Bridgeport in Connecticut is a historic seaport city positioned in the heart of the Long Island Sound.
The Long Island Sound is a wonderful location for those who enjoy boating and fishing activities. The Sound is an inland tidal estuary, covering an area of 1,320 square miles, and has a coastline that stretches more than 600 miles.
The boating conditions here make Bridgeport and the Long Island Sound a top-rated water-sport destination, so there are many boating clubs in the area. If you are new to boating in Bridgeport or considering joining a yacht club here, there are several clubs to choose from.
However, when choosing your club, there are several things to consider:
1. Black Rock Yacht Club
The Black Rock Yacht Club was started in 1926.
The club’s mission is “to preserve and enhance our Club’s reputation and prestige by encouraging and supporting yachting and yacht racing; to offer athletic programs that build community, sportsmanship and team skills among members of all ages; and to foster a collegial dining and social environment.”
The BRYC facilities include a clubhouse that offers delicious food in the dining room, a bar, and various decks for members and their guests to enjoy the views. Other facilities include tennis courts and a swimming pool, both of which have active programs for members.
BRYC boasts a dynamic racing and cruising community and includes powerboaters and other members just learning to sail.
Club members own a diverse collection of boats, from keelboats to racing dinghies, sailboats of all different types and sizes, recreational powerboats, and fishing boats.
However, the club has a fleet of boats that are actively used in sail training programs for the young and old:
- Ideal 18’s – are small sailboats that can be used for recreational or racing purposes. They are designed for sailors of all ages, weight, skill levels, and competitive backgrounds.
- Club 420’s – also known as C420’s, are used as youth development sailing dinghies in many countries worldwide.
- RS Feva – is a 2-person sailing dinghy that is recognized as an international sailing class and is popular worldwide.
- Optimists – are popular small, single-handed sailing dinghies. They are used to teach sailing to children up to the age of 15 years.
- Lasers – are the most popular design of dinghy in the world. They are small one-design dinghies that can be sailed single-handed, although, in some classes, they are permitted to be sailed by 2.
- Black Rock Sailing Club has a very active sailing program for all ages.
- The club also offers tennis facilities, with clinics for adult members and youth programs.
- There is a four-lane 25-yard pool, where members can take a refreshing dip or relax and take in the sun on the decks. There are also swimming lessons available.
- The clubhouse is open to members for private parties on request.
- New membership is on a member referral basis only.
- The club is only open to members and their guests who must be signed in.
- The club is an old-fashioned yacht club with many rules that must be adhered to.
Membership fees are available on request.
2.Carefree Boat Club at Bridgeport Harbor Marina
The Carefree Boat Club is a company that offers boating experiences in various locations across the USA and Canada.
The club claims to have “revolutionized the way people enjoy boating” by offering an alternative to owning your own boat. Members have unlimited access to a variety of different motorized boats in their fleet.
In addition, the Carefree Boat Club offers hassle-free boating. The club’s staff take care of everything for you, from cleaning the boats to all maintenance plus everything in between.
They even refuel the boats after every use. All you have to do is make an online booking, book via a phone call to the club, and then show up on the day and enjoy the water.
There are instructors at each location who provide boat safety training and handling skills.
The club aims to ensure all of the club members can follow the rules and safely enjoy their time on the water.
The Bridgeport fleet contains a range of boats which include the following:
- Robalo R242 (Twin Engine) – a center console fishing boat with 2 engines to get you where you want to go fast.
- Robalo R242EX – a versatile boat that can be used as a comfortable family explorer or for some serious fishing.
- Tidewater 232 LXF – a luxury family-friendly boat built for refined excursions.
- Bulls Bay 230 CC – this center console no-frills machine is built for off-shore fishing fun.
- NauticStar 243 DC – this boat offers both bow and stern access to the water, perfect for swimming and diving.
- Eastern 248 Islander – a gentle boat to enjoy a laid-back wine and cheese cruise.
- Brig Eagle 8 – this is an 8m rigid inflatable that is considered one of the best family RIBs on the market.
- NauticStar 2102 Legacy – the 2102 promises all-around great performance for family days out or to take part in tournament fishing competitions.
All boats in the Carefree Bridgeport fleet have a capacity of up to 8 people.
