While the term Yacht Club conjures up images of blue blood or old money, it is a misnomer at South Minneford Yacht Club on New York’s City Island. There, the atmosphere is low key and casual and the boaters are friendly and down-to-earth.
South Minneford is actually a cooperative Marina with a clubby flavor. It is a cooperative facility, meaning all slip owners own shares of the club, and a Board of Directors makes decisions regarding its operation. Thus, the folks who keep their boats here have a vested interest in the place and strive to keep it ship-shape. Slips with absentee owners are used for seasonal rentals or transients visiting the marina.
The facility occupies the site of the old Minneford Shipyard, which was established in 1926 and turned out palatial yachts for millionaires. It also built many of the great America’s Cup racers, including Constellation, Intrepid, Courageous, Freedom and Enterprise, and during World War II it built torpedo boats, mine sweepers and seagoing tugs. The yard was closed around 1980 and became the current marina in 1985.
About City Island
City Island, a quaint, mile and a half long island with the ambience of an old seafaring town, has everything a visiting mariner might want, including marine repair facilities, restaurants, food stores, and several antique stores and craft shops. All are within walking distance. For example, City Island Diner serves up a great cup of Joe, The Snug Pub provides good grub and live entertainment, and J.J. Burke Marine Supply, West Marine Express and Bridge Marine have just about anything you might need for your boat. There’s even horseback riding, miniature golf and a driving range in Pelham Bay Park, just a short cab or bus ride away.
City Island is at the western end of Long Island Sound, about 10 miles northeast of Manhattan, and is a favorite stopover for transients heading to or from New York City. South Minneford is on the island’s east side. Getting there is easy. Enter City Island Harbor from the south, and several hundred yards in you'll see the club to port. It is clearly identifiable from the red, white and black pilings that line the breakwater like a picket fence. Once inside the breakwater, you can see the marina’s command center—a gray shack perched atop a bank of rocks in an area of Long Island Sound that’s infamous for ledges.