Club History

In 1945 under the leadership of Herbert G. Clopper, Jr. meetings were held to discuss the possibility of a new sailing club in Falmouth Inner Harbor. In July 1946, the first official Falmouth Yacht Club race took place in Beetle Cats on Vineyard Sound. The first annual meeting was held in September 1946, but it was not until the summer of 1949 that the landmark clubhouse on the east side of the entrance to Falmouth harbor was formally opened for the enjoyment of the members.

In the 1950s the racing fleet expanded with the addition of the International 210 Class. Tanzers and Sunfish were active in the 1970s and 1980s with Lasers and Cruising Class also on the racing schedule. 1980s saw the beginning of the J-24 fleet and the club 420s were used for sailing instruction. In the 90s Optimists were as popular at Falmouth as they were in many clubs in SM Sailing.
As the fleets expanded, the waterfront facilities were improved over the years with the basin dredged, bulkheads and floating docks added, allowing both sail and power boats easy access to the club. The club maintains moorings in the harbor, and launch service is available. Two ton hoist enables boats to be launched with ease. The waterfront is under the supervision of the dock steward.


 There was, historically, a lack of a central location for genteel aquatic fun in Falmouth, a problem that would be corrected one day in 1945. A group of residents, with Herbert G. Clopper, Jr. in charge, called a meeting at the old Falmouth police station building in November of that year.

Preparation for the gathering had been made the previous Labor Day, with a total of 20 postcards being sent around to residents—both of the year round and summer variety. These cards inquired of the recipients whether they wished to join in on the formation of a local yacht club, which was evidently responded to with an affirmative.

The first incarnation of the Falmouth Yacht Club was called the Falmouth Boat Racing Association, and its second meeting (held in Boston) saw the formal creation of the Yacht Club as it stands today, with the man behind the club's formation—Mr. Clopper—nominated as its first Commodore.
In addition to its annual regatta the club has hosted 210 Nationals, 110 Nationals, Tanzer Nationals, SM Sailing, NEYRC, Sunfish and NEBCA Championships. Over the years members have won NEBCA, SM Sailing, NEYRC Championships and 210 and Tanzer National Championships.
In the early years of the club swimming meets were held at the Cape Codder Hotel pool as well as at the club beach. Competition with other clubs and the town beach teams were an important activity for the juniors.

The clubhouse was an ideal setting for the social activities of juniors and senior members from clambakes, pig roasts, square dances, to the junior regatta dance, and more formal Saturday night dances for the seniors. As the membership grew in number and customs changed, the club started dining room service and added extended season activities.