Bristol yacht club is back in business after fire

Heavily damaged in a 2018 fire, the Bristol Yacht Club officially reopened its clubhouse on Sunday

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 2/19/20

When an Oct. 21, 2018, fire nearly destroyed the Bristol Yacht Club clubhouse, members and leadership were faced with a major reconstruction project that put the clubhouse out of commission for the …

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Bristol yacht club is back in business after fire

Heavily damaged in a 2018 fire, the Bristol Yacht Club officially reopened its clubhouse on Sunday

Posted

When an Oct. 21, 2018, fire nearly destroyed the Bristol Yacht Club clubhouse, members and leadership were faced with a major reconstruction project that put the clubhouse out of commission for the entire 2019 season.

As of Sunday, they are back in business.

Reconstruction launched last May 20 — about six months after a smoldering cigarette ignited mulch on the southwest corner of the building — and continued without interruption in an effort to meet the completion deadline of this season’s recommissioning, scheduled for early May.

Though there is some organizing of storage spaces yet to be done, the East Bay Sailing Foundation is sill operating out of  temporary trailers, and there are landscaping and repair jobs yet to be done on the grounds, the reconstruction of the building is complete, and the milestone was marked with a reception and ribbon-cutting on Sunday.

Despite the unusable condition off the clubhouse last summer, members still managed to enjoy a fun and full season. The docks and waterfront were completely operational, a temporary bar was built near the beach, and a tent was erected on the lawn to provide shelter for events.

According to Past Commodore Ruth Souto, members were really flexible and understanding about the timeline of the project.

“The insurance paid to rebuild as-is, so the clubhouse itself is not significantly changed, though everything was slightly tweaked,” said newly-installed Commodore Chris Bjerregaard.

“In the short term, it was inconvenient, but in the long term it will work out fine,” he said. “It’s brand new, there’s all new insulation, a new heating system, and it’s hurricane proof. Everything was built to the latest code.”

Mr. Bjerregaard noted that the club’s leadership was grateful there was enough insurance to cover the damages, as a reassessment held not long before the fire led them to a needed upgrade of their policy.

As for the smoking mulch?

“There’s no mulch, I can tell you that,” said Mr. Bjerregaard. “I think there’s gravel in the beds adjacent to the building, and the smoking zone is far away.”

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