Photo of the Month: Every spring, Arabella sails back to New York Harbor from the Caribbean.  This picture shows Arabella out on the big blue ocean.  Randy Balsmeyer captured this great image from a drone while on the delivery from the British Virgin Islands to Bermuda. 


Update from Commodore Fortenbaugh

Thank you to all the Members who supported the 18th Annual Sailors Ball.  At first, we were unsure whether to organize the Ball this spring because of the changes at North Cove.  But then, thanks in part to the leadership and commitment of Dinner Chair Marc LoPresti, we decided to push forward.  What happened was truly amazing as the spirit of attendees made this one of the largest and most successful Sailors Balls in recent years.  About $40,000 was raised for the NY Harbor Sailing Foundation.  Thank you to everyone who contributed!


Photo: Foundation Chairman Jim Cavanaugh (right) & Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh (center) present a recognition award to Dinner Chair Marc LoPresti.


The 12 Meter America II Dinner before the Ball raised more than $15,000 to support and preserve the historic 12 Meter America II.  This is on top of Scott Curtis's leadership donation last summer and means we are setting the groundwork for 12 Meter sailing in the harbor.  We all hope America II will also sail in the harbor again this summer.


I'd also like to thank all of the members who came to the Spring Launching in April.  It was great to see so many Members at the docks again.  There was universal agreement that the new docks are great, the location comfortable and we have the makings for an excellent season of sailing.


Over the next few months, we will figure out more about our new location.  One good thing has already occurred - we were able to bring the Mermaid back.  Mermaid is our original clubhouse.   She is the 45-foot pontoon boat which has been based at our docks for 20 years.  We were unsure she would fit but she did with 6 inches to spare!  Now we have a floating clubhouse at our docks again.  This will serve as our office and a gathering spot for members before and after sailing.


- Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh


2015 Commissioning Ceremony - Sat, May 9


The Commissioning Ceremony for our 28th season of sailing will be at Liberty Harbor Marina on Saturday, May 9 at 12 noon.  All members, families and their guests are invited and encouraged to gather at the docks for the Ceremony.  Blazers, club ties and other nautical attire are welcomed.  


The centerpiece of the Ceremony is the first Manhattan Yacht Club burgee ever made.  This burgee has sailed around Cape Horn twice on Open Class 60 sailboats skippered by Guy Bernadin.  After these historic roundings, the first burgee was retired from service and now comes out once per year for the Commissioning Ceremony.  The second part of the ceremony is the Club's cannon.  The Burgee is raised to the top of a J/24 mast, the cannon is fired and the Commodore declares "The sailing season is open!"


After the Ceremony, J/24s are available for sailing and the first group of Members will head out for an afternoon on the harbor.  Members who are not sailing are invited to relax at the dock and enjoy the atmosphere of our new home.  The Surf City bar and restaurant at the marina is not yet opened so in the meantime, members are invited to BYOB on the club docks.



1st Fleet Week Regatta - Sat. May 23


Every year, Fleet Week brings the US Navy back to New York Harbor.  This is an opportunity for the public to go aboard the ships and for active duty service members to engage and interact with the public.  You will see sailors in uniform through the city and surrounding communities.


This year, Manhattan Yacht Club has been selected to help expand Feet Week's outreach beyond the piers.  Our Club will work with the Navy League NY to organize the 1st Fleet Week Regatta.  All members are invited and encouraged to participate!


The event will take place on Saturday, May 23 at the start of Memorial Day Weekend.  This first year regatta will consist of one race which will start from the Honorable William Wall, round some buoys in the harbor and finish in front of the Statue of Liberty.  All sailboats in the harbor are invited to participate.  The first year regatta will be cruising only, with no spinnakers.  Each participating boat will take one active duty service member onboard.



The event will be run as a pursuit race.  Boats will be handicapped by PHRF and then start times staggered so that all boats should theoretically finish at the same time.  This makes the finish easy because your place is your actual finishing position.  The starts are also safer because each boat starts by themselves with no danger on the starting line.



The regatta Skipper's Meeting will take place at 1 pm at the Surf City Bar & Restaurant.  The first starts will begin around 2 p.m.  Boats are expected to be back at the bar by 4:30 pm for the Awards Ceremony which will finish by 5 p.m.


