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Skaneateles Model Yacht Club (U.S.)

New York

Last modified: 2016-04-09 by rick wyatt
Keywords: skaneateles model yacht club | united states yacht club | new york |
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[Flag of Skaneateles Model Yacht Club, New York] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 Februry 2012

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Skaneateles Model Yacht Club

I came across the Skaneateles, describing The Tempest, saying:
'The Tempest was built by Capt. John Furman in 1852. Soon after the Skaneateles Model Yacht Club was formed, with Edward Potter as Commodore. Besides the Club Flag each boat had its own flag, & a code of signals being adopted there were frequent reviews. W.H. Jewett  was Vice Commodore. The club flag was a white star & a red cross on a blue ground.', which is a quote from The Rev. William Martin Beauchamp - Souvenirs of Some Early Days in Skaneateles, N.Y., 1882. A note is added: 'The Skaneateles Model Yacht Club aspired to be "a model of excellence;" its boats were not models, but the real thing.'

I've drawn this burgee of the Skaneateles Model Yacht Club, following that description and one of the accompanying images, that pictures the burgee. As the description already shows, it looks a lot like that of the New York Yacht Club. The star is clearly larger, and currently the NYYC uses a quite dark shade of blue, but at a distance, you might not be able to tell these apart. Then again, the NYYC burgee would fly from large multi-mast yachts, while the Tempest mentioned in the text is illustrated as an open sailing boat. If that's accurate, there probably wouldn't have been any confusion about the burgees.

The picture of the Tempest shows another flag flying from the yacht, beside the ensign and the burgee. If Furman kept the Tempest, it would have to be his signal. Unfortunately, the rather free style of drawing shows us little more than two horizontal stripes ending in a fly box.

Another page from the same blog,, tells us the club's first regatta was on the 4th of July 1854, and that it hosted regattas for the next four years. By that time, apparently the sailing had become less amateur- and model-like, and because of this, the club ended its existence in 1867.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 27 February 2012