A dream which many Vineyard Haven people have cherished for years is about to be realized in the establishment of a yacht club in that town. Between fifteen and twenty boats have already been ordered and about fifty persons are ready to sign the club articles as members as soon as the organization is incorporated.
Quarters on the waterfront are to be obtained and put in condition for the use of the club before next season and all lovers of water sports, ships and salt water are filled with enthusiasm.
Although it might not be correct to say that the idea of forming a club originated with any one individual, the initial move was made by John Hoar of West Chop and Boston, who communicated his ideas to his friends and found able and enthusiastic supporters among summer residents and Islanders. A working committee was soon formed, the members of which have spent much time in studying boat models, gaining information regarding club management and doing the other things necessary to start the movement.
In this they have received the support of other yacht clubs to all of which Vineyard Haven harbor is as well known as any place on the coast. That the harbor has not been visited by clubs and fleets to any great extent for many years is due to the lack of landing facilities and quarters ashore. Herbert Stone, editor of Yachting, has evinced great interest in the project and has promised to carry an article on it in his magazine which will be a valuable aid to the new club.
It is the policy of the club to admit any desirable person to membership, which is to say in plain words, as it has been expressed, that it is the town’s yacht club and not the club of the summer colony exclusively. A practice of the Chatham club, which turns its boats over to the fishermen for racing on certain days, is strongly favored by the Vineyard Haven organization.
The dory fleet, having served well as a first step in creating interest in a club, is to be retained, providing a class of youngsters and beginners, but the new boats, while small, will be real racing craft. Ten or fifteen marconi rigged sloops of the Wee Scott type will be purchased. These boats are 15 feet, 5 inches overall, 5 feet, 5 inches beam and 3 feet draught. Five larger boats, 27 feet overall are also to be purchased. These will carry the same rig as the smaller craft and the two types will provide classes for outside racing.
Classes for motor boats of various types and larger sailing craft will also be formed as members enroll, the idea being to provide a place for every individual, regardless of his taste and fancy in boats.
The club will probably be known as the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club and its purpose, as outlined by Mr. Hoar, is threefold. First to provide a gathering place and outdoor sport for its members, particularly young people; second a new and interesting attraction for everyone; and last, but by no means least, to make Vineyard Haven a popular rendezvous of yachtsmen, all of which is more than half accomplished since the first move is essentially the biggest and most important and that has already been made.
The members of the working committee and their active supporters in what has been accomplished are: S. C. Luce Jr., Williard C. Jackson, F. M. Rhodes, Paul Benedict, William Cox, John Hoar, Col. W W. Gibson, Calvin G. Child, Stanley W. Seaman, Charles R. Barnett, and Col. W. J. Briggs.