In the summer of 1886, a group of active, local yachtsmen formed the Fishers Island Yacht Club – one of the oldest yacht clubs in New England, if not the whole United States – to provide a haven for robust intellectual discussion about the sea and the camaraderie that spawns from it. Over the years, its membership has acted as pillars of the civic community, fought in several wars and helped the island recover from the occasionally devastating hurricanes that the Island is vulnerable to. All without losing sight of the coda that brought those first local yachtsmen together: the love of sea wind and spray, the rush of the starting gun and the blissful feeling that comes from untethering oneself from land and escaping out into the sound powered by wind, engine or oar. Almost 135 years later, the FIYC has grown into an internationally renowned club for leisure sailors and racers alike.
The original Fishers Island Yacht club was founded in Hay Harbor in 1886. In 1928, the club moved down the road to West Harbor to slightly south of the same location as it is now, though the marina has expanded from its original solitary dock jutting out into West Harbor to encompass fewer than a dozen rows of slips. The Annex building was the first clubhouse, built in 1867 as a horse barn for the Fox Family. During the 2017/2018 renovation, Lincoln White and Brian Faulkner found several of the original beams with measurements and messages written by the original carpenters just under the more recent sheathing. Though the view from the yacht club changed slightly over the years, the conversations, laughs and friendships found therein are probably almost identical to the ones the club’s first founders enjoyed so many years ago.