Deer Isle Yacht Club

Sylvester Cove, Sunset, Maine

Commodore's Letter - Fall 2016

Dear All,

 I hope this finds you in good health and enjoying this fall season.  The docks, floats, ramps and boats have been tucked away for the winter.


Annual Meeting

At August’s Annual Meeting, we had a brisk discussion about a by-law change, recognized the winners of the annual Bullseye Championship with their awards, and had an entertaining discussion on dues structure.  We also nominated and accepted the following list of officers for 2016:


Commodore                                         Richard Gresham

Vice Commodore                                 David Decrow

Rear Commodore                                 Tim Vander Mel

Treasurer                                             Bo Chesney

Secretary                                              Alison Corning Clark

Clerk                                                    Loring Kydd

Harbor Chair                                        Jeff Wakelin

Immediate Past Commodore                  Jeff Wakelin

Membership Committee                        Sam Howe

Nominating Committee                         Susan Hitz Scholl

Member-at-Large                                 Pete Haeni 2017

Member-at-Large                                 Brad Laslett 2018

Member-at-Large                                 Betsy Clark Robertson 2019

Member-at-Large                                 Chris Childs 2019


We would all like to give special thanks to both Betsy Gooding as outgoing Membership Chair and Lucy Vander Mel as outgoing Nominating Committee Chair.  Their years of patient and effective guidance are very appreciated. Stepping into Betsy’s shoes is Sam Howe, to whom we extend a warm welcome as he begins taking over all Membership Chair duties.  We are also excited to welcome both Susan Scholl as Nominating Chair and Betsy Clark Robertson as our new Member-at-Large.


Club Status

Our club membership has grown substantially over the last 10 years.  Although new membership initiation fees have helped supplement our income and offset expenses during some of these years, the added traffic has put a strain on the club’s limited resources.  Our parking lots, launch ramp and docks get more than their fair share of use from members and mail boat traffic. This, plus environmental wear and tear, requires us to provide constant infrastructure maintenance. This cycle is nothing new.


As expected, club expenses have grown with our membership numbers over recent years.  A simple example of this is seen when looking back at the previous 3 years at how much of your dues payments went toward expenses:

        2014 total expenses: $71,500

        Total number of members = 200

        $71,500/200 = $357

        Senior member dues: $310

        Result: a deficit of $47 per member, which had to be funded out of the Capital Fund (the club’s “self-insurance” and capital expenditure fund)

        For 2015, $40 was added back into the fund, per member

        For 2016, $5 was added back into the fund, per member


Over the last 3 years, we have had to invest in infrastructure improvements: wharf cribbing, pier steel painting, new (used) floats for the sailing program and fishermen’s wharf, new ramp, mooring field reorganization and guest mooring maintenance.  Also, keep in mind that nearly 25% of dues goes insurance costs.  30% goes to commissioning/building maintenance and 10% in the taxes and administrative category.  Our current Capital Fund balance is $108,000.  Resent estimates for replacing the pier steel, floats and ramps is around $130,000. Our primary goal is to fund this account 100%.  I know these numbers don’t tell the whole story, but hopefully they will clarify the costs associated with our “little club.” We will post more financials to the website after the 1st of the year.



Work on the mooring field is 95% complete. Heartfelt thanks to all involved in this long process/huge undertaking. Please make sure you contact the Harbor Chair at for your mooring needs prior to May 1st. 


Website and Future Communications

Please get to know the DIYC club website.  There you will find a lot of current and historical information about the club.  It includes recent additions such as Sailing Instructions from 1926, curtesy of Mary Ellen Fahs, and a newspaper article covering the first Round the Island Race.  If you have photographs or information you would like to share, please submit them via the Contact page or any board member.


Updating your own contact information and logging onto the website is strongly encouraged.  Please do so as all further club communications, including dues information, will be distributed via email and the club website. 


Club Purpose

It is vital that we remember the club’s original vision and purpose, set forth in 1925 when the DIYC was first incorporated.  As we look back at past accomplishments and adventures, integrate current needs, and plan for the future, these should help us stay on course.


Per our by-laws:

The purposes of the Deer Isle Yacht Club shall be:

1.       To provide facilities and sponsor activities for the convenience and pleasure of its members in their lawful and proper use of Penobscot Bay and adjacent waters.

2.       To encourage amateur yachting, both recreational and competitive.

3.       To foster knowledge of and respect for the dangers of the sea, and to promote sound seamanship.

Please keep these purposes in mind as we move forward, dedicated to the well-being of our home island, cove and surrounding bay.

Fair Winds,

Richard Gresham


Calendar of Club Events