Local Boat Clubs Finishing Repairs From Sandy Damage

Varuna Boat Club (photo by nolastname)
Varuna Boat Club (photo by nolastname)

Eight months have passed since Superstorm Sandy crashed to the shores of Sheepshead Bay and the Varuna Boat Club (2806 Emmons Avenue) is finally finishing the repairs needed to get the club back in pristine condition.

News 12 is reporting that the Varuna Boat Club, which has been in existence for 138 years and started off as a rowing club in Bay Ridge, has faced a long road to recovery. Seven boats were lost in the storm and the docks were heavily damaged.

While the work, shared by fathers and sons whose membership can be traced back through the generations, has been long and arduous, all the effort is finally paying off.

“They show you that no matter how old you are, with a little hard work, you can get anything accomplished,” member Michael Siano told News 12.

Way back in November, just a week or so after Sandy, we wrote about and shared photos of the destruction exhibited upon the Emmons Avenue boating clubs. Since then, we’ve been keeping tabs on their progress, and just about all of them are in the same shape as Varuna – close to recovery, but not there yet. They’ve all gotten back on their feet in the sense that their doors are open and are hosting functions once again, but many still have damaged docks, pools and other problems – and repairs are largely being done by volunteers from within the club.

These clubs, mind you, are hardly the hoity-toity yacht clubs of popular imagination. They’re working-class and middle-class sanctuaries, providing resources like pools for their members (many club members do not own boats), and are part of the community fabric. We hope to see them all running at full steam within the next few weeks.


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