"HONORABLE WILLIAM WALL"
The “Honorable William Wall” is the floating clubhouse of Manhattan Sailing Club. This clubhouse is anchored in New York Harbor just north of Ellis Island from May through October. The clubhouse is the best place in the city to watch the evening sailboat races and to marvel at the skyline of Manhattan.
The clubhouse serves as a spectator platform for members and guests to watch the races, an educational center for teaching sailing and as an events space for corporate and member parties. From November through April, the clubhouse is docked at North Cove Marina.
Schedule of OperationDuring the summer season, the clubhouse is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 p.m. until close (usually around 10 p.m.) and on Saturdays from 3 to 10 p.m. The clubhouse can also be opened on Sunday & Mondays for private events.
The LaunchIn summer, transportation is provided to and from the clubhouse by Admiral’s Launch, a USCG certified launch. The launch departs from North Cove Dock F every 1/2 hour. The departure times are: 5:30 p.m., 6:00, 6:30. 7:00, 7:30, etc. Members who show their membership card get to ride the launch for free. There is a $10 launch fee for non-members (round trip).
Capacity & "Member First" PolicyThe US Coast Guard capacity for the clubhouse is 149 people. Whenever the limit is approached, the launch operates on a “Member First” policy. Club members and their guests get to go to the front of the launch line. This will be announced by the launch captain.
Drinks and FoodThe clubhouse serves beverages from the open-air bar on the upper deck. Sinple bar food is also available. Guests may bring their own food and picnics but beverages must be purchased onboard. Food may also be ordered from one of the nearby restaurants and it is brought out to the clubhouse by launch.
Full Moon PartiesThe big event every month is the famous “Full Moon Party.” Visit the club website for upcoming dates and more details.
History of the ClubhouseThe clubhouse was originally designed by Sparkman & Stephens and construction began in 2002. Seventy-six members subscribed to “Clubhouse Bonds” which raised money for the initial structure. The clubhouse has been improved every year since. The clubhouse bonds have been repaid and the original “Clubhouse Members" have the privilege of carrying gold membership cards.
Who was the Honorable William Wall?The clubhouse is named after William Wall who moved to New York City in 1821 after serving as a rope apprentice in Philadelphia. He set up shop in Williamsburg and built a successful rope business. Later, he served as Superintendent of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Mayor of Williamsburg, founder of the Williamsburg Savings Bank and Congressman for New York City during the Civil War (hence the title “Honorable”). Five generations later, Michael Fortenbaugh moved to New York City after graduating from Princeton University. Inspired by his ancestor, the Commodore also decided to create a enterprise on the waterfront.