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The Classic WoodPussy Catboat is now being built on Long Island
By Tony DELoia
Author’s note: I first noticed the WoodPussy Catboat on the Hudson River while sailing Lightnings in the 1950’s. We became reacquainted through my membership in the United States WoodPussy Class Association (USWPCA)
The Palmer Scott Company, New Bedford Ma, first built WoodPussys in 1945 as planked wooden boats. Other builders later offered fiberglass and cold-molded hulls. Less than 75 of the estimated 1000 + hulls originally built are known to have survived.
The Frank M. Weeks Yacht Yard in Patchogue NY (Long island) www.weeksyachtyard.com is building the Philip L. Rhodes designed 13’ 6” Marconi rigged WoodPussy Catboat in fiberglass. Brian and Kevin Week’s grandfather Frank, founder of the yard in 1898, sailed a WoodPussy almost daily for 15 years in his retirement in Florida. Brian sailed the first new WoodPussy hull in regattas on Long Island in Sept. 2006. Hull # 1101, the prototype, successfully competed in the WoodPussy “Solo Bowl” in Little Silver NJ in mid - Sept.
Brian has successfully competed at the International level in various dinghy classes with two National Championships under his belt. He served as class president of the United States Sunfish Class for 6 years. Weeks Yacht Yard also has exclusive rights to build the Force 5 Sailboat.
The United States Woodpussy Class Association (USWPCA) met with Brian in late February, in Red Bank N.J. Jeff Jacobi, then Commodore of the class, and 5 past national champions, discussed the “Renaissance of the WoodPussy for the 21st century” with Brian to assure new hulls made from molds used almost 40 years ago would not render existing hulls obsolete for fleet racing. Original molds were strengthened, trued and fared to assure a quality product.
Ian McCurdy of McCurdy and Rhodes, a yacht design firm, assisted Brian in reviewing original plans during the planning process. His dad, Jim McCurdy, worked for Philip L. Rhodes, then partnered with Bodie Rhodes, Phil’s son, He continues the family tradition in boat design and assists the NorthEast WoodPussy Association (NEWPA) as its fleet measurer.
The beauty of these family day sailors is enhanced with cockpit trim features in teak or mahogany. Convenient sail controls serve to satisfy requirements of day sailors and fleet racers. “Specialty” rigging and additional options are offered at extra price for highly competitive fleet racers.
Frank M. Weeks Yacht Yard is currently offering the WoodPussy Cat Boat for Spring 2007 delivery (Patchogue NY). Interested sailors are asked to visit the website http://www.wpcatboats.com/ for information about this boat and for current pricing.