DIYC Cruising History
It was in the late
‘70s. All of DIYC racing was on weekends. Most of our “hot-shots”
like Steve Purdy & Fred Fishbien had joined the ECYRA circuit,
leaving very few boats to race or cruise at DIYC. Often we would
have only three boats to race and one of them had to be the RC.
After each race we would transfer the shapes and cannon from one
boat to another. The races were longer then. We would often raft for
lunch behind Duck Island between races. And after racing we would
raft for results and a party.
We recruited new blood by inviting
perspective members to participate in the Commodore’s Invitational.
Our Captain’s Meetings were held at the rickety old Menunketesuck YC
at the Old Duck Island Marina which is now PP North Yard. Slowly we
began to rebuild our fleet of race/cruisers.
Since we were cruising anyway, we
started having races to and from our destinations. We used a
modified PHRF handicap system and allowed an extra six seconds per
mile for those towing a dingy. The first boat to cross the finish
line, usually an aid to navigation, would take times. Good incentive
to come in second.
One race/cruise to Mystic, we had
a gentle southerly which was perfect for a spinnaker reach. The
chutes went up; the wind continued to build until our sail popped
with a very loud “Bang”. You should have seen all the other chutes
come down, pronto. We had an Irish wake for the red & yellow Hard
sail (made by Ben Hall; or was it a Sobstad by Tom Whidden?) on the
lawn in back of the old NYYC station by the Seaman’s Inn. Margie
Our parties started on a cruise to
Block Island. No one had a boat big enough to accommodate the
growing fleet. We dingied into the beach between the Boat Basin and
Champlains and planted an oar with our burgee. People would bring
h’ordeuves & a libation and have a heck of a party.
Incidentally, back then the yacht clubs had the only moorings in the
pond, in that corner. DIYC had three. Thus began a tradition of
beach parties. Weather it was Block or Napatree or Coecles, when the
sun was over the yard arm the Duck was flying on the beach. They
have since given way to less sandy parties on our bigger boats. Ah,
the good old days.
Our race/cruises were family
affairs. Our kids grew up on the boats. I remember Brian Weinstein
learning to row on a tethered dingy at Cuttyhunk. Nicole Ballou as
an infant being held on Glen’s shoulders while he was standing at
the helm of his 25 footer racing and preventing us from passing as
an overtaking boat. At Block the kids would often go to the movies
at the old downtown movie theater. It’s still there. The older kids
would look after the younger ones. Don Dyson promoted our getting a
fleet of Dyer 7’11”s. The kids (and adults) would have races using
moored boats as turning marks. Boats were run in heats, with the
winners competing to determine the overall winner.
Where did we go: Mattituck,
Mystic, Watch Hill (Napatree), Stonington, Greenport, Coecles, Sag
Harbor, Three Mile, Dearing ,West Neck, Port Jefferson, Montauk,
NYC, Northport, Huntington, Block Island, Dutch Harbor, Warwick,
Wickford, East Greenwich, Newport, Bristol, Fall River, Fog Bound
(Sakonnet), Westport, Cuttyhunk, Hadley, Quissett, Woods Hole,
Falmouth, Waquoit Bay, Hyannis, Chatham, Nantucket, Edgartown, Oak
Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, Tarpaulin Cove, Red Brook, Mattapoisett,
Onset, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Boston, Scituate,
Plymouth, Wentworth by the Sea and of course Maine as far as Bar
I’m sure there are some I have
forgotten. The memories & sunsets are just too many to innumerate
here. The point is we are blessed with one of the best cruising
grounds in the country. Come share the experience with family and
friends. Come cruise with the Ducks.
March 26, 2009
A Tribute to Past Commodore Tom
In the late
‘70s early ‘80s DIYC was struggling. We did not have a land based
facility and our racing program had dwindled to just a few
participants. Membership was also dwindling. So what happened?
had moved his boat “Teaser”, a Tartan 30, to Holbrook’s Marina on
the West side of the Patchogue River. He encouraged other members of
DIYC to do the same. Tom had many, many discussions with Allan &
Bruce Holbrook, asking that should their marina come up for sale
DIYC would be interested in purchasing that portion of their marina
on the West side of the river.
At about this
same time DIYC had only one Committee Boat. Tom graciously kept it
at his dock for four years at no charge saving the Club a lot of
had gathered some other members of the Club who would meet at his
summer house on the river across from what is now Pilot’s Point
North. We met there to discuss looking for other properties which
might be appropriate as a land based facility for the Club. Several
properties were looked at including one in Clinton that came close.
At about the
same time, Tom had called together several members to discuss a four
year plan to try and grow the membership and revitalize the Club. We
met at Tom’s office in West Hartford. It was agreed that Brook
Howell would be nominated as Commodore for 1980 followed by Tom, Don
Dyson and myself in successive years. During this time we started a
program that focused on people who had sail boats, primarily at
Pilots Point, to come out and try racing. We enlisted our kids and
others to walk the docks at PP and leave invitations on boats that
seemed appropriate. We had meetings at the rickety, old
Menunketesuck Yacht Club building on PP North. We explained how
racing worked and even offered to provide crew if requested. It was
successful recruiting many new members!
started our Race/Cruise program. These were scheduled throughout the
Spring, Summer and Fall and included destinations like Block Island,
Shelter Island, Mystic, Greenport to name just a few. A committee
boat would start us off to a designated finish line where the winner
would anchor and take times of the other boats. This was followed by
a party, usually on the beach. A pole flying a large burgee was
placed in the sand and dinghies would bring folks carrying hors
d’oeuvres and their favorite libation.
introduced two week summer cruises with destinations that included
The Cape and Islands, New York City, Boston, Maine and all the ports
Commodore Teasdale was busy negotiating with the Holbrook Brothers
who had decided to sell their marina. Tom was successful in getting
the West side of the river for DIYC. He put a huge amount of work
into the project including finding 25 Club members to buy a slip.
It was not
easy but Tom succeeded in making the Club he has loved over these
many years what it has grown to be.
Past Commodore Thomas M. Teasdale Jr.
Pete Connal PC 1983