Onondaga Yacht Club celebrates 125 years at the helm

The Onondaga Yacht Club in Liverpool is celebrating 125 years of "boating and friendship on Onondaga Lake."

Proud of its history and membership offerings, Baldwinsville resident and past OYC Commodore Jan Beall, said the club is hoping to attract new members throughout the celebratory year.

"We're one of the oldest freshwater yacht clubs in the state," Beall said.

The club, which shares affiliation with the Central New York Yacht Racing Association, Yachting Clubs of America and the Oswego Maritime Foundation, was founded in 1885 and incorporated Feb. 3, 1886.

Currently, the OYC hosts members who are residents of Syracuse, Camillus, Baldwinsville, Jordan, DeWitt, Cicero, Liverpool, Clay, Fayetteville and Manlius. There are also members outside of the county, including Alexandria Bay, N.Y., Trinity, Fla., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Penneville, N.Y.

Beall became a full member in 1981 when women were given the opportunity to do so. At first, women were only members by the association of their husbands' club membership.

Beall's husband Bill, and a few other members such as Liverpool residents Bud Booth and Phil Klink, has been members for more than 70 years because they were in a family member ship when they were kids.

The clubhouse, which is still located on the lakeshore, dates back to 1938 although many renovations have been made over the years.

The club has hosted many regattas and sailing exhibitions. Nowadays, the club maintains about 50 family units and hosts the Invitational Handicap Regatta and a Wooden Lightening Regatta each year.

During season, the OYC holds weekly handicap races while the fleet of small boats and 21-foot sloop are available for member use.

Members can keep small boats in the dry sail area and slips for larger boats are available at the Onondaga Lake Marina that is located next to the club.

The club also offers adult and youth sailing instruction, and programs for Junior Sailing, Sea Scouts and supervised recreational sailing.

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