Some cat boats in current use include the Beetle Cat, the Redden Catboat, the Nonsuch, the Inland Cat, the Zijlsloep. the Cape Cod Cat Com-Pac Trailerable, Marshal Menger,  and the APBY cat boat.
A catboat is not the same as a catamaran, which is a multi-hull with a raised trampoline for crew seating and trapezing. Nor is it the same as a Cat, a Norwegian ship used to carry up to 600 tons of coal.
Descended from small boats carried by 18th century British merchant ships in the new world, around the turn of the 20th century, catboats were adapted for racing, and long booms and gaffs, bowsprits and large jibs were fitted to capture as much wind as possible. The decline of racing and advent of small, efficient gasoline engines eliminated the need for large sail plans, and catboats today are used as pleasure craft for day sailing and cruising, and have the virtues of roominess, stability and simple handling, though many catboats have poorer upwind performance than well-designed sloop-rigged craft.
One of the most well-known catboats is the 12-foot (3.7 m) Beetle Cat daysailer. Fleets of these one-design boats are found in harbors all across New England, often competing in races. In the 1960s, Breck Marshall based his 18-foot (5.5 m) fiberglass Sanderling upon an existing, wooden design. The Sanderling has since become a very popular boat, with more than 700 built, and it has helped to rekindle interest in the catboat. To honor Marshall and his contribution to the type, the Catboat Association funded the construction of the Breck Marshall, a 20-foot (6.1 m) catboat built and berthed at Mystic Seaport.
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