Boat Racing on the Bay and Memories of Grandfather

The Bouquet , the Sewell Cup and Leopold Zwarg

The Sewell Cup Trophy is offered as a prize to the winner of an annual Barnegat Bay sailing contest. The competition is held in August between members of the Island Heights, Seaside Park and Bay Head N.J. yacht clubs.

a model of the boat the Bouquet

On August 9th, 1900 the inaugural race for the Sewell Cup was won by the Bouquet, which at the time was owned by William G. Hartrauft. The boat was later owned by Leopold F. Zwarg - also known as “Pappy” or “Leo” Zwarg - in the 1940s and early 50s.

Carl Zwarg, a grandson of Leopold, has many fond memories of his grandfather. Carl also owns a scale model of the Bouquet that was built by Leopold Zwarg in the 1940s. Carl reports that the original Bouquet was first an open decked boat that had a typical cat boat cabin added at some point after it's initial construction. The scale model reflects the modified version of the Bouquet.

Carl shares these memories of his grandfather, Island Heights and the Island Heights Yacht Club.....

My grandfather was a German immigrant, who was a cabinet maker by trade. Once in the U.S. he studied at various universities and eventually earned his Phd. His main vocation until 1952 was school teacher in the Philadelphia School System. He was quite a gymnast, and trained Olympic and other college athletes. He was voted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1959. Since about the 1920s, he summered in Island Heights N.J. He bought a small piece of property with a storage shed on it from a town meeting group and made it into a summer home. He raised my Dad and Uncle (both now deceased) around boating and the Island Heights Yacht Club. He built several racing boats for the "boys". The local boatyard was dominated by a German fellow about my grandfather's age. The two got along well, and during summers off from his teaching, my grandfather worked on the boats, fixing used ones and building new ones.

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around those days when I would stay the summer with my grandparents in their little cottage, and play around boats, and have childhood adventures at the boatyard and the local yacht club.

the Bouquet on Bay


This picture is of Leopold's sons, Walter and Bernard (Carl Zwarg's father) on the Bouquet. Just in front of Walter, the taller of the two boys, you can see a dog sitting and facing Bernard.

As Carl reports.....

I believe the dog in the photo was my Dad's dog Snooky, who became close to my granddad while both sons went off to war. The photo is well aged. It was taken probably in the late 30s or very early 40s on the Toms River off Island Heights when the Bouquet still was painted white. But, the rust stains got so bad and the wooden planking so porous that the topsides of the Bouquet ended up with a coat of roofing cement (thus the black hull in the model). Though my grandfather was a superb craftsman, practicality and thriftiness ruled the day. Roofing tar was lots cheaper and more effective than paint on the aging boat.

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Nice story about the Sewell

Nice story about the Sewell trophy, and the lovely old Bouquet. Does the winner each year get to take the prize home or to his/her Yacht club?

Also is the race winner's name actually Hartranft?

Thanks for a response to mt email of cellphone 410-231-3843

The Sewell trophy is set up

The Sewell trophy is set up so the winner is able to bring the trophy back to their Yacht club. There it can be prominently displayed for the year.

The miniature railroad on the beach at Seaside

In the 1940s, there was a miniature (15"-guage railroad at Seaside Heights. It was a live-steam locomotive built by the Cagney Brothers of Jersey City. It was owned and operated by one Bob Paar. Do you know anything about it? Pictures?

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