OPTIMIST, Belmar, NJ – 1938
Captain Charlie Dodd's original "OPTIMIST" enters Shark River Inlet with a crowd of fishermen in 1938. The forty foot long "OPTIMIST" was built in 1929 at Freeport, New York and purchased by Captain Dodd in 1937.
She originally sailed from the Shark River at Belmar, NJ (just to the east of the Route 71 bridge), but in 1939, Captain Dodd relocated the boat across the river and the "OPTIMIST" became the first party fishing boat to sail from the then new Belmar Marina. The OPTIMIST name would go on to be a fixture of the Belmar, New Jersey party fishing fleet for the next sixty years.
Years later, she was replaced by a larger vessel and was renamed the "KAY-T", and was finally dismantled in 1959. Photo courtesy of Ray Dodd.