E. FOILCATS- 18 ft A-class Cheetalope

Cheetalope is an A-Class wooden Catnip design built by Cal Fuller in 1971. She weighs 200 pounds and sails beautifully without foils. ┬áThis old boat fitted with a Hobie 18 spinnaker has finished 4th, and 6th 4 times in the Jacksonville Rudder Club’s Annual Mug Race from Palatka to Jacksonville.CatnipMug08DSC_0134_JPG

Cheetalope under tow for the first time at 20 knots without mast, crossing the powerboat wake without problems. Behavior was good.

CHEETALOPE without mast under tow at 20 knots.

CHEETALOPE without mast under tow at 20 knots.

Cheetalope is flying at 20 knots in 14 knots of wind, aluminum mast and Dacron USA 21 sail, 150 sq ft total rig. Pix by Rob Lyman at Rudder Club, St. John’s River.


Further away at speed in the St. John’s River.

I have fitted the original small surface-piercing foil set that rotates easily down into foiling position and is pinned onto the deck. The foils are each fastened to 2 inch aluminum tubing that inserts tightly into the front crossbar. Little modification to the boat was needed, and the same modified stock fiberglass Hobie rudders with a single bottom 9 inch fin were used as on Kangalope and Jackalope. Catnip’s much lighter weight allows the rig to come out of the water at 11 knots, and make sustained flights lasting several minutes, usually running through puffs on our inland lake. The aluminum surface-piercing foil assembly weighs fifteen pounds each side. I’ve successfully foiled with this rig about fifty times.

Pics below show white bars as horizontal, side view shows Angle of Attack as 3 degrees. Front view shows bottom lifting element at 35 degrees to the water.