History

The Rockport Boat Club was founded in the spring of 1948 by 40 local and summer residents in response to the need for a landing facility in Rockport Harbor.  The founding meeting was held at the home of the first Commodore, Carl “Bub” Underwood. A small loan was underwritten by several of the founding members so that a building could be erected on the land which had been donated to the Town of Rockport by Mrs. Efrem Zimbalist, Sr.  The parcel of land, about 150 feet in length, running along a stone bulkhead, was designated by her for the exclusive use of a boat club.

RBC Then and Now_3

The original club house was 30 by 26 feet. As membership increased during the first few years, the building was nearly doubled to its present size. Captain Frank Swift donated the topmast from one of his schooners for use as the Club’s signal mast.  Maynard Graffam, Sr. later gave the Club a large load of flagstone from the Monson quarries.   In 1951, Madame Lea Luboshutz gave a benefit concert that netted $1,000 in proceeds that were used to build the large flagstone fireplace in the main room of the club house.

In 1954-55, nearly 50 people completed a Club-sponsored class in navigation and seamanship conducted by John H. Montgomery and Carl D. Lane, both of whom were well-known authors of nautical books. In 1973, four turn-abouts were purchased by the Club and a junior sailing program was initiated.  This program has met with great success and continues today.

Among the Commodores over the years were Cal “Bub”  Underwood,  Captain  Herbert Sylvester, Edward Ausplund, John Larsen Jr., William Whipple, V. B. Crockett, Harry Goodridge, Donald Biggins, Col. Alfred Greene, Captain George Jennings, Rev. Daniel Fenner, Russell Brace, Dr. David Mann, Ernest Oliver, Mort Strom, Kenneth Black, Charles Crockett, Charles Helmboldt, Andre Rheault, Harold Lamb, Dr. Ross Davis, Phil Gagnon, Stephen Hanscom, Louise Riley, Bruce Malone, John Doncaster, Susan Masone, Alex Armentrout, Robin Ledwith, Larry Lehmann, Tom Latta and Mark Van Baalen.

The Club’s burgee, a blue lighthouse on a field of white, has flown throughout the country.  In 1956-57 it was flown on the floating ice island, T-3, manned by a crew under Spencer Appolonio, a former arctic scientist and commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

 

(This information was compiled from many sources including an article which appeared in the Rockland Courier-Gazette in 1973 on the occasion of the Club’s 25th anniversary.)