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Ross

Moving to Connecticut - Looking for a YC

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Hey gang,

The wife an I will be moving to CT in about 2 years to further our family and careers. She has a sister there, and we both work in aerospace so we'll end up in Hartford / Windsor area. Or a dash south if I have my way.  We're both originally from Ca, having moved to Texas 3 years ago for work and it's time to get out of this oven and on to greener pastures. I'm a member at Balboa Yacht Club in Ca, and would like something similar in CT but what I'm really looking for is something like Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Volunteer / member driven, reasonable junior summer program, strong racing series, strong weeknight summer series be it in dinghy or keelboat - preferably both, and occasionally dinner for date night. This will be our family's social circle. We're not exactly church people. My sermon is the skippers meeting. Something I also want to consider is what YC's are the rest of the areospace crowd at? 

Short google search has led me to a few that look nice:

Noroton YC

Riverside YC

Thames YC

Essex YC

Indian Harbor YC

Thanks for the help friends. 

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37 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

There's another one if you are dinghy focused.

do tell?

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You will be fairly far east. Essex is closest. Milford YC might be reasonable. More wind near Milford than on western Long Island Sound

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Cedar Point YC in Westport is a racing-focused club.  Dinghies are thistles, flying scots, Lightning’s, and Vanguard 15s. Mix of keelboats racing PHRF, plus one design in J/70s and Atlantics.  Good junior program in optis and lasers  

Member-run, CPYC is known for very good race management, and hosts a bunch of well regarded regattas. 

No restaurant in the facility, but there’s decent social events.

PM me if you want more insight  

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, frostbit said:

You will be fairly far east. Essex is closest. Milford YC might be reasonable. More wind near Milford than on western Long Island Sound

Thats the club I'm really thinking of..   Hoping to plonk down in the New Britain / Middletown area. I hate the thought for a 1.5 hour drive for a Wednesday race. 

We'll be visiting the sister in law over the Labor Day holiday for a few days so I'm trying to put together a short list of yc's to visit.  

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1 minute ago, valcour said:

Cedar Point YC in Westport is a racing-focused club.  Dinghies are thistles, flying scots, Lightning’s, and Vanguard 15s. Mix of keelboats racing PHRF, plus one design in J/70s and Atlantics.  Good junior program in optis and lasers  

Member-run, CPYC is known for very good race management, and hosts a bunch of well regarded regattas. 

No restaurant in the facility, but there’s decent social events.

PM me if you want more insight  

 

 

 

Might be a dash south butI  like all your points. Only amendment is we can probably live without the restaurant if they do indeed have social events. All good to know.

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if you end up in the Salem/Colchester area, its not a bad commute to Hartford and then its 30-40 minutes to SE CT shoreline.

Check out Niantic Bay YC.  Great OD there with Atlantics and Lightnings and Lasers and some PHRF. 

Further east there's Ram Island YC in Noank (easy access to great Wed night beercanning withe Mudheads) though a limited club racing scene. Thames has Force 5's  but limited PHRF (most of their boats have a smaller Wed night scene and don't venture over to the Mudheads)

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32 minutes ago, Ross said:

Thats the club I'm really thinking of..   Hoping to plonk down in the New Britain / Middletown area. I hate the thought for a 1.5 hour drive for a Wednesday race. 

We'll be visiting the sister in law over the Labor Day holiday for a few days so I'm trying to put together a short list of yc's to visit.  

Good club. Decent junior program. Good people. 

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1 hour ago, bloodshot said:

if you end up in the Salem/Colchester area, its not a bad commute to Hartford and then its 30-40 minutes to SE CT shoreline.

Check out Niantic Bay YC.  Great OD there with Atlantics and Lightnings and Lasers and some PHRF. 

