We’re moving!.. just down the street.

We revisit our roots in learning how to sail at City Island’s Consolidated Yachts, New York’s oldest boatyard.

We’re back! Or, will be very shortly. We’re moving down the street to Consolidated Yachts on the southeast end of City island.

We’ve been there before. Twice. (Third time’s the charm?)

Round One: Dad did it for awhile back in the 1970’s. My first job as a kid was sweeping up the floor of the classroom and workshop for $1/hour. Remember when David Letterman started out as Late Morning With David Letterman? Before he was really, really famous with Late Night. Well, he was a student at dad’s New York Sailing School! I remember him walking back in from one of the sailing sessions all decked out in his yellow foul weather gear and a smile on his face. Later in life, I was disappointed when Letterman had Ted Turner on the show, who is a world class sailor (Olympics; America’s Cup; etc). Sailing didn’t come up once, much less New York Sailing School.

Dad lost his lease due to construction on the property’s border with a vacant lot that became a retirement community (still there now).

Round Two: I moved my school there in 2007 and we ran it there for 3 years. There was too much going on at the yard and it didn’t work out at that time, with several sub-tenants competing for space and resources. Chief culprit was an auto-body shop. At one point, they were going to publicize a bikini car wash and basically shut down our ability to operate. Eye candy not withstanding, we moved the school more or less to where we’re now going to be in the yard, but it was the beginning of the end of Round Two back then.

IN THAT PIC: partial view of the patio area for hanging around, lunch/snacks, and outdoor classroom sessions that allow using real boats in real time to often be the props!
IN THAT PIC: Prefer sun? We got you… here’s the unshaded portion of the patio on the way out to the pier. “The Sun Deck,” as it probably ought to be called, has direct rays all day.

Consolidated is simpler now and better suits our needs than in the past. It remains the oldest continually operated boat yard in the State of New York, dating back to the late 1800’s if memory serves. No location is perfect, but here we’ll be getting a few key benefits…

  • Large slip for docking our skiff (launch) and sometimes our cruising boats, and also the smaller ones for ‘pit-stop’ maintenance. Also good for docking practice for cruising courses!
  • Large waterside area for classroom sessions, meet & greet, and just hanging out for lunch, breaks, or nothing at all except watching the birds and boats go by. It’s under an elevated storage shed so we have sun and rain protection. Plus, when you want sun, you got it- the patio extends out beyond toward the water.
  • Indoor storage of life jackets and other gear, plus enough room to use as a ‘foul weather’ classroom. In fact, this used to BE the classroom. Yup; where DL did his course with us.
  • Super-quick access to Western Long Island Sound, and also Eastchester Bay which is now literally around the corner. This increases our flexibility to adapt to different wind and weather conditions, and also makes it easier for our Sailing Club members to take advantage of the area’s inherent versatility.
  • Large, full-service boatyard that can handle anything we can’t for maintenance, including two Travelifts (marine hoists) to get boats in and out of the water.
  • Quick access to great breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
IN THAT PIC: “The Red House.” No, there isn’t a Red Woman (G.O.T. in the HOUSE!) Easy landmark from anywhere in City Island Harbor, which is shown almost in its entirety here. The length of neighboring Hart Island brackets the Red House, and the pier ends on the right in line with it. Beyond? The Gold Coast of Long Island – at the quickest crossing of LI Sound!

Classroom sessions, field-trip style: walk to the end of the pier above. Use real-time examples of sailboats doing stuff wrong… and right. And, right in front of your face. Available 7 days a week.

When we walk back from that, the view looks like this…

IN THAT PIC: looking back (west) from the sun deck patio into the shaded classroom/meeting area. Above it is the end of the locker and storage area, which is our dedicated space for ‘foul weather’ classroom sessions and also hanging our sou’wester hats, or Tilleys, or Supreme beanies, or whatever you’re sporting and rocking.

IN THAT PIC: the door to our indoor storage and classroom. Note the lettering from the 1970’s!

Consolidated looks a little bare in those pictures, right? It’s because we weren’t shooting the boatyard, and the slips are empty-ish in the off season. Here’s one shot of how dense the yard itself can be with pleasure boats and yachts, and smaller commercial vessels…

IN THAT PIC: Montgomery 17 sloop, owned by graduates of our school from around 15 years ago. They got it soon after learning to sail with us and have kept it at Consolidated ever since. Behind it? Some large 40-something footer with an aft cabin and center cockpit being refinished. Note the beat-up rudder: Consolidated specializes in difficult structural, fiberglass, and marine woodwork repairs. And they can haul boats as small as this (17′) and as large as upwards of 70!

And, here’s some serious gear – anchor and chain rode for something huge…

IN THAT PIC: Serious ground tackle, or anchoring stuff. View is southeast from north side of yard. Top right: our new digs in pale blue!

How soon do we start up then? Very soon. We’re splashing our 23′ Carolina Skiff next week and it will be at the slip you can see in the pic above whose ramp to the pier is already in place. From there, we prep the two boats we already have in the water (our two Pearsons), and also the first Beneteau 21 to be launched ASAP. Moorings will be moved just off Consolidated. We can give you the tour of the boats and the digs almost on demand, but please do make an appointment with us so you don’t just show up to a locked gate or no signs of life.

This ain’t no 9 to 5!

IN THAT PIC: “The Red House” pops in contrast to the background: Hewlett Point on the Gold Coast of Long Island’s North Shore. The yacht at the dock? Well, that’s less than half of it… and we’d love a tour but it’s private. We’ll try to score an invite for a party.

Welcome aboard the new home of the Sailing Center! Please come visit soon. Hit us up through our contact page (in main menu here on this and every post and page of the site).

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