The Oldest Yacht Club on the West Coast

In the summer of 1869, a group of active local yachtsmen formed the San Francisco Yacht Club – the first yacht club west of the Mississippi – to create a more active, orderly and monitored form of conduct, and ensure that Bay Area racing was respected. More than 150 years later, SFYC has grown into an internationally recognized and respected club.

The original anchorage and clubhouse were located in San Francisco, near Mission Rock, but inadequate depth of water and increasing industrial growth in the area resulted in a move to Sausalito. Waterfront property was purchased and a new clubhouse erected, but it was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1897. The rebuilt building is still standing and now houses a restaurant, currently called Trident.

Increasing ferry traffic and congestion contributed to a decision to relocate in 1926. One group, headed by Commodore Clifford Smith, felt that Belvedere Cove would be an ideal location. Another group felt that the Club should move back to San Francisco and lease land from the city on the Marina. After considerable discussion, the Belvedere site was finally selected. Those who opposed the move resigned and formed the St. Francis Yacht Club.

A small clubhouse on the Belvedere site was completed in 1934 and is still part of the present building. Planning for the present 190-berth harbor was begun in 1933 and completed in 1957. The Club's exterior and interior were completely remodeled in 2007. In 2016, the Club received approval from the Belvedere Planning Commission to begin construction of a new Cove House, which replaced of the old Cove House at the northwest end of the property.

SFYC: A Historic Timeline

Take a tour through our history below.