There are some very definite measurements and features that define
the true catboat. But even within this narrow scope there is so
much room for refinement that the designer can still run the risk
of creating a nag rather than the wonderful thoroughbred a catboat
should be. That's why Menger Boatworks offers its version of this
classic style, and we think you'll find the Menger Cat to be no
The Menger Cat comes from honest workboat stock, and shows this
by carrying her beam way aft. This means there's plenty of reserve
buoyancy so you can really utilize the large cockpit without throwing
her off her sailing lines. And her sail area, which is very generous,
is workboat style too, so she'll slip along in the lightest of airs.
Sure, you'll have to reef when the wind starts to freshen, but you'll
never have to buy or bother with light air sails.
But for all her workboat heritage, don't think her to be lost in
the past. With her fine lines, great sail carrying ability, and
long waterline for length, she'll give some surprise to larger "modern"
yachts. And the yacht style cabin is light and airy with a large
hatch, optional opening forward port, and classic bronze cat's eye
ports. There is plenty of storage and a nice homey feeling, even
when she is closed up for foul weather. All interior surfaces are
molded fiberglass with smooth gelcoat except for the real ash wainscoting
on the cabin sides and the teak and holly sole.
Although 19 feet usually makes a diminutive vessel, the Menger
Cat is really quite large for her length. She's big enough to be
a real pocket cruiser for a couple, a great weekender for the family,
and a very friendly daysailer for eight people. Yet she's still
small enough to be easily trailered and can be stored in a garage.
But what does all this matter if a boat doesn't stir something
inside you and give that indefinable feeling of a thing that's alive--a
vessel you can sail with pride?