Further east there's Ram Island YC in Noank (easy access to great Wed night beercanning withe Mudheads) though a limited club racing scene. Thames has Force 5's  but limited PHRF (most of their boats have a smaller Wed night scene and don't venture over to the Mudheads)

That's one of the clubs I was going to mention

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Though the clubs in Fairfield County are nice (Indian Harbor, Riverside, Noroton, Cedar Point...), it is more likely a 2-hour schlep down from Hartford/Windsor to get there. And that’s in light traffic. Rush hour traffic here makes the Los Angeles Freeway look speedy. It can take an hour to go 16 miles. You will want to find something closer if it is going to serve as a social and activity base. Clubs generally want members who live nearby as well, so they will use the club more and contribute more readily to it.   Each club has its own assets and its own vibe. It might also be worth checking options in Mystic, Noank, and Niantic. The Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association member clubs can be found here:https://ecsa.net/about/member-clubs/  

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15 years ago, I lived in West Hartford and worked in downtown Hartford.  I started sailing at Cedar Point then.  I found it to be 70-75mins, and that was to make a Thursday evening V15 race.  The advantage was that the trip was against traffic.  Weekends were about the same - maybe closer to 60-65mins.  It can be done, and it is the best all-around dinghy club in the area (& one of the best in the country).  It’s worth at least a shake.

If you find CPYC too far, then I would look at the Essex YC and fall/spring Frostbite YC.

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8 hours ago, jewingiv said:

15 years ago, I lived in West Hartford and worked in downtown Hartford.  I started sailing at Cedar Point then.  I found it to be 70-75mins, and that was to make a Thursday evening V15 race.  The advantage was that the trip was against traffic.  Weekends were about the same - maybe closer to 60-65mins.  It can be done, and it is the best all-around dinghy club in the area (& one of the best in the country).  It’s worth at least a shake.

If you find CPYC too far, then I would look at the Essex YC and fall/spring Frostbite YC.

Unfort, traffic volume today is noticeably worse than 15 years ago 

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19 hours ago, Ross said:

Hey gang,

The wife an I will be moving to CT in about 2 years to further our family and careers. She has a sister there, and we both work in aerospace so we'll end up in Hartford / Windsor area. Or a dash south if I have my way.  We're both originally from Ca, having moved to Texas 3 years ago for work and it's time to get out of this oven and on to greener pastures. I'm a member at Balboa Yacht Club in Ca, and would like something similar in CT but what I'm really looking for is something like Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Volunteer / member driven, reasonable junior summer program, strong racing series, strong weeknight summer series be it in dinghy or keelboat - preferably both, and occasionally dinner for date night. This will be our family's social circle. We're not exactly church people. My sermon is the skippers meeting. Something I also want to consider is what YC's are the rest of the areospace crowd at? 

Short google search has led me to a few that look nice:

Noroton YC

Riverside YC

Thames YC

Essex YC

Indian Harbor YC

Thanks for the help friends. 

Noroton is great, strong membership and some great club racing.  They just rebuilt their entire clubhouse and added a restaurant and bar, but made sure not to take away from the sailing focus of the club.

If you're looking to join Riverside you need to live within a certain range from the club.  While there are a handful of good sailors out of Riverside, it's mostly people with big checkbooks playing dress up with a cardigan around their shoulders.

Indian Harbor is a restaurant on the water with some relatively boring sailing, but a nice place to dock your Hinckley and have the BN wash it down.

I would definitely consider Cedar Point YC, they have a ton of OD racing and a strong membership with a great attitude towards the sport.

Pequot YC is also worth considering, but members there are wound pretty tight.

 

Further up the Sound you've got Ram Island Yacht Club and Groton Long Point, both have strong sailing reputations.

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23 minutes ago, RumLine said:

Further up the Sound you've got ... Groton Long Point, both have strong sailing reputations.

Limited one design racing (biggest fleet is the A Boat aka Fishers Island One Designs -  which are horrendous boats, IMO) and you have to be a GLP resident to be a member, AFAIK

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Give the Thames Yacht Club in New London serious consideration. It is a member driven volunteer club and the annual dues reflect it. Thames has a strong juniors program that is open to the community, a Wednesday night PHRF series, a 6 race Chowder series in the fall and sponsors two weekend ECSA offshore races. When you are in the area stop in at Thames and look us over.

