About Online Yacht Club

About Online Yacht Club

History: About Online Yacht Club


Online Yacht Club began as the Sailing Forum on CompuServe in the early 80;s started by John Lovell a few years before that on CompuServe's subscription service which included forums by Lotus, IBM, Ashton-Tate, Dell Computers, all the original hardware and software companies that began the PC revolution back on the 1980's. Lovell left and turned the forum over to Brion Lutz who had Keith Taylor, then the editor of Sail Magazine and the person who helped John set the forum up initially with CompuServe, to help out. 


This was in the early 1980’s when 1200 baud dial up was a fast connection and people paid CompuServe and AOL, who later purchased CompuServe, by the hour for computer access.


John Bonds, Executive Director of US Sailing was a active member of the forum and he registered and paid for the Sailing Forum to be the first official virtual yacht club member of US Sailing.  So Online Yacht Club became the first, and as far as I know,, only virtual yacht club to be a dues paying member of  US Sailing.  John encouraged the committee members of US Sailing to use the forum for committee work and Online Yacht Club provided private forum sections for the committees to discuss US Sailing business.


Online Yacht Club  has been a long time supporter for the sport getting CompuServe to sponsor and provide internet service or many major sailing events.  Most notably the Around Alone single handed circumnavigation races starting with the 1994-97 race.   Online Yacht Club also go CompuServe/AOL to sponsor the Whitbread 97-98 race, providing the backbone internet service, working with Quokka Sports and Compaq Computer/Tandem Computer to provide the first interactive race tracking that made sailing a internet sensation, a precursor to today’s America’s Cup interactive web based coverage.


The Online Yacht Club rules are no profanity, no personal attacks.  No sex, politics or religion.  Focus is on sailing, boating, fishing and generally messing around in boats. Those things are a common interest of people who may be very divergent on other issues so it’s nice to have a place to build common interests.  The motto of the old CompuServe Forums was “there are no dumb questions” and that is still true today.


Please feel free to sign up and participate in the conversations.


You can contact Online Yacht Club by using the "Contact us" link at the bottom of the page.


Share This Page