A type of sailing boat which originated in the middle of the 19th century in the Cape Cod region of the USA, used primarily in the local fisheries but later adopted as a sandbagger for racing, as well as for coastal cruising. The catboat was very shallow and of great beam (some measured only two beams to the length) with a large weighted centreboard of wood and a barndoor-like rudder. The mast, supporting a mainsail on a gaff and boom, was stepped right in the bows, close to the stem. One, the 5-metre (16-ft 6-in.) Una, was shipped to Cowes in 1852 and gave her name in English waters to the Una rig. Later, some of the racing catboats also set a foresail on a long bowsprit.
Subjects: Maritime History.