"Cat-Kruiser and Catkruisertjes" - catboat oldtimers from the Netherlands

                In the Netherlands it had been Hermann Carl Anton van Kampen (1881-1946), better known as "H.C.A." van Kampen, who contributed a lot for an increased popularity of sailing and sail boats. He not only published many books about sailing and boating and also was founder of the dutch watersport magazine "De Waterkampioen", he also learned the ability of designing and drawing yachts. He designed numerous sailing and motor yachts. He had his own small 23 ft. cruising yacht with the name "Kik Ut" built at the famous german Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard in 1920. Supposedly it was a visit to A & R when he saw the small Catkreuzer which had inspired him. With his own design, numbered 36, he drew the small Catkruisertje as he named it. It had been built by the well known shipyard De Vlijt ( today De Vries) in total 10 times. Although it shows the same dimensions in length and width as the small Catkreuzer from Abeking und Rasmussen, 4,50m length and 2,00m width, it is a complete own design which can be seen from the lines. Of this boat 10 pieces had been ordered and built in the period between 1029 and 1931. Luckily 1 boat made it through the war times and had survived until today. It had been refurbished completely in by Rein Kremer. Today the boat sails with the name Nènè.

The yacht designer Jan Hoogenbosch presented in 1932 the blueprint of an 18 ft. cat- cruiser. He named this type Week-End, a hint of its proposed use. This type had been built by the former shipyard Houtvester, located in Hilligersberg, which is today a suburb of Rotterdam. This boat was built from wood with lapstrake method. At least 3 of them made it through the years, two of them are the "Pleione" and the "Pelikaan".

One shipyard though had built them in steel. Mr. Piet Lievaart had ordered in the early 1930's 5 hulls, so called kaskos of that boat from the former company Buytendijk in the small town of Hendrik.Ido-Ambacht. But the Buytendijk company didn't survive in those economical difficult years. As a result Lievaart shipped the hulls to Rotterdam where he had completed the boats himself. And from these original 5 boats, 4 have made it and do exist to the present days. Three are owned by members of the dutch catboatclub and meet regularly at the yearly catboat weekend. An old black and white foto (date unknown) shows five of these catcruisers anchoring next to each other. One of the is a wooden lapstrake built and four of the steel catboats. Presumably these are the only and smallest catboats that had been made of steel.

5 Cat-Kruisers side by side at mooring                                            built by  Houvester-: Pleione

from left : Mermaid.....                                    Ketje                                          and                         Vetje                            

Another blueprint is worth to mention, even if the boats that were built only in the late 1980s do not belong to the oldtimers. The dutch yacht designer J.K. Gipon had been very successful with his numerous designs on the traditional dutch flat-bottom boats. Among others there were the Grundel, Boiers, Bollen, Hoogaars and Lemstaraaks. The author Jan Kooiman published a book about Gipon with the title: The flat bottom boats of J.K. Gipon: latbodemjachten von J.K. Gipon". Gipon definetely is one of the most influential yacht designers in the dutch history. But the very first yacht design that Gipon came up with was, it was in january 1936, a catboat according to american models. He had designed this boat , similar as his following designs on flat bottom boats, with the purpose of enabling an economical built of the boats, thus resulting in a hard chine hull, or sharpie type hull. Because of the troubling years through the WW II it is understood that the people at that time had other priorities that building boats. So it is no surprise that the first catboat with the Gipon design had been built only in 1986 - some 50 years after the publication of the design. It was named Bamse and had been built by Leon Bart. 2-3 more of this are believed to be built.