Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh is the current President of the Manhattan Yacht Club and the Manhattan Sailing Club and the Director of the Manhattan Sailing School, all positions he has held for over two decades as the head of Manhattan’s sailing community. His passion for sailing began as a young boy, when he learned to sail with his parents in the Jersey Shore town of Bayhead. He graduated from Princeton University, where he was a member of the Sailing Team.
Michael founded the Manhattan Yacht Club in 1987 to fulfill his vision of once again making New York America’s sailing city. He took the lead in planning the single largest gathering of boats in New York Harbor, Sail for America in 2002. This event, a tribute to all those who lost their lives on September 11th, was a gathering of over 1,000 yachts in the waters off Manhattan, displaying American and commemorative flags adorned with the names of all those who lost their lives. Michael has also been instrumental in organizing a number of major Regatta’s in New York Harbor regularly and brought the America II back to New York where it is available for special charters. Under his leadership, the Manhattan Sailing School now teaches a packed schedule of classes to beginners and experienced sailors and the harbor is regularly full of club members' boats.