Our History

Stage Harbor Yacht Club first offered instruction to members in 1937 in what came to be known as “Shore School.” Our very first instructor, Eric Olsen, later became a member of the United States sailing team at the 1956 Olympics.  In 1958, the Club adopted advancement qualifications for each class and changed the name of Shore School to Sailing School. The Sailing School reached new heights under the leadership of Dave “Chief” Hovey, who became Sailing Master in 1963. 

For the next 35 years, Chief ran a program second to none, teaching thousands of young students how to sail. In 1984, the Sailing School offered scholarships for the first time, and in 1986, the Sailing School became a 501(c)(3) organization, one of the first of its kind in the country. Drew Carlson, a longtime instructor, became Sailing Master in 1998 upon Chief’s retirement. Carlson served as Sailing Master for 15 years, during which time he brought new ideas to the program while maintaining important Club traditions. Trude Goodman, who worked under both Chief and Carlson as an instructor, assumed the position of Program Director in 2013, and led a staff of over 30 instructors and stewards for two seasons. Jane Frye, a life long member, former sailing school student and instructor, became Program Director for the 2015 & 2016 seasons. In 2017 we welcomed Chris Beard, teacher and sailing coach at Sturgis Charter Public School, as our new Sailing School Director.

The Sailing School offers classes for students of all ages several days a week. In addition, the Sailing School runs race teams in the Opti and 420 classes. Racers participate in regattas throughout the summer. Our coaching staff includes experienced sailors, many of whom compete at the secondary school and collegiate levels.