Sun Cat vs WWP19

Sep 1, 2019
27
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Greetings all.

I started a thread a while back asking for advice on trailerable cruisers and got some great advice and suggestions. I actually put a deposit down on an R22 but for a variety of reasons, was not able to go through with the sale.

That sent me back to the drawing board and I eventually decided that I'd be better served with a something a bit smaller that would be easier to trailer and perhaps also easier to rig. My planned use also changed somewhat and now think that the boat will see most of her service as a local day-sailer in the DE but should also be big enough to allow for occasional camping/overnighting, likely after being trailered some distance. Most of my selection criteria remained the same however with two important ones being a strong preference for a boat with an enthusiastic support community and who's manufacturer was still a going concern.

One of the boats on my original shortlist was the WWP19. It meets pretty much all of my criteria with the only negative being the relative scarcity of boats on the East coast. Still, I managed to locate and view one and also looked at a WWP15 for comparison purposes. The boats I looked at were closing in on 25 years old and though in apparent good shape, their age made me uncomfortable. I've located a 15 year old WWP19 fairly close by and will view her early next week though.

As to the ComPac, I had the 23 on my original list of candidates but for a variety of reasons, eventually eliminated it from consideration. More than a couple of folks suggested that the ComPac cat-rigged boats would be worth considering, so I decided to investigate the Sun Cat. On paper, the boat seems pretty well-suited to my needs. The rigging system in particular seems well thought out and exceptionally convenient to use, and the Sun Cat also meets nearly all my other criteria. I haven't yet had a chance to see the boat in person, but have lined up a viewing of one this the weekend. This boat is a 2014, so she's much newer than many of the candidates I've seen.

I understand that there are considerable differences between a gaff-rigged cat boat with a keel/cb arrangement and a fractional sloop with a lifting keel and would be interested in hearing the thoughts of the trailer sailor community on the merits and disadvantages of the two.
 
Nov 9, 2012
2,499
Oday 192 Lake Nockamixon
Just so you know, International Marine, most recent builder of the West Wight Potter boats is no more. My understanding is that the molds were sold to China. Duckworks is now selling any available replacement parts.

For your easy to rig and launch daysails, the WWP15 is probably the way to go, but there isn't a whole lot of room for living in the cabin. I've heard of guys that do sleep in there, though.

The WWP19 is much bigger, and sails pretty well. It's a simple rig with no spreaders, and reasonably easy to step the mast, though the mast is a chunky one, fairly heavy. The accommodations below are nice, though the lifting keel trunk gets in the way of easy movement.

The Sun Cat is still manufactured by Hutchins. They use a tabernacle system with purchase to the stemhead, which I understand makes rigging very easy. The mast isn't all that tall, combined with a gaff rig, making for an easy hoist. I have a friend who had one, and it's not a big performer. He felt it was a bit undercanvassed. I know of a guy on a different forum who made his own polytarp genoa for a Sun Cat for this reason. I think my friend and his wife would occasionally sleep over.

If you keep your eyes open, you should be able to find either of these 3 boats. I know there are several WWP19s at Lake Nockamixon, and a couple Sun Cats as well. There used to be 2 WWP15s, but I haven't seen them for the past 2 years. I'm pretty sure I've seen listings for a WWP19 in the past year in the Philly area.
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
This 1984 Com-Pac is a very nice boat that is next to my old O'Day 25. It isn't a Sun Cat, but the couple has taken great care of the boat and they use it very regularly. The price with a nice trailer seems like a great option, I've seen them out many times and they just have a great easy time cruising around. They are looking for more space so that is why she is for sale.

 
Apr 26, 2015
645
S2 26 Mid On Trailer
Having sailed and setup both of these boats, the Potter is hands down better at sailing. The Sun Cat is hands down easier to rig since everything is stored right on the gallows and the mast is short. The gaff rigging is prone to problems if the halyard gets hockled since there is a simple block and tackle setup out of reach at the top of the mast. The P-19 is a simple sloop and the mast is not very heavy to lift. Lifting the keel is another time consuming task. Never spent the night in either.

I'm not sure of your concern about an older boat. I've seen 40 year old pristine boats and 15 year old boats with rotted core. No matter the year of build, a through inspection is mandatory.
 
