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.
Catalina 25
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
1980s