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A boat or yacht that is Cat-rigged has a single mast, stepped well forward, carrying a single fore and aft sail, behind the mast. A boat that is cat-rigged can also be described as having a Una rig.
Also cat-rigged are catboats, a traditional style of wide-beamed, shallow-draft boat, typically gaff-rigged with a centreboard. Formerly common on the East Coast of the United States they are more commonly seen as dinghy-sized open daysailers and class racers.
The terms cat-rigged, and catboat, should not be confused with catamarans. Catamarans are not related to the term cat-rigged, though catamarans can be cat-rigged, if they have a single sail and no jib.
The term 'cat' may come from the 'cat head', a protruding cross beam, not far behind the bow, or head, of a sailing ship, to which the anchor was attached when the vessel was preparing for sea. The mast of a cat-rigged boat is stepped near the point where the 'cat head' would be.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, 1959, Volume 5, p. 24
- Grayson, Stan (2002). Cape Cod Catboats. Marblehead, MA: Devereux Books. ISBN 1-928862-05-5.
- Leavens, John M.; Chapelle, Howard I. (September 1991). The Catboat Book (paperback). Middleboro, MA: Catboat Association with Intl Marine Publishing Co. pp. 160. ISBN 0877423148. ISBN 978-0877423140