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
Milton Yacht Club publications:
YACHT CLUB DISPLAYS SURVIVAL
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
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
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
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,
Milton Yacht Club
25 Wharf Street
Milton MA 02187-0114
S. Beach Street Nantucket, MA 02554
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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
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
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