|Sailing On the Raritan
|Sailing on Raritan Bay was a joy. (See chart below.) We would take the boat out from the Viking Mariner through the Cheesequake Creek inlet into the bay by
outboard. From there we would hoist sail and head toward Boundary Point Light, our favorite point of departure, and then navigate to wherever we decided to go.
Great Kills Harbor had a great yacht club to visit, good food and cold drinks. Just had to say we belonged to the Viking Yacht Club (which really didn't exist),
sign the guest book, and you were invited in. For a more adventurous sail you could go up to Norton Point off Coney Island or to the Rockaway Inlet. It all
depended on the wind direction. You really don't want to get caught beating your way home after nightfall. Sandy Hook was always close by. A nice evening could
be spent anchored in Horseshoe Cove. The dinghy could always take you ashore. And then there was Moby's nearby for fresh fried seafood out on the covered
deck there. Or you can stop by in Keyport Harbor on the way back for full course meal at the Ye Cottage Inn.
Having a retractable keel on the Catalina made getting into shallow places quite easy. Her draft
was 2 ft. 8 in. with the keel retracted and 5 ft. 0 in. when swung down. Cranking that keel up was
a little work. The boat had a nice sized cabin for a small boat with a dinette style interior. The
boat displaced about 4150 lbs. and had 270 sq. ft. of sail area with her standard rig. She was 25
ft. LOA, 22 ft. 2 in. LWL, and an 8 ft. beam. Hull speed was just over 6 knots. She carried a good
weather helm when pointed up.
Once you got well out into the lower NY Bay you could test your compass deviation by taking a
range off the World Trade Center twin towers. [Compass variation was known from the compass
rose printed on the chart of the bay.] Those towers lined up perfectly on a north-south line form
each other as can be seen on a close up of the Battery Area of lower Manhattan taken from a
1980 chart that is pictured above.
|Taking a Range Off the WTC Towers in the