Monomoy Yacht Club History

DRAFT - Work in Progress

The Monomoy Yacht Club(MYC) was founded in 1937 by Ernest W. Dutton.


Dutton was Fleet Captain at the Stage Harbor Yacht Club (SHYC) in 1936 when he and others were defeated in an attempt to add more extensive shoreline facilities including a launch service. While retaining his membership in the SHYC, Dutton founded the Monomoy Yacht Club, which catered more to the power boat enthusiast than the sailor.


Dutton was the Commodore of Monomoy Yacht Club continuously from 1937 until 1958. In his address at the season opening reception of the club in 1938, Commodore Dutton stated that “while the Club is deeply interested in and goes in for racing, it is also interested in all maritime sports that the sea affords”.


The Club met initially in a rented loft at the south end of Stage Harbor Road owned by Alton Kenny, in a space presently occupied by the Chatham  Harbormaster.  Dues were initially $10 per year, with MYC membership at roughly 70. All the boats of the early years were wooden with inboard engines ranging from the 42’ Mathew’s power boats of Noyes (Siesta) and Dutton (Minx) down to the mahogany Hacker-Craft runabout (Coot) owned by Howard D. Meincke. 

H. Bramwell Geddes was the original Fleet Captain of the Monomoy Yacht Club, with his magnificent mahogany cruiser, Alicia, pictured above, which had a cruising range from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas. Also pictured above are the catabouts and the new 24-footers designed by F. Spaulding Dunbar.


It is interesting to note that at least four of the founding members were women. Helen S. Yeaw was a single lady who was a prominent racing figure who displayed an abundance of racing banners won in the family barn according to her relatives.


Monomoy Yacht Club has evolved over the years to have a very strong emphasis on the community of its members, and less about facilities. This has been somewhat due to the persistent challenge of securing a permanent clubhouse.  After meeting in the loft owned by Alton Kenny for many years, MYC has been in leased space above the Stage Harbor Marina for the past 45 years. During this time many locations have been investigated for a permanent Club House, but none has proved to be a viable solution in a community with vanishing waterfront real estate.


Monomoy Yacht Club now has two fleets - the East Fleet based in waters that open to the Atlantic, and the South Fleet on Nantucket Sound's harbors and inlets. There is no definitive history about how this came about, but it is believed it was probably caused by, or at least reinforced by, the closure of the passage between Stage Harbor and Chatham Harbor. Remember that the Club started long before the Morris Island causeway existed, and Chatham's shoreline profile has undergone tremendous change over the past 85 years.