Stories from the Niantic Bay Yacht Club
The Niantic Bay Yacht Club
8 Shore Rd,
Niantic, CT 06357
Website: www: nbyc.org
Located on the western shore of Niantic Bay in southeastern Connecticut, Niantic Bay Yacht Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2015. It has about 325 members and a very active one design and offshore PHRF racing and cruising program.
In addition to season series and weekend racing the club has hosted many national and regional championship regattas for the Optimist, International 420, International 505, Lightning, Ensign and Atlantic Classes.
Niantic Bay Yacht Club was incorporated in 1940.
In the 1930s young racing enthusiasts were racing their Zips and other small boats off the beaches on the western shores of Niantic Bay. They organized informally in 1938, gained the support of their parents and others who were seasonal visitors to the shore, invited others to race with them, and were recognized by the Eastern Connecticut Yacht Racing Association. World War II intervened but racing continued and at the end of the war a small vacant lot was purchased at Tyler Point, the site of an old steamboat wharf and a hotel that had burned down in 1913. A modest club house was built and commissioned on July 4th, 1947.
Over the years more land was purchased, the clubhouse expanded, a breakwater and docks installed, swimming and sailing programs developed, and a reputation earned as a hospitable club with good sailors. Within the breakwater basin there are slips for about 75 boats, and there is a large mooring area. The club has dry sail boat area with 2 launching cranes and a ramp for launching dinghies.
There is a strong junior sailing program that has produced many national champions and All American collegiate sailors, and the club has recently helped form the Niantic Bay Sailing Academy which will take over its junior program and expand it.
The club is seasonal operating from May thru October, has a galley and dining area and a large outdoor tented pavilion. There is an active social program supporting the club's boating activities.