Monday, January 2, 2012

Header Photo; Barnegat A-Cats

I "borrowed" this photo from Baydog (he's also added a photo of three Barnegat A-Cats to the title block of his blog ). Baydog (I think he's crewed on them) and even Tillerman know more about this traditional class than I do. From what I was able to garner from a quick trip around the Internet.....

  • The class traces their origins all the way back to the 1871 Toms River Cup, at that time, a run-what-you-brung regatta featuring the local workboats.
  • The wide, minimum draft catboat type is ideal for racing on the shallow Barnegat Bay and by 1896 the workboats had been eclipsed by purpose built racing craft.
  • The class as it is raced today is based around a 1922 Charles Mower design, the 28 footer "Mary Ann". The designer of the Star, Francis Sweisguth, also designed an A-cat in 1923 and today the fleet is a mix of original restorations and reproductions of these two designs.
  • The Barnegat A-cat has got one huge, bad-ass mainsail and they have lots of crew.
  • They look to have a very active fleet.

It dawned on me while looking at the bow shape of the Barnegat A-cat and reading about the Charles Mower heritage, that there is a strong connection with our local West River traditional design, the Chesapeake 20, but more on that for a later post.

Oh, and the Barnegat A-cat is also featured as the title photo over on the blog green Boats.

1 comment:

Baydog said...

Nice shout-out for the A Cats, Tweezerman. When you see them coming toward you on the bay, it's quite a majestic sight. And yes, the mainsails are monstrous. I crewed once on Mary Ann, and was on the mainsheet. It was a special day, as my Dad was aboard as well. I look forward to sailing on one again.