What if we could bring together Mount Desert Island’s youth 420 sailors? WE CAN! 

Consider the Great Harbor, the body of water connecting Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Seal Harbor, and the Cranberry Isles. Meet the Great Harbor organizations:

  • MDI Community Sailing Center (MDICSC)
  • Northeast Harbor Sailing School (NEHSS)
  • Seal Harbor Yacht Club (SHYC)
  • Little Cranberry Yacht Club (LCYC)  

Enter the Great Harbor “Turbo Twink” (420) Fleet

The collective goal is to create an environment where youth sailors in the Great Harbor come together, learn together, and sail as a group. This project is the first step, and a bold statement, towards a new idea —providing the momentum to invigorate and promote joint sailing instruction and racing in the Great Harbor. Our combined efforts will ensure that we offer exciting and fun opportunities for our youth to enjoy sailing and experience sailboat racing. Getting to know other teens who share a similar interest will create a vibrant and contagious social environment. Let's face it, many youth will want to do this because their friends are doing it.


The concept of combining the efforts of the various organizations to better reach out to all the junior sailors of the Great Harbor is a new approach to an old problem. For years, clubs and organizations have been determined to teach youngsters the fundamentals of sailing and the rewards that come with it. Through effective instruction, the programs have instilled independence and self confidence, teamwork and responsibility. However, the abundance of distractions for teens these days causes rampant attrition as youth get older, and a new approach to retaining these kids needs to be established. The future of all of these sailing clubs firmly rests with our ability to teach, excite, and retain youth sailors.


It is essential to get all of the teens, regardless of their skill levels, to congregate together as a massive group, and to have more social interaction and fun together. Additionally, a new generation of boats needs to replace our aging, slow, and unresponsive fleet in order to successfully engage our youth longer term. To this end, and through a joint effort, the collective clubs have decided to acquire twenty-­one newly designed 420’s (affectionately called “Turbo Twinks”) at a cost of $9,000 per boat.

The plan is to store the 420’s on floats off of the western side of Greenings Island, near the 2012 location of MDICSC’s 420 floats. Hinckley Yachts has offered the use of several moorings on the western side of Greenings in order to secure both the Fleet and MDICSC 420 floats. The students from MDICSC and NEHSS will race from the floats together.

Here at the LCYC, we will add three boats to our fleet, store our boats at Little Cranberry Harbor, and participate in a Great Harbor advanced 420 class once a week with the other clubs. At the end of the summer, a review of the individual participation by each club will determine the appropriate allocation of overall expenses. Each individual club (or sailing program entity) will retain liability for their students participating in the Great Harbor program.