Eastern Yacht Club

The Eastern Yacht Club was founded in 1870. Throughout its history “the Eastern” has consistently pursued its mission of “encouraging yacht building and naval architecture and the cultivation of nautical science.” Yachts flying Eastern colors successfully defended the America’s Cup three times in the mid-1880’s. Its interest in the America’s Cup continued into the 20th century, when Eastern members built J-Boats and 12-Metres in hopes of defending the America’s Cup; and Eastern members sailed on a number of 12-Metres that successfully defended the Cup. Eastern members have built and owned numerous offshore racing boats that have successfully competed in local and international races. Members have also won world and national championships in a number of classes.

Stories from Eastern Yacht Club

In 1870, twelve Boston gentlemen organized themselves as the Eastern Yacht Club, a club dedicated to the promotion of yachting. Within one month, they had enrolled 110 members with 23 yachts. The Clubhouse on Marblehead Neck was completed in 1881.

From the beginning, the Club became a leader in yacht racing with Puritan, Mayflower, and Volunteer, all flying Eastern colors, successfully defeating their British challengers in the America’s Cup in 1885, 1886, and 1887, respectively. The Eastern has hosted a multitude of local, national, and international sailing events from the Sonder class regattas that preceded WWI to the competitive one-design and PHRF races of today, including the Etchells Worlds, Star Worlds, IOD Worlds, Olympic Class Regattas, Viper 640 North Americans, Sonar North Americans, Shields Nationals, and the Soling North Americans, a preliminary race for the ’96 Olympics. In 1994, the club received the coveted St. Petersburg Trophy, awarded for the Race Committee’s outstanding management of the Star North Americans.

Eastern’s Race Committee is active throughout the summer and is recognized as one of the very best in the country. Throughout the clubhouse you will find paintings, photographs, trophies and models that mark the history of America yachting from the glorious days of huge racing yachts to the present day streamline one-designs. The club’s model room contains over 65 half-models of historic and modern yachts. Additional half models and many stunning full models are displayed throughout the Club.

A visit to the Eastern is a walk through yachting history, from the glorious days of the huge racing yachts to the present-day streamlined one-designs -130 years of yachting history. Throughout the Clubhouse, you can find trophies and medals marking the Club’s illustrious history as well.

The Eastern Yacht Club is very pleased to be included among the yacht clubs which have become NSHOF Founding Members. Since the beginning, the Eastern has been a leader in yacht racing. The Club is proud that three of its members, Ted Hood, Gary Jobson and Harold Vanderbilt were among the initial NSHOF inductees and that another inductee, Charlie Barr, is the great uncle of one of its current members. The support that the NSHOF will give to sailing through it educational programs and its preservation of yachting history indicates that it will have a critical role in yachting’s future. It deserves the broad support of the yachting community.

Phil Smith