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A.C. Pier: 1904

A.C. Pier: 1904

The Jersey Shore in 1904. "Pier at the inlet, Atlantic City." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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South Jersey Beach Skiff

That's what the "Sailing / Pulling Boats" from a previous comment are. Figure 77, on p. 207 of "American Small Sailing Craft" by Howard I. Chapelle (New York: 1951) shows lines, offsets, and a sail plan of one. In the text, Mr. Chapelle says they were usually finished with a small raking transom and were of light lapstrake construction. However, double enders also appear and they were called "sharpies" in this area although their hull form was completely different from the flat-bottomed craft more commonly known by that name in New England. He also says they were built along the entire NJ coast south of Barnegat but were most common in Atlantic City, so I think the identification is quite solid. He adds that the usual sailing rig was a sprit main and jib -- quite large in the sail plan. They were 15 to 18 feet long.

Shuttle Boats

As other Shorpy photos show, the railroad stations were already on this barrier island. However, the railroad bridge from the mainland to Brigantine Island, the next barrier island North, burned permanently in 1903, the year before this photo, so these could be detour shuttles.
The Inlet was and is also home port for charter and party fishing boats.

I had been wondering what was going on here...

Once chicagobob ID'ed these as catboats, I had to look them up and see what the story was.

I'm guessing these were ferrying people the city back to the railroad station on the 'mainland' for the trip back home. (Or vice versa - from the railroad to the barrier islands off the coast).

In either case, this is probably a shot of turn of the century mass transit in action. :)

Sailing / Pulling Boats

Note also the two graceful sailing/pulling boats. Too bad we cannot tell if they are double-enders or what. See the tholepins in lieu of oarlocks? Not sure that the after rowing station is all that comfy, what with the centerboard trunk poking you in the lumbar spine.

These are probably sprit-rigged, giving them light, easily-handled spars,

Can anyone positively identify the type?

As a sort of P.S. notice the partially broken stringer on the pier, to the left of the pulling boats.

Catboats!

Great to see so many Jersey catboats in one photo. They are a great design and many of the Cape Cod style ones are still made in wood and fiberglass, for recreational and racing use.

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