Photo of the Month: The J/24 class starts at the Primo Cup organized by Yacht Club de Monaco in February.  Two club teams flew over for 3 days of excellent racing. There may have been snow and ice here in NYC, but in Monaco there was top-level racing, great social events and a wonderful time hanging out at Yacht Club de Monaco.  Our club hopes to participate in the Primo Cup again in 2 years so mark your calendar and don't miss it.  Photo courtesy of YCM/Studio Borlenghi


Greetings from the Commodore

Photo: One of the best places to contemplate the future is standing in warm Caribbean waters off the Bitter End Yacht Club in North Sound.  The cares of the world slip off your shoulders and the next steps become clear.


Dear Members - Earlier this month, we announced that our club was returning to our original name, "Manhattan Yacht Club."  After this announcement, a large number of members contacted the club with appluase.  Thank you for your support.  I hope the name change also reflects the increase in quality we are trying to achieve at the club.


Spring launching is just one week away.  Then we begin delivering the boats back to North Cove.  We will be sailing again soon!


The Sailors Ball is our big gala which celebrates the start of the new sailing season.  This year, the Ball will be Friday, May 2.  This is an important fundraiser for the NY Harbor Sailing Foundation and helps support junior sailing.  It is also the most fun you will have at a black tie event.  There is a great crowd, theme rooms and dancing all night long.  Buy tickets today at  Please also tell all your friends about the Sailors Ball and encourage them to attend.  Thank you for helping.


- Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh


Spring Launching - Saturday, April 5

Spring Launching is Saturday!  All club members are encouraged to attend the Spring Launching.  This is the annual event when members travel to the boat storage yard in Blairstown, NJ to help prepare our fleet.  Put on some old clothes and bring your smile.  We paint the bottoms, polish the topsides, see old friends, make new acquaintances and have lots of fun together!  Plus the Spring Launching features the first BBQ of the season with free hot dogs & sausages as well as sodas and beer.  The Spring Launching tradition began in 1991!  


A bus is chartered for the occasion and departs form Battery Park City.  Seats are limited so get your ticket before they sell out.  Many members also car pool so post a notice on the club Facebook if you can offer a ride or need one.  Full details are at



17th Annual Sailors Ball - Friday, May 2


The Sailors Ball is the big black tie gala which celebrates the start of the new sailing season.  The Ball is the most fun you will ever have at a black tie party.  There are theme rooms and you can glide from floor during the evening to experience different sights and sounds.  The Mt Gay Rum Sailors Lounge will be on the second floor.  The Heineken Boom Boom Room will be on the main floor. The Martini Room will be on the third floor.  There will be multiple DJs, a live orchestra and lots of excitement and fun.  Don't miss the best party of the season.  Tell all your friends so they join you.


The Ball will be held on Friday, May 2 at a private club in Lower Manhattan.  Doors open at 9 p.m. and dancing continues until 1 a.m.  This will be the 17th Annual Sailors Ball.  It has become a NYC institution.  It is always the hottest party of the year so by your tickets soon!


The Sailors Ball is also an important fundraiser for the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation.  The ball helps support programs like Operation Optimist, our city's first junior sailing program in the harbor.  By attending the ball, you will have a great time and help sailing grow in our city.  Advanced tickets are $95 and can be purchased at


One highlight of the Ball is the "Dinner with Dennis Conner."  Dennis will fly in from San Diego to host this dinner before the Ball.  The exclusive dinner will feature a 3 course meal, presentation of Foundation gifts and awards as well as an update on the America's Cup, by Mr. America's Cup himself, Dennis Conner.  The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and guests join the ball afterwards.


Commissioning Ceremony - Wed. May 7 


 The Annual Commissioning Ceremony of the club will be held on Wednesday, May 7. All members are invited down to the docks for the celebration which will begin at 6 p.m.


The ceremony begins on the club J/24 docks, symbol of our beginning. There will be speeches by Flag Officers and committee chairs. This is followed by the first Manhattan Yacht Cub burgee ever made being lifted from it's storage case and carefully raised on one of the J/24 masts. When the burgee reaches the top, the cannon is fired and the Commodore declares, "The sailing season is open!"

