The History of LMYC

Although the LMYC was not incorporated until 1938, Snipe sailing was taking place as an organized activity on our lake as early as 1933. According to a certificate dated January 23, 1934 entitled “Snipe Class International Racing Association (SCIRA), Divisional Fleet Charter,” issued to the Lake Mohawk Divisional Fleet, our Snipe Fleet was chartered as International Fleet #17. The Charter is signed by Dr. Hub E. Isaacs, the founder of SCIRA. We are now officially listed as Fleet #10 with SCIRA. This makes our Snipe Fleet one of the oldest chartered fleets in the world!

In a letter from Morgan Reichner to Robert T. Crane dated March 5, 1934, Mr. Reicher reminded Mr. Crane that as Fleet Champion for 1933, Mr. Crane was entitled to have the numerals “1933” or just “33” in block letters on his mainsail, below the class insignia. On January 4, 1935, Mr. Reichner, who served as Rear Commodore of SCIRA, notified all members of the Lake Mohawk Snipe Fleet, on letterhead bearing our present LMYC burgee, of a meeting in New York City later in the month, to coincide with the Motor Boat Show, to discuss formation of a Lake Mohawk Yacht Club. Dinner at a convenient hotel at a cost of $1.50 per person was also mentioned in the letter!

Following the meeting in New York City, on April 10, 1935 six Snipe Fleet members (Morgan Reicher, Patrick Douris, Frank J. Redfern, John J. Redfern, John Nelles and Robert T. Crane) wrote to Herbert Closs, Vice President of the Arthur D. Crane Company, and informed him of the organization of the Lake Mohawk Yacht Club, a resolution to lease and eventually purchase land for the location of the club and for the construction of a dock at the facility.

A document entitled “Lake Mohawk Yacht Club--Snipe Fleet Racing Schedule and Other sailing Events—1936 Season” reflects that, although our club was not incorporated until 1938, it operated under the name of the LMYC for two years prior with only one fleet. According to the schedule, the 1936 sailing season began on June 7th and ended on September 27th – a true sign that we were, at one time, a summer resort community. The schedule also includes six “novelty events” and several “moonlight” or “evening” events with sailboats in tow and decorated with lanterns.

Nonetheless, the Snipe sailing was apparently quite competitive because on September 12th and 13th of 1936 the New Jersey State Snipe Championship races were first held on our lake. We continued to host this event up until some time in the 1990’s. The LMYC was also homeport for the 1938 World Champion Snipe skipper, Charles Gabor.

And just so you don’t think that we are only about Snipes soon came the Lightnings, designed by Sparkman & Stephens and first built in 1938. We have proudly maintained the status as International Lightning Class Association (ILCA) Fleet #25 out of the hundreds of Lightning fleets, worldwide.

Don Okner