Salt Water New England

Monday, November 6, 2017

The three yacht clubs in marblehead, massachusetts.

I haven't been in any of the three yacht clubs in Marblehead, Massachusetts, for some years, but I remember how each used to demonstrate physically its place on the New England social ladder. Out on Marblehead Neck, where all the summer people have their places, are the Eastern Yacht Club and the Corinthian Yacht Club. Old families with old money — that is, families that have been in the area (including the Boston area) for a number of generations — belonged to the Eastern Yacht Club. No one else was allowed to join. The clubhouse itself always looked to me as if it might collapse. It needed stain or paint, there always seemed to be a loose board or two out on the porch, and the dining and other facilities were modest, though with a certain quiet, old charm. However, belonging to the Eastern meant you were "in." If you didn't belong, you were "out" — and might just as well join the Corinthian Yacht Club.
The Corinthian accepted new people with new money, and its clubhouse and docks were new, meticulously maintained, modern, and posh. To a Texan or anyone else not knowledgeable in New England ways, inspection of the physical facilities of the Eastern and the Corinthian back in those days would have caused the Corinthian to be the immediate and obvious choice. From the New England point of view, that would be all well and good. As my aunt on my father's side once told me, "A Texan may be a braggart, but he can never be a snob."    
Then there was the Boston Yacht Club, located across the harbor from "the Neck," in the town of Marblehead. It was always considered the place for those not in any way interested, or able to be interested, in social considerations. It was for townspeople. So its clubhouse was neither run down nor posh. It was straightforward, perfectly comfortable, practical. Of course, some members of old area families, particularly the young ones with old money, deliberately chose the Boston Yacht Club over the Eastern. That's a related but slightly different form of snobbery, which was negated completely if you belong to both, as some did.
- Judson Hale, Inside New England < http://amzn.to/2x2m576 > 

marblehead neck yacht club

13 comments:

Very amusing, but where does the Boston Yacht Club fit in this pecking order--the yacht club on the other side of the harbor not on "The Neck" and the sponsor of the venerable Marblehead-Halifax Ocean Race?

marblehead neck yacht club

In my opinion, it's number 1!!

marblehead neck yacht club

Meghan, right? :)

marblehead neck yacht club

This all reminds me of the book The Status Seekers written in 1959 by Vance Packard. It's one of the most searing and sardonic looks at social status I've ever read. It really opened my eyes.

Jud with one d - I bet he'd write it the same way now!

But what about Pleon?

Pecking order is quite a bit different today. And Marblehead has 3 clubs on the town side and 3 clubs on the neck side.

Hilarious, but I think a Texan can be a snob. A lot are old southern families going back to the First Families of Virginia and the Jamestown group can be just as snobby as the Plymouth haha

If that's the case you will never know it because FFV and Jamestowne Society members do not brag. The snobs are the Highland Park new monied.

For many years my family enjoyed "belonging" at the Boston Yacht Club. We always parked just outside that quite small parking lot at the club and for good reason. We would take the launch out to our sailboat and sound the horn for pickup when it was time to get a ride back at the end of the day....one prolonged, two short if my memory serves me right. What a wonderful aura to the place...until they finally figured out we weren't actually members! Ooops! My father had an uncanny knack for walking into places he didn't belong as if he owned them. Ultimately we joined the Corinthian for real...I think. If we weren't members there I feel for whoever had to pick up our food tab at the pool.

That is a great story, I'll bet your father is/was an interesting man.

Are these ‘rules’ still applied in 2018 ? I am a member of the Royal Cape Yacht Club ( 44 years good-standing) and I can tell you things have changed. When I joined in 1974 I was given a ‘look up, and down’. I recall a superior of mine, possibly twice my age, who applied at the same time but was ‘blakballed’ as not being ‘suitable’. Somehow I doubt this still goes on. Except perhaps at certain clubs in the St James club area in London.

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Marblehead – Yacht Clubing

A visit to Marblehead’s sailing society

With more boats per capita than anywhere on the planet, Marblehead has long been known as “the sailing capital of the world.”

