Photo of the Month: The first gathering of Club Members in Jersey City was held at the Zeppelin Beer Hall in March.  Backgammon was the theme and many members used this as an opportunity to test out transportation to and from Liberty Harbor Marina.


Update from Commodore Fortenbaugh

Dear Members - It's an exciting time.  We are embarking on a season of change as we build our new home at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City.  Once we solidify this home, we will also begin looking for another outpost in Manhattan.  This would not replace Jersey City which has many benefits for long-term growth.  But it would expand our club's reach to engage more sailors from Manhattan, our original home.  Thank you to all of the Members who are supporting our Club. 


We seem to be achieving a soft landing.  Our Club will open for the 2015 season on schedule and our docks and fleet will be ready.  Even though there are changes, many things remain the same.  Sailing in the harbor will be as magnificent as ever.   You will be able to spend great afternoons sailing with friends past the Statue of Liberty.  Our fleet will be the same and many J/24s have undergone refurbishment again this winter.  The goals of our Club will be the same - to provide opportunity and education as well as one of the best sailing communities in the North East.


We can take inspiration from our Patron Dennis Conner who lost the America's Cup in 1983 and then went on to stage sailing's greatest "Comeback" by winning the Cup again in 1987.  We are trying to face adversity with the same grit and determination.  Over the winter, club staff was reduced to four people.  Our "Comeback" started with two of these who have been with us for many years.



First is Ken Elliott (above) who overseas our maintenance facility in Blairstown, NJ.  Ken is the person who upgrades our fleet and does all the epoxy and glass repairs as well as Awlgrip finishing.  Ken lives with his wife and two daughters in Stillwater and has worked for the club for 14 years.


Second is Angelo Valitutti (right) who oversees all J/24 maintenance at our Club.  Angelo is the person who replaces broken cleats and pulleys, raises and lowers masts and checks out the engines.  Angelo lives with his wife and 2 daughters in Queens and has worked for the Club for 5 years.


The sailing we enjoy in the harbor is made possible by the hard work, commitment and dedication of Ken & Angelo.  Most Members are not aware of the substantial effort which goes on behind the scenes.  But this is why we have such a high quality operation.  Your Club dues help support these two loyal employees and their families.


Thank you to all of our new friends in Jersey City who have welcomed us with open arms and have offered to help.  We appreciate your support and together, we will make it possible for more adults and kids to begin accessing the harbor for recreation.


- Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh


18th Annual Sailors Ball - Friday May 1


The 18th Annual Sailors Ball will be Friday, May 1 with doors opening at 9 pm.  Please buy your tickets today at www.nyharborsailing.com.  Tickets are $95 in advance and $120 at the door.


Each spring, our Club helps to organize the Sailors Ball.  This is the main fundraiser for the NY Harbor Sailing Foundation.  The Foundation created the first junior sailing programs in the harbor and these continue to grow.


The Ball raises money for scholarships for kids from lower income families.  As you know, sailing is an incredible experience which builds confidence and inspires kids to achieve.  The more money we can raise for the Foundation means more kids get sailing.  All proceeds from the Sailors Ball go towards youth scholarships for the junior and teen programs.


The Ball is also one of the best black tie events of the year.  The Ball pioneered the unique theme-room format.  Some favorites are the Mt Gay Rum room which has Caribbean music and where De Caribbean Regatta Reunion takes place at 10 pm.  Then there is the famous Heineken Beer Boom Boom Room which is always the hottest place from midnight to 1 am.  For people who like to swing and dance, the Alex Donner Band performs non-stop from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am.


There will also be two new rooms this year.  First will be the "Casino Royale."   This will feature live black jack, craps and roulette tables.  Bring a little extra money to donate to the Foundation, try your luck and you can win some great prizes!  The casino will add an exciting new dimension to the Sailors Ball this year.



The second new room is the Silent Disco organized by Club member Castel Valere and his company "Sound Off."  This is a hot and fun new concept.  If you want to have a great party but have noise restrictions, Sound Off is the answer.  The Silent Disco will be in a hidden room. You will have to search to find it.  But once you walk through the secret door, it will be an incredible experience!



In addition to the Ball, there is a VIP dinner that evening.  This is known as the "12 Meter Dinner" and helps to raise money to support the historic America's Cup 12 Meter America II.  The dinner is chaired by Marc LoPresti and it runs from 7 to 9 pm before the Ball.  Corporate tables are available at $2,500 and individual tickets are $250.  The dinner is already close to selling out so if you are interested, please register on the website right away. 


Spring Launching - Sat Apr 25


This year, the Spring Launching will take place on Saturday, April 25 at our docks at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City rather than Blairstown. 


The Spring Launching is annual tradition when members are invited into the boatyard to help commission our fleet.  This year, we will focus on stepping the masts, tuning the rigs and bending on the sails.  Work will start at 11 am and end at 3 pm.  Please bring a sandwich and something to rdink because the marina's bar & restaurant does not open until mid-May.


Over the winter, our staff continued working on the fleet at our maintenance facility in Blairstown  The facility is a 40 x 60 ft structure with 14 ft ceilings.  It is insulated and heated and you can wheel one of our J/24s inside on the trailer.  This is where the majority of improvements to our fleet are made.  Over the course of this winter, most of the white boats went through a refurbishment. 




Update on Club Docks



At North Cove, members were used to high quality docks.  We are working to keep this quality at our new marina.  To improve their docks, we have installed a new main float in our J/24 area.  Our team spent a week pulling up planks, switching the old dock out and installing the new dock. 