 
If you are into one design racing consider the Fishers Island Yacht Club. They race IODs, Bulls Eyes, and J 70s. There is a 45 minute ferry ried to get there after you get to New London. As someone else mentioned Niantic Bay Yacht Club offers one design racing in Atlantic and Lighting classes.
 
Whichever club you join, Mudhead racing will be available to you
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49 minutes ago, sailorman44 said:

If you are into one design racing consider the Fishers Island Yacht Club. They race IODs, Bulls Eyes, and J 70s. There is a 45 minute ferry ried to get there after you get to New London.

not the best advice for a couple commuting to Hartford area.

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No it is not which is why I pointed out that there is an additional 45 minute ferry ride. Opportunities for one design in eastern Connecticut are limited so if one design is your thing you take what you can get.  I've heard that there a number of J 70s/ Vipers in the area that are not club affiliated and don't do club races but have there own circuit.

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I also just realized you asked about aerospace: one of the CPYC V15 Thursday night regulars is a husband-and-wife team; she is an engineer at Pratt & Whitney.  They are mainstays of the fleet and really, really great people.

 

 

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The only box Essex YC ticks is “dinner for date night”.  They do have OD racing 2 nights a week(Tuesday- Non-spin, Thursday- Spin), but that is a few Ideal 18’s.  Plus they start at 5:30, so it is difficult for anyone that works more than 15 minutes away unless you get out of work early every race day.

Comparing the distance from Hartford to what you are looking for, you may want to consider Duck Island Yacht Club in Westbrook.  I would say between Mudheads and DIYC, we probably have some of the most competitive beer can racing on ELIS.  There is PHRF racing on Wednesdays from early may to the end of August, and OD (JY-15 and Lasers) on Thursdays.  There also is a series that runs 6 races on Tuesdays over of the course of the summer that requires a female driver and over 50% female crew if your wife is interested in that.  There is a kitchen and grill there, but you would be doing your own cooking outside of social events. For date night, there's always Bill's Seafood right across the street.

The most interesting/competitive OD racing in SE CT is Frostbiting in Essex.  Frostbite is a paper club that usually gathers in Essex YC.  There are established classes of Etchells, Ideal 18, JY-15, and Lasers.  It’s not for everyone though as the schedule is 8 weeks of racing that end the first weekend of May in the spring, and the first week of December in the Fall.  That means you have the option to race from mid-March to December in the area.

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1 hour ago, Snow Guy said:

The only box Essex YC ticks is “dinner for date night”.  They do have OD racing 2 nights a week(Tuesday- Non-spin, Thursday- Spin), but that is a few Ideal 18’s.  Plus they start at 5:30, so it is difficult for anyone that works more than 15 minutes away unless you get out of work early every race day.

 

Essex YC seems to tick a lot of boxes for myself and the wife. At least online. For her sake a proper -ish club building will be appreciated, place to sit and eat. If I may ask, any idea's on initiation fee and dues?  I could also convince her into some Ideal 18 racing. That's a big win.

Thames also looks like a steal, lots of great opportunities.

This is probably the short list. It's so hard to tell from online. Really have to pop in. I love the look or Noroton YC, but possibly too far of a commute on the weekday. I don't enjoy the thought of getting to the at 830 on weekends either, and having to leave 7. But that may be something I'll have to get over.

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37 minutes ago, Ross said:

Essex YC seems to tick a lot of boxes for myself and the wife. At least online. For her sake a proper -ish club building will be appreciated, place to sit and eat. If I may ask, any idea's on initiation fee and dues?  I could also convince her into some Ideal 18 racing. That's a big win.

Thames also looks like a steal, lots of great opportunities.

