February 16, 2020
 South Freeport, ME
11:08 AM / 11:25 PM
04:47 AM / 05:28 PM
  • Weather

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    Wind (N): 0mph

  • About HYC:

    The Harraseeket Yacht Club is a 250 member volunteer organization located on the Harraseeket River near the head of Casco Bay in Maine.

    Our primary purpose is to encourage and promote the sport of boating and the science of seamanship and navigation, particularly through programs of instruction for young people. Our club was founded with that mission which has been carried out for over 50 years with commitment and volunteer help of our members.


    During the winter of 1947-48 Harry Parker invited a few boat-owner friends to his joinery shop to see if he could elicit any support for a new yacht club in South Freeport. There, surrounded by stacks of lumber and sawdust, the seed was sown.

    Harry and his wife, Woofie, had come to town the previous year when he became the proprietor of the South Freeport Yacht Basin. As he described it to the club twenty-five years later: “We called together a few people at the boat yard to see if we could get a yacht club organized. It had been just a year before, just after Labor Day, that Woofie and I first saw this lovely place.   There was a total of eight boats moored in the harbor, including four lobster boats. There was only one sailboat, owned by Mr. George C. Soule. One of the Foss family owned this building and the parking lot was the Beach Association’s bathing area. Humpy Dixon’s old boat shed next door was a rubble of lumber and a sway-back building.”

    Six months or so after the original meeting at Harry Parker’s boat yard, and other meetings in Harry’s basement, on August 12, 1948, a petition to incorporate was presented to Justice of the Peace Paul Powers. Although Paul, a local attorney, was himself one of the founding group, the original seven petitioners did not include his name. The seven were: Willis Randall, Henry Douglass (better-known as Grubby), Harry, John Coppedge, Bill Soule, Tom Reynolds and Dick Wengren.

    A week later, on August 20th, the first meeting of the club was held. Present were the above seven, plus ‘some forty other persons’. No doubt with Powers picking the words, it was voted that:

    ‘The object of this club shall be to encourage and promote the sport of boating, and the science of seamanship and navigation, particularly for the instruction of the youth of this area, and do all things necessary or incidental to the accomplishment and fulfillment of said purposes.’

    It is significant that the club’s first initiatives were toward racing and instruction for racing. The issue of housing – for meetings and social events – wasn’t resolved until February of 1949, when the directors voted to rent the upper floor of the old Yacht Club building from Mr. William Soule for $75.00 a year. This location had the advantage of being right next to the town dock, which the club would use along with everyone else.

    The club was to be a do-it-yourself operation from the beginning. On May 1st, 1949, Commodore Whittom issued the first call for volunteer labor for club construction to make necessary repairs on the building, including installing a separate door at the foot of the stairs.

    Fifty years later, with more than three hundred moorings in the Harraseeket River, a beautiful clubhouse, parking lot and dock system in place, and an annual budget far in excess of where it started; Harry’s vision of a flourishing yacht club in South Freeport would seem to be well justified.