BOAT CLUB OPENS ITS SPRUCED-UP HOUSE

mbc-052710The Monmouth Boat Club’s newly reshingled clubhouse on the Navesink in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

All spiffed up for another half-century or so, the Monmouth Boat Club opens its doors to prospective new members Saturday.

The Red Bank sailing and rowing club, formed in 1879, is housed in a century-old three-story structure that recently got an exterior makeover. Its dark brown cedar shingles were replaced with new caramel-hued ones that give the building a brighter appearance, and should last 40 or 50 years, says club officer Stephen Smith.

While they were at it, officials decided also to insulate the upper levels. Until then, the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and holds a number of community events each year, had no sheathing, just cedar shakes tacked onto supporting lath, says Smith, of Middletown.

“No wonder it got a little chilly up there in the winter,” he says.

The first floor, which occasionally floods, was left uninsulated, the wisdom of which was proven in a March storm that had the building several feet deep in Navesink River waters. But many of the non-profit club’s 240 member families turned out to help with a cleanup effort afterward, says Smith. He notes that members are obligated to put in a day’s work each year on some aspect of the club’s needs.

“It’s not a yacht club, it’s a boat club, where the members do everything for themselves,” he says. “There’s no paid staff at all. After the storm, everybody got a hose or a broom or shovel and cleaned it out. It was great.”

In addition to promoting a sense of community, the approach helps keep annual fees at a reasonable $600 a year, after an entry fee, Smith says.

The club’s annual open house, featuring a free barbecue, runs from 10a to 2p.