CLYC Sailing History

The CLYC was formed in 1948 to provide a robust sailing program for young people on Crooked Lake, with Inter-Club regattas with similar clubs on Walloon, Burt, and Charlevoix Lakes and Little Traverse Bay.  With excellent sailing instruction and Crooked Lake’s tricky winds, CLYC sailors often swept 1st through 3rd place in the annual Bay Regattas.

The CLYC first racing fleet were Nipper sailboats (12’ wooden slightly decked dingy built by Ray Greene in Toledo Ohio). In order to increase the Nipper’s speed, members added a bowsprit to so they could fly a jib.

In the 1960’s Tom Graham established a fleet of Rebel sailboats – the first production fiberglass one-design sailboat again built by Ray Greene in Toledo. At slightly over 16' and with a large steel center board, Rebels were very stable and easy to sail. And while it typically had a crew of two, it could hold six in the roomy cockpit for day sailing.

Tom Graham later organized the Crooked Lake Sailors to provide sailing lessons for the many children in the area using Tag-along boats and with Margie Graham as the sailing instructor. 

The Club eventually turned to the Sunfish in the 1980's since they are sailed by one adult (thus no need for a crew) or two kids, and they are easy to rig and sail.  At 14’ and 120 pounds, the Sunfish has become the most popular fiberglass boat ever designed.   

Several CLYC members helped reestablish the Crooked Lake Sailors in 2010 as a separate 501(c)(4) organization to offer sailing lessons to all kids and adults in the area.  After Margie Graham became Director in 2012, the Crooked Lake Sailors’ fleet of boats and number of both adult and youth students dramatically increased with a focus on hands-on sailing.  

Julian Magnus, the Yoda of sailing on Crooked Lake since the 1950's, became Rear Commodore in 2013-15, with Babe Hack and Todd McKinney following. Michael Graham took over as Rear Commodore in 2019.  

While the it is a separate organization with a separate Board and Officers and a specific educational mission, CLYC members provide financial and other support to the Crooked Lake Sailors.

 Please see for more information.

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