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Sausalito Yacht Club History: No Adults Allowed?

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The Sausalito Yacht Club was founded in 1942 under unusual circumstances. During World War II, men from all parts of the United States raced to join the military to help in defending the country. San Francisco areas were no different than the rest of the country; many women and children were left at home to fend for themselves during the fray. In tiny Sausalito, seven neighborhood boys formed a yachting club with very strict rules.

The Early Days:

The seven boys that founded the Sausalito Yacht Club on December 31, 1942 had been through an eventful year. San Francisco was a hub for military activity: bombing threats, Japanese-American relocations and many large battleships departing under the nearby Golden Gate Bridge. All boys in Sausalito were naturally drawn towards the waterfront district where they had a handy bayside seat to watch all of the frenzied wartime sights.

The first rule of the 1942 Sausalito Yacht Club required all members to be of an equal or lesser age to the oldest member in their group; in other words, no adults were originally allowed to join the local boating club. When the club first formed, the oldest yacht club member had not yet celebrated his 17th birthday. As the men continued to leave town for the war, yacht club boys were put in charge of babysitting the boats that were left behind.

Sausalito Yacht Club Today:

Sausalito Yacht Club has matured over the decades into an adult-oriented facility that is serious about their racing opportunities, sailing adventures and sophisticated clubhouse amenities. The original age rule was terminated in 1952. All modern club charters are concerned with rules of conduct, guest privileges and active membership duties. The prestigious Sausalito Yacht Club extends a warm welcome to visitors from other clubs.

It is easy to find the Sausalito Yacht Club at the end of El Portal along the waterfront. This well-liked friendly Sausalito establishment offers limited visitor docking facilities, a beautiful waterfront view and excellent clubhouse snacks, meals and refreshments. Club members and their guests often enjoy sipping a cocktail outside on the deck with the beautiful San Francisco Bay twinkling beside them. California casual dress codes apply.

The current Sausalito Yacht Club clubhouse was designed by club members during the 1950s. Construction on the Eames-era clubhouse started on December 8, 1958. True to building styles of this time, plenty of view windows were added to grace the building with a feeling of spaciousness. Members of the Sausalito Yacht Club organize clubhouse dances, pot-luck affairs, ship parades and member-only cruises to faraway locations.

The Squeegee Weegee Gazette is published by the Sausalito Yacht Club periodically throughout the year. This newspaper often highlights the Sausalito Yacht Club youth sailing program participants, yacht racing news and upcoming events for club members to consider. While visiting in the San Francisco area, it is worth traveling over the Golden Gate Bridge and into the City of Sausalito to visit the friendly Sausalito Yacht Club.

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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer