The New England Beetle Cat celebrates 100 years of sailing

The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Beetle Cat sailboat. This will make the “Beetle Cat” the oldest one design that has been continuously produced out of wood and continues to be competitively raced for the past 100 years. The boat is a big part of New England history, sailing, wooden boats, and wooden boat building. Its distinctive silhouette is known at a glance, the name brings back memories of learning to sail, first tries at the tiller and of course the smell of cedar, varnish, and pine tar.

The Beetle Cat is a 12’, gaff-rigged wooden catboat designed by John Beetle in 1921. Originally built in New Bedford, Beetle, Inc. is now the sole builder of Beetle Cats in Wareham, MA. The boat continues to be hand crafted by true craftsmen working together using traditional methods to preserve the integrity and quality of the boat. Over 4,000 Beetle Cats have been built since 1921.

The Chatham Yacht Club is set to host New England Beetle Cat Association Annual Championship Regatta on July 31-August 1, 2021, on Pleasant Bay and will celebrate three centennials – the 100th anniversary of both Chatham Yacht Club and John Beetle’s cat boat and ten decades of sailing Beetle Cats on Pleasant Bay. This is the annual championships for the Beetle Cat, the jaunty little catboats that have held a special spot in the hearts of Cape & Island boaters of all ages for a century. In addition to the overall champion, prizes will be awarded to the skipper and crew of the first three boats in the following divisions: Junior (under 18), Women/Men’s/Old Salts (50-59) and Ancient Mariners (60+).

Learn more about Beetle Cats here.

ABOUT DOYLE SAILS // As sailors, our obsession with sailing connects us to the water. The water is our playground, a sanctuary where we seek enjoyment, a competitive playing field where we race as comrades; it’s sometimes our home, and always a place that unlocks our sense of adventure wherever that adventure might take us.

Our obsession with sailing takes us to every corner of the world and on board every yacht. We become part of teams, share in the adventures of friends and families, sharing our knowledge and experience with those who have the same passion for sailing as we do. Sailing is in our DNA, where the water unlocks our sense of adventure. We are the custodians of a legacy that has been supporting sailors for close to four decades and while our world changes around us, our commitment to sailors who seek the same enjoyment and adventure as we do, hasn’t.

From our sailors to yours. We are your experts in sailing. Your adventure starts with Doyle. 

By sailors, for sailors.

Scroll to Top