This is probably the short list. It's so hard to tell from online. Really have to pop in. I love the look or Noroton YC, but possibly too far of a commute on the weekday. I don't enjoy the thought of getting to the at 830 on weekends either, and having to leave 7. But that may be something I'll have to get over.

I guess it depends on the crowd you are looking to hang with. You would help lower the average age of the membership.  It's also the type of club with Porsches, Teslas, and Maseratis parked in the parking lot.  Not sure the exact numbers for the fees, but I recall hearing years ago that the initiation fee is approaching 5 figures.

If you are looking for a more down to earth club, you might want to look into Essex Corinthian Yacht Club next door.  They have lunch available Wednesday-Sunday and dinner served Wednesday, Friday, and now Sunday.  It is a BYOB club, but that could be good or bad depending on how you think about it.  You mention growing the family;  there is a growing base of younger members with at least 3 having their first child in the last year.  ECYC races the Ideals with EYC, but are not scored due some issues between the clubs.  Neither club has any regular PHRF racing.  Fees are around $1200 a year with the same amount being the initiation fee.

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pussy...    it was blowing low teens with gusts to low 20's in dallas last wed evening..  temps maybe 96..   .     great sailing...  we have wind and sailing all year long...

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12 minutes ago, Snow Guy said:

I guess it depends on the crowd you are looking to hang with. You would help lower the average age of the membership.  It's also the type of club with Porsches, Teslas, and Maseratis parked in the parking lot.  Not sure the exact numbers for the fees, but I recall hearing years ago that the initiation fee is approaching 5 figures.

If you are looking for a more down to earth club, you might want to look into Essex Corinthian Yacht Club next door.  They have lunch available Wednesday-Sunday and dinner served Wednesday, Friday, and now Sunday.  It is a BYOB club, but that could be good or bad depending on how you think about it.  You mention growing the family;  there is a growing base of younger members with at least 3 having their first child in the last year.  ECYC races the Ideals with EYC, but are not scored due some issues between the clubs.  Neither club has any regular PHRF racing.  Fees are around $1200 a year with the same amount being the initiation fee.

 

ECYC looks like a cute little club! Will add that to the list.

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Forgot about your desire for junior sailing.  The best options for that are either Pettipaug YC in Essex or the Mudratz in Noank.  Pettipaug is more for a summer camp with good racing and the Mudratz for more opportunity for a transition to big boats.  I don't have kids, so I'm sure there are others than can chime in with more knowledge.

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3 hours ago, Snow Guy said:

Forgot about your desire for junior sailing.  The best options for that are either Pettipaug YC in Essex or the Mudratz in Noank.  Pettipaug is more for a summer camp with good racing and the Mudratz for more opportunity for a transition to big boats.  I don't have kids, so I'm sure there are others than can chime in with more knowledge.

Pettipaug was a lot of fun. But we all miss Paul terribly much. Many great memories of going to regattas all around not far away, from Watch Hill to Sachem's Head.

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4 hours ago, Ross said:

Essex YC seems to tick a lot of boxes for myself and the wife. At least online. For her sake a proper -ish club building will be appreciated, place to sit and eat. If I may ask, any idea's on initiation fee and dues?  I could also convince her into some Ideal 18 racing. That's a big win.

Thames also looks like a steal, lots of great opportunities.

This is probably the short list. It's so hard to tell from online. Really have to pop in. I love the look or Noroton YC, but possibly too far of a commute on the weekday. I don't enjoy the thought of getting to the at 830 on weekends either, and having to leave 7. But that may be something I'll have to get over.

Anything in Fairfield County will be a slog if you live in Middletown. You will wonder "what the heck was I thinking?" You can enjoy sailing at Westport at regattas. Same at Larchmont, American, Indian Harbor. Just show up for regattas that interest you over there, but get to the water as quickly as you can on a regular basis.

If I could get this darn messaging thing to work, or remember my damned gmail....darn it.

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21 hours ago, bloodshot said:

not the best advice for a couple commuting to Hartford area.