Our J/24 area will be on B Dock and consist of slips 1 to 10.  We will remove the existing fingers and configure the space to accommodate 14 J/24s.  We also plan to establish additional docks on the north side of Morris Canal which can bring our total slips to 20 or more this summer.


The maximize space, we will dock our J/24s stern-to like they do in Monaco for the Primo Cup.  This was a system that worked very well.  Members will board the J/24s by stepping over the stern as demonstrated by Caner Dinlenc in Monaco in the picture to the right. 


Skippers will have to practice the new docking maneuver of backing into their slip.  This may lead to some interesting situations early in the season as skippers get the hang of the new system.  The sterns will be held off the dock with a bowline attached to an underwater chain.  This system is possible because Liberty Harbor benefits from calm water.  All members will enjoy this peacefulness after the ferry wakes at North Cove.



New Dues Structure


With the move to Jersey City, our Club evaluated our dues structure and came up with some improvements which will help carry us forward.  The main change is that Regular Membership has been split off from sailing privileges on the club-owned fleet of J/24s.


This more closely reflects how a traditional yacht club works.  Members join the club and pay a base rate.  Then they can choose to pay additional fees for slips and boat expenses.


In the past, our Regular Membership also included crewing privileges on the J/24s.  This was fine for most members.  But if you were not interested in sailing on the club-owned fleet, you were paying for something you were not using.  Also, members sometimes request to take a break from sailing but they still want to stay connected to the Club without ending their relationship. 


The solution was to establish a Regular Membership with dues of $690 and then have options like J/24 Crewing or Skipper Privileges.  For current Members who have crewing or skipper privileges, there is no change in overall dues for this coming year.


This new dues structure is also designed to attract private boat owners who would like to become part of our great social community.  With our new facilities in Jersey City, it is likely that more private owners will consider joining our Club.



MYC to Host US Sailing Adult Championship


US Sailing has selected Manhattan Yacht Club to host the 2015 US Adult Sailing Championship.  The event will take place In October over Columbus Day Weekend.  US Sailing is the national governing body for the sport of sailing in the United States.  This will be the first time one of the national sailing championships will take place in New York Harbor.   The winner of the Adult Championship is presented with the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy.


This is a very prestigious honor for Manhattan Yacht Club.  The selection of our club is the culmination of 27 years of vision, hard work and tenacity.  Our club successfully reintroduced recreational sailing.  When we began sailing in 1987, most people thought you could not sail in the harbor because it was too polluted and had too much commercial traffic.   Today, our club has built the harbor's largest sailing community.  We have the largest and best quality racing programs as well as innovative cruising and education initiatives.  Now, we will be hosting some of the best sailors in the nation who will battle for the Adult Championship in front of the Statue of Liberty.   This is another great success story in the continuing renaissance of New York Harbor.

The regatta headquarters will be in Jersey City where our club is moving this spring.   Competitors will be based at nearby hotels.  "This event will have a positive impact on Jersey City, both in terms of economic activity and image," said Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh.  "Jersey City is becoming an even better place to live and work.  This event will help showcase the city.  We are also excited because this event can help inspire kids who live in Jersey City and nearby," continued the Commodore.  "This summer, local kids will be encouraged to start sailing through the junior programs organized by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation.  Then in the fall, these kids can volunteer at the National Championship and watch some of the best sailors in the country.  It will be an inspiring experience."



One of the Manhattan Yacht Club members, Paul Wilson (above right), has competed very successfully in the Mallory Cup in recent years.  He finished second last year with fellow Member Reilly Scull onboard 9above left).  Paul also won the event in 2010.  The burgee he is holding is for the Vineyard Yacht Club where he grew up.  It will be interesting to see if he can win again on his home waters or whether another team representing Manhattan Yacht Club can claim victory.

This competition will take place over Columbus Day Weekend in October.  There will be a spectator boat for members, guest and the public to go out and watch the races.



New Club Address

As our Club continues the transition to Jersey City, we have given up our Manhattan office and will establish an office in NJ.  In the meantime, please use this address for any correspondence with the club:

Manhattan Yacht Club

PO Box 920

Bowling Green Station

New York, NY 10274 


 Official Racing Skipper & Crew List

To facilitate Members communicating with each other about race teams, the Club has established an Official Racing Skipper & Crew List.  If you are a crew looking for a spot on a race boat or if you are a skipper looking or crew, you should add your information to this list at

http://myc.org/racing-home/get-racing/  The data is then compiled into a spreadsheet which is shared with everyone on the list.



 Possible Fleet Week Regatta


At the NY Navy League Annual Dinner in March, Luigi & Nina Galbiati (center) joined Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh and Sarah Raymond to pose with some members of our armed forces.  During the dinner, a discussion occurred to possibly bring back the tradition of the Fleet Week Regatta which our club did back in the 1988 & 1989.  This event would take place on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.  Stay tuned....


 Upcoming Events

Arabella departs BVIs - Monday, April 13

Spring Launching - Saturday, April 25

Arabella departs Bermuda - Monday, April 27

18th Annual Sailors Ball - Friday, May 1
Commissioning Ceremony to begin our 28th Sailing Season -  Saturday, May 9

Honorable William Wall Opens in Harbor - Tuesday, May 12

First Week of Racing - May 19 & 20

Stars & Stripes Regatta - July 4 & 5

US Sailing Championships - Oct 9-12