New Haven Yacht Club was established in 1882, making it one of the oldest chartered yacht clubs in the country. During its heyday in the earlier part of this century the NHYC was host to many nationally renowned yachting squadrons including the New York Yacht Club during its annual tri-cornered regatta on Long Island Sound.
The Club was originally located at the end of a 1,100 foot pier off Water Street (near the foot of Franklin Street.) in New Haven. At the turn of the century the building was moved a short distance eastward to the rear of the Sargent Company pier. The Club relocated to Morris Cove and a new building (#8 Cove Street) was built in 1911. The Club operated at that location until its temporary demise in the mid 1940’s.
The revival of the present Club developed one Sunday afternoon in February 1967 upon the discovery of the Club’s former location. The unused ground floor was leased from the New Haven Marina. A corps of new sailors scrubbed, hammered, nailed, painted and refurnished the clubhouse. Bylaws and rules were drawn up and committees established. In March 1967 a legislative bill was prepared for presentation to the State Assembly. On April 11, 1967 the bill incorporating the New Haven Yacht Club was passed.
With the purpose of providing a base for sailing, work went on and a fleet of FJ’s was assembled for small boat racing and sailing instruction. Other racing and cruising classes were developed. The Club was launched in the summer of 1967 with 30 families. Novices became accomplished sailors as the fleet grew in size and variety.
After the third year available space at the New Haven Marina could not keep up with the growth. New facilities had to be found. Purchase of the property at 148 Cove Street was approved by the membership and the Club moved there. The army of shovel, broom, hammer and brush wielders got to work again to improve the facilities.
Over the past few years artifacts from the Club’s early days have surfaced in attics and even town dumps. Historical papers are on file at the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Numerous trophies, engraved with the recipient boats’ names and dates of regattas back to 1883, have been donated to the current Club and are back in use as annual awards. Some of our most beautiful silver trophies reflect the financial health of the Club in the 1880’s.