Marblehead's Oldest Yachtclub
The Marblehead Yacht Club was founded in 1878 and has continuously occupied its present building, earning its reputation as the oldest yacht club in Marblehead. It is believed that the clubhouse building originally served as a shoe box factory. Its situation on a rocky ledge between the bustling coal and lumber wharf and the Marblehead shipyard, made it an ideal location for a local boat club. Initially called the Marblehead Boat Club, its early members were primarily the working class from Marblehead's shoe industry. They were avid dory rowers who joined together to create a place to store their dories, oars and equipment and to organize races. They held dory rowing races with other local rowing clubs in Salem, Swampscott and Nahant, and eventually joined forces with the Beachcomber Club, another Marblehead rowing club.
Around the turn of the century, the dories were fitted with sails and dory sailboat racing took off. In the 1930's Winabouts and Town Class boats became popular, and the members created and approved the official Town Class logo used today. In 1935, the club was incorporated and changed its name to the Marblehead Yacht Club and charged $10 for annual membership.
Unlike most yacht clubs of early 1900's, the MYC accepted women including Miss Evelyn Ward of Marblehead, who was a successful Town Class sailor. Jacob Wirth, who owned Boston's second oldest restaurant (after Union Oyster House), was a member. Carl Alberg hailed from MYC when he started his prolific yacht design career. Carl's innovative fiberglass Pearson Triton put Pearson Yachts on the map and his other popular designs included the Ensign, Corinthian, Cape Dory and several Bristol sailboats.
Today the Marblehead Yacht Club is a vibrant and fun small yacht club that was named Massachusetts Bay's Yacht Club of the Year in 2019. Its members comprise a mix of sailors, power boaters and kayakers along with non-boating associate members who enjoy friendship and activities offered at the club. The goal of the Flag Officers and Board of Directors is to maintain the "Best Small Yacht Club" in New England.
If you are considering membership, we welcome you to come visit our Club and speak to our members and our Club Manager Bill Kilham. We offer Active Memberships for those desiring launch service and Associate Memberships for those who want to use the clubhouse facilities and have access to kayak storage.
The Marblehead Yacht Club's annual dues are modest because many members volunteer their time and skills in the operation of the Club. It is a great way to contribute to the Club while getting to know other members and sharing sea stories. We welcome new members with or without boats as our membership is open to the public. You will find our Membership Application to be an easy process.