Westerly Yacht Club Votes to Admit Women as Members

Just a few tweaks to the membership application and women might feel welcome.

Image via Google Maps

Westerly Yacht Club image via Google Maps

The Westerly Yacht Club in Westerly, Rhode Island has been a men-only society since its inception in 1928.

A few 88 years later, the club has decided to admit women as members. On Wednesday evening, the group voted to allow females over 21 years old to be full members with voting rights. Previously, only wives of male members were permitted as associate members.

According to the Associated Press, the vote passed by a 79 percent margin, which satisfied the club’s two-thirds majority voting requirement. NBC 10 News reports about 400 votes were cast. (That means the 21 percent of members against admitting women rounds to about 84 votes.)

“This is for our daughters. For our wives. For our friends. Any woman that wants to join this club is welcome to come,” said yacht club Commodore Scott Howard at the meeting.

Last month, the group voted to uphold the men-only policy—and they were met with criticism. As a result, a comedy performer cancelled an upcoming show at the club, and the Westerly Hospital opted not to host future events there. Now that the previous vote has been overturned, Westerly resident Taylor Swift can join if she pleases.

The Westerly Yacht Club website reads:

We invite all interested persons to apply for membership in our great club!!

To become a member, anyone can get a sponsor, complete an application, and submit it in-person or by mail. New applicants will be added to a waiting list, according to the APWhile the yacht club’s application web page clearly states that it “invites all interested parties to become members of our fine club,” the document itself suggests otherwise.

The downloadable PDF asks the prospective 2016-2017 member to check off either a “single” or “married” status. If the applicant is married, there’s a line to print “wife’s first name.” There’s also a box to be checked if the applicant is the son, son-in-law, or step-son of a current member.

It’s only been less than 24 hours since the votes were cast, but maybe hop to updating that, sailors!