Lake Quannapowitt, A Small Body of Water with a Big History and a Vibrant Present 

Wakefield, MA — Quannapowitt Yacht Club’s (QYC) modest footprint at the end of Linda Road, belies its history as the oldest inland yacht club in the United States. Founded in 1880 and going strong 123 years later, the club’s primary activities still are, enjoying the lake and racing sailboats. Heavy cotton sails and hemp ropes have given way to Dacron and other man-made fabrics, and long-lasting fiberglass has replaced high-maintenance wooden hulls. But what 1880 members valued, and today’s members still appreciate, is the timeless pleasure of sitting on the clubhouse decks on a hot summer day and enjoying the cool breeze or barbequing dinner after a competitive couple of Sunday races.  

The racing is competitive on the water, but as the boats are put away after Wednesday evening racing, the competitive spirit turns to laughter and friendships. A crew who is new to the sport of sailing may bemoan their silly mistakes, while experienced skippers could tell tales of all the mistakes they made when they were learning and offer advice to the newcomers. The wisdom is shared because the fun comes from being pushed to sail your best and the new skipper this year is likely to be next year’s winner. The youth sailing summer program and adult sailing classes offered by the club promise a fleet of new sailors. Afterall, the club wouldn’t have endured without training the next fleet of sailors. 

Quannapowitt Yacht Club (QYC) has a diverse, friendly volunteer-based membership, with everyone willing to lend a hand to keep smooth sailing for all. A group of fun-loving ladies recently started a sailing group aptly named Sisters Under Sail (SUS). Every Tuesday evening, you can find seasoned sailing sisters mentoring new-to-sailing sisters as they learn to cruise and race, finishing off the night socializing on the deck.

Not everyone races or even sails. Some join for the waterfront access on hot summer days and the social barbecues after the Sunday racing. What hasn’t changed in 123 years is the relaxed pleasure club members indulge in, sitting around the clubhouse decks discussing the lake’s unpredictable wind patterns or the antics of the lake’s bird population. 

One of QYC’s advantages for those who dream of sailing but don’t own a boat are the club owned practice boats, a “try it before you buy it offer.” Members can enjoy the lake by taking out one of the club boats for fun Saturday family sail. 

We welcome and encourage you to stop by on May 20 from 10am-12pm for an open house tour of the current iteration of the oldest inland yacht club, our boats, our docks, our members, and Wakefield’s beautiful Lake Quannapowitt.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email