For those who wish to join the sailing set, Marblehead has a variety of clubs to choose from.

Two of the town’s clubs are found on Marblehead Neck, an exclusive community separated by the mainland by a long causeway that is perfect for jogging or biking.

Founded in 1885, the Corinthian Yacht Club on Nahant Street ( www.corinthianyc.org ) offers a beautiful clubhouse as well as swimming and tennis facilities.

“There’s many things yacht clubs can offer,” says Dave Titus, Corinthian’s clubhouse general manager, “but the view of the harbor we have here is spectacular!”

In addition to their frequent social events and tennis tournaments, Corinthian also hosts special yachting events, including the Trans-At Challenge in September, which brings a squadron of 60-foot boats from as far away as England.

“They’re quite a [thing] to view,” Titus says.

At present, Corinthian has 520 members.

“We have an extremely active membership, which is happy with what the club offers them,” says Titus. “It’s a very friendly community.”

According to membership committee member Jack Frankel, however, the club doesn’t take unsolicited applications.

“It’s a private club and new members are sponsored in a multiyear process,” he says.

Nearby on Foster Street is the Eastern Yacht Club ( www.easternyc.org ) with its six tennis courts and pool.

According to club lore, EYC was started in 1870 by “12 hardy men.” Its halls are packed with trophies, including one that was once carried on the flagship of famed British sailor Admiral Nelson! No wonder, then, that the Eastern has often been chosen to host Olympic sailing trials and many vanguard regattas.

“We consider ourselves a yacht club and try to encourage it at all levels,” says a member who wished to remain anonymous (the Eastern places a premium on privacy).

Across the harbor are the Boston, Dolphin, and Marblehead yacht clubs.

Organized in 1866, the Boston Yacht Club ( www.bostonyachtclub.net ) offers a dining room and bar, commodore’s lounge, and other facilities. And as it is located on Front Street, which runs along the harbor, the BYC also offers an amenity that the Neck clubs don’t.

“You can get dropped off here and walk around downtown Marblehead,” says general manager Mark McMahon, citing his club’s proximity to mainland shops and restaurants.

According to membership chair Martha Quigley, the BYC also requires sponsorship for new members. Even so, McMahon noted, around 20 slots tend to open at the end of each sailing season.

Though it may be difficult for people to gain immediate entrance to some clubs, there are other ways to get into the sailing scene. Among these are getting started early as a member of Marblehead’s youth yacht club, Pleon ( www.pleon.org ), or taking memberships at clubs that do not require sponsorship, meeting others at multi-club events (such as Marblehead’s world-famous Race Week) and then having them sponsor you down the road.

Though the 55-year-old Dolphin Yacht Club on Allerton Place ( www.dolphinyachtclub.com ) has no tennis courts or pool, the view of the harbor is beautiful, the kids’ room is a great place for younger sailors to hang out, and the food (provided by Sylvan Street Grill) is rather tasty. As for membership, it is inexpensive and does not require sponsorship.

“You don’t need to wait 10 years to get in,” says commodore/treasurer Patti Cohen of the club that, for many years, was the only place for Jewish sailors to congregate. And, as the club’s website states, “We are actively seeking new members!”

One caveat: If you want a full boating membership, you need to have a mooring in Marblehead Harbor. There are 1,400 of these and the waiting list is about 15 years. However, you can still be an out-of-harbor member for $350 or a social member for $225. The Dolphin also offers a kayaking membership for small-craft fans.

Lastly we come to the club that takes its name from its hometown. Built in 1878, the Marblehead Yacht Club on Cliff Street ( www.marbleheadyc.org ) is the most down-home of all.

“This is by far the most inexpensive club,” says club manager Steve Karger, who has been a member for 25 years.

With food service Friday through Sunday (the MYC is BYOB), the club offers its 356 members three launches that cover 60 percent of the harbor and a fleet of rowboats you can take to your yacht.

“We’re the mirror image of the Corinthian,” Karger says, pointing across the harbor, “only in this way.”

