Birthplace of the U.S. Power Squadron and home of the iconic Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race
Boston Yacht Club, Marblehead’s oldest, is situated on the ‘town side’ of the harbor with great views up and down the harbor. The Boston has established itself as a leader in both power boating and sailing, and is a popular destination over the winter for members of other clubs when their clubs are closed.
The Boston Yacht Club was founded in 1866. The 90 original members included the then-18 year old Nathanael Herreshoff who, in 1877, drafted the first sailing measurement rule that later became the basis for future handicap rating systems. In 1874 the first clubhouse was opened in South Boston. Club members Edward Burgess and George Lawley designed and built the successful America’s Cup defenders of 1885, ’86, and ’87. Herreshoff designed and built the next seven defenders, later teaming up with W. Starling Burgess (Edward’s son) who designed the winning J-boats in 1930, ’34 and ’37. Following the Cup’s hiatus during World War II, Ted Hood stepped up to carry on the tradition. As sail maker, and sometimes skipper and designer, Hood held sway through 11 successful Cup defenses from 1958-77. During this twelve meters reign, the two-time contender for the defense, Nefertiti was backed by a BYC syndicate. The BYC is also the organization from which The U. S. Power Squadrons was founded in 1914 with a mission to improve maritime safety and education through classes in seamanship and navigation. The club helped organize the first Hospice Benefit Regatta, now an annual event, to raise money for the Hospice of the North Shore. In 1993 the club hosted the first World Disabled Sailing Championship ever held in North America, and the U.S. National Disabled Sailing Championships in 1995.
The BYC has 500 members and 400 yachts flying the club burgee. The club offers a range of on-the-water programs to its regular and social category members, from family sailing in Sonars to junior sailing in Opti’s, to an annual members’ cruise. The club also operates a restaurant and hotel. The Boston co-hosts the iconic biennial Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race, the oldest of its kind (1905), and the popular, long-running Wednesday Evening Races, and more recently, invitational team (Jackson Cup) and match (Marblehead Cup) racing. The clubhouse has a formal dining room, porch dining, a bar, and outside entertaining areas all overlooking the harbor. The clubhouse showcases paintings and trophies reflecting the many achievements of BYC sailors in many classes over the centuries.
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To learn more about the Boston, or to inquire about membership, visit the BYC’s website.