$1 million yacht club renovations near completion

Aside from several minor repairs, the $1 million complete overhaul of the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (YCYC) is complete.

With the help of a $1 million gift from an anonymous sailing alumnus, the YCYC has been completely renovated.

The YCYC complex, which includes docks, boat repair sheds and the clubhouse itself, had been deteriorating for the past decade. On Oct. 27, 2000, the Yale Daily News reported that the sailing team needed $500,000 within a year and a half to avoid “severe structural damage” to the program’s facility in Branford. But the Athletics Department advised the sailing team that it was not planning to renovate the boathouse at that time. At that time sailing was a club sport.

Much has changed in two years. Now, sailing is a varsity sport and YCYC is fully repaired.

In addition to basic exterior repairs — fixing leaky walls and windows and re-shingling the entire building — the renovation included many aesthetic changes and interior renovations. The boat shed was repainted and new gravel was laid on the parking lot. Additionally, the interior of the clubhouse was gutted and completely redesigned and reorganized.

The project marked the first time the club was ever entirely renovated. Previously, the Yale Sailing Association was responsible for minor interior improvements and maintenance without financial assistance from the University.

Men’s captain Stu McNay ’04 said he was very pleased with the renovated facility.

“This is now one of the nicest sailing facilities for sure; in no other college sailing site will you find a clubhouse right on the shore,” McNay said. “It’s a beautiful setting, and now it has all the amenities we need to be a competitive racing team.”

Before the renovation, the old boathouse suffered from cold showers, crowded locker rooms, and a poor interior layout. Commodore Mike Renda ’04 said the overhaul fixed these problems.

“It certainly makes sailing easier and it will make [the YCYC] just a much better place to sail,” Renda said. “The design is really efficient — it’s been thought out really well, down to the smallest detail. The problems of the old sailing center have been completely solved. It looks significantly nicer, too.”

The renovated interior includes two brand-new, state-of-the-art locker rooms on the bottom floor, as well as a large team room, a coach’s office, a kitchen, and a bedroom upstairs. The YCYC is a two-story building, with an attic and basement, that sits on the Branford beachfront.

“We really do have one of the best facilities around,” women’s captain Elizabeth “Sunny” Larson ’03 said. “We have a great location for sailing, and now we have a really impressive facility that really makes us one of the top places around.”

Larson said the repairs were imperative for the building’s survival.

“There were a lot of things that were really falling apart in the old yacht club,” Larson said. “I don’t know if we could have gone that much longer without renovation. Many parts really needed to be fixed in the near future. It really did need to get done.”

While pleased with the renovations, Molly Carapiet ’06 said she was relieved to see them nearly complete.

“It’s really nice to be able to take a hot shower after a cold day, and it’s nice to finally have somewhere inside to talk. We didn’t have that during renovations,” Carapiet said. “We’re definitely glad they’re done because it’s getting cold now, and it’s nice to have somewhere to go inside.”

The extension of the renovations into the fall regatta season proved difficult for sailors.

“The early part of this season felt disjointed and hectic, with no locker rooms or central gathering space,” McNay said. “And now, with the club in working order we can carry on our traditions.”

In addition to the improved sailing complex, the team acquired new sails for its fleet this year.

“The club is in beautiful condition right now and our fleet’s in good working order,” McNay said. “We’re very excited about the condition of our fleet and our facility — and it’s nice to have a home.”

Comments