Manhattan Sailing Club has just completed its Silver Jubilee, celebrating 25 years since the club re-introduced recreational sailing to New York Harbor. Today, our club continues to lead the harbor’s recreational renaissance.
The goal of the Club is to make sailing accessible to more people. Our club-owned fleet allows members to enjoy sailing without having to own a boat. If you are a sailing enthusiast, we invite you to apply for club membership. Joining the club offers four main benefits:
- Sailboats – Access to the club-owned fleet of more than 38 J/24 sailboats as well as dinghies.
- Clubhouses – Membership privileges at our two clubhouses, Arabella and the Honorable William Wall.
- Programs – Participation in our many racing, cruising and educational programs.
- Community – Access to the largest and most active community of sailors in the city with many social gatherings, dinners and events.
The Club Fleet
Manhattan Sailing Club owns a fleet of more than 38 J/24 sailboats. Members can use the J/24s for sailing in New York Harbor. J/24s are excellent day-sailing boats. They are fast. You can cover lots of ground in a short amount of time. They are responsive. You will smile ear to ear while holding the tiller or trimming the sheets as the boat heels over in a refreshing sea breeze. They are easy to rig and sail. Two people can quickly get a boat sailing. And with a larger crew, there is plenty to do so that everyone will be active and engaged. The club keeps its fleet in top condition. Maintenance is performed by a professional staff. Most of the club J/24s have recently been through a top to bottom refurbishment. The club fleet is available to members from early May through late October. Sailing is permitted seven days a week from 9 a.m. to dusk. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings are reserved for racing. Other times are reserved for cruising and programs like Fleet Captain and Mentoring.
Manhattan Sailing Club is located at North Cove in Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan. North Cove is located directly in front of the World Financial Center. This is one of the most beautiful environments in the city. There is a waterfront esplanade where New Yorkers can stroll, jog, roller blade or bicycle. Battery Park City is easily accessible by subway, bus, car and PATH. The boats at North Cove are used by members for racing and cruising and by our sailing school for teaching. The club also keeps J/24s at the Shipyard Marina in Hoboken and at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City. The Hoboken and Jersey City boats are used by the sailing school for teaching on weekends and by club members for sailing during the week. You may notice that our J/24 boomcovers say “Manhattan Sailing School.” The sailing school is part of our club and serves as our public outreach program. Although our club owns all the sailboats, we believe that advertising the school makes our fleet more friendly and inviting. This helps to broadcast our message that sailing is an inclusive sport and everyone can be involved.
Racing is an important part of our sailing club. We have many members who enjoy the thrill of competition and who have been racing at the club for many years. There are several racing programs. The most popular are on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Each J/24 is assigned to a Racing Team Captain who builds his or her crew from other members. Most sailors arrive at the dock by 6 p.m. and boats push off around 6:10 p.m. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. There is one race per evening and trophies are awarded to the top finishers. To get involved in Tuesday or Wednesday racing, just show up at the docks and ask if anyone has an extra spot (crew members are sometimes caught in meetings, traffic, etc.). If you are unable to find a spot, go out to the harbor clubhouse and watch the race. After racing, you can mingle with skippers and crew and develop contacts. It may take time to break into the popular weekday program. But every year, new teams are being formed. You can be part of the next one.
Fleet Captain & Mentoring Programs
The club encourages an environment where members help and educate each other. We have 2 unique programs, Fleet Captain and Mentoring, which help members improve their skills. The Fleet Captain Program makes it possible for crew to reserve a spot to go sailing. This program is run on Monday, Thursday and Friday evenings as well as Saturdays and Sundays. Specific boats are reserved for Fleet Captain sails and any member can sign up for one of the crew spots. The list is maintained on the club’s website reservation page. Volunteer skippers (known as “Fleet Captains”) sign up to take the boats sailing. Everyone meets at the dock, the crew rigs the boat and you head out into the harbor. Sailing in the Fleet Captain Program is educational. You will learn how the club operates and be introduced to many members. The friends you make will become your future sailing buddies.
The Mentoring Program is for sailors who are training to get their Skipper Privileges. Certain skippers have been designated as Mentors. They have volunteered to take other members sailing with the specific goal of passing on knowledge and evaluating skills. Mentor sails can be arranged through the club office or directly with the program head.
