About Our Club

76 Years of Growth ---

1927 - The late Geoffrey L. Moore and the late Sydney B. Alling laid the groundwork for the Westerly Yacht Club in a chance meeting at the steps of the Westerly Post Office.

1928 - The official beginning was one year after, July 30, 1928 at 8:00 p.m.. At that time, the unincorporated associated of 28 men started to incorporate and form the Westerly Yacht Club. The activities of the Club during its infancy included speedboat races (authorized by the American Power Boat Association), cruises, dances, and parades. The Sea Scout Ship, Adm. H. O. Dunn contributed too much of the success of the Yacht Club during those early years. Many members of the ship helped with construction of the original Yacht Club building. The ship was recognized in 1983 by the Boy Scouts of America as the longest tenured ship in Narragansett Council.

1932 - Expansion was only a few years away with the solicitation of new members during May. At that time, the Club waived the initiation fee of fifteen dollars and solicited members for the nominal fee of ten dollars.

1933 - The Yacht Club operated seasonally from 1928 through 1949, with many events scheduled from May 30 through late fall. During the summer of 1933, House Committee Chairman Frank Furness furnished weekly films on Wednesday evenings that took members to far remote places in the world.

1934 - Launching national recognition of the Westerly Yacht Club in 1934 was Dan Larkin, Jr., Stanley Higginbotham, and Dick Burnett. In that year they won the Rhode Island State Junior Sailing Championship for the third time and raced for the national title in Edgartown, Massachusetts. On May 9, the formal opening of the season was held with 35 members present. Manifesting to the growing popularity of the Club was the acceptance of 29 new members.

1936 - On May 22, the Yacht Club opened for the season with the first of eight social functions. The individual cost per function was 49 cents. Efforts were made to give each member and guest of the Club a good time. Moonlight sails highlighted the season, along with the first Fleet Review.

1940 - During the early 40's and World War II, the Club was on shaky ground. Good leadership and foresight of the Board of Directors kept the Club growing.

1941 - Yachting season opened May 30 with 22 new members aboard. The gala opening consisted of a regatta and open house. A month later, boat owners showed the way to Rhode Island's amateur yachtsmen by organizing a flotilla to become part of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. They enrolled their crafts to be used as a reserve force for the Coast Guard in times of emergency. By February of the following year the flotilla had 225 boats in service.

1947- Social functions in 1947 saw the return of many veterans of World War II. One hundred members and guests opened the season with a dinner-dance. The House Committee was the host of that affair, which included a full-course turkey dinner and dancing to the music of Bucky Wilde's Orchestra.

1949 - Growing pains were evident, when two decisions were made that changed the character of the Club. Eight new dock sections were purchased from Elliot & Watrous for $800 and, after installation, boat slips were rented for $25 each. That same year, a central heating system was installed and the Clubhouse remained open all year.

1954 - The North Atlantic Dredging Company of Boston cleared the Yacht Club basin, making the way for breakwaters to be built, paving of the parking lot, grading of all areas, and landscaping.

1955 - In 1955 and 1956, extensive improvements, costing about $20,000, were made to expand existing facilities to the Club at Thompson Cove.

1962 - In January, the L & M Installation Company of New York City installed the Atlas Corpo Ice Prevention System, an aeration system, at the docks. This system was called "air bubbles". …more »