The Wenaumet Kittens



The Wenaumet Bluffs of Pocasset, Massachusetts is a particularly lovely little community of mostly summer residents on the northern side of Wing's Neck. Since it's inception in 1933, the Wenaumet Bluffs Yacht Club has been sponsoring sailing races in upper Buzzards Bay. Over time, the area has changed and so did the boats. Beginning in the mid-1930s, the club switched from the Knockabout to a locally built, stubby catboat called the "Kitten." This boat was designed with the local waters in mind, it's length, sail area, draft, stable characteristics, roomy cockpit, ease of handling and speed contributing to it's popularity.

Over the period, there were some 80 of these Kittens built, and most of them stayed in the local area. In fact, it's fun to hear some of the old-family Wenaumet residents relate stories of who owned which boats and where they are now. Some can relate the history of every boat from the laying of her keel to the present day -- or to the unfortunate demise of the boat in one of the past terrible storms.  

Today, the Pocasset River, the outer harbor in front of the bluffs, Phinney's Harbor and other local areas still boast a good number of these pretty little Kittens. At Rivendell, we're happy to make a quick repair on site -- as appropriate -- to get the owner racing again before the next weekend's race, or to bring the boat back to the yard to do a pristine repair such as full-length planks and new frames. We also stock spare mast blanks and some spare sheaves and other miscellaneous pieces of hardware, as this is a very active racing fleet during the summer months. 

Want to join the local racing association? We have several of these pretty little catboats in the yard for sale by their owners. Please call for details.

Remember, the nice feature about a wooden boat is that EVERY piece of wood can be replaced, and your boat can be like new again. Here are a few miscellaneous snapshots of some recent repairs. 

Broken and sistered frames are common in the fleet.

Even the layers and layers of paint couldn't hide this deteriorated plywood. The bronze fitting had no plywood or beams underneath it to hold fastenings.

Here's some of the deteriorated deck structure we found underneath the plywood.

There's something you don't want to see when you look under the deck!

Or this!

Here's the old and the new, as each deck beam must be fitted for length, fit to the hull and cambered for the deck. Note how much the deck had dropped over the years.

Here is the new deck structure with restored camber, since 
the deck had flattened out over time with the bad structure underneath.

New deck structure completed, ready for plywood.

New plywood is applied, then the coamings and deck hardware can go back on.

Note the iron-sick wood and the bad keel.

Poppy's Dream heads out the door for finish painting, after a new deck and several coats of varnish. Two other Kittens are waiting in line to come outside after a long winter.

Scrapper is painted and ready for the trailer.

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Rivendell Marine

Traditional Boat-Building since 1975

420 Shore Road, P.O. Box 926
Monument Beach, MA 02553
(508) 759-0330 (phone or fax)

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This page created by Erewhon Yacht Company.