- Membership includes unlimited access to the fleet of boats.
- Members are not confined to Bridgeport and can reserve boats at all Carefree Boat Clubs across the USA and Canada.
- Boat reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance online, or if it’s short notice via a phone call directly to a member of staff.
- All members are offered free boat safety and boat handling training.
- Members have access to a variety of social events and seminars to take part in.
- You only pay for your membership and the fuel you use when you take out a boat.
- Membership fees are expensive. However, if you are an avid boater, it may work out cheaper than owning your own boat.
- Boats are limited to fishing or recreational motorized boats only.
- Weekends and school holidays can get busy, so you will need to book in advance.
- There is no clubhouse or social activities organized by the club.
A Carefree Boat Club membership works like a gym or golf club membership.
There will be a one-off joining fee that will depend on the type of membership you opt for, plus a monthly fee that ranges from $250 – $300 per month.
3. Fayerweather Yacht Club
The Fayerweather Yacht Club (FYC) is a traditional sailing club first established by a group of sea-loving friends in June 1919.
Today the club is known in Bridgeport and the surrounding areas as a good example of what a yacht club should be; social, hospitable and actively involved in sailing, fishing, and other water activities.
The FYC offers a full calendar of sailing activities, including the Wednesday night sailing series, the Frostbiting or winter racing program, and a more general sailing program. In addition to the sailing calendar, there are fishing competitions, plus the club organizes a range of social events that are suitable for the whole family.
FYC’s facilities include a restaurant, a fully serviced bar, a spacious picnic area, and a full-service dock open to all sailors around Bridgeport.
The full-service dock offers docking and haul-out services, fuel (petrol only), water and electricity, and a pump-out station which members can use for free.
The FYC has two J22’s which members can use.
The 2 boats are equipped with a mainsail, a roller furling Jib, plus a Torqeedo electric engine, 2 batteries, VHF radio, and enough life jackets. The J22 was designed and first built in 1983 as a one-class sailboat which is fun to sail and is still very popular as a racing class today.
In addition to the two J22’s, the club members have a very diverse fleet of sailboats.
Members and non-members are encouraged to join the Wednesday night sailing series, where you can meet other members, improve your sailing skills and join in the fun.
- Club members can join many events, including sailing in both summer and winter and fishing competitions.
- There are plenty of opportunities for members to get actively involved socially and with the club.
- Both members and non-members are encouraged to join the Wednesday night sailing series of races.
- Free launch service is available for members to access their boats kept on moorings within the harbor.
- An informal galley offers lunch and dinner 5 days a week and brunch on Sundays (closed on Mondays).
- A full-service bar is open from 11 am 7 days a week.
- Membership applications require sponsorship from 2 current members of the club.
- You will need a CT safety certificate and an FYC certificate obtained from the club to sail the two club boats.
- FYC is a more ‘formal’ yacht club which is not for everyone.
At the time of writing, the application fee for FYC was $297.50.
After approval, the club joining fee and monthly fees will be determined by what type of membership you opt for.
The committee determines club fees in November of every year.
Other Clubs In Bridgetown:
East End Yacht Club
The East End Yacht Club was established in 1912 “to further encourage boating in all its forms and promote social recreation and interaction between its members.”
It’s a smaller club that doesn’t offer its own fleet for members to use.
However, one positive is that the club is offering a Social Membership for $200 per year.
The club has a full social calendar, including pasta nights, karaoke, trivia nights, and live music.
Miamogue Yacht Club
The Miamogue Yacht Club offers a full-service bar with pool tables.
They also have a banquet hall and a gasoline dock which is open to members and non-members.
So, if you are thinking about joining a boat or yacht club in Bridgeport, there are different options to consider.
Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before deciding which boat club to join:
- What type of boating or yachting do you want to take part in?
- Are you solo, a couple, or are you looking for a family-friendly environment?
- Do you want access to sailing training, boat safety, or boat handling to improve your skills?
- How important is socializing with other members to you?
- Affordability – what is your budget?
Boating any kind takes up a lot of your time, so it’s important to find the right club.
Some clubs have open days to try and encourage new memberships, or you can even book a tour.
If you find the right club, those membership fees will be worth every cent!