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The FlyingFish In Boston Harbor | Photo Courtesy of Gelpics

USCGC "FlyingFish" and Nahant Dory Club Adoption Ceremony

Town of Nahant | Adoption Ceremony | 30 October 2014

Address by Senior Chief Keith Kucera Officer in Charge USCGC Flying Fish

Good morning Nahant Town Selectmen, Nahant Dory Club Cadre, Coast Guard Sector Boston Command Cadre, distinguished guests and the family and crew of FLYINGFISH.  My name is Senior Chief Keith Kucera, Officer in Charge of the Coast Guard Cutter FLYINGFISH.  We come together this morning to open a new and exciting chapter between the FLYINGFISH and Nahant.  The suggestion of this relationship dates back to 2009, when my friend and prior skipper of FLYINGFISH, Master Chief Mark Cutter, helped plant the seeds to a now flourishing relationship between a “small crew and a small town”.  Mr. Bob Cusack, Dory Club Commodore and Coast Guard Master Chief (retired) Maurice Poulin have been at the forefront in this endeavor and I truly appreciate all of their efforts. 

First, a bit about the cutter and her crew.  The FLYINGFISH was commissioned in 2002, built in Bollinger Ship Yard, Lockport, LA.  FLYINGFISH and her 11 man crew are home ported in Boston, MA.  Our area of responsibility covers all waters seaward from the northern point of Maine to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, out 300 nautical miles.  Our missions include, but are not limited to:  Maritime Law Enforcement, Federal Fisheries protection and enforcement, Ports Waterways and Coastal Security, Environmental Protection, Recreational Boating Safety, National Defense, and Search and Rescue.  We stand ready to answer these calls in a moment’s notice because every minute counts!

Next, I would like to address the proposed adoption.  A question has been asked, “What does it mean to adopt a ship?”  The term itself implies a commitment of continuing support.  That support should not be taken in a monetary context at all.  It should be seen as an opportunity to proudly display a sense of patriotism, community, and strength of spirit this town has been known for.  It also sets the stage for a re-birth of relations between the Coast Guard and this community.  The Nahant Lifesaving Station was built over 110 years ago, and still stands as a historical landmark today.  The station was erected in response to the loss of eight souls in the wreck of the three-masted coal schooner CHARLES BRIGGS, on Short Beach in 1898.  Its construction was “one of a kind” as it was able to launch surf boats in two directions.  Back then, these lifesavers or “surfmen” lived in your community, their children attended your schools, and they provided community services to a town they loved so much.  Our intention is to pay homage to those brave lifesavers with our commitment to you.  We would like to offer our time in areas such as: The Partners in Education program at your local elementary school, participate in community education outreach programs, provide community service to local veterans and/or any residents in need, and learn from the rich history your town has in the military and maritime community. 

In short, this relationship or commitment has no monetary value to speak of.  BUT, it does focus upon a set of values which, in my book, are better than anything money can buy; our Coast Guard values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.   




















NDC A Brief Introduction to Nahant Yachting
and the Dory Club

Nahant was the scene of some of the earliest organized yacht racing in North America. On July 19, 1845, the first formal yacht race in the Boston area was held off its shores. The event was open to yachts of between 10 and 50 tons, and the 22-mile course around the Graves and Egg Rock drew 11 contestants. Benjamin Clark of Nahant won the race in his 12 –ton (roughly 45 ft) schooner "Raven", beating several larger boats, on handicap. We learn from the "Annals of Nahant" that the less successful contestants questioned the handicapping, thus initiating a lively tradition that continues to our day!

Nahant figured in yachting annals throughout the 19th century with exploits such as the voyage in 1866 of the yacht "Alice", from Nahant to Cowes, England. One of the first yachts to cross the Atlantic, the 27-ton "Alice" was a seaworthy craft modeled after the Boston pilot boats and was owned by Nahant summer resident Thomas Appleton, and sailed by Benjamin Clark's son, Arthur. Another member of the summer colony, General Charles Paine, owned three America's Cup defenders, the "Puritan" (1885), "Mayflower" (1886) and "Volunteer" (1887).

As the focus of large-yacht racing moved to Marblehead and Manchester in the latter part of the century, small-boat racing in fishing dories became more popular with both year- round and summer residents of Nahant. Families whose names figure prominently in early records of dory racing, and who still live in Nahant, include the Goves and the Taylors. This activity led to the founding of the Dory Club in 1894.