Following the burgee ceremony, all members will be invited onto Arabella where the celebration will continue through the evening. After the Commissioning, the club fleet will be open for member sailing on Thursday, May 8.
Blazers, club ties and scarves and other festive attire is suggested for the Commissioning Ceremony. This is also a good event to bring children as it celebrates beginnings. We look forward to seeing all club members on the docks to celebrate the Commissioning of our 2014 sailing season! 
Full Moon Parties Are Back & Members Only

Summer really is right around the corner! What better way to prepare for longer days and warmer weather than with thoughts of celebrating on the Honorable William Wall.  Well mark your calendars because Full Moon Parties are back and tickets may only be purchased by club members this season


In other words, there will be one super great membership-only party on the clubhouse every month!  These are the signature events of the clubhouse and tickets are only for members & their guests.


The first Full Moon Party will kick off with the opening of the Willy Wall on Wednesday, May 14th. More details to come but save the date and enjoy the best party every month with all your favorite sailors!



Wednesday, May 14th - Opening night of the HWW

Friday, June 13th

Friday, July 11th

Friday, August 8th

Wednesday, September 10th

Wednesday, October 8th


Winter Educational Seminars Continue


Our Winter Educational Seminars continue.  All seminars are held on the Honorable William Wall at North Cove.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and the seminars begin at 6:30 p.m.  Seminars are free to members.  The off season is an excellent time to improve your sailing skills.  Plus these events are great ways to meet your fellow members.


Tues. Apr. 1 - Basic Navigation and Reading Harbor Charts


If you are new to sailing in the harbor or have not ventured outside the area by North Cove, this seminar will guide you around the harbor and discuss basic navigation.  The seminar will be based around a chart of the harbor allowing participants to virtually navigate.  The discussion will center around what you find in these locations, including currents, commercial traffic and other items involved with navigation.  [Speakers: TJ Shea, Prudence Thiry]


Thurs. April 3 - Corporate Sailing League Open House


The Corporate Sailing League is entering its 4th season. The number of participating companies has grown to 8. Many of the corporate teams will be gathering on the Honorable William Wall this evening for a discussion about the upcoming season. In addition, anyone interested in forming a corporate sailing team at their company is invited down to meet the other sailors. There will be an overview of the program as well as a question and answer period. You can ask questions of existing teams and hear how they successfully pitched the program at their companies.


Tues. April 22 - Strategies & Tactics on the Race Course

The seminar will be a boot-camp on strategies and tactics that anyone can apply to get their boat around the racecourse faster.  Topics will span the basics to the advanced, so there should be something for everyone.  Be sure to bring a notebook to remember what you learn for years. [Speaker: Paul Wilson]





De Caribbean Regatta in the BVIs

The 14th Annual "De Caribbean Regatta" was held at the end of January.  Ten charter boats filled with members plus our flagship Arabella sailed from anchorage to anchorage over the course of one fabulous week.  This year's regatta featured the best weather ever.  There was good wind and beautiful sunshine throughout almost the entire week.  
The route this year was the traditional best. The first night was spent at Marina Cay and Trellis Bay. The second day saw the first competition, the "Great Dog Race" as teams sailed up to North Sound on Virgin Gorda, passing through the Dogs.  True to form, several teams claimed to have won the race and it was only at the skippers meeting the following morning that the Race Committee was able to sort through the various accounts to determine the real true winner.
At every stop along the way, club boats flew their yacht burgees from the rigging which made an impressive sight.  There was a day of rest at the Bitter End Yacht Club before the floittila sailed off for Anegada.  Anegada was again one of the best stops with the Skipper Appreciation Dinner at Neptune's Treasure followed by dancing at Potters.  Then it was off to Jost Van Dyke and the Soggy Dollar Bar and Foxys.  A whale was again sighted on this passage.  The final evening brought our fleet back to Norman Island and Willie Ts.  There, many of our sailors baptized themsevles as new members of "De Royal Order of De Caribbean Regatta."  They were presented with medals and joined a long line of outstanding members who went before them.
One exciting aspects of this year's regatta is that many members got to see our flagship Arabella sailing for the first time.  She is a beauty and commands a stately presence wherever she sails.
 Two Club Teams Race in Primo Cup in Monaco

Two club J/24 teams flew to Monaco to race in the Primo Cup in February.  One boat was skippered by Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh who was joined by John Elliott as well as 3 local sailors - Franck Jouvin and Mathieu and Nicolas Bouchet.  The second boat was skippered by Caner Dinlenc who was joined by Jan Willem van den Dorpel, Jennifer Taylor, Doug Moy and Tom Bervoets.



