Ubiquitous Beetle Cats. They seem as much an allAmerican icon as blue jeans. With more than 4,000 built they seem to be everywhere, especially on the New England east coast, where the catboat type traces its lineage back to the simply rigged, strongly built, shoaldraught working boats with their characteristic unstayed mast set well forward in the bows, dating from the 1840s onwards.
And the 12ft (3.7m) Beetle Cats have themselves been built for nearly 100 years now. They came about in 1921 in New Bedford the Massachusetts home to America’s whaling industry where James Beetle had built a business supplying open whalers to the whaling fleet; there’s even a Beetle Street in New Bedford. Between 1834 and 1854 Beetles were building 50 whalers a year… Continue Reading