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Likes: DrJudyB
Oct 19, 2017
6,948
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I don't know much about the WWP, but have heard great things about it.
I'm familiar with the Suncat, my father owned one that was converted to a sloop with a bow sprit. He sailed it from Florida to Maine and claimed that, no matter what the conditions, she made 5 knots.

The Suncat is comfortable and the cabin is roomy for a 16' boat. I believe they are beamier than the WWPs. I think the newer models are more likely to come with a burmuda rig than a gaff rig.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Having sailed and setup both of these boats, the Potter is hands down better at sailing. The Sun Cat is hands down easier to rig since everything is stored right on the gallows and the mast is short. The gaff rigging is prone to problems if the halyard gets hockled since there is a simple block and tackle setup out of reach at the top of the mast. The P-19 is a simple sloop and the mast is not very heavy to lift. Lifting the keel is another time consuming task. Never spent the night in either.

I'm not sure of your concern about an older boat. I've seen 40 year old pristine boats and 15 year old boats with rotted core. No matter the year of build, a through inspection is mandatory.
:plus:
I agree 100%.
 
Sep 1, 2019
27
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Thanks to all for the information.

With respect to the West Wight Potter, I as under the impression that International Marine had simply sold the rights to make the WWP19/15 and that production would continue in some form. After seeing Brian S's remarks about the builder, I went to the West Wight Potter site and found this:
"The Factory Producing Potters has moved overseas. As a result Potter 19 Potter 15 and Sanibel and Voyager 20 will no longer be available for domestic production."

Is the fact that there are no new Potters being produced (at least for North America) and possibly no unique Potter parts available, something to worry about?
 
Nov 9, 2012
2,499
Oday 192 Lake Nockamixon
Is the fact that there are no new Potters being produced (at least for North America) and possibly no unique Potter parts available, something to worry about?
Not really. The only thing the builder really makes is the fiberglass parts. So, don't bust a companionway cover. If you wreck the deck or hull, well, it's just fiberglass, and that's fixable. A pushpit or pulpit getting bent to hell would be expensive to recover from, but someone could bend and weld you a new one worst case scenario. A broken rudder can be replaced by Ruddercraft. All the rest of the stuff is standard boat stuff, like mast extrusion from Dwyer mast, rigging, hardware from any number of suppliers etc.

I am lucky that D&R Marine still supports many parts for my 35 year old O'day, but once you get to working on boats, you realize parts is parts. Here's Duckworks section for WWP parts: Potter 15 & 19
 
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Jan 22, 2008
1
Hartley TS 16 Redondo Beach
I currently own a P19. My opinion is you should not worry about a boat being manufactured. in any marina, there are very competent riggers and fiberglass people available for repairs and modifications. Find a boat that fits your sailing needs, and enjoy. One of the reasons there are so few boat manufactures in business is they are competing with boats built 30 to 40 years ago. a good check of the hull, and bilge you should be ok.
 
Jul 26, 2016
94
American Sail 18 MDR
I owned a WWP 19. It rides on any trailer, even powerboat trailers. it did not require a sailboat dedicated trailer. I trailered it all over the USA and even spent some nights aboard in a Marina in VA. We had a small AC that mounted on the hatch and kept it cool in cabin in middle of summer. Wife and I slept in it. She was a fine sailer (the wwp19 not the wife) and very comfortable for the size. I regreted selling her but the new owner wanted it more than I did and paid more than a fair price for it. I went on to a Columbia 22 and later a Catalina 16.5K. The only advantage the Suncat has is that mast is quicker to set upright. However, a Macgregor mast raising rig with gin pole and break winch attached made short work of raising and lowering mast, while on the water. The WWP19 is much faster than the Suncat and the hard chines made it more stable and much less of a leaner. The wwp 19 always felt like a much larger sailboat.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,948
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
BILL GILMORE.jpg

My father and brother aboard Puff, the Old Man's customized Suncat. He sailed her from Florida to Maine. She had a keel and a Volvo diesel engine, yet still managed a consistent 5 knots. My father said he could never understand it, but Puff did 5 knots no matter what point of sail she was on.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Dwyer mast company was sold earlier this year. Do not have any info on the new owner
www.dwyermast com

The company changed owners in 2018 and moved to RI from Connecticut. They are still in business and you can order new masts with the machining done per the OEM specs.

Judy B