Last modified: 2016-07-01 by rick wyatt
Keywords: sausalito yacht club | united states yacht club | california |
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image by Pete Loeser, 19 June 2016
The Sausalito Yacht Club, founded on New Year's Eve in 1942, is located in Sausalito, California, on the northern shores of San Francisco Bay. The club was founded by seven teenagers because World War II had called many of the older, local boat owners to Europe or the Pacific. Before heading off to war, they trusted their boats to the care of the club's young founders, the oldest just three months short of his seventeenth birthday. A mood of teenage rebellion was reflected in a provision of the first bylaws: no one could join the club who was older than the oldest founding member. Later, the maximum age limit was raised, although it was not abandoned until 1953.
Originally the club meetings were held in membersí homes, but they soon adopted the Officer's saloon of the steam schooner, Santa Barbara. Club meetings had to be scheduled at low tide due to the fact that the Santa Barbara was beached in mud at the south end of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor.
After the end of World War II, the club moved to a wood frame building at the south end of the yacht harbor. A small boat hoist and dry boat storage helped the club to grow and host regattas for the Small Boat Racing Association (SBRA). Eventually the club decided it needed a permanent clubhouse, and signed a lease for a site on the water at the former Northwestern Pacific passenger train railhead for the Sausalito to San Francisco ferry, which had been abandoned after the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge in May of 1937. Club members, with the help of a pile driver, drove all of the piles for the clubhouse into the bed of the bay in 1958, and the current clubhouse was built on them and completed in 1960.
Most of the members of the Sausalito Yacht Club are from Sausalito or neighboring areas in Marin County, San Francisco or the East Bay, but today the club has a sizable number of members from elsewhere in the United States as well as foreign countries.
Pete Loeser, 19 June 2016