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Massachusetts Yacht & Sailing Clubs
Beverly Club is one of the oldest sailing clubs in the US.
98 Water Street
P.O. Box 181
Marion, MA 02738
Blue Water Sailing Club
Boston Sailing Center
Cottage Park YC
(617) 631- 9837
(508) 627 4361
Great Looking website
Ipswich Bay YC
Lincoln Sailing Center
Established in 1878
Milton Yacht Club / on the Neponset River/
Club is located in Milton, US Massachusetts and has an boat yard on the Neponset River for members. Yacht Club "Milton" promote the study of nautical and boating sciences and yachting sports.
Milton Yacht Club publications:
YACHT CLUB DISPLAYS SURVIVAL INSTINCT
Article published in Soundings Magazine | July 2004
by Seaver Jones
photo: Soundings Magazine
I arrived early for the appointed hour of the monthly meeting of the Milton Yacht Club. Purposely I walked wide of the open door in the front of the -.null stone building that once served as the town jail house, and ambled down into the boatyard where lite club has built, repaired and stored boats over the last century.
At the edge of the Neponset River in this suburban town south of Boston, there was a flatbed on rails that went down the slipway to the water. In a little stone house a donkey-engine ran the winch for the cable that worked the railway. Arrayed around me on handmade heavy timbered cradles were the yachts of this little club. I was immediately taken with the character and quality of each vessel, and impressed with the overall effect of the distinctive lack of pretense. The majority of boats around me were made of wood. Others were lovely working designs lilted from simple seagoing hulls and cared for in a fashion that intoned pride of ownership. On the lot directIv adjacent, there.On the lot directly adjacent, there was the obvious foundation and steel framework of a large construction project coming out of the ground. The contrast was not wasted on me. This was why I was here.
No jacket required
I entered the clubhouse and was greeted by a group of men who. eyeing the 12-pack under my arm. smiled and shook my hand. The dress code ran from casual. Co paint splattered T-shirts, jeans and Topsiders I made my way back into the little galley, added my beer to the collection in the fridge and was joined by my friend. Brad Rigby, who had informed me of the situation at the club and stirred my interest. I counted 24 present as the members casually took their seats and were gaveled to silence. The minutes from the last meeting were read "Thanks for repairing the hock door ... Mrs. Peterson's shed needs to be moved Wednesday evening work parties have been suffering from the rain." I let my eyes drift around the room.
The wooden walls were covered with old black-and-white photos of wooden boats on the river, group photos of yacht club cruises, oil paintings of lobster boats, schooners and revolution- ary ships of the line. There were pertinent and impertinent jocular interrup- tions to the proceedings, and the members obviously had a good time In each other's company. After the meeting was adjourned, my friend introduced me to Bill Haynes, who filled me in on the situation as we nursed a beer. Several years ago the H P. Hood Co. freezer plant, which had been next door forever, had burned down. Rather than rebuild, the owners had taken a huge insurance settlement and decided to put up condominiums. The affluent town of Milton, which was pretty much tapped out as far as potential de-velopmental real estate was concerned, was thrilled with the idea of 72 new taxable units right in the Milton Village area. The developer had made a stipulation that if they were to build up this waterfront area for residential use, the boatyard next door would have to go, according to Haynes. First came an increase in the monthly rent and then a real estate tax. In a matter of six months the Milton Yacht Club had seen its payments to the town go up by 600 percent. To an organization that had been paying "a manageable amount" since 1918, this was a bit of a blow.
Legacy of stewardship
For more than 90 years the club has launched boats with its railway flatbed and cable winch.
Since the 1600s the Neponset River had been a commercial waterway supplying the mills and industry of the working town of Milton. Ships were routinely warped up into the landing from the sea, bringing coal and raw materials in and taking finished prod-ucts out. As the area developed, indus- try faded. The ships stopped coming. The landing area languished. The Milton Boat Club was informally established in 1902. The masts from the last ships in the river were used to build a public dock. In 1912 an official charter for the Milton Yacht Club was filed. Since that time the club says it has supplied the manpower and re-sources to maintain public access to the Neponset River. They restored the abandoned waterfront police station as their clubhouse and built the railway flatbed to launch their boats. Since that time they have used only timber cradles moved around the yard in the time-honored method of oak rollers and block and tackle attached to strategically placed dead-men. Thus they have operated since 1918. In recognition of the town landing's new designation for recreational boating, the control of the waterfront passed from the town selectmen to the park commissioners.
