - a great buch of fun-loving, dedicated sailors who were extremely helpful to me in getting my cat assembled and in the water. Thanks to all of you - I am grateful for your support and look forward to sailing with you in the future.