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I'm curious how you think the Hitia 17 would handle if the mast was moved up to the front beam and the rig was turned into a Sprit Cat Rig? 

Also, is there a way to calculate stability based on Width? My boat's beam is about 7 feet (so it does not have to be taken apart to be trailered) so to be on the safe side I use a 15 foot mast. It is also substantially heavier due to a plywood deck, trimmed 4x4s used for beams and a 6HP outboard on the back. My mast is electrical conduit so it is not much for me to make it longer or shorter, but I'd love to know just how likely it is to flip this beast. 

Currently my sail is only 80 square feet, but I'm thinking I could do a bit of this and that and perhaps wind up with about 120-140 square feet of sail with a cat rig.

Any advice? 

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Well, I did it. It looks awful and points into the wind pretty badly, but it is really easy to handle. No jib sheets running across the deck. Probably packing about 120 square feet of sail on my 15 foot mast. 

Three photos to show the rig. The boat has taken some hits to the paint, and a submerged log smashed off a good chunk of the tail fin. The sweet thing is that it is super easy to launch it. I can have it motoring out to "sea" in less than 30 minutes by myself. Third photo shows the crude sail on it now. Still, I like sailing better than motoring.

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