The Nahant racing dory design adopted around 1906 was heavier than the popular Swampscott dory developed between 1870 and 1890. The boats were flat-bottomed centerboarders, internally ballasted in heavy weather with 50-pound pigs of lead or iron. They were sloop rigged with a large leg-of-mutton main and a small jib, both unfurled from an unstayed, removable mast.

Racing at the NDC was curtailed during the Spanish-American war of 1898, and was not resumed until 1903. But attention had returned to sailing by 1906, when the simple club house was built (for $1500) on the town wharf to provide storage for gear, and a place to have tea. Regular races were held on Saturday afternoons, July 4th and Labor Day, with special races on Wednesdays for juniors under 1.6 and "females of any age". Membership became progressively more restricted to Nahant's wealthy summer residents during these years.

Year- round residents were only allowed to participate in occasional "open" races held by this exclusive, albeit spartan, club. Nevertheless, the results record the successes of "Townies" such as Joseph Gosselin, the town barber, who was the able skipper of a fast boat called "Close Shave".

Beginning in 1911, a class of 22-foot gaff sloops, initially called Bug boats, was introduced in Nahant. By 1922, these boats had evolved into one of the larger U.S. fleets of the International Star class, which remained the main racing class at the NDC until World War 11. The Nahant Stars were the only fleet of this class to carry spinnakers. Smaller cat-rigged boats called Monty Cats (built by Montgomery's Boat Yard in Gloucester) were introduced for junior racing in 1929. Monty Cats are still sailed in Annisquam, where they are called "Fish Boats".

Nahant Dory Club members were active on the national and international racing scenes _ in the 1920's and 1930's. Frank Paine, son of the General Paine mentioned earlier, was a talented yacht designer and racer who drew the lines of many successful boats, including the famous racing-fishing schooner "Gertrude L. Thebaud". Paine also won the Manhasset Bay Challenge Cup for the R-class in 1928, and designed the J-boat "Yankee" that introduced several innovations (such as the parachute spinnaker) into the America's Cup trials of 1930 and 1934.

Women were active in the club's sailing and social functions, and "mixed doubles" races were held in the Star Class, in the 1920's. Husband-wife teams such as the Curtis' and the Kings took things seriously enough to ship their Stars to Havana for the mid-winter Bacardi Cup races, a famous event of that time. The families most active in NDC racing throughout those years, and who are still residents of Nahant, include the Motleys, the Sigourneys, the Hodges, and the Warrens.

These halcyon days of the Dory Club's history were brought to an end by the combined effects of social change, the devastating 1938 hurricane, and mainly, WWII. The remains of the once 20-boat Star fleet were sold in 1941 to Lake Sunapee (where some are still racing today), since recreational boating was forbidden in the Boston area waters during the war.

The Town class was first introduced at the NDC in 1939, as a less expensive alternative for those reluctant to replace Stars destroyed in the 1938 storm. This 16-ft dory-type sloop has remained the mainstay of NDC racing to the present day, with a fleet presently numbering over a dozen boats. The 15-ft Mercury-class sloops were also popular in the late 19601s, and the 13-ft Laser class offered spirited competition in the late 1970's and early 19801s, for those inclined to the thrills and spills of planing hulls.

Besides this one-design racing activity at the NDC, a solid contingent of small cruising boats competes for the coveted Chowder Trophies, held three times a year. Further afield, the successes of the NDC fleet over the past ten years include the class victories in the Marblehead- to-Halifax and Marion- to-Bermuda races of Edward Tarlov' s Tartan 41, "Aurora", and the PHRF Boat-of-the-Year awards won by Sarge Goodchild in his C&C 40, "Manxman". Other exploits include Tom McGrath's cruises to Maine in his Townie, and more recently as far as the Florida Keys in his Tanzer 22.

The club has always worked to foster junior sailing and racing in Nahant. The Turnabouts, 10 ft sloops of plywood construction, were popular junior boats in the 1960's. The program was revived and formalized in the early 1980’s, and six Super Skunk boats were purchased by the Town of Nahant. An associated week-night adult instruction program, and particularly, a ladies solo racing program, also continue to prove popular. Over the century since its founding, the NDC has moved full circle from an informal club, through a period as one of the most exclusive sailing clubs in America, and then after WWII back to its original intent simply as a meeting place for amateurs of sailing. What hasn't changed are the goals of promoting a love of boats and the sea through congenial competition, and also the desire to introduce this great pastime to the next generation who will challenge the winds and waves off Nahant's rocky shores.

