Marblehead Yacht Club and the Shipyard Waterfront 1878-2022 is now on sale! Learn about our club's history! The price is $25 –and you can order today on the SHOP tab >. Pick up your book at MYC (cash or check made payable to Marblehead Yacht Club). Note Book Correction >
Marblehead Yacht Club was founded on May 1,1878 establishing it as the first yacht club in Marblehead. Originally called the Marblehead Boat Club, the club started as a rowing 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 to race 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. 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 membership declined. In 1935, the club was incorporated and renamed the Marblehead Yacht Club and the MYC burgee was created. New members adopted the 'new' Town Class sailboat and the MYC became known as the unofficial Town Class club in town. The renaming reflected the change from a rowing club to a recreational yacht club. Power boaters and fishermen joined the ranks of the sailors and membership was revived. Dues were $10 and there were 45 members.
By the 1950's to 1960's 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 became more crowded, MYC started launch service with a free runabout they fixed up, and later purchased 3 Crosby launches which are still used today. In 1984, the Town of Marblehead purchased the property and remains the MYC's landlord.
Today the MYC hosts two sailing regattas and many social events for its members including the Kentucky Derby Meet & Greet Party, Opening Day Cookout, 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.
The complete history of the MYC is documented in the book entitled Marblehead Yacht Club and the Shipyard Waterfront which was published in 2023 and available on the MYC Shop or at the club.