History of Wet Pants

by Kathleen Prokesch

 

“SHORT THEY MAY BE, LONG MAY THEY WAVE”

Prior to the club’s inception, Sayville residents would sail over to Cherry Grove to race with the group from the Cherry Grove Yacht Club. During the summer of 1934, two young sailors, Ed Kinkaide and Bill Huus assumed that they were eligible for their winning trophies and were excited to attend the awards banquet at the Cherry Grove Hotel. Much to their dismay, they were denied their prize because they were not yacht club members.

Thus, the Wet Pants Sailing Association was born. As stated in Mr. Travis’ book, Sayville’s Wet Pants Sailing Association, 1934 – 1940, the new organization was founded on four principles:

 

  • It had to be inexpensive and self-supporting
  • Allow for boats of different types and sizes to participate on equal footing
  • Encourage inexperienced sailors to learn to sail while racing
  • Foster sportsmanship, self reliance and seamanship.

 

Wet Pants founding father, Hervey Garrett Smith, was born and raised in Bayport and was an artist by trade. He was well known for his many naval paintings which appeared in magazines such as The National Geographic,Rudder and Yachting. In addition, he designed his own sloop, Filibuster, the Diaper Class, and The Morning Star, a 33-foot ketch. His contributions to Sayville and to this area’s rich maritime history are great as he also founded what is now the Long Island Maritime Museum.


If you are interested in learning more about the Wet Pants Sailing Association, feel free to visit the clubhouse at Port O Call Marina located at end of Foster Avenue.