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Yacht Club of Year

2018 YACHT CLUB/ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR

MARBLEHEAD TOWN CLASS FLEET

Description provided by the class

The Town Class dinghy was originally designed and built in the early 1930's as an accessible Depression era sail boat. The fleet in Marblehead was founded in 1936, and other fleet locations were in Touissit, RI, Canton, MA, and Spoford Lake, NH. Many boats were also sold to overnight camps throughout New England. Originally, of course, the fleet was comprised entirely of wooden boats and as the technology became available in the 1960's, a fiberglass mold was created. Today, most boats are fiberglass, but there are still wooden boats in the fleet.

In 2013, Bart Snow who has been sailing Townie's since 1954 met with Web Russell, the Marblehead Harbor Master at the time to discuss the option of a trawl line at the head of the harbor in Marblehead. For those that don't know, Marblehead has a 20-year waiting list for moorings, so the ability to grow the fleet was dependent on finding a home for the restored Townies that Bart was hoping to populate the fleet with. Town Class boats are centerboard boats and can be moored just about anywhere. Web liked the idea of preserving and growing a sailing fleet with such a long local history and agreed to one trawl line which would hold 6 boats and an option for a second if there was additional demand. Now, we have three trawls lines with the assistance of Mark Sousa, the current Harbor Master. This was a unique way to resolve the lack of mooring space in Marblehead Harbor and a very creative way of providing mooring space for the Town Class.

Bart Snow in addition to developing the concept of the trawl line during his retirement has bought boats from across the country, as far away as Tennessee and Indiana and works with Pert Lowell & Company, of Newbury, MA, (the original manufacturer of the Town Class boats), to restore them and make the race ready. This winter's project is to restore another 6 boats and add them to the fleet.

Given this unusual trawl line and with Bart Snow as the main driver and champion for these classic dinghies, the fleets growth has taken off! All of this is thanks to Bart and his vision for restoring this unique fleet in Marblehead. As of this summer the Town Class has grown from 10 boats in 2010 to 36 active boats in 2018.

The future looks bright for the Town Class in Marblehead. They just completed their 52nd National Regatta this past summer at Corinthian Yacht Club (the third Nationals here in 4 years). The Town Class and Marblehead seem to be a very good match and we all hope it continues.






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