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The Connecticut Sea Kayakers Association Inc. will be closing down in 2024.

( A Short History of ConnYak and My membership - by Brian Cooper )

(Based in part on Jay Babina's article in the Fall 2006 Newsletter, "Origins of ConnYak.")

On April 20, 1994 the first meeting of the club was held. A second meeting was held on May 11 and the club became Connecticut Sea Kayakers (ConnYak). In the nearly three decades since, ConnYak has brought paddlers together to enjoy Connecticut waters. I am one of the many who have made friends and learned a lot about sea kayaking from my fellow ConnYakers.

I started kayaking in 2000 when I built a Chesapeake 17 stich and glue kayak from a kit. In 2004 I built a West River 164 for my wife Judy. Our early kayaking trips were limited to flat water lakes and ponds.

My experience with ConnYak began when I signed up for a Greenland Clinic hosted by Wayne Smith. I made a Greenland paddle for the clinic and later built a Euro paddle following a Chuck Holst article.

In June 2006 I began volunteering at Outer Island and later wrote an article for the newsletter, "Quiet Times at Outer Island."

In 2006 I was recruited by Bobby Curtis to become the Backup Webmaster and in 2008 I became the Webmaster.

I have been the club's President for several years, and its only officer since 2022. (Oliver Bloch declined to continue as Treasurer that year, but has continued to assist me with the club's membership, social media and accounting functions.)

ConnYak has faced serious challenges in that time. There were increasing problems with ConnYak's bulletin boards, leading me to create the current website Forums. Nevertheless, the Forums have continued to be plagued by spam and overall posting has remained sporadic at best.

Membership and activities had been declining for several years when COVID struck. Even with its epidemic phase now over, ConnYak has been unable to attract volunteers to operate the club and its activities.

I now need to close ConnYak. In the coming weeks, the website and its Meetup group will be closed. The club's web domain,, will also be released. (The ConnYak Facebook page presents no ongoing cost and will remain active for anyone who wishes to use it.)

Connecticut Sea Kayakers Association, Inc. will then be dissolved and its bank account closed. Our Bylaws specify that all remaining funds be donated to a not-for-profit whose mission supports sea kayaking in Connecticut. Friends of Outer Island is designated as the recipient.

All the best to the many who have led, supported and enjoyed ConnYak over the past three decades. Happy Paddling!

You can contact me at

--Brian Cooper, President

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ConnYak Forums