The Story Of Our Catboats:
Arey’s Pond Cats are descended from traditional wooden catboats originally launched on Narragansett Bay two hundred years ago. True natives of Cape Cod, catboats have been sailed, worked hard, and well loved by fishermen and recreational sailors alike ever since the first one headed up into the wind and someone exclaimed, “She comes about quick as a cat!”
Catboats were initially designed as stable, large capacity workboats that handled easily and sailed well in both strong and light winds. Today, thanks to their distinctive and pleasing looks, sea kindliness, and forgiving ways, they continue to enjoy a fiercely dedicated following of enthusiasts and new converts are constantly joining their forces.
In 1971, Arey’s Pond Boat Yard developed a mold similar in shape to the hull of the classic wooden catboat, but with alterations to the sheer, bow, stem, and gaff rig. In addition, the yard created new layouts for the deck and cockpit. The result was a catboat with a low center of effort that helps keep the hull flat on the water while allowing swift responsiveness and easy handling. The standard version also combines the unbeatable beauty of a varnished wooden mast, boom, and trim with the minimal care requirements of a fiberglass hull. If you admire a traditional look but would rather not undertake the maintenance of a wooden hull, the Arey’s Pond Cat is an excellent alternative. If you prefer a wooden hull, we also build cold-molded versions of all of our catboats.
The first Arey’s Pond Cat was launched in 1972. Since then, Tony Davis, owner since 1990, has made many small but important modifications to the original mold, ensuring that Arey’s Pond Cats will continue to provide wonderful sailing well into the twenty first century. As the new millennium dawned, 198 14-footers and numerous smaller and larger sisters were doing just that.
Arey’s Pond craftsmen build each vessel to the highest standards of small boat construction. The 12, 14, and 16 footers have fiberglass hulls. Prior to filling, the mold is cleaned and waxed. The gelcoat for the topsides of the color you choose is sprayed into the mold. Fiberglass cloth is then hand laid with vinylester resin to create a very stiff and strong hull. The hull, deck, seats, coaming, and centerboard are all molded from fiberglass, while the remaining parts of the boat are fashioned from carefully selected woods.
The trim is teak, and bronze hardware is bedded and backed up with extra strength padding. The spars are varnished spruce, and the sail is easily managed, lightweight Dacron fabricated by Thurston Sails of Bristol, Rhode Island, and Norm Cressey of Doyle Sailmakers, both of them acknowledged leaders in catboat sail making.
The 20 foot Cruising Cat and 20 foot Pleasant Bay Launch are built of wood, strip planked with southern cedar and then sheathed in epoxy and cloth.
We take pride in every one of our boats. As a small, custom facility, we build only about twelve boats a year, meaning that we can give yours our personal attention from start to finish. It would be our pleasure to build an Arey’s Pond Catboat for you.