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How the Harbor 20 Saved my Club

Adapted from an article written by Jon Pickney on November 15, 2011
A prominent Newport sailor once said that

"the Harbor 20 saved sailing at Newport. It has brought hundreds of sailors back into sailing."



The Harbor 20 has brought hundreds of members back to the club. Not just at NHYC but also at South Carolina YC, Santa Barbara YC, Annapolis YC, Balboa YC, Bahia Corinthian YC, South Shore YC, and more. Big Harbor fleets result in bustling club life, full social calendars, more races, and overall growth.


A Busy Club is a Happy Club


The success of any club - whether yachting, golf, or tennis - is driven by usage. No one wants to eat or drink in a big empty room. The more members we can entice into using our clubs the better!

In Newport Beach, each of the five yacht clubs hosts a summer twilight series, with a special theme dinner during and after the racing - Sundowner Dinners, Taco Tuesdays, Burger Bashes, and BBQs. 10-20 Harbor 20 boats are racing every night, and the Twilight season has barely started! The docks are full, the bar is packed, and the dining room is sold out. Revenues go up! 




Harbor 20 Socialites


As Howard Brooks, member of the Annapolis YC Board of Governors reports, "The selection of the Harbor 20 sailboat is a growing phenomenon at Annapolis Yacht Club. The boat's design, style and performance have compelled a number of members to get back into sailing. This is true of not only past sailors, but also current sailors who want a simpler boat that provides both racing and social sailing opportunities."



"In addition, the creation of an active Harbor 20 fleet has resulted in new members joining AYC."

Howard is serving as the Annapolis Fleet Captain and finds that another "unique aspect of the Harbor 20 owners is a common desire to get together socially and enjoy company of fellow Fleet 5 members." Annapolis has many social events such as the Dock and Dine, where everyone sails to a location and enjoys lunch, followed by more sailing.



They also have much more support for good causes, such as the Leukemia cup. Annapolis Harbor 20 team aimed for 20 H20s raising 20K, and went above and beyond their goal, raising a whopping $35,180. In addition to racing they had dinners, auctions, galas, and a concert to help their overall efforts.


 Silent Auction for Leukemia Cup


Great Design


The Harbor 20 is perfect for fleet purchases and adult and junior sailing programs because it is classy, fun to sail, comfortable, and easy to maintain.

The Harbor 20 is tactical rather than athletic; and the class rules are designed to encourage Corinthian sailing and a friendly spirit. The Harbor 20 was designed specifically to be easy, easy, easy, but it is also a beautiful boat that is really exciting to sail.

Low maintenance is another element key to the success of this boat.

The only wood on the boat is the tiller. Thanks to Madera Glass, Harbor 20s can have the beautiful wood look with easy fiberglass maintenance. The sails can be covered and left onboard for the night. And rigging and de-rigging the boat is a snap. The mast stays up, the boom stays in place, and the sail control lines stay right where they are. Everything else can be tucked under the cuddy.


Madera Glass Transom 


The Harbor 20 is especially effective for stimulating member usage of the club because it appeals to such a wide range of people. Size doesn't matter. Age doesn't matter. And you can enjoy the Harbor 20 whether you are an expert sailor or a novice.

The Harbor 20 is comfortable. It can be kept either in the water or on a trailer. And it is definitely family friendly!


Father and Daughter team 


Ready to Race!


Racing increases the club's visibility, leading to potential growth in membership and national recognition.

Another benefit of a large one-design fleet is the exciting special events to the calendar - Racing leads to awards ceremonies, regatta banquets, holiday parties, seminars on racing rules and tactics, and learn-to-sail opportunities.

Racing inspires more articles and photos in the local and national publications;  sailors and members can share their good times with friends outside of the club who become interested in joining.

Having a large one-design fleet also provides opportunities to host special events for sailors outside of the area.


Photo Courtesy of Bob Yates


Newport Harbor Yacht Club hosts the annual Baldwin Cup Team Race which attracts teams from the best clubs in the U.S. NHYC has needed to make it invite only in order to accommodate the increased demand, and it is packed all weekend. Hundreds of people are involved, if they aren't racing, they are volunteering and doing great work behind the scenes to put on an amazing weekend. Eleven four-boat two-man teams sailed 120 races in the 2015 regatta. The club borrowed Twenty-Four Harbor 20s for this event.And for the benefit and enjoyment of the membership, the courses were set up right off the main dock. A huge crowd of spectators enjoyed the racing each day.

Photo Courtesy of Bob Yates

South Carolina and Newport Harbor have enjoyed annual Harbor 20 East/West Regattas, with the venue rotating between the four clubs (up from two). Teams from Annapolis and Santa Barbara have been added to the mix, with plans to add more fleets in the future.



Robust fleets at these yacht club's means they find it easy to convince owners to lend their boats for special invitational competitions.

Each of these big regattas adds to the national prestige of the club; and they provide excellent opportunities for club members to get involved - not just as skipper or crew, but as race committee members, social activity planners, hosts to out-of-the-area participants, spectators, and party guests.


 New Growth


In response to this change, the yacht clubs are developing new ways to keep their members involved. One really effect solution is to buy a fleet of one-design sailboats that can be used by the members.

South Carolina Yacht Club owns 5 Harbor 20s that they rent to members for daysailing and for racing. They are also used for adult and junior sailing programs. This enhances the value of club membership and adds beneficial revenue streams for the club. Their fleet is now 14 boats strong.




Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Membership Chairman invites the members to a series of adult sailing lessons. About a dozen Harbor 20 owners donate their boats and serve as instructors, with each boat accommodating two or three adult students. The response to this event is amazing! Thirty-four members came out for the first night of lessons. Newport also started a Harbor 20 charter program to make sailing and racing easy for members who don't own a sailboat.

Annapolis Yacht Club has seen continued growth of its new Harbor 20 fleet and will have as many as 13 Harbor 20s in the club's Frostbite Race series.


 Gary Jobson at Annapolis Frostbiting Series


Southern Yacht Club is preparing to roll out a brand new fleet this year! They have 3 boats to start, and have already gained more prospects before the boats have hit the water.

If competitive club sailing is going to revitalize itself, the Harbor 20 is the future.


Notice of Competition


W.D. Schock is calling all crews to compete for the title of "Fastest Schock Rigging Crew". From May 1, 2015- Nov. 2, 2015, we will be accepting video entries to find the best boat riggers.


Three winning crews will receive a special Schock gift bag, and the bragging rights as the top three  "Fastest Schock Rigging Crews". Winners will be triumphantly announced at the end of the year and contacted to arrange prize delivery. We reserve the right to create categories based on entries.



(Not an entry, just inspiration. Entries should NOT be edited)



We need the following from one crew member via WDSCHOCK facebook or email to[email protected]

  • Video or link to video of the crew rigging the boat
  • Crew members' names
  • Type of boat (Include boat name and/or hull number if available)
  • State or Yacht Club
  • Time it took to rig
  • An email address (to contact in case of winning, not shared publically).
  • Optional background story

Please note that by participating, you are giving W.D. Schock permission to share and/or alter the information provided, unless otherwise stated, for updates and promotional purposes.



Rigging is considered complete when the boat goes from the standard secured position on land or in water to sails up and boat moving.


Edited video will be disqualified.  Highest Corinthian ethos is expected.


Crews may consist of normal crew size for that boat. All boats built by W.D. Schock Corp. are eligible for entry. Please ensure that you have legal access/permission before rigging a boat for this competition.

W.D. Schock Corp. 
23125 Temescal Canyon Rd.  Corona, CA 92883
Email:  [email protected]     Website: http://wdschock.com