"This is not a blazer-and-pink-pants-type club with a 10-year waiting list," Haynes explained. "Anyone can join and have as much or as little to do with the functions as they please. We provide a service to the community by maintaining the public landing and access to the water for everyone. We have well over 100 members who pay their dues to help support the club and don't even have a boat."
He went to the town and the devel-opers with his findings. He recalls his disclosures were not warmly received, but the fact that they existed and Haynes had found them gave the pro-ject proponents pause. There were now four different inter-ests with completely different agendas involved. The Milton Yacht Club wanted to survive. The developer was not moving forward without the area now occupied by the boatyard. The town had no right to displace the boatyard because of the established Constitutional laws and regulations. The Department of Environmental Protection Waterways Division was now involved as the enforcement agency for Chapter 91, which ensured access of the public to the waterfront.
Hie project was not proceeding with- out the required Chapter 91 license for the development recorded at the Registry of Deeds. The developer was forced by the DEP to deal with this development. With the town serving as a mediator, a tentative proposal was agreed upon. The yard would move to the far end of the landing, reducing the yard area from the existing 22,000 square feet to 16,000 provided by the developer and the town, with access provided over a public driveway. The Department of Environmental Protection agreed to issue the Chapter 91 license for the development of a park by the river as long as the Milton Yacht Club was able to remain in operation as it had for the last century. The area now occupied by the boatyard would become available for development.
In the end, an outcome that all parties involved could live with hinged on the tenacity of a small group of boaters who refused to give up their yacht club. It was not a matter of a power play or a leverage ploy or even political connections that had been the determining factor in the solution. It had been a law created long ago by some insightful forefathers who wrote a little stipulation into the Constitution guaranteeing access for those who would go down to the water and get into their boats.
Seaver Jones is a Boston-based freelance writer who lives aboard the 44 - foot wooden 1964 Pacemaker Sunliner motoryacht he restored.
A fateful chapter
When the developers started the project it looked doubtful that the club was going to be allowed to continue. To make the condominiums attractive, the planners designed a park where the boatyard was. The town had to consider the revenue stream from all those prospective property owners, but the members of the Milton Yacht Club had no intention of rolling over and going away. Haynes started researching. Using the Internet he went into archives and dug around in the historical back- ground of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He discovered Article 97, particularly Chapter 91 of the General Laws, which clearly defined a long-held principle that ensured the public the right to ac- cess to the tidelands and rivers of the Commonwealth. Since the waterfront fell under the jurisdiction of Chapter 91, the development project could not displace the long-existing water dependant uses at the Milton Landing, Havnes concluded.
Milton Yacht Club
25 Wharf Street
Milton MA 02187-0114
S. Beach Street Nantucket, MA 02554
New Bedford YC
Pelagic Sailing Club
Sandy Bay YC
Savin Hill YC
South Boston YC
Town River YC
Wequaquet Lake YC
West Dennis YC
Winchester Boat Club
Massachusetts Boating and Yacht Clubs Association (MBYCA)
For a Fun and Safe Boating Season
Come and Enjoy at MBYCA Member Clubs
objectives of MBYCA
Any organization is only as good as its members, and I have been fortunate to be supported by a superbly qualified, dedicated cadre of Flag Officers and Directors. Their selfless commitment to the objectives of MBYCA is much appreciated.
Our Board members monitor many organizations including: USCG, USCG Auxiliary, USPS, Corps of Engineers, the Port Operators Group,NBK, Mass Environmental Police, Mass Harbormasters, DCR. State and Federal legislation.
We presented at the second annual USCG Safety and Security Industry Day to broaden exposure of MBYCA, its mission, history, objectives and concerns. Today the recreational boating community is faced with increasing challenges on every front, including commercial development of near coastal waters, to port security constraints, increased mooring and excise fees, increasing fuel costs, transitioning to leases for clubs on state property, proposals for implementation of additional federal requirements and, of course, the most difficult economy in recent memory.
Your MBYCA Board has actively trimmed expenses during these difficult times. PC Clay Robinson and Treasurer Marilyn Pearson have led this effort with strong support from the entire Board. A positive result of this dedicated effort is that, for the first time, we have been able to offer a modest scholarship to an entering maritime freshman whose family belongs to a member club.
A special thanks to our member clubs and their "boosters," without whom we could not exist. The delegates who faithfully attend our monthly meetings arc truly the backbone of our organization and do an excellent job of informing their clubs on current issues ranging from education, to legislation and safety.
We look forward to working with all the yacht clubs in the coming year to promote favorable legislation, safe boating and camaraderie. May you have calm seas, the wind at your stern and great weather all season!
Cheryl Pote Chisholm
7 Woburn Street Medford MA 02155