About SYC

Our Mission

The purpose of the Sausalito Yacht Club is to actively promote the sport of boating, sail training, develop and sponsor yachting and yacht racing events; educate members about marine oriented skills; to be actively involved in our community with a focus on activities that enhance our standing in the community; and to provide and manage a convivial bar and galley operation for the benefit of the membership.

 

History

The seven founding members1 of the Sausalito Yacht Club were already junior members of other yacht clubs, but with teenage hubris thought they could do better themselves.


Bill Whitaker, John Hooper (founder), Henry Mettier, Henry Easom, Rob Hobart, Jim Enzensperger (founder) in late 1940s

The founders conceived and established the new club on New Year’s Eve of 1942. The time was right. 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.

The club had several names in the first few days (including the tongue in cheek Ritz Sailing and Racquet Club) until Sausalito Yacht Club became the obvious choice. 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 members’ 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. Later on the members rented the former clubhouse of the San Francisco Yacht Club on the Sausalito waterfront (future home of the Trident, then the Horizons restaurants).

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).

The club decided it needed a permanent clubhouse, and signed a lease with J. H. Madden Sr. of Madden and Lewis Corp. 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. The club called on the talents and labor of members to design and build the clubhouse. Club members, along with a pile driver and operator supplied by Madden and Lewis, drove all of the piles for the clubhouse over the weekend of December 6-7, 1958. Member Ted Boutmy designed the clubhouse and a contractor was hired to build it. The clubhouse was completed and dedicated on September 24, 1960.