The History of Barnegat Bay A Cats

A Cat CoverIt’s no accident that boats evolve from the waters they ply. The mariners of Barnegat Bay needed sturdy boats to move cargo across its choppy waters. Single-sail catboats were powerful vessels that could handle heavy loads, and while big sails were a handful, they were necessary to make good time, efficient in both strong or light winds.

Being first to bring goods to market or deliver passengers has always been a priority for profit- minded   entrepreneurs. And racing for almost any reason is part of the fabric of human nature. It was inevitable that the workboats of Barnegat Bay would compete. With the advent of the railroads prosperous people could move easily, and like today, people of the 1800s wanted to go to the sea. Elaborate resorts along the Jersey Shore attracted the vacationers from Philadelphia. Along popular rail routes, yacht clubs were formed in Bay Head, Seaside Park, and Island Heights. Sailing the workboats became sport. It didn’t take long for owners and skippers to strive to sail faster, a passion that continues to drive the A Cat sailors of today.

We are pleased to have Roy Wilkins join us on Friday, November 27 to present “A History of the Barnegat Bay A Cats”. Roy’s powerpoint presentation will include:

The evolution of the A cat design

Photos of the most famous A cats with their owners and history

How A cats got their names

The history of A cat racing and the most notable challenge cup races

Roy is the sailing coach at Ocean County College and Monmouth University and has been the fleet captain of the A Cat fleet for two decades. Roy will bring together his love for sailing, history and Barnegat Bay. This will be a memorable evening for all.

The presentation will start at 7:00 pm at the Maritime Museum. Reservations ARE required as seating is limited. Please call 609-492-0202. Refreshments will be available before and after the presentation. Admission is free although donations are always appreciated.

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