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Atlanta wooden boat association membership
The 2016 Edition features a Fish Class Sloop on the cover, along with 11 additional images by Benjamin Mendlowitz, one of the top marine photographers working in the world today. Sailboats, open boats, powerboats and workboats are captured in brilliant color and are beautifully reproduced in this elegant 12" x 24" wall calendar. Clinker building is a method of constructing hulls of boats by fixing wooden planks to each other so that the planks overlap along their edges. The technique was developed in northern Europe and was a method of construction favoured by the Vikings for their longboats being quick to construct, easy to repair and light enough to row. If you still have questions that have not been addressed on this page, then please contact us. The Hull number is found on an oval "builders" plate mounted on the aft (cockpit) side of the forward end of the coamings (wash rail). What is the length of the centerboard pennant (board to knob) for the proper centerboard depth? The distance from the top of the centerboard to where the knob stops the board should be 20". What is the difference between your boat and the boats built at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS)?
The Beetle 14 takes 12-14 weeks of actual build time, BUT, it is more of a custom build and we recommend orders be placed at least 6 months in advance to guarantee delivery. The Original Beetle Cat Boat was designed and built in 1921 and immediately began to appear along the shores of New England.
In the years since the first boat was built, the design has remained essentially unchanged. Length Overall - 12' 4"Length Waterline - 11' 8"Beam - 6' 0"Draft with Board Down - 2' 0"Draft with Board Up - 0' 8"Sail Area - approx. The backbone is setup on the Beetle Cat mold (which all Beetles have been built on since 1946!). The hull is faired, caulked with cotton(which is specially made and imported to us from the Netherlands), plugged, and sanded.
Forward parts(mast step, mast partner)are fastened in and deck structure and natural cedar cockpit are installed. Off to final paint and varnish, hardware is added to the deck, mast and rigging is checked for fit, and the Beetle Cat is ready to go! Charles Beetle built his last whaleboat in 1933 for the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA. The clinker built method as used by the Vikings created a vessel which could twist and flex relative to the line length of the vessel, bow to stern giving it an advantage in North Atlantic rollers. The Clinker build today lends itself to lightweight watercraft providing that traditional wooden boat appearance. Here Beetle Cat owners can learn the benefits of membership, which includes a free copy of the members handbook and a subscription to the class newsletter.


In order to protect our copyright and trademark of the boat, the plans are not made available to the general public.
Full frames #1-8 lead up to the centerboard box half frames #9-15 along the centerboard box should also be identified as port or starboard and finally frames #16-20 are forward of the box. A centerboard cam cleat is normally mounted on the well top to allow for adjustments in the depth of the board when underway.
As the Builder, we are uniquely qualified to repair and maintain the boat, in addition to having all the Beetle Cat parts readily available. We customize the trailer for the Beetle Cat by adding 8" wide keel rollers for proper support and adjust the bunkers to fit the boat.
It includes seats, is 80% larger in volume than the Beetle Cat, and has the same traditional look and feel. From selection of wood, to purchasing of domestic bronze wood screws and hardware, we go out of our way to ensure the highest standard of craftsmanship and the highest quality of materials.
The Original Beetle Cat Boat is 12ft-4in long and is a design adaptation of the great Cape Cod Cats. The large decked area forward on the boat means spray falls on the deck rather than inside the boat. He started out with a sail with Mark Williams in Wareham, MA and then hopscotched along lakes and rivers all the way to Port Townsend, WA.
The schooner was designed and built by John Elisha Wilbur (more widely known as "Jack Wilbur") for his son John. John Wilbur had hopes of getting her back in the water, but his work and personal life left little time for her. The whaleboat is being built for the New Bedford Whaling Museum, historically significant in that New Bedford was well known as the Whaling Capital of the World and where Beetle whaleboats were originally built.
It all started with James Beetle who built over 1,000 whaleboats between 1834 and 1854 in New Bedford, many of which ended up on the Charles W. It is this boat that the Beetle Shop will once again be building, with the lines and construction plans being provided by Mystic Seaport. However, if you can locate an old boat, you are free to do a complete rebuild using the old hull as a guide and all parts are available from Beetle, Inc. We are sometimes asked why we don't build in fiberglass, and the answer is evident with the first whiff of cedar upon entering our shop! The topsides are sanded and painted on a wood boat, while they are washed and waxed on a fiberglass boat.
A lot of people call themselves "traditional wood" boat builders, but then use epoxy and modern methods of construction in the process.
The design of the Original Beetle Cat was taken from the old 20-30 foot catboats that were used for fishing in shallow waters along Cape Cod.


The wide beam, with the rudder not extending below the bottom of the keel, and centerboard that lifts up, are features that lend this boat to shallow waters.
The rig is similar to that used on the old, large-size Cape Cod catboats, with the mast well forward, and using a single sail. The atlantic white cedar planking is also steamed, bent, and fastened to the ribs with #8x1 domestic bronze wood screws. John agreed to have the boat brought to the Beetle shop for restoration and to find her a new Owner. The hull number is also located on the forward face of the stern post (this is the wooden piece which runs halfway up the middle of the transom at the aft end of the cockpit).
Occasionally, we may also have an older boat that has been completely refurbished at our shop for sale.
We are the sole builder of new Beetle Cat sailboats, using standardized parts, proven methods, and highly skilled craftsman. With this type of rig (gaff rig), if you release the tiller, the boat will head into the wind and practically stop. Morgan whaleship, currently undergoing a major restoration at Mystic Seaport when she embarks in 2014 on her tour of historical ports.
His sons Charles and John followed in their fathers footsteps and built whaleboats at the Beetle Shop on Rodney French Boulevard.
It was at this shop that John and his son Carl designed and built the first Beetle Cat in 1921, using the same materials as was used in constructing the Whaleboats (atlantic white cedar and white oak).
Our history pages show some large vessels built in the past; but we tend to sway towards 25 feet and smaller nowadays – although we go where the work takes us. Current boats we have been commissioned to build are a 25' mahogany clinker weekender and a 16' Beer Lugger launch. The current Beer Lugger fleet consists of thirteen boats of which seven have been built or heavily modified by us. The local fishing ports still boast many Mears clinker and carvel fishing boats still plying their trade everyday. We are definitely not born again boatbuilders, poets or dreamers, we have been in this industry a long time and love every second of the hard, satisfying work.The attraction of the Mears wooden boat is in their strength and longevity.
This makes them very strong and allows them to be beach launched day after day, year after year. We always use grown English oak knees, quarter knees, breasthooks and drop thwarts rather than laminating.



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