829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Old Club

And now for another installment of 'I didn't know how good I 
had it until I didn't have it any more'.  This is my old club,
Metedeconk River Yacht Club. I haven't been a member for
thirty-five years, and as always, I wish I realized then how
nice it was to be part of an organization such as this.  Every so
often, I go sniffing around Beaton's Boatyard, and about a quarter of
a mile down Mantoloking Road is MRYC.  Just take a right
onto Tilton Road (memory lane).  I feel very at home on the 
grounds, still, and I can envision the keg of Pa. Dutch
birch beer sitting on the patio for the kids on Labor Day.
I always felt grown-up drawing my own cup of that.

This will give you an idea of how good my cousins and I had it:
looking NE from the patio you can see 829 South Drive.  Locate
the white water tower in Bay Head and the second house to the 
left was where Wagners' was.  Almost every original house on
that shoreline is gone and replaced with much larger ones with
much less personality.  A trip to the club was a quick hop across
 the river; to drive there took at least 20 minutes

The junior sailing center, built a bunch of years back, is a great
place for the 150 or so junior sailing participants to leave their 
crap strewn all over the place, not unlike any other yacht club 
anywhere on earth.  That number is very impressive, and 
supposedly the largest group of participants among the 13
 BBYRA clubs. I was told that by a member this day of my 
visit, so I know this to be the truth. 

Nice to see an E scow at the club.  Never more than 2 or 3 
at one time, I think there's been a pretty long stretch of 0
until recently.  


I cannot imagine ever being small enough to sail in an Opti.
It is truly an exceptional boat for instructional purposes
and easy to transport for away regattas.  I know a guy who
used to sell them and Lasers too.

Nice shallow water and a sandy bottom make for easy launching.

The main goal of my visit was to pay homage to my Dad's 3 
championship banners hanging upstairs in the club. Bad news....
the banners were not there. Good news...Metedeconk sailors have 
been successful enough over the years that they actually had to 
retire a good deal of the older ones to make room for the more
recent ones. 

I'm happy to report that Metedeconk River Yacht Club is alive
and well, and their junior program will ensure future 
enthusiasm for the sport of sailing on Barnegat Bay.  I felt a
sense of belonging when I walked into this clubhouse, which
may have been an omen.  Some day I may be a regular here, again.


  1. Replies
    1. Money and time...not necessarily in that order, but both main obstacles

  2. If they're eventually going to take down all of our championship banners and trophies, what are we sailing for? (I know the answer--I just had to ask the question.)

    1. I was disappointed, seeing that there were plenty of bare ceiling beams worthy of supporting those heavy cotton flags.....

  3. One thing that holds a lot of people back is the rising cost of yacht club dues. I fondly remember the days of $10.00 per year dues at BYC. Of course club expenses, taxes, riparian rights fees, etc. keep climbing. This current year dues for myself (over age 65 with over 30 years of membership so I get a break) plus my bride was just shy of $800 bucks. We dropped our kids or it would have been more. The kids are on their own and don't come to the island enough to make membership worthwhile. I rationalize that the cost of dues is just a couple bucks a day, but along with all the other expenses of living at the Jersey shore it adds up. One of these days I'll be taxed/expensed off the island--but not just yet.

    1. Hold fast, Geo. Grab your musket and powderhorn and lay low. Don't shoot until you see the whites of their starched shirts.

  4. I used to be a member of SCOW (Sailing Club Of Washington) and can relate. Fun times, fun times...