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The History

Founded in 1879, Monmouth Boat Club is located in Red Bank, New Jersey, near the head of the beautiful Navesink River. It is an informal and friendly organization whose members are drawn together by a love of  sailing and rowing and an appreciation of the charm of our idyllic river. The Club is run and maintained entirely by its members, resulting in a close spirit of cooperation and camaraderie.

MBC was originally founded as a rowing club at the time when paddle wheel steamboats and packet sailing ships maintained an active trade between Red Bank and New York City, and commercial fishing and the oyster industry flourished on the Navesink. Though much has changed along the waterfront over the years, Monmouth Boat Club has remained a constant force promoting recreation on the river. Sailing has been the major focus of the Club since Word War I. Currently, there are five active one-design classes, an enthusiastic cruising fleet and a variety of small craft used for day-sailing and gunk-holing. The one-design classes include Lightnings, Albacores, Flying Scots, Wood Pussys, and Sanderlings.

The Fleets

Fleets are formed based on the interests of the members. Throughout the history of the Club, many fleets have been represented. And now, MBC has come full circle – it once again includes rowers. In November 2000, a rowing fleet was formed.


The Club has been situated in the same historic clubhouse for more than 100 years. The house, with its three tiers of porches, provides an ideal spot for relaxing while viewing the activities on the river, socializing, or watching the sun set over the hills of the northwest shore of the river on a balmy summer evening. The house is surrounded by a boat yard where members’ boats of under twenty feet in length are stored on racks or trailers. The Club maintains three hoists for launching and has three two-hundred foot floating docks, including a low dock for rowers. Over fifty moorings for the cruising fleet are a short row from the docks.


Over the years, members of the Club have distinguished themselves in the sailing world at competition levels ranging from  regional and national class championships in junior and senior levels to the Olympic. These include the Adam’s Cup, the O’Day Trophy, the USYRU Single-handed and Double handed Women’s Sailing Championships, the Martini & Rossi Trophy for Yachtswoman of the Year, and a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games.

DID YOU KNOW...  MBC not only has a rich and diverse history of its own, but has also been witness to many historical events.  Welcome to all things historical about  MBC, the Navesink and surrounding area.  Here we will share archived documents, pictures and stories of interest. 

First up:  The Naval War College fondly referred to as "the Admirals Barge" resides at the Oceanport Landing Marina under the attentive care of MBC's Joe Ruffini.   Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were among many national and international dignitaries to board this rare 50-foot wooden cutter.  

For a more in-depth article including a great video and stunning slide show of the interior of this vessel please click here: The Admiral's Barge for the Asbury Park Press site.  Our thanks to MBC Member Joe Ruffini for actively preserving and sharing history with us.