And your family had to come over on the Mayflower 

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18 hours ago, Ross said:

Essex YC seems to tick a lot of boxes for myself and the wife. At least online. For her sake a proper -ish club building will be appreciated, place to sit and eat. If I may ask, any idea's on initiation fee and dues?  I could also convince her into some Ideal 18 racing. That's a big win

The biggest drawl back to clubs in the Essex area is the distance to the sailing water. It is at least an hour with a favorable tide and current to get to mouth of the Connecticut river. Returning against the tide and current is at least two hours.

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The best club is going to be the one nearest your house.

Western CT has a lot of good ones - Cedar Point especially. Then there are a ton of distance races that start at Stamford.

Problem is, You won't be able to get home on the weekends. You'll have to pass through several traffic choke points that would - at least for me - sap the fun out of the day.

There is a ton of sailing in Branford, and a bunch of huge marinas in Clinton/Westbrook. Id suggest finding something (house and club) close to rte. 9.

p.s. if you're in aerospace and you think you'll be in CT in 2 years, you're probably going to move to Florida.

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1 hour ago, MakePHRFGreatAgain said:

And your family had to come over on the Mayflower 

that was a one time trip.....pretty sure they didn't go back

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I grew up in Durham, next town south of Middletown. HS and Junior sailing at Pettipaug about 15-20 years ago (shit, can't believe it's been that long), and spent summers in college instructing and coaching in the ECSA. I've raced PHRF in both the Mudhead and Duck Island Fleets, both were very solid and competitive. Also done a bit of Etchells and JY15 racing out of Duck, and of course frostbiting at Essex. I live in Wisconsin now, and the Eastern CT sailing scene is probably the thing I miss the most. I still bum a ride frostbiting every now and then when I swing by visiting family. You'll have a lot of fun racing on LIS and make a lot of good friends.

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On 8/12/2019 at 1:51 AM, valcour said:

Cedar Point YC in Westport is a racing-focused club.  Dinghies are thistles, flying scots, Lightning’s, and Vanguard 15s. Mix of keelboats racing PHRF, plus one design in J/70s and Atlantics.  Good junior program in optis and lasers  

Member-run, CPYC is known for very good race management, and hosts a bunch of well regarded regattas. 

No restaurant in the facility, but there’s decent social events.

PM me if you want more insight  

 

 

 

+1

cedar Point was the first club I sailed in when I moved from Manila to work at Horizon Sails. It is to me exactly what a club is supposed to be. Down to earth, good people, and a great sailing program. 

 

 

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On 8/13/2019 at 8:04 AM, sailorman44 said:

The biggest drawl back to clubs in the Essex area is the distance to the sailing water. It is at least an hour with a favorable tide and current to get to mouth of the Connecticut river. Returning against the tide and current is at least two hours.

Actually, if you can avoid 95S the traffic is not bad.  I frequently drive from Noank back to western MA, through Hartford, on Sundays and have rarely had a problem.

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17 minutes ago, monsoon said:

Actually, if you can avoid 95S the traffic is not bad.  I frequently drive from Noank back to western MA, through Hartford, on Sundays and have rarely had a problem.

Actually, I was thinking of the time it takes your boat to get from Essex to actual sailing water in Long Island Sound as opposed to motoring down the river.

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5 minutes ago, sailorman44 said:

Actually, I was thinking of the time it takes your boat to get from Essex to actual sailing water in Long Island Sound as opposed to motoring down the river.

True dat. Essex is a ways up the river.  Lots of wake from MBs. There's also a RR lift bridge between Essex and the sound. We got stuck in Hamburg Cove for a day when the bridge had a problem.

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Take your time, visit each club - everyone will be happy to host you (and if not - well, then you know it wasn't right).  LIS has a gift of proximity - many great clubs, each with their own character of junior sailing, handicap racing, offshore, and one-design, plus varying mixes of pools/restaurants/tennis...

 

 

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