From Beaton’s to Beach Haven
by William W. Fortenbaugh

"Winning is always a joyful moment, but the Ghost crew had very few down moments even in defeat."

In the 1920s, a new style of boat known as the A Cat was popularized in New Jersey and raced through Barnegat Bay. A series of mishaps and the restraint brought on by the Great Depression led to the A Cat becoming a footnote in history, but when the original plans were discovered, A Cats began to be commissioned by enthusiasts of the style. This is the story of Ghost, a fast and classic A Cat that won seven consecutive racing championships and became well-known among the area yacht clubs throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The history of Ghost and its construction are described here in great detail and with plenty of reference photographs illustrating all the ways in which Ghost and indeed the entire A Cat fleet are unique to other racing sailboats.

The scope of this book’s study manages to be both macro-focused and micro-focused. On the one hand, it tells the entire history of A Cat class boats, the small details that shape their design, and the way that they must be raced. On the other, it tells the very personal story about Ghost’s construction, detailing every step of the process, and the individual efforts that led to specific race results and fond memories. The wealth of photographs and diagrams serve to tell that very same story in a way that engages the reader visually and helps explain many of the technical details. The amount of passion and remembrance that the author has for his boat and the friends he shared it with is conveyed on every single page, investing the reader’s interest as well as their emotions. The expert level of detail and the stunning full-color photographs will have readers eager to sail as soon as they can.

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