MIT Sailing
75th Anniversary Renewal Project

A passion that reenergizes the mind

Since 1936, the MIT Nautical Association (MITNA) has given students the opportunity to sail away from the rigor of their labs and Institute classes, and test their mettle against wind and water. MIT sailors around the world consider sailing on the Charles a formative part of their training. The rapidly shifting winds and their constantly changing velocity along the MIT campus instills quick responses in sailors. Few other experiences teach independence and self-confidence like being alone on the Boston side of the river, facing a hard-blowing wind, and figuring out, on your own, how to sail a Tech Dinghy back to the MIT Jack Wood Sailing Pavilion without flipping over.

It is now time to renew this precious resource!

STEP 1: Dock Renewal STEP 2: Fleet Renewal
Goal: $1.6M Goal: $1.0M

Install a floating dock system to counteract the effects of the dramatically changing Charles River Basin. Low water levels damage the boats when they are tied up and pulled out of the river. A floating dock attached to the existing fixed dock will solve our problem and double the expected life of our fleets. Renewing the fleet while relying on the existing fixed dock is like throwing away money! Therefore, the dock renewal project is critical to the 75th Anniversary Renewal Project.

Challenge Grants: Two alumni families, Ken and Ardelle Legg and Bill and Sheila Widnall, have each stepped up with $100,000 challenge grants to the project. So, any gift to this project will be doubled (until the $200,000 matching grant is exhausted)!

Pulling a boat during low river level

Once the Dock Renewal is complete, the Pavilion will be able to support a modern and large fleet for recreational sailing, fleet racing, and team racing. The combined recreational/racing program will continue to depend on a robust fleet of Tech Dinghy's. FJ's and 420's will suppor the varsity team. A new fleet of Fire Fly will teach two-sail dinghy sailing and enable exciting team racing events. The Lynx Catboat will provide recreational yatching.

Tech Dinghy upwind

The Sailing Pavilion

The MIT Sailing Pavlion is unique in that it is both a recreational program and a competitive varsity sport, offering students the opportunity to learn skills as well as restore their physical and cognitive well being. Approximately 1400 members of the MIT community learn to sail each year, with most instruction still led by MITNA volunteers; MIT Sailing issues 2,000 sailing cards annually.

Among the many benefits and accomplishments of the MIT Sailing Program, these stand out:

  • The largest Recreational Collegiate Sailing Program (2000 members)
  • Most National Dinghy Championship Titles (11)
  • Most National Sportmansip Awards (4)
  • Host of most intercollegiate regattas each year (average 20)
  • Consistently ranked in top 15 of 270 schools nationally
  • Teach about 20% of the entire (grad and undergrad) student population at MIT how to sail through our volunteer led lessons
  • Open for rec sailing 7 days/week from April through November
  • Host to state champs for high school, under 14, under 19 and Special Olympics every year


The Renewal Project began in 2007. We have successfully accomplished many tasks (grey), but several critical ones remain (blue):
Funds $Activity
105kPurchase current RJ racing fleet
12kRenew Rhodes 19 sails
100kDesign and Study Pavilion renovation
5kRenew 420 sails
22kPurchase 36 Tech Dinghy sails
60kPurchase 6 420s complete with sails
140kPurchase 4 Catboats for Spring 2010
20kRnew 18 FJ Sails
130kDesign floating dock system and purchase prototype
70kPurchase 2 more catboats
1.6MPurchase floating dock system
200kPurchase Firefly fleet
12kDesign new Tech Dinghy and build prototype
345kPurchase new Tech Dinghy fleet
60kPurchase K6 Sport Boats for rec sailors


Fran Charles
Franny Charles, Sailing Master





This fleet made possible by: Your Name Here!

Full boat donations or Fleet gifts will proudly display a plaque inside the cockpit area for all users to appreciate your generosity.

All donors or groups of donors are invited to name their boat as well. Historically, names have been chosen to honor a coach, family friend, interesting inspiration or person of admiration. The choice is yours!

MIT Engineers


Candace L. Royer
Associate Director of Development / Athletics
MIT Office of Individual Giving

Updated: 2021/06/07 11:29:34
Updated: 2021/06/07 11:29:34