The Lake Champlain Yacht Club is a member-run yacht club located in a sheltered cove on the southwest shore of Shelburne Bay in Shelburne, Vermont. We offer moorings, activities, and community for our members, most of whom own a sailboat or powerboat. The object of the Club is to promote and encourage boating and sailing on Lake Champlain, while emphasizing racing, cruising, and education, without financial gain.
Current membership is about 200 individuals and families. We have a nice balance of informal and formal social events. Our fleet is about 175 boats: 70% sail, 30% power. From mid-May thru early October we have club racing every Wednesday evening, plus about a dozen weekend races and regattas. We frequently host regional and national one-design class regattas. We are the home of Etchells Fleet 25. We have a robust junior sailing program that is open to non-member youth. We also have organized and informal cruises and rendezvous on our beautiful Lake Champlain, the next-largest freshwater lake in the U.S after the Great Lakes.
Most members store their boats for the winter at historic Shelburne Shipyard, about a mile and a half north of the club.
The club was founded in 1887 on the busy Burlington waterfront. At that time the waterfront was totally commercial - trainloads of logs were brought there to be milled into lumber that was then carried by barges to the Hudson River to be shipped worldwide. There was no available land on the waterfront, so in 1888 the first two-story clubhouse was built close to shore on pilings. When it burned in 1901, another was built in its place. The second one burned in 1911 and was replaced by a third. The club's membership reached a high of 334 in 1922. In 1936 that third clubhouse was declared unsafe and too expensive for the club to fix, so it was sold to the ferry company who refurbished it and turned it into a ferry station.
The present day Burlington Community Boat House, the centerpiece of the city's classy waterfront renovation project, is on a barge that floats on the spot where the early clubhouses once stood on pilings (the shoreline was further back in those times; access was by a wooden walkway on pilings). The Community Boat House was designed by LCYC member Marcel Beaudin emulating features of those early LCYC buildings. Marcel's was the winning design from among eight submitted. He was told that what convinced the officials was his inclusion of a photo of the 1888 clubhouse so they could see the historical link.
In 1936 the club purchased property on the upper east shore of Shelburne Bay; a renovated cottage became the fourth clubhouse. Effects of the Great Depression and pre-WWII conditions made sustaining the club difficult: in 1938 "Dawson Camp" in Mallets Bay (later Marble Island Club) was rented; in 1939 the steamboat Chateaugay, moored at the foot of College St in Burlington, was rented; in 1940, with war imminent, the members voted to go without a clubhouse; in 1941 the club gave up title to the Shelburne property, sold everything, and became inactive. During the ensuing period the corporation was kept alive by a few devoted members, most notably Milo C. Reynolds. In 1958 a group led by John Dinse began to rejuvenate the club; in 1961 they found the present site; in 1962 they purchased the property; in 1963 they built a modest clubhouse, installed some docks, and our historic Lake Champlain Yacht Club was underway once again. In 1998 the present clubhouse was built, incorporating design features of earlier clubhouses and more than doubling the multi-use space.
|Location:||2790 Harbor Road, Shelburne, VT, USA|
|Mail:||PO Box 411, Shelburne, VT, USA 05482|
|Stewards monitor:||VHF Channel 12|
|Coordinates: (Degrees/Minutes/Seconds)||+44° 24' 47.71", -73° 14' 44.91"|
|Coordinates: (Decimal Degrees)||+44.413252, -73.245807|
A number of members founded and provide ongoing active support for the non-profit Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, located on the Burlington waterfront. The Center provides sailing and paddle programs for youth and adults of all backgrounds and physical capabilities, has a high school racing program, and is home to the University of Vermont sailing team.