On the 20th Anniversary of the Manhattan Yacht Club in 2007, a group of visionary Members responded to the Commodore’s suggestion that they commemorate the occasion by doing something special – acquiring a 12 Meter yacht.
Manhattan Yacht Club had been inspired by Yacht Club de Monaco which acquired their flagship “Tuiga,” a 15 Meter, in 1994 (see photo on left). The MYC dream was to do something similar and bring an iconic sailboat to New York Harbor. In the United States, our most iconic boat is the 12 Meter.
The search for a 12 Meter began and we became fortunate to acquire America II (US 46). US 46 was part of a three boat campaign for the 1987 America’s Cup. These boats, US 42, 44 & 46, were built for the New York Yacht Club. All three were named “America II.” US 46 was the final yacht and she competed in the Cup Races with John Kolius as skipper.
Photo: 12 Meter US 46 seen racing off Freemantle in 1987.
The 1987 Cup was eventually won by Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes. In 2007, Dennis was partnering with the MYC Commodore to manage North Cove, which was then the Club’s home.
US 46 was the perfect 12 Meter for the Manhattan Yacht Club. The Club and America II both began sailing in 1987 and they will forever share important anniversaries. America II also represented New York Harbor which is home to the Manhattan Yacht Club. From a preservation point of view, the 12 Meters for the 1987 America’s Cup were built for the windy conditions of Freemantle so they are among the sturdiest 12 Meters. This made America II an excellent choice for historic preservation. If well maintained, she should last for generations.
Moet was the first major sponsor of America II. Today, America II is sponsored by Louis XIII.
The initial syndicate of MYC Members acquired America II and began her restoration. In May 2007, she sailed in New York Harbor for the first time. It was an incredible experience. When America II leans over in the sea breeze and charges down the harbor and past the Statue of Liberty, everyone aboard has a feeling of awe and inspiration.
Eventually, the Club realized that the historical preservation of America II could be better accomplished under the auspices of the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation. Therefore, the Manhattan Yacht Club and the Syndicate Members donated this icon to the Foundation.
The Foundation’s mission is to foster and promote amateur sailing of national and international importance in New York Harbor. An America’s Cup 12 Meter is an incredible tool to help achieve this goal. America II became the flagship for the Foundation and helped create New York Classic Week. She also served as an ambassador for our harbor at other 12 Meter events such as the Worlds in 2009. America II has made many people throughout the country and world aware of the sailing renaissance in New York Harbor.
From 2007 through 2016, America II sailed as the Grand Dame of New York Harbor.
And then our 12 Meter story gets even better. Acquisition of the Second 12 Meter