The History of Masthead Cove Yacht Club
by Jerry Sinofsy
It all started in Coneys yard, the main one at New York Avenue in the very early spring of 1975. As you all know, between sanding, painting and polishing, sailors like to talk, talk, and talk some more. Guys like Ed Jacob, myself [Jerry] and sailors you may never have heard of like Joe Spalone, George Albright, Bob Goldberg, Ira Futterman and Harry Zirkel. We talked about an idea for a new yacht club, one that would meet all our needs and fit our budget. Bob and Matt Coneys heard about our idea and with their knowledge we had an informal meeting in the back of the restaurant called “Cappy’s” on New York Avenue. At that meeting there were 12 sailors. To have a club you need officers, and since we could not hold an election, it was decided to put names in a hat for the first year, and behold Masthead’s first officers:
- Commodore Joe Spalone
- Vice Commodore Jerry Sinofsky
- Treasurer Harry Zirkel
- Rear Commodore Bob Goldberg
Ira Futterman, an attorney, volunteered to arrange for the incorporation for the club. The group met every Tuesday night in the back of Cappy’s to go over which seems like hundreds of details such as: the name of the club, the burgee, cruising, social functions, membership, by-laws, etc. The name of the club and the design of the burgee had to be completely new and not conflicting with names and burgees of hundreds of other clubs in the “Lloyds Book of Register. If you have the book, Masthead is in there with our burgee, our location and our current officers.
The name Masthead Cove was picked arbitrarily after the initials of Matt Coney in order to honor him for his help. As a matter of fact, he graciously presented the club with our first 50 burgees after it was designed. As the word spread around about our new club, it grew to 25 members. Dues at that time were a modest $25 a year. We held our first official meeting in the back of some bar near Huntington where everyone proudly received his burgee. It should be noted that we had 100% attendance. The spring and fall racing were simple…one division of about 10 – 15 boats and it was fun. Nobody really knew the racing rules. Miss Sugar [Jerry’s boat] even won occasionally. We were a Pearson 30 then. Cruising was very important part of the club function; there were many two or three boat cruises. I went with six boats to Newport, RI. Many more meetings were held, and in one of them the idea of “our Clubhouse Mooring” in Lloyd Harbor came up.
A book can be written about the trials and tribulations of getting started, and the names of those sailors I mentioned and many more worked extremely hard to smooth over the very rough spots. All of us know the result of those early efforts. The basis for the club then was “to initiate a sailing program that provides challenging and stimulating experiences for its members with an opportunity for individual participation in many areas of sailing.” This is still the basis today. That should be the basis for tomorrow.
So now you know the real story of how MCYC began.