This brief summary owes much to previous discussions of NDC history written by Arthur Fay, Dan Perepelitza, and Herb Motley, Jr.

I am also grateful to past NDC Commodores Frank Cusack and Herb Motley, Jr., and to Lilly Johnson and Calantha Sears, for helpful assistance and comments during its preparation.

Those interested in looking further into the subject will find much original material of interest in the archives of the Nahant Historical Society.

Peter Foukal For the NDC Centennial Committee July, 1994

NDC Nahant Dory Club Commodore's List


1894 Mason W. Hammond
1908 | 1924 Jack H Foster
1925 | 1928 Arthur S. Johnson
1929 John A. Blanchard
1956 | 1958 Wilson R. Tibbo
1959 | 1961 Jim Mellen
1962 | 1964 Frank Cusack
1966 | 1967 Tom Walsh
1968 | 1969 Frank Roland
1970 | 1972 Clayton Gates
1973 | 1975 Ted Sylvia
1976 | 1977 Ted Billias
1978 | 1980 Herb Motley Jr.
1981 | 1983 Dennis Cashman
1984 | 1986 Gary Beckett
1987 | 1989 Michael D. L. Gaudette
1990 | 1991 Neal Sullivan
1992 | 1993 Mark Pillsbury
1994 | 1995 Nancy Antrim
1996 | 1998 Pete Dickenson
1999 | 2002 Liz Tibbo
2003 | 2006 Joe Desmond
2007 Patty Gregory
2008 | 2011 Dan McMackin
2012 | 2014 Robert J. Cusack
2015 Manny Santos
2016 | Present Ellen Christy
NDC Nahant Dory Club's "Commodore's Cup"


  Mason W. Hammond
  Jack H Foster
  Arthur S. Johnson
  John A. Blanchard
  Wilson R. Tibbo
  Jim Mellen
  Tom Walsh
  Frank Roland
  Clayton Gates
1965 Catherine A. Cusack
  Ted Sylvia
  Ted Billias
  Herb Motley Jr.
  Dennis Cashman
1990 Robert A. Wilson
1999 Francis W. Cusack
2001 Robert A. Wilson
2003 Robert A. Wilson
  Gary Beckett
  Michael Gaudette
  Neal Sullivan
  Mark Pillsbury
  Nancy Antrim
  Pete Dickenson
  Liz Tibbo
  Joe Desmond
  Patty Gregory
2012 S. Jeffrey Hall
2013 Dan McMackin
2014 Rob Scanlan
2015 -
2016 Peter Koslowski
2017 Jim and Roze Malone
2018 Corinna Kersten
NDC Nahant Dory Club/USYRU's "Sportsmanship Award"


1987 Wilson R. Tibbo
1988 Rene A. Michaud
1989 David C. Morrow
1995 Terri Beckett
1996 Joseph Graul and Rex Antrim
1997 James Connolly
1998 Joseph Grau
1999 Tim Von Aschwege
2000 Lawrence Bradley
2001 Johathan Tibbo








NDC Nahant Dory Club's "William A. Gilday III Award"


1994 Joseph T. Sherber
1995 Bernard Yadoff
1996 Robert Steeves
1998 Harriet Steeves
1999 Joseph Desmond
2000 S. Jeffrey Hall
2004 Jim Connolly









NDC "William G. "Chips" Whalen Memorial Bowl"
Awarded To The Most Persitent Town Class Skipper







William A Gilday, III
Edwin Peterson, Jr.
Robert J. Cusack
Rex Antrim
Robert Tibbo 
Harriet Steeves
Harry W. Edwards
Hugh Forrest
Rene A. Michaud
Albert A. Badger
William S. Pivacek
David Conlin
Rene A. Michaud
Robert Tagliamonte
Harriet Steeves
Tom McGrath
Albert A. Badger
Harry W. Edwards
Douglas Fritch
Tom McGrath
Robert A. Wilson 
Robert A. Wilson
Al and Lilly Badger
Al and Lilly Badger
Michael A Gaudette
Arthur Zachai
Wilson R. Tibbo
Michael Dickenson
Arthur Zachai 
Geoffrey Beckett
Geoffrey Beckett
Michael Conley
Michael Conley
Chris Ryder
Robert Vanderslice
Ed Younie
Nick Strange
Ed Younie
Nick Strange




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