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The Cabot 36: Classic Blue Water Sailor

A site to celebrate this great Canadian passage maker.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cheshire Cat (Hull 25)

Sept 7, 2005

SV Cheshire Cat is Hull # 25, originally owned by Stan Darrah. As our info is in storage back in Canada, I can only partially fill in the blanks.

I think Stan sold Gambit Too to a couple from Tennessee and they renamed her Ridge Runner. They replaced the original Volvo with a Universal M30 engine of 24 HP (30HP or more would be more suitable to drive the Cabot in waves and current).

She was then sold to someone from Long Island New York, and that’s where we bought her in 1998 and brought her back to Oakville for a refit that winter. We took her up to Midland Bay the next year and renamed her Cheshire Cat. We sailed her back to Oakville in 2002 and then left for Halifax, Bermuda and on to the Caribbean. We are currently in Ecuador, where Adelie (hull 26), had been in 2002. Next month we return to Panama and then in February 2006 we plan to set out for the Galapagos, and then onto the South Pacific. Hull number 52, Marilda, was taken to Trinidad after being hauled onto a barge. She was on the hard when we first saw her at Peakes Marina and then we saw her in the water ready to be towed somewhere. Never did see anyone on board. By the way, this Cabot apparently had a deck stepped mast.

We have seen a few Cabots. One we saw in PEI was apparently the first Cabot, at least that’s what we were told. We saw Cimba in 2001 in Florida where it was up for Sale. Saw Morning light (hull 29) in the Caribbean with Tom. I believe we saw Windrose in 2002 in Halifax, and Kara I (hull number 41), Thalia (hull 47) in Quebec City, and Shogun in Oakville. There was another that we met in Georgian Bay still with the original owners, painted yellow, and no teak on the outside. It was apparently ordered with an Atomic 4 gasoline engine.

Glad to see that the Cabot's are back in production again and , judging only by the website, glad to see that they have downsized the Cabin windows which I deem too large for long passages. The boat is well found as we discovered on passage from Halifax to Bermuda where we encountered a gale and a storm.

After living on the boat for over 3 years we have some definite ideas on how it could be improved for long distance voyaging. The Cabot has long been known as having a fair bit of weather helm which does not help with the self- steering gear. One owner I talked to installed a bow sprit and put the forestay on it and he said that it really helped to put the centre of effort forward. We actually had to get a new mainsail done before we left so decided to cut 2 feet off the length of the boom and raise it 8 inches so that it cleared the Steering station. We think that a built up partition in front of the Nav station to house all instruments would keep them away from possible leaks under the starboard deck.

In three years of cruising we have not yet met a "dry boat" of any make. Our quarter berth, like so many other small boats, is used for storage and would probably benefit by having a deep locker there instead where you could store spare sails etc. We ended up finding a huge unused storage area behind the dinette on the starboard side so cut out a panel and now use that area.
The original water tankage showed 160 gallons as per our information, never checked at the time, so when we bought our Pur 40 water maker we ended up cutting the tank under the V berth and used it for storage. When you are in the islands and anchored off we had to fill our main water tank by Jerry Jug and found that 35 gallons filled it! The fuel tank of 30 gallons is way too small for long distance cruising so we, and many others, have to carry several cans on deck. Unfortunately the wind does not always blow.

The emergency tiller that came with the boat was a deck sweeper only extending about 6 inches above the cockpit sole, we have had that extended so now it is in a comfortable position. Discovered this as the cable broke on passage from Venezuela to Antigua! All in all she is a great little boat, I say little because 44 foot seems to be the norm out here, and I am sure that she will take us anywhere. Cheshire Cat has its own blog and would be happy to have you visit. We would be interested in any Cabot owners wanting to contact us. mailto:A_Cheshire_Cat@hotmail.com


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