Skip directly to content




In the fall of 1952, Edward A. Taylor, who had been enjoying himself braving the seas and currents off New Castle in a 7-foot sailing dinghy,decided that the time had come to spread the gospel that there was a lot of fun to be had sailing on the Delaware River. There was plenty of opposition. Scoffers pointed out that the river was too dirty; the ship traffic too menacing; the currents too strong. But "Ted" and his first few enthusiastic converts including Newlin Booth, Allen T. Hill and Jack Cooper were not dismayed. They believed that under Incodel , the river was becoming progressively cleaner and that there was plenty of room for both the heavy commercial traffic and small pleasure craft. As for the current, they believed that the "right" sailboat could not only hold its own, but make good way in even a light breeze, and by sailing against the current take advantage of it for a free ride back to port if the wind should die.

The New Castle Sailing Club was organized on a cooperative basis in the fall of 1952 and the first meeting was held in Booth's office. Taylor was selected the first Commodore and subsequent meetings, mixing business with pleasure of course, were held in the homes of the board members and on occasion, at the Old New Castle Club. The first check was forthcoming from Dan Wolcott with others following in rapid succession. Charter members included Richard M. Appleby, Newlin Booth, John J. B. Cooper, James T. Eliason, Jr.,Allen T. Hill, Robert J. Quillen, John C. Roman, Edward A. Taylor, Daniel F.Wolcott, and Robert F. Wright.

The founding fathers began shopping around in November 1952 and earned the gratitude of future club sailors by choosing the Thistle, a 17-foot sloop carrying 175 square feet of sail, as an ideal boat for our purposes for several reasons. She is fast, roomy, responsive and able. To the expected virtues of a comfortable and stiff day sailor, she adds the extra thrill that comes with planning. She is capable of holding her own in moderate breezes against the 2-3 knot river currents. She is unsinkable, although she may be capsized. She is a joy to handle for all; both the avid racing skipper and the leisurely family sailor.