Pleasant Bay Community Boating Begins Fundraising For New Headquarters

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Greg Kelley, sailing master at Pleasant Bay Community Boating, and Fran Schofield, board member of Pleasant Bay Community Boating.

Greg Kelley, sailing master at Pleasant Bay Community Boating, and Fran Schofield, board member of Pleasant Bay Community Boating.

BREWSTER – After 12 years in operation, Pleasant Bay Community Boating has purchased a waterfront property to serve as its base of operations and is embarking on a major fundraising campaign to help pay for the parcel.

The property, known as the McClennen estate, includes five lots totaling 3.6 acres with about 750 feet of water frontage on the western shores of Pleasant Bay.

Situated on Route 28 at the junction of Harwich, Brewster, and Orleans, the site has views over Pleasant Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean. It includes four dwellings, a boathouse, a licensed dock, a small beach, and land for circulation and parking.

The price for the acquisition was $3.1 million.

Pleasant Bay Community Boating is dedicated to providing educational and recreational opportunities for adults and children on the bay, with a primary emphasis of sailing lessons for children ages 8 to 16.

But according to board member Fran Schofield, whose sons were on the Nauset Sailing Team and who taught at Pleasant Bay Community Boating, the organization had been operating off a small beach in Chatham with no dock or facility.

“They’ve been searching for the right site for 12 years,” said Schofield, who joined the organization’s board after serving as its real estate agent for the McClennen estate purchase.

Greg Kelley, who is the sailing master at Pleasant Bay, said that while the organization has evolved over the years since its founding, “the emphasis on sailing and providing sailing lessons for youth and adults,” has remained the focus.

The McClennen estate acquisition will give Pleasant Bay Community Boating the ability to sustain and expand its programs with varied levels of sailing lessons in multiple fleets of boats, in addition to offering sailing to those with disabilities, according to Kelley.

Pleasant Bay Community Boating has cleared the initial hurdle of raising the money to close on the property, Schofield said. They have received a loan from the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank. The loan is a 2-year, interest-only loan for 80%, which equals $2,480,000, of the purchase price.

They have raised over $650,000 to pay for the closing costs and down payment.

The bank loan gives the organization time to conduct a full-scale capital campaign to reduce the debt and pay for rehabilitation of the buildings and grounds.

The organization’s first major fundraiser is the Sail Away Gala Auction, which takes place Monday, July 13, at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich.

The event is sold out and organizers are optimistic that it will be a lucrative fundraiser.

In addition, the organization has also developed a partnership with UMass-Boston’s School for the Environment, which will operate a Nature Center for research and education in conjunction with the Environmental Studies Program at Cape Cod Community College.

The Nature Center will work with local communities on environmental projects, conduct programs for local schools, and serve as a research base for faculty and graduate students.

“Pleasant Bay Community Boating has always sought to promote Pleasant Bay’s conservation by increasing access and awareness, and this partnership will allow us to greatly enhance this aspect of our mission,” according to a statement on the organization’s website.

The vision for the new campus includes restoration of the historic 1889 dwelling as the main Pleasant Bay Community Boating headquarters, with office, meeting and classroom space.

A second building would be renovated as a Nature Center and leased to UMass-Boston’s School for the Environment.

The Nature Center will also utilize the main facility in the off-season.

A northernmost home on the property will operate as a seasonal rental in order to produce income for Pleasant Bay Community Boating’s maintenance of the site.

The organization will use a licensed dock, which is on the northernmost parcel, adjacent to its small beach and boat house. The dock can also enhance the research capabilities of the Nature Center.

J.M. O’Reilly & Associates of Brewster has prepared an engineered plan to present to the permitting authorities in the three towns in which the parcels lie.

The organization is also investigating innovative septic systems to minimize the center’s impact on water quality.

Listen below as Greg Kelley, sailing master at Pleasant Bay Community Boating, and Fran Schofield, board member at Pleasant Bay Community Boating, talk about the organization, the new acquisition and the fundraising campaign.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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