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Marblehead Yacht Club was founded on May 1, 1878 as the Marblehead Boat Club by a group of young Irish-American men who lived in Marblehead's shipyard neighborhood.  The early members raced four-oared rowing boats in the local waters, challenging other boat clubs for money.  In the 1880's, there were more rowing clubs than yacht clubs in the area, and rowing was the most popular sport in the country. The members originally met in a clubhouse on the corner of Cottage and Commercial Streets, until 1884, when local property owner and lumber dealer, Henry A. Potter built them a clubhouse which is still in use today.  The clubhouse was 37' x 21' with double doors facing the harbor which was big enough to store the 35-foot rowing boats inside; the second floor was used as a meeting room, and there was a gangway down to a small float to carry the boats down.

Around the turn of the century, rowing racing declined, and the members took to dory rowing and sailing. Popular dories in Marblehead included the Beachcomber and Alpha Racing dories. In 1935, the club was renamed the Marblehead Yacht Club and incorporated and the MYC burgee was created.  The renaming reflected the change from a rowing club to a recreational yacht club.  Power boaters and fishermen joined the ranks of the rowers and sailors and membership swelled. Dues were $10 and there were 45 members.  


In 1936, the MYC adopted the 'new' Town Class sailboat and had a small fleet which they raced in the harbor. As active leaders in the new Town Class fleet, the MYC created and approved the official Town Class logo.  Today, the Town Class fleet is Marblehead's oldest and largest one-design fleet with continuous participation by MYC members.  MYC members also had small fleets of Lightnings, Fireflies, Rhodes 19s and Corinthians in addition to many cruising sailboats, powerboats and fishing boats.  

In the 1970's when the harbor got more crowded, MYC started launch service with a free runabout they fixed up, and later purchased 3 Crosby launches which are still used today and each named after a prominent member.  We continue to provide aluminum rowing skiffs so members can access their boats after launch hours. The MYC hosts several sailing regattas and many social events for its members including Kentucky derby Meet and Greet party, music on the deck, July 4th cookout, wine tasting, and chowder parties. The MYC's Galley Restaurant enables members and guests to dine on the deck and enjoy the fabulous views of the harbor.

Today the MYC is home to sailors, powerboaters, fishermen, kayakers, paddleboarders and social members who partake in the many activities at the club.  Membership is open (no sponsorship necessary) to anyone from Marblehead and the surrounding area. If you are considering joining the MYC, please stop by and a friendly member will show you around. 

MYC Circa 1966

Photo Courtesy of Maureen Graves

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