In philosophy, the club mirrors the Dolphin more closely, as it was the first place Irish-Catholic sailors could join. In 1935, the MYC instituted a policy requiring that  “anybody joining be considered as an individual, not part of a group.”

These days, however, the only “group” that most members want to be counted among is Marblehead’s large group of sailors.

So whether you want cotillions and pool parties or just a way to get to your boat, join the club!

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Yacht Clubs

marblehead neck yacht club

Eastern Yacht Club

The Eastern Yacht Club was founded in 1870. Throughout its history “the Eastern” has consistently pursued its mission of “encouraging yacht building and naval architecture and the cultivation of nautical science.” Yachts flying Eastern colors successfully defended the America’s Cup three times in the mid-1880’s. Its interest in the America’s Cup continued into the 20th century, when Eastern members built J-Boats and 12-Metres in hopes of defending the America’s Cup; and Eastern members sailed on a number of 12-Metres that successfully defended the Cup. Eastern members have built and owned numerous offshore racing boats that have successfully competed in local and international races. Members have also won world and national championships in a number of classes.

Stories from Eastern Yacht Club

In 1870, twelve Boston gentlemen organized themselves as the Eastern Yacht Club, a club dedicated to the promotion of yachting. Within one month, they had enrolled 110 members with 23 yachts. The Clubhouse on Marblehead Neck was completed in 1881.

From the beginning, the Club became a leader in yacht racing with Puritan, Mayflower, and Volunteer , all flying Eastern colors, successfully defeating their British challengers in the America’s Cup in 1885, 1886, and 1887, respectively. The Eastern has hosted a multitude of local, national, and international sailing events from the Sonder class regattas that preceded WWI to the competitive one-design and PHRF races of today, including the Etchells Worlds, Star Worlds, IOD Worlds, Olympic Class Regattas, Viper 640 North Americans, Sonar North Americans, Shields Nationals, and the Soling North Americans, a preliminary race for the ’96 Olympics. In 1994, the club received the coveted St. Petersburg Trophy, awarded for the Race Committee’s outstanding management of the Star North Americans.

Eastern’s Race Committee is active throughout the summer and is recognized as one of the very best in the country. Throughout the clubhouse you will find paintings, photographs, trophies and models that mark the history of America yachting from the glorious days of huge racing yachts to the present day streamline one-designs. The club’s model room contains over 65 half-models of historic and modern yachts. Additional half models and many stunning full models are displayed throughout the Club.

A visit to the Eastern is a walk through yachting history, from the glorious days of the huge racing yachts to the present-day streamlined one-designs -130 years of yachting history. Throughout the Clubhouse, you can find trophies and medals marking the Club’s illustrious history as well.

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Eastern Yacht Club

In 1870, the eastern yacht club was formed when twelve men created an organization dedicated to the promotion of yachting. over the years, the eastern has established itself as one of the most distinguished yacht clubs in america.  overlooking marblehead's breathtaking harbor, the eyc offers its members and guests a wealth of opportunities to enjoy activities on sea and on land. .

In 2015, we completed a major renovation of the entire Clubhouse which we are quite proud of.  Along with our formal Henderson Dining Room, we have the outdoor Samoset Porch informal dining facility. These dining settings are situated with a panoramic view of the harbor. We also cater to first class private events and world class regattas (e.g., the Sonar Worlds, IOD Worlds, Viper and Etchell’s NA). Our campus includes an aquatics facility, three paddle tennis courts, six tennis courts, a junior sailing program, children’s summer camp, two full-service bars and of course, access to the harbor for a number of sailing related events and activities. The Eastern is a member of the International Council of Yacht Clubs, a world-wide yachting organization that includes some of the most prominent clubs in their respective regions. There are clubs from North America, Europe, Scandinavia, England, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Africa. The primary purpose of the ICOYC is for Leading Yacht Clubs to Work Together to Share Experiences. One way in which this knowledge is shared is by holding Commodore’s Forums with panel presentations. These panels offer insights into how other clubs operate and provide a unique opportunity to have access to information that is closely guarded and not generally available. The opportunity to discuss these issues with officers of other clubs is invaluable. For a list of the clubs and to find other information about the ICOYC please click  HERE . 

