|Original Catalac 9M Brochure||
PBO Catalac 9M Article
of Hi Jude!
Original Catalac 9M
|Catalac 8M Rudder / Skeg upgrade|
Sold as Catalac 9M or Catalac 30
The Catalac 9M was Tom Lack's first venture into catamaran
design. He commissioned John Winterbotham of MG Duff LTD to design
the Catalac 9M in 1968, forming part of a range of cruising catamarans
which eventually ranged from 8m to 12m. All were built at Lack's yard in Christchurch.
This design was envisioned as the successor to Bill O'Briens venerable Bobcat Catamaran. The Catalac 9M was constructed with solid fiberglass, chined hulls with lots of rocker and deep "V" sections forward which flattened out at the stern. The combination of "V" hulls and rocker, eliminated the need of keels while providing what was thought to be enough grip for windward performance.
This was a design with a modest rig, high coach roof, large cockpit and 5 berths in four sleeping areas which provided lots of sun bathing deck space, a shallow draft, and had reasonable performance. In a good blow (>20 knots of wind speed) 10 knots at 45 degress apparent can be expected from the Catalac 9M and in strong quarterly winds 12-14 knots under sail has been documented with the outboard engine configuration in a lightly loaded boat. Remarkable performance from such a boxy design given that it's design priority was comfort rather than speed.
The Catalac 9M was laid out in two versions. The standard layout had rear locker space for a 30-40hp outboard and the optional layout had aft hull space for two diesel engines. The boats fitted with diesels were well respected for dockside maneuverability.
The standing rigging is over sized to withstand the extra loading experienced by catamarans (the rig doesn't unload because the boats don't heel). 1/4" 1x19 SS on the 9M and 8M. The Catalac 9M was sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 150% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to increase windward ability.
The combination of windage and shallow draught is something to consider as the 9M doesn't like turning into the wind - a trait common to most catamarans as there's a lot of boat above the waterline and relatively little below, so the Catalac as all catamarans are prone to blowing sideways. This is exacerbated by the relatively deep hulls with plenty of rocker to prevent leeway under sail. Strength, simplicity and easy beaching are the prime benefits.
The drawback is that there are no keels to provide pivot points for the hulls, so it's important to keep in mind that the turning cirde of these boats is greater than one would think. Learning to handle a catamaran is a bit of a learning curve, but once the skills are acquired, these boats bring a smile to all who own them.
The Catalac 9M was a success in the marketplace and 250 were built over two decades.
|Production started 1970: 255 manufactured; 30 located Americas|
|Design Intent||Coastal Cruiser (some have made ocean crossings) Perfect weekend or short vacation boat.|
|Current Price Range USD:||$33,000 to $55,000 (see powering options)|
|Length Overall:||29'3" ft (9 meters)|
|Head Room:||6' 3" in hulls, 6' 3" on bridge deck|
|Weight:||8,000 lbs dry|
|Mast height:||above water: 39'|
|Sail Area:||(main with two rows of slab reefing; & Jib) 420 sq ft. (jib is auto Furling)|
|Power Options:||Single outboard: various manufacturers or 2x12hp RCA-Dolphins gas, or 2 Yanmar 1GM diesels|
|Fresh Water||70 gallons|
|Accommodations:||1-double cabin forward starboard hull|
|1 plan was offered||1-single cabin forward port hull|
|1-single cabin rear port hull|
|1-single berth mid starboard hull|
|1-double berth using settee and table|
|1-head located rear starboard hull|
|Galley located in port hull|
This video was provided by Rick Whiteby, owner of the Catamac 9M S/V Kellytime.