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The Frugal Cat Cruiser

Chris White believes in light, performance catamarans. Even so, his 57-footer was a little too heavy to lift.

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Over the years we’ve seen a lot of things cruisers have done in order to save money to continue their pleasant lifestyle. But this is the first time we’ve ever seen the owner of a large catamaran attempt to singlehandedly lift his 57-ft cat and launch her without benefit of a Travelift. Sure, folks with monohulls up to 40 ft do it all the time, but at least they get help from friends — two guys on their hands and knees beneath the keel, one gal at the bow, and one gal lifting the rudder. Then heave-ho, into the water she goes! Unfortunately, some yards in the States don’t allow it anymore.

We’re kidding, of course, just as Chris White was kidding when he posed for this photo at the La Cruz Shipyard with his about-to-be-splashed Atlantic 57 cat. More than 80 larger multihulls have been built to White’s designs, and if we’re not mistaken, he’s the guy who came up with — or at least popularized — the forward-cockpit concept. He also wrote The Cruising Multihull, which had a major influence on the Wanderer in the design of Profligate. If we remember correctly, White explained that all things being equal, if you double the length of a cat, she will be 16 times more stable. If you’re looking for a multihull with maximum accommodation, White is not your guy. He believes in performance.

Chris had to head back to Dartmouth, Maine, for a month or two, after which time he plans to return to his boat, then head up into the Sea of Cortez. When he returns, we plan to take him up on his offer of a daysail and do a proper interview.

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