Newport Yacht Club was organized in 1936 through the efforts of the late Oscar Kuolt and several others. Its charter as a membership corporation under New York State law clearly stated ..its purpose: “To promote the sport of small boat sailing and small boat racing.”
Its first location was on Newport Island, just across the Massuag Coves from the present location. Pilings from the old docks can still be seen during periods of low water. In the fall of 1943, Newport moved to the site of the Birds and Worms Hotel, which is now our clubhouse.
The Snipe was the first class raced at Newport. This class has grown with the club and for some years Newport’s Snipe fleet has been one of the largest and most active in the country. The Lightning fleet was added in 1946, organized by Tom Sulivan, Gene Senn, and Bill Struab, with Dr. McIntoch as crew. This fleet has also become one of the largest in its class in the country.
In 1953 the Comets and Lightnings of the Algonquin Yacht Club joined Newport, having been flooded from their previous home. Then the Snipe fleet from the Nine Mile Point Yacht Club joined our ranks, and several Jolly Boat owners were members for a few years beginning in 1957.
In 1976 the Laser Fleet was added and in 1992 the club added Optimist Dinghies for the Junior Sailing program. With a $5,000 grant and a $20,000 loan from the Small Business Administration and with much hard work by the members, a new sea wall was built in the summer of 1973. The peak water level the following spring was one foot below the top of the new sea wall and well over the top of the old one. A club house renovation program began in 1977-78.
In the fall of 1985, the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Bridge was removed, opening the bay to boat traffic onto Lake Ontario. This caused a permanent change to activity on the Bay from that experienced by Newport sailors for the previous fifty years. In response to changing conditions, club members raised funds to build two 120 foot piers for the Lightnings, permanent haul-outs along the sea wall for the Snipes, and substantially upgraded the club’s Committee boat and markset boats. Currently, the Club membership enjoys sailing both on the Bay or on the Lake making the decision unique to each of the fleets as well as based on the weather and boat traffic conditions. In the mid 1990’s the Club started admitting non-one design boat owners in order to make use of vacant dock space. A Cruising fleet was formally established in 1999.