Among the oldest and most distinguished yacht clubs in America, the Eastern Yacht Club embodies the very essence of the history of ‘yachting’. When yachting in Massachusetts was in its infancy, a group of gentlemen from Boston organized themselves as the Eastern Yacht Club for the purpose “of encouraging yacht building, and naval architecture, and the cultivation of nautical science.” Twelve successful businessmen, “imbued with the true yachting spirit,” according to a contemporary newspaper account, met in March of 1870. Within a month they had enrolled 110 members with 23 yachts. Construction of the clubhouse on Marblehead Neck was completed in 1881. Already known as the “Birthplace of the American Navy”, Marblehead became the homeport to some of the most beautiful schooners and steamers to be built during this time establishing itself as ‘the yachting capital of the world.’ From the beginning, the Club took a leadership position in every facet of yacht racing. The 94-foot sloop Puritan, flying the Eastern colors, successfully defended the America’s Cup in 1885 against challenger Genesta of the British Royal Yacht Squadron. This victory marked the first of three successful Cup defenses against the British by Eastern yachts in as many years- an extraordinary feat. Mayflower answered the challenge of Galatea in 1886, sending her packing in light air off New York. And in 1887, steel cutters Volunteer and Thistle engaged, and Volunteer, owned by Eastern member General Charles Paine, gained victory for America once again in a stunning defeat. Committed from its incorporation to superior naval architecture, the Eastern’s membership has included such celebrated designers and builders as Edward and Starling Burgess, Nathanael and L. Francis Herreshoff, Ray Hunt, and Ted Hood. The club’s roster of members boasts such revered names across the ages in yacht racing as Charles Francis Adams, skipper of Yankee; Chandler Hovey, whose J Class Yacht Rainbow and Twelve Meter Easterner graced America’s Cup trials; Bradley Noyes, whose Tiogas gained multiple victories and the legendary Ted Hood, yacht designer, sail maker and winning skipper of the 1974 America’s Cup aboard the 12 Meter Courageous. Hood was elected to the America’s Cup Hall of fame in 1993. In recent years, our club has been proudly represented around the world by seven-time Etchells Worlds champion Dave Curtis; Jud Smith, two time winner of Rolex Yachtsmen of the year and 10 time World Champion in multiple classes, and Dru Slattery, internationally ranked in women’s sailing. The club’s history is so full of characters and achievements, however, that for every one mentioned, there are literally dozens of others deserving attention. Of most recent note is Rich Wilson, who recently completed his second Vendee Globe solo around the world race in Great American III as the only American and oldest entrant, finishing in 107 days. Rich’s record-breaking voyages around Cape Horn about his trimaran Great American II captivated 300,000 thousand schoolchildren through his Sites Alive education portal. Aboard Great American II, he also set two new records between New York and Melbourne, and Hong Kong-New York, and finished second in the Transatlantic Race in 2004. From the Sonder class regattas that preceded World War I to the competitive one-design and performance handicap (PHRF) races of today, the Eastern has played host to a multitude of major sailing events, local, national, and international. In 2019, we will host both the IOD Worlds and the Laser Masters North American Championship. Other major regattas have included the 2018 J70 Worlds, the Etchells Worlds, Soling Worlds, Star Worlds, IOD Worlds, Olympic Classes Regattas, Viper 640 North Americans, Sonar North Americans, and Shields Nationals, as well as the Soling North Americans, a preliminary race for the ‘96 Olympics. In 1994 the club received the coveted St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy, awarded for the Race Committee’s outstanding management of the Star North Americans. A visit to the Eastern is a walk through yachting history, from the glorious days of the huge racing yachts to the present-day streamlined one designs. The trophy cases display such treasures as the Puritan Cup, the Lambert Cup, the Cleopatra’s Barge trophy, even a trophy once carried on Admiral Nelson’s flagship, as well as an array of Olympic medals. One hundred and fifty years of yachting history reside here! A digital copy of our “The Eastern Yacht Club, A History from 1870-1985” by Joseph E. Garland may be accessed  via this link . Click  HERE  to view interviews/contemporary history of the Club, and follow the "Did You Know?" links below to learn some interesting facts about the Eastern Yacht Club.

