Aberdour Boat Club was founded in November 1930 on the instigation of Ernest E Cooper, who served as Secretary until shortly before his death in 1950, having kept the Club limping along through the war. Originally, almost all the boats were launches converted from ship’s lifeboats, but post-war fuel shortages and the emergence of plywood class dinghies and (later) GRP, and the “pocket cruiser” changed the emphasis to sail.
Today, the Club has about 60 boats of various sizes up to about 27ft., moored in the harbour and the bay. Despite tending to be more orientated towards cruising than racing, the annual sailing programme caters well for the competitive owner.
Aberdour Regatta dates back to (at least) 1857. When taken over from a village committee by the Boat Club in 1953 it quickly became established as one of the premier yachting events on the Forth, attracting big entries (up to 150) until the early 1980s. It has not been immune from the general decline in Regatta interest, but can still boast better entry numbers than most.
It was the success of the Regatta, plus an enthusiastic dinghy-racing section, which led to the purchase in 1971 of the Rescue Boat. Within less than a year it saved its first two lives, and over the years has logged numerous rescues and salvagings of both local and visiting craft in difficulties, as well as serving as an all-purpose workboat.
The comfortable and well-equipped Clubhouse (with associated workshop)is the culmination of decades of investment and (more significantly) hard work by the membership. From the earliest days, the Club has operated on a “self help” basis, with members undertaking all but the most specialist construction and maintenance tasks. This policy has extended to co-operating with the totally separate Pier and Harbour Committee in keeping the harbour in sound condition.
A site once earmarked for a clubhouse is today occupied by accommodation for tenders, and when a boatbuilder vacated land to the north-east of the harbour, the Club took over the lease to establish a dinghy park, which also provides winter storage for smaller craft.
The need to keep the membership together during the close-season was recognised in the Club’s early years, and a varied programme of monthly social events takes place in the Clubhouse throughout the winter.