Our membership is a large and varied group of people from interesting and diverse backgrounds. Sailing brings us together and is the common passion we share. Many members are social and enjoy meeting each other. We like each other’s company. The club creates an atmosphere for members to meet and develop lasting friendships. Here are some of the annual events:
Spring Launching & First BBQ
In early spring, members travel to the boat storage facility in the country to paint the bottoms and enjoy the first BBQ of the season.
The big black tie ball every spring to celebrate the start of the new sailing season.
The Commissioning Ceremony means sailing begins and there is the traditional raising of the burgee and firing of the cannon.
Full Moon Parties
These are the signature clubhouse events held every warm month.
After the sailing season ends, we recognize those racers who have excelled.
Every winter, we gather for a large dinner to review the accomplishments of the past season and to award special club prizes.
Our first major clubhouse was the “Honorable William Wall.” This was and is still one of the great features of our club. The clubhouse is a USCG certified vessel which is permitted to carry up to 150 passengers. During the sailing season, the clubhouse is anchored in the harbor just north of Ellis Island. As a club member, you can visit the clubhouse any time it is open. There is a launch which takes members and guests to and from North Cove. The clubhouse is an excellent place to entertain. You can invite friends, clients and family out to relax, unwind and soak up the incredible views of our sailboats and the skyline of Manhattan. The clubhouse also serves as a spectator platform for race nights. Rather than waiting at home, your friends and family can now participate by motoring out to the clubhouse to watch the races. The signature events on our clubhouse are the “Full Moon Parties.” They are held every month during the sailing season. You can come out, enjoy the harbor and skyline as the sun sets, the lights go on and the moon rises. And of course, feel free to howl. The clubhouse is open Tuesday through Friday evenings and on Saturdays from 3 to 10 p.m.
Our newest clubhouse is the three masted schooner Arabella. She is a gorgeous 150′ mega-yacht and will be open to members only.
There are 2 categories of membership in the club: Regular and Skipper. Regular is a crewing membership which allows you to sail on club J/24s as a crew. Everyone, including experienced sailors, joins the club first as a Regular Member. If you have a spouse or children under the age of 21, they are also considered members and receive full privileges (officially recognized same-sex partners also qualify for spouse privileges).
Members with enough skill and experience who wish to skipper club boats can apply for “Skipper Privileges.” Skippers can reserve club boats and take other members or their own crew sailing.
There are also 3 special dues categories. These are Junior Member for members who are 25 years old and younger. Dues are 1/2 of the regular amount. Young Member is for all members over 25 but under 30 years of age. Dues are 3/4 of the regular amount. Senior Member is for all members 65 years of age and older. Dues are 1/2 of the regular amount.
Guest Policy: We are a membership club. Our goal is to encourage members to sail with other members. Regular and skipper members are allowed to bring occasional guests for cruising on the club owned fleet. There is a $5 guest fee for cruising which is charged to the member’s account. The Racing Programs are member-only and no guests are permitted. The Fleet Captain & Mentoring Programs are for members only and guests are only allowed if brought by the skipper.
2014 Dues & Fees
Initiation fees and club dues are subject to NYS sales tax.
- Initiation Fee: $250
- Regular Dues: $1,540
- Skipper Privileges: $800 in addition to regular dues
- Junior Dues (25 and under) & Senior Dues (65 and older): 1/2 of regular dues ($770)
- Young Member Dues (26 to 29): 3/4 of regular dues ($1,155)
- Senior Dues (65 and older): 1/2 of regular dues ($770)
Members pay dues and other charges by leaving a credit card on file with the club. Each month, the club emails a statement to members showing charges. Balances are charged to the member’s credit card. In your first year, the initiation fee is charged when you apply for club membership. The remaining club dues for your first year are charged in one or two installments after you attend the Membership Committee meeting and sign the Membership Agreement. Dues are pro-rated based on the month you join. After your first season, dues will be billed in quarterly installments on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.
If you fall into one of the “special dues categories” (Junior Member, Young Member, and Senior Member), you will be billed in that category up until the billing cycle immediately following your applicable birthday. For example, if you turn 26 years of age in June, you will be billed as a Junior Member up until July, at which time you will be billed as a Young Member until July of the year you turn 30.
Once accepted into the club, you remain a member until you resign or your membership is ended by the club.