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In January 2012, Hampton Yacht Club decided to start the Hampton Yacht Club Sailing Center with the following goals: 

To enrich HYC members by engaging them in yachting events, develop an adult learn-to-sail program, develop an adult team racing program, and develop an adult One-Design racing program.

Why The Sonar?

Hampton Yacht Club had to select a boat that would be a worthy racing vessel, yet easy to handle by all different types of people with various levels of experience. The club looked into the Sonars, which were built by Bruce Kirby in the late 1900s. Bruce Kirby wanted to design a boat that was exciting to race but allowed people of different ages, skill levels, and strengths to be able to handle the boat. He also wanted a boat that was spacious, easy to launch, safe, and could teach people how to sail. Mr. Kirby then created the first prototype of the Sonar in March 1980 up in Noroton, CT. This 23-foot day racer has now become a club racing boat of choice for prestigious yacht clubs like the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, England, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, NY, St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St. Petersburg, FL and the New York Yacht Club in Newport, RI. It seemed to be an easy choice for HYC in selecting the Sonars as their class boat for its members.

Building The Fleet

The program started off with only two Sonars, Sock Burner and Flag Raiser. During the summer of 2012, HYC received three new Sonars, Clam Digger, Fish Fry and Southern Bay Racer. With the help of many HYC members, all five boats were serviced and registered. Without the help of the HYC members, the Sailing Center would not be what it is today. The yacht club then finally acquired Wine Taster as the sixth Sonar the club now has. With these six Sonars, the Club has been able to meet the goals that they established back in 2012. HYC now has weekend learn-to-sail classes, Tuesday night clinics, team racing on Thursdays, women’s sailing on Friday nights, frostbite racing on Sundays and the ability to use the Sonars for many different regattas for One-Design and PHRF.

Recreational Use

HYC’s Sonars are available to members for recreational use from mid April to mid November from 8:00am to sunset. The members must have prior sailing experience or have successfully completed a Learn to Sail class. Before signing out a boat, please review the Policies and Procedures. To sign out a boat, please contact the Sailing Director at Afterwards you must complete a Float Plan and make sure all guests on the boat have either an Adult Waiver or Junior Waiver filled out.

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