If you are able to volunteer to help organize this event, please send an email to Commodore Fortenbaugh at



Join the Lafayette Parade on July 4th



The next great harbor event involving our Club this summer is the Lafayette Parade on July 4th.  All Club J/24s will be permitted to participate!  If you are familiar with American history, you remember the Marquis de Lafayette from France who was instrumental in helping our country win it's independence.  Lafayette's flagship was "Hermione."  The French have built a full scale replica of Hermione which is sailing over to bring Lafayette's spirit back to the country he loved - the United States of America.


Hermione will be making several stops along the East Coast but the biggest will be New York Harbor where she will parade up the harbor n July 4th, passing the Statue of Liberty at 12 noon.  You can find out preliminary details about the parade at  Mark your calendars.  Boats will depart out docks at 8 am to be in Graves End Bay by 10 am.  Then the parade will get underway at 10:30 am.



Be part of this historic celebration!  Start telling all your other boating friends in the harbor as well.  This will be a great way to start your July 4th celebration!





Offshore Passage Making on Arabella


Once again this spring a great group of Members received the incredible opportunity of experiencing a significant offshore on Arabella.  They sailed from the British Virgin islands to Bermuda or from Bermuda to New York Harbor.  The Members this spring were Bob Finkelstein, Craig Hachemeister, David Nicholas, Erik Thygesen, John Carlson, John Laskas, Lynn Sexton, Randall Balsmeyer & Sarah Alford.



Thanks to Randy for taking some great aerial pictures from a drone.  The picture above shows Arabella docked at Yacht Club Coasta Smeralda on Virgin Gorda.  The picture below is underway between the BVIs and Bermuda with fishing lines hanging over the stern.  The crew reports success with several meals of fresh fish during the voyage.




Arabella Cruises with Royal Bermuda Yacht Club


During her delivery back from the Caribbean, Arabella stopped in Bermuda.  The first leg crew flew home and the second leg crew joined the vessel.


During her stop over in Bermuda, Arabella did an enjoyable evening cruise with members of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.  This was the result of Commodore Fortenbaugh's trip earlier this year to Bermuda with America's greatest sailing legend Dennis Conner.  One of the many great sailors who met with Dennis was Paula Lewin, the most decorated women sailor on the island.  Paula agreed to serve as our Bermuda Port Captain and invited other members of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for a cruise on Arabella.  About 50 people attended and had a great time.


Our long term dream is to have Arabella stop by Bermuda every fall on her way down to the Caribbean.  Then members could fly down for a long weekend in Bermuda and stay aboard Arabella.  Again it is only a dream but wouldn't it be great if one night cocktails were at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, one night a the Royal Amateur Hamilton Dinghy Club and one more night at another club as well?  During the day, maybe golf, fishing, tennis or sightseeing.  It could be a excellent experience and vacation at the end of every sailing season.  Bermuda is less than 2 hours away by plane and airfare is very reasonable. 




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."


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.



Message from a Former Member

From: Rafael Saenz []
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 10:57 AM


Dear Mike,

you probably remember me, I am Rafael Saenz and was a member of the Manhattan Yatch Club from 1997 until 2004 when I left New York City for Spain. I lived in Battery Park City, was introduced to sailing through the club, got into racing , met many friends and have the fondest of memories. I heard and read in the MYC webside that the club is moving to New Jersey since we cannot stay in the WFC marina any longer (when I think of the MYC I still say "we". At heart I will always be a member of the club).

This may sound too sentimental and out of place, but I want to thank your many efforts for making the club happen. Your vision and hard work improved -through the MYC- the quality of my life, and of many others. When I go to NYC I always stop by the marina, and sometimes if the season is on, get on a boat with a member friend. I loved sailing in the NY harbor and I wish you and the club the best of lucks in the Liberty Harbour Marina. I am sure you will do very well.

Warm Regards,


Rafael Saenz


 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  The data is then compiled into a spreadsheet which is shared with everyone on the list.



 Upcoming Events
Commissioning Ceremony to begin our 28th Sailing Season -  Saturday, May 9

Honorable William Wall Opens in Harbor - Friday, May 15

First Week of Racing - May 19 & 20
Fleet Week Regatta - May 23

Lafayette Parade - July 4

US Sailing Championships - Oct 9-12