Great Harbor Dream

Dinner, drinks and live music to support the Great Harbor Dream

Sunday, July 23rd 6:00 pm at the Fleet

Email for reservations.


  • Bar Harbor Yacht Club/MDI YMCA
  • Little Cranberry Yacht Club
  • MDI Community Sailing Center
  • Northeast Harbor Sailing School
  • Seal Harbor Yacht Club


future of sailing

Combining the efforts of all the Great Harbor's sailing clubs to serve junior sailors is a new approach to an old problem. For years our clubs have taught kids how to sail and the programs have instilled independence, self-confidence, teamwork and responsibility, but distractions for today's teens have caused sharp drop out rates and a new approach to keep them sailing was needed. The future of our clubs and our sport depends on it.


Enter the Great Harbor 420 Turbo Fleet

Our goal is to unite the young sailors of MDI to develop their passion for sailing together. Hanging out, sailing, racing and rigging the boats with other kids creates a camaraderie which will keep them sailing for a lifetime. Friends keep you sailing, and sailing keeps you friends.


It's simple: get all of the area's teens together to have fun sailing. We believe a new generation of faster, more responsive boats will get them psyched, so five organizations have committed to buy 21 new-design 420's turbos for $9,000 each for all the clubs.The 420's are stored on a pavilioned floating dock system off of Greenings Island which are secured on moorings donated by Hinckley Yachts. 

The Great Harbor "Turbos"

The new design hybrid 420 Turbos will give a jolt of enthusiasm to our teen sailors. In every other club on the east coast, a heavy duty "Club 420" sailboat is used. Partly because of the overall use of this slow, unresponsive boat, every region has experienced dramatically declining enrollment as sailors reach their teens. With new technology we built a far more exciting 420 "Turbo" sailboat, while maintaining safety.

Fran Charles, manager of the NEHF, sailing director of the NEHSS and Sailing Master at MIT and Glenn Squires, Director of the MDICSC spearheaded the plan to replace the fleets of 420s at each of our clubs.

Fran designed the new boats—a labor of love, a ton of work, and a task uniquely suited to Franny's passion for youth sailing, his talents as a competitive racer, and his technical boat building knowledge and experience. For a year he worked with Rondar Raceboats in Peabody, MA, which has a reputation for making top quality boats and Rondar has met the challenge.

The new "Turbos" are lighter and more exciting to sail than practically any boat on these waters. Cored hulls with resin infusion processing make a far more durable construction at a fraction of the weight. Masts and booms are half the weight of currently used spars by selecting a better quality alloy along with a thinner wall thickness. The stability of the boats improves dramatically by minimizing weight aloft, and this makes sailing a 420 "Turbo" blazing fast and highly addictive. Although the boats accelerate rapidly, they will be much more stable with the lighter spars, even in freshening breezes. When breezes become overpowering, the mainsail can be easily reefed. Sitting on shore on windy days will be a thing of the past, as our young sailors will will be able to comfortably enjoy gusty days. New safety features include floatation in the mainsail to prevent turtling, and the new push-down Gnav vang systems that reduces entanglement danger for crew.

Glenn Squires has taken responsibility for operation, including the development of the dock and storage facilities system, and  administration. The 420 Turbo is also used by the MDI High School Sailing Team. Glenn has improved the high school sailing team events by hosting state and regional regatta's during the sailing season.


we need your Help

The five organizations have joined together to raise $350,000 to fund the Great Harbor Dream Project. In addition to covering the costs of the 420 Turbo fleet, funding is required to construct a sail storage facility on the dock system, improve the float systems, purchase an additional support boats and to fund a capital reserves.

NEHSS and MDICSC are contributing their existing 420 floats and support boats to the cause. SHYC has contributed their floating docks. The members of the BHYC initiated a capital campaign and have made a major contribution to the project to date. LCYC has initiated a capital campaign to fund three 420's.

Please help us make the Great Harbor Dream come true by making a tax deductible contribution to either the MDI Community Sailing Center or the NEH Sailing School.

Some full boat sponsorships are still available at $9,000 and include individual donor boat naming rights on the transom. Any contribution large or small would be appreciated. Please contact Melissa Walls at the Northeast Harbor Sailing School with any questions: 207-276-5101 or

All contributions are fully tax deductible



or donate by mail:

NEHSS "Great Harbor Fleet 420 Fund"
P.O. Box 12
Northeast Harbor, ME 04662

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing— half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats
— Kenneth Grahame, from The Wind in the Willows