An article on Boston.com describes how New Bedford, Massachusetts, is gradually drawing more high-end yachters and transients to its eclectic harbor.
Laurie Bullard recalls traveling 4 years ago from her native New Bedford to the International Yacht Restoration School (IRYS) in Newport, Rhode Island, to sell a radical concept. She was spearheading an effort, supported by the city, to persuade cruising yachts to visit New Bedford Harbor. That day, she was trying to persuade IYRS to send some of its classic wooden yachts into the harbor on one of its cruises.
A man standing in the lobby overheard her talking about her mission and said to no one in particular, “New Bedford. Jesus, no one goes to New Bedford.’’
In fact, IYRS did visit, as did others, and slowly the harbor has become a destination for elite yacht clubs as they plan their summer cruises. The Riverside Yacht Club of Greenwich, Connecticut, was in earlier this summer.
Bullard has gotten inquiries about a possible rendezvous of more than 60 Catalina class sailboats next year. Just yesterday, a flotilla of 40 yachts began arriving in New Bedford for a big event this evening. The prestigious Cruising Club of America arrives today.