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Our Story

 

The Ocean Yacht Club was founded in 1891 and incorporated in 1896, two years prior to Staten Island joining New York City and were participants in the Naval Parade in 1899 for the return of the Spanish American War hero, Admiral George Dewey.

Our history includes several turn of the century Regatta winners and the roaring twenties motor boat race winners from Albany to New York. Our club is a member of the Yachting Club of America “The National Association of Yacht Clubs” since it’s founding in 1963. Our club was involved in the tragic 9-11 rescue effort and the clubhouse was used in the movie, Working Girl, starring Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. We are a Hurricane Sandy Survivor.

The Ocean Yacht Club is an integral part of Stapleton’s past, present, and future.

Our club and its members, families, and associates have been active in many social, political, and charitable affairs in Stapleton and Staten Island, including United Cerebral Palsy, Meals on Wheels, The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation,  The Eden II School for Autistic Children, Curtis High School Football, God’s Exceptional Children Boat Ride, AM VETS Post 103, The Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation and The Staten Island Children’s Campaign, Wounded Warriors Project, S.I. Supports our Soldiers along with many other local charitable organizations through out our long history.  The Ocean Yacht Club is proud to have a large contingent of Unites States of America Armed Forces Veterans from WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, along with several Merchant Marines.

OYC waterfront history

The Ocean Yacht Club was forced to give up its water rights and relocated from the its original water front location in order for the development of the Stapleton piers circa 1921.

The city built piers in 1920, but they were never fully exploited. From 1937 to 1942 several of the piers were used as the first Foreign Trade Zone in the United States. From 1942 to 1945, they became the Staten Island Terminal facility of the Army's New York Port of Embarkation.   After World War II, the piers once again became a foreign trade zone, but their use declined and most of the piers were demolished by the 1970s. The last, used for fishing, was removed when the U.S. Navy proposed to build a base in Stapleton in the 1980s.

In 1983, Secretary of the Navy John Lehmanselected Stapleton to be the homeport for a naval unit headed by the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), as part of the dispersal of the navy during a military build up ordered by President Ronald Reagan. This proposal became highly controversial throughout Staten Island when analysis of the proposal showed a net loss of civilian jobs on Staten Island (mainly due to expected job-seekers among naval dependents, but also due to a loss of businesses forced out by the naval presence). It was also controversial because of the belief that the Tomahawk cruise missiles aboard the Iowa and an accompanying Aegis cruiser would, in at least some cases, be carrying nuclear warheads.

Following years of debate, which slowed development of the base, the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a major cutback in military spending, and the still incomplete base was cancelled in 1993. Shortly thereafter, a plan was floated to build a race-track on the site, to be primarily used by NASCAR. The plan was quickly forgotten. Also headquartered at the site is one of three fireboats, FDNY Marine company 9. The site is now also used as part of the annual Fleet Week in New York City. After sitting empty for a couple of years, the base site was used by a bagel manufacturer briefly. Then a proposal was made to have a movie studio occupy a 6-acre (24,000 m2) portion of the site. For never-explained reasons the city administration opposed this, and finally some of the civil courts took over a small part of the site, leaving most unused while various proposals were made for housing, parkland, and an educational complex, among others.

On October 26, 2006, the New York City council approved a massive redevelopment plan for the site. It will be transformed into a new community with 350 housing units, restaurants, parks, a recreation center and farmers' market. The City Council pushed the project through its final regulatory hurdle when it approved the $66 million blueprint for the former Navy base.  The city will use the money and an additional $1.1 million state grant to create streets, utilities and a mile-long waterfront esplanade while soliciting proposals from private developers to build on six sites—three residential and three commercial—across the 36-acre (150,000 m2) base. City officials have said infrastructure work could begin in early 2007 with a projected completion date of 2009. Demolition of the old Navy buildings began in late 2011.


PAST COMMODORES

HERMAN H SEIMER 1891-1903

LOUIS BIRKE 1904-1908

GEORGE STAPLETON 1909-1912, 1927

CASPER G LALIVE 1913-1924

THOMAS WILLIAMS 1925

JOSEPH BURKE 1926,1931

EDWARD WANTY 1928-1930

FRED BROWN 1932-1936, 1938

WILLIAM S HART 1937, 1941-1942

ALBERT FEIST 1939

LEROY KELSHNER 1940

CHARLES LANG 1943

FRED WIGTLT 1944-1945

JOHN PECARARO 1946-1947

DUKE WELLINGTON 1948- 1951

CHARLES NEWBRANT 1952

FRANK QUINN 1953-1956

AL GABERINO 1957-1962

ED MCINTYRE 1963-1965

HAROLD BRYANT 1966-1970

JOE DAVIS 1971-1976, 87-90

AL MICHAELS 1977-1982, 84-85

WALTER NEVILLE 1983

ED FLESHNER, SR. 1986, 1992

JOE GIBBONS 1991, 1993-1996

JIM BOTTIGLIA 1997-2002

TOM BREEN, JR.  2003

ROBERT KANOWICZ 2004

JIM CRISO 2004-2012

PATRICK J. CHANOD, SR. 2013-PRESENT

 

List of Honorary Members

 

James Bottiglia (deceased)

Thomas Breen Sr. (deceased)

John Clark (deceased)

Fred Connors

Frank Desilvio

Bill DonDiego (deceased)

John Fleschner

Robert Flor

 James Higgens

Oliver Kemph (deceased)

Joseph Scott

Thomas Wall

Daniel Hammer

Robert Widener (deceased)

Ronald Laird (deceased)

Louis Burke (deceased)

Richard Dray (deceased)

Carl Ehrhart (deceased)

Max Fleschner (deceased)

Theodore Mazik (deceased)

Joseph Pecoraro (deceased)

Richard Dray (deceased)

Arthur Fleschner

John Jetter (deceased)

Charles Siegel (deceased)

Joseph Summa

William Weinmann

Jack Whitford