Saturday, April 25, 2015

Oppikat, Tiny Catamaran

Following on my previous post about a big catamaran, here is the other extreme. This catamaran is only 9ft long and primarily intended for use by children. But read to the end to see an alternative use.

I designed the Oppikat for Nebe Boats a long time ago. They were to build it as a fibreglass production boat but didn't even start to build the moulds before closing their doors. More recently I converted the plans to a combination of plywood and strip cedar construction, to make the design more suitable for amateur builders. We have sold plans for this design to builders in 18 countries but don't know how many are sailing.

A new Oppikat is about to be launched, built by Greg Mitchell in California. She may be launched this weekend.
The newest Oppikat, ready for launch by Greg Mitchell.
Greg built it for his children from a plywood bulkhead kit but built the rest of it from the plans.
Strip planking completed, over plywood bulkheads, ready for plywood side panels.
Greg's daughter had input into the colour scheme for the new boat, choosing the colour of the cross-beams. Greg modified the tone of the blue for the hulls to a colour that would not clash. The result is very eye-catching and definitely has a female touch to it.
Hulls completed and other components assembled, ready for the rig.
This little boat is small enough to be car-topped or lashed to the trampoline of a bigger cat when towed behind the family car.
Oppikat built by Frank Nagel in Germany for his children, sailed here by his son.
Although intended for children, Frank Nagel in Germany told me that it has enough buoyancy to sail with him and two children aboard as well.

The Oppikat can be different things to different users. It fits comfortably onto the foredeck or into the davits of cruising catamarans, to serve as a tender and as a toy for both children and adults when anchored. A pair of them on a charter catamaran will add lots of scope for fun activities.
The red image is an Oppikat on the trampoline of a DH550 cruising catamaran.
For more info on this little boat go to http://dixdesign.com/oppikat.htm and to http://dixdesign.com/ for our full range of boat designs.