Beetle Cat Class Chair Wins AC Gear

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August 20, 2015 by John A

Wells Pile, Chairman of the New England Beetle Cat Boat Association, is another Summer Sailstice 2015 winner taking hope a package of 34th America's Cup 'swag'. 

Wells writes,  'I have been sailing Beetles since I was a child in Weekapaug, RI. In 1991 I joined Edgewood Yacht Club, after seeing a few Beetles in the water the previous fall. That year, mine was the only one splashed, but I sailed several days each week. The next Spring, 2 more Beetles were in and, for the first time in 27 years, there was organized weekly racing of Beetles. Our fleet currently boasts 9 boats and we race every Wednesday night. After the first season, I was awarded a drawing of my boat labelled "The Keeper of the Flame Award." As a result of my boat spending that lonely season by itself, there is an unbroken string of Beetle Cats at Edgewood Yacht Club since the 1920s.

'Here's a picture of me sailing my boat PENDRAGON' - looks like an idyllic way to spend the summer.

The Beetle Cat Boat is a twelve-foot, gaff-rigged wooden catboat designed by John Beetle in 1921 and originally built by the Beetle family of New Bedford, MA, famous for their whaleboats.

We looked at the NEBCBA website to read the history and see their mission which has been expanded to 'include promoting the maintenance, restoration, preservation and just plain sailing the Beetle Cat Boat. It is one of the oldest classes raced actively and probably the only one still made exclusively in wood. The New England Beetle Cat Boat Association is dedicated to continuing this success into the future.'  We find so many class boosters dedicated to preserving the unique heritage of their class and we hope Summer Sailstice is seen as a day to for all members of a class to gather together, in person or virtually, to haul up sails and celebrate what their special craft and culture has to offer.  We've added the Beetle Cat mission statement to our collection from many organizations who continue to dedicate their time and energy to promoting the beauty of living a life under sail.

Together, with classes like the Beetle Cat, we can all share and showcase the best of what sailing has to offer.  Thanks to Wells for joining in Summer Sailstice and for continuing the tradtions of Beetle Cat sailing. 

A quote from the Edgewood YC website: 'Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford.'  – George Matthew Adams –

More Beetle Cat sailing from Edgewood Yacht Club Facebook page.

Who wouldn't want to be sailing in this picture?

This Beetle Cat was once the childhood sailboat of the John Jr. and Caroline Kennedy.

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