HISTORY COMMITTEE

Elizabeth W. Parker, Chair Email: [email protected] A Complete List of Committee Members Can Be Found Here

DID YOU KNOW?

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IMAGES

  1. Corinthian Yacht Club and Marblehead Lighthouse from the water

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  2. Marblehead, Marblehead Neck, Eastern Yacht Club House, 1880

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  3. Marblehead Yacht Club and the Shipyard Waterfront

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  4. Corinthian Yacht Club Marblehead Neck, MA Postcard

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  5. Marblehead Neck Massachusetts Ferry Landing Yacht Club Postcard K82460

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  6. Corinthian Yacht Club, Marblehead Neck Massachusetts

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COMMENTS

  1. The Three Yacht Clubs in Marblehead, Massachusetts

    Out on Marblehead Neck, where all the summer people have their places, are the Eastern Yacht Club and the Corinthian Yacht Club. Old families with old money — that is, families that have been in the area (including the Boston area) for a number of generations — belonged to the Eastern Yacht Club.

  2. Home - Eastern Yacht Club

    Overlooking Historic Marblehead Harbor. Situated in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a town established in 1628 on Boston’s North Shore, the Eastern Yacht Club is one of the oldest and most notable private yacht clubs in America and around the world.

  3. Marblehead - Yacht Clubing - Northshore Magazine

    For those who wish to join the sailing set, Marblehead has a variety of clubs to choose from. Two of the town’s clubs are found on Marblehead Neck, an exclusive community separated by the mainland by a long causeway that is perfect for jogging or biking.

  4. Marblehead Yacht Club | Marblehead MA - Facebook

    Marblehead Yacht Club, Marblehead, Massachusetts. 609 likes · 52 talking about this · 711 were here. Marblehead Yacht Club is a yacht club in the heart of Marblehead's bustling boating community and bo

  5. Eastern Yacht Club - Wikipedia

    The Eastern Yacht Club is located in Marblehead, Massachusetts and founded in 1870. It is one of the oldest yacht clubs on the east coast with significant involvement in the history of American yachting.

  6. Eastern Yacht Club - National Sailing Hall of Fame

    The Clubhouse on Marblehead Neck was completed in 1881. From the beginning, the Club became a leader in yacht racing with Puritan, Mayflower, and Volunteer, all flying Eastern colors, successfully defeating their British challengers in the America's Cup in 1885, 1886, and 1887, respectively.

  7. Waterfront - Eastern Yacht Club

    The entrance to Marblehead Harbor is about 11.5 nm northeast of Boston Harbor's Deer Island and about 9 nm southwest of Gloucester Harbor entrance. Marblehead Light (F G 103ft 7M) is on the tip of Marblehead Neck and is the only fixed green lighthouse on the East Coast.

  8. Contact & Directions - Eastern Yacht Club

    Eastern Yacht Club. 47 Foster Street. Marblehead, MA 01945. For any questions related to the Club and our guest policies, the Front Desk can be reached at (781) 631-1400 or by email at [email protected].

  9. About - Corinthian Yacht Club

    For more than 125 years, the CYC has made yachting, racing and cruising history. The CYC also offers members tennis, swimming, dining and social activities in a vibrant and interactive community. The beautiful clubhouse on Marblehead Neck and the glorious view from the porch enhance members' enjoyment of the club.

  10. Eastern Yacht Club - proregatta.com

    Over the years, the Eastern has established itself as one of the most distinguished yacht clubs in America. Overlooking Marblehead's breathtaking harbor, the EYC offers its members and guests a wealth of opportunities to enjoy activities on sea and on land.