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PSA History and Traditions

On these chilly Fall days when you sit inside at the clubhouse and glance around the room, you notice the fireplace and mantle, the board holding ½ models of member’s boats, and over the pass thru to the kitchen four wooden plaques with the names of four of PSA’s thirteen founding members. There are only a few members of PSA left who remember these gentlemen or their boats or their many

years of dedicated service to PSA. They are: Martin Alvey, Ned Brewster, Norty Chapman, and Marshall Duer.

Martin Alvey, tall and distinguished, made his living selling marine insurance as part of the Chubb organization. He wrote policies not only for many PSA boats but also for large motor yachts on the Chesapeake and in Florida. He owned “Mary” a Q class boat built probably in the 20’s that he and his wife Alma cruised and raced all over the Bay for forty plus years. The boat was long, sleek and black and

affectionately called the Black Mary. Martin was Commodore of PSA four times: 1941, 1952, 1956, and 1966. In his later years, Martin took great interest in our junior sailing programs and will be remembered for awarding prizes dressed in his blue blazer and white ducks. During WW 2, Martin was part of the Coast Guard Auxiliary which patrolled the Chesapeake and Atlantic coasts for submarines. The name of this group was Flotilla 20 and those skippers knew the Bay inside and out, which later helped when Martin was a crew member racing to Hampton, VA at night. His knowledge of the Bay was invaluable.

Edward (Ned) Brewster, came to Baltimore from his home town of Chicago. He was a graduate of MIT with a degree in naval architecture. Independently wealthy, Ned could have joined any yacht club in the area, but he chose to hang out with a gang of sailors based in Wall Cove off Rock Creek. During the war, Ned was stationed at a submarine base and later when he returned home he did consulting

work with Speeden Ship Yard in Baltimore building tugs, barges and other small to medium sized ships. Ned designed for his own use a 30 foot sailboat that was built by Harry Young at his yard on Jones Creek. “Marid” was ahead of her time: pointy bow, very nearly a fin keel at six foot draft and Spartan cruising accommodations. However, Ned once baked a birthday cake in a portable foldable oven one day in July for Mary Duer at a raft up. Ned and his wife Peg were on many early cruises and usually led the way. Although never elected Commodore, he served on many early PSA boards and was an inspiration to many young engineers. He traveled extensively but always returned to PSA which he


S. Vannort (Norty) Chapman was our fourth Commodore in 1942. He was a successful attorney in Baltimore and led the effort to incorporate our club in Black Hole Creek, and to establish our mooring field as a federally recognized anchorage. Norty and his wife Libby sailed a 35 foot cruising sloop, “Coquette”, far and wide on the Chesapeake. They planned and led numerous PSA cruises and were host to many a PSA raft up. During WW2, Norty volunteered with the Coast guard and was stationed in the Port of Miami. Upon returning home he resumed his law practice and with Libby raised is daughter Clare (a PSA member), and continued helping make PSA the club it is today.

T.Marshall Duer jr. was our first Commodore in 1938 and again in 1946, 1964,and 1989. He was called Marshall or Marsh, and was a great organizer and an idea man, who appeared tireless. With the help of PSA’s early members, the Delta Class was formed and the Overnight race was started; now called the

Moonlight Race. Not only was he a competitive racer winning many trophies on his R class boat called “Marcarle”, but he gave back to the Bay which provided him so much joy. He was a founding member of the Windjammers of the Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Away from sailing during

WW2 he served as an executive officer in the Coast Guard auxiliary at the Port of Baltimore. Then on a DE escorting tankers from Cuba to Venezuela, and covering convoys of our troops etc. across the Atlantic to Europe and the Mediterranean. During all this, Marshall ran a business in Baltimore and with

his wife Mary’s help raised five children.

These four men were a vital part of the PSA membership and helped make our club what we all enjoy today. When you see those plaques again….remember.

By Leah and Ted Alfriend

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