Marine News from the Great Lakes

Plan A Stop At Rochester Yacht Club

Published: Friday, May 1, 2020

When you ask members what they like best about the Rochester Yacht Club (RYC), most will say ‘the people’. RYC is a place to establish lifelong friendships while sharing the love of the water. Whether you own a boat or not, race sailboats or cruise in a power boat, RYC is your waterfront home.

Incorporated in 1877, Rochester Yacht Club celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2002 and is still going strong in its 143rd year.

RYC has a 143-year history of world class sailing regattas and Olympic bound sailors. Their first regatta was held in 1877 with eight sailboats competing. By the time RYC joined the Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA) in 1887, the Club had 46 members and 15 boats. Five years later, in 1892, membership had grown to 157 with a fleet of 29 sailboats and seven Steam/Naphtha powerboats. Membership surged to 318 members by 1910.

This interest and the extensive trophy collection found at RYC is an example of their commitment to the sport. If only those trophies could talk; what stories they would tell! Even so, junior and adult sailing lessons are offered in a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere.

Amenities & Services Abound at Rochester Yacht Club

Many new members take advantage of available “learn to sail programs” as well as open use of Rochester Yacht Club’s fleet of 18’ and 23’ keelboats. There is an exceptionally active and successful youth sailing program for young children here, starting at ages six and going all the way up to a competitive collegiate racing program. RYC sponsors a Junior Yacht Club with world-class sailing instructors and social events for RYC members. To top it off, their clubhouse and “Burgee Bar” have some of the most beautiful views of Lake Ontario and the Genesee River, to say nothing of the finest restaurant around.

With outstanding facilities—including ‘the best deck in Rochester’—you’ll find a waterfront Burgee Bar, a pool, tennis courts, and a protected basin with over 170 slips. Inside winter storage is also available here. The club also has a highly active powerboat fleet with cruises and social events throughout the season. For kids, there is a Junior Sailing Center, kids’ events, and a fleet of 420’s, Lasers, and Optimists.

The first floor Clubhouse is known for its casual pub-like atmosphere with two fireplaces and a beautiful ‘eight metre dining room’ on the water. Upstairs, there is a formal dining room and banquet kitchen to host outstanding parties with an excellent Chef. These reasons, and more, are why Rochester Yacht Club is one of the most popular spots for weddings in the Rochester area.

Visiting Rochester, New York

Outside of the rich history at the club, the city of Rochester is nothing short of impressive. As the 79th largest city in the United States and the 3rd largest urban area in New York State, the greater Rochester, Monroe County region is inhabited by approximately 750,000 residents and a land area of 663.21 square miles.

In 1998, Rochester was one of only ten cities in the country to receive the All-American-City Award as a great place to live. Rochester was made culturally-rich by many men and women of the past, but one man stands out above all others: the ingenious American Inventor and Philanthropist, George Eastman, Founder of Eastman Kodak Company.

Eastman donated his home to the community, the world renowned George Eastman House, which is now a photographic museum. Notable among his contributions were endowments for the establishment of the Eastman School of Music in 1918 and a School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1921 at the University of Rochester. Rochester is also the proud home of one of the great American Orchestras, The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which was also founded by Mr. Eastman in 1922.

There is a host of regional theater companies offering variety to Rochester's very attractive Theatre Scene. The Geva Theatre Center features live performances of classic plays, comedies, musicals, and debuts of original works and the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre also offers a host of professional live performances. The newly remodeled Auditorium Theatre, which is owned and managed by the Rochester Broadway Theatre League and the new Blue Cross Arena are both treasured additions, bringing well known artists and a wide variety of sporting events to the area.

Rochester offers an abundance of places to go, things to do, and people to see in New York. For information on the Rochester NightLife or a look at all that Rochester has to offer, check out

While in the area, Rochester Yacht Club welcomes all visiting boaters from local and national reciprocal clubs across the country. If you have a love for fun, family, and friendships, come join your waterfront home at the Rochester Yacht Club. Contact RYC at

>> Read Next: “DESTINATION: Rochester, NY - A Lakefront City On The Rise”

This article first appeared in the Launch Issue (May/Jun) 2020 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Destination

2021 jan - aug

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