The setting in Monaco was incredible.  Above is the view of the one-design fleets with the evening lights of Monaco coming on in the background.  Our trip included both world-class racing and world class dining.


On the water, some of top European J/24 teams were racing.  The event was won by the team from Greece.  Second place went to the team from Great Britian.  Monaco's best team was third and the Italian team was in fourth.  Our US team skippered by Commodore Fortenbaugh finished an amazing fifth place!  They had been leading two of the races and sailed a very consistent regatta to score this high in the standings. 


But the racing is only part of the reason for visiting Monaco.  There is much more.  From hanging out at Yacht Club de Monaco's clubhouse, to dinners at fine restaurants, to the Casino and the very late nights of social activity, everyone had a great trip and picked up a little of the Monaco magic.

Caribbean Trip to St Martin & St Barts


Three boats of members sailed the waters of St Martin & St Barts this winter.  Here is the report from "Admiral" John Duber:


Beautiful, delicious, amazing, wild, unprecedented - Just a few words to describe the MSC flotilla that sailed St. Martin, St. Barth, and Anguilla.  We had delicious French cuisine in St. Martin, then sailed up to Anguilla - a beautiful unspoiled British island where we were treated to serene beauty and a wild nightlife. Later we sailed down to St. Barth's where we hit up the unspoiled Pt. Columbie one day and the next day we were in the populous French town Gustavia.    


Along the way we were occasionally joined by a large group of Russian sailors who were having their regatta at the same time.  These guys can party - that's for sure.  One night on Anguilla in an outdoor beach bar called Elvis, the Russians were throwing a foam party!  That is: foam suds dropping down from the tin roof above the beach dance floor.  We were covered in suds and sand and loved every minute of it. 


Rhumb Lines visited a small uninhabited island called Tintamarre just off of St. Martin.  The island was beautiful and unprecedented with dramatic cliffs, soft sand, and clear water.  On the way back to St. Martin for our overnight anchorage we heard the high pitched clicking and whistling of dolphins that began to swim alongside of our boat.  Since we were not under sail yet, some of the crew hopped in the water to swim with the dolphins.


The sailing on this trip, by the way, was fantastic.  We had steady trade winds in the 12-20kts range.  We flew from Anguilla to St. Barth on a strong beam reach and enjoyed the thrill of the rough seas that sent our provisions all over the salon of our boat.


MSC stuck with the traditions of "De Caribbean Regatta" with friendly challenges along the way.  We had our 2nd annual "Cocktail Competition" as well as the 2nd annual Zydeco synchronized swim.  Multiple countries, many different cultures, great sailing, beautiful water and scenery - The St. Martin, St. Barth's flotilla - A sailor's paradise. 




On-Line Way to Learn the Racing Rules

Butch Ulmer of UK Sails visited our club this month and did a great seminar about racing rules.  It was very informative and many members attended.  UK Sailmakers has also developed an on-line program which enables you to learn the racing rules through computer simulations.  This program is hosted on the cloud and you can sign up at  The cost is $55.  This is a great program which will be a big help to all racing sailors.  It is well worth the price and will help you understand many of the complex racing rules.  The club office has tried it and encourage you to sign up as well!




Seen at the Club
The Annual Blue Water Society Dinner was held again in February.  Congratulations to the new inductees who can now proudly wear their BWS medals at all club functions:  Jason Delisky,
John Elliott,
TJ Shea & Brita Siepker.  The new inductees were joined by other members of the society for this great dinner.
Members at the clubhouse on a Thursday evening.
The Rules seminar with Butch Ulmer.