top of page

1961 Seal Beach Yacht Club was organized in February 1961 by nine local businessmen headed by Naval Architect Daniel M. Callis. These men, interested in traditional Corinthian yachting and impressed with the ideal year around yachting location of Seal Beach, immediately incorporated and elected Mr. Callis as Commodore. He was later succeeded by Robert McClure, Chief of Police of the City of Seal Beach, who finished out the year. A limited race schedule was instituted and the membership rose to 65.


1962 In 1962, with Lloyd Clark as Commodore, the activities of the Club nearly doubled. Racing events increased and a large CAL 20 fleet was developed.

1963 Tom Orr was elected Commodore in 1963. Under his direction the general meetings were moved to the Huntington Beach Club after two years of various temporary meeting locations. This was also the year that our application for Affiliate Membership in the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) was granted.

1964 In 1964, under the command of Commodore Ray Boeger and with the acquisition of the Commodore’s Room at the Edgewater Inn, the Club experienced substantial growth. Membership increased to 192 about 12 regattas, including the Pop Top Series got under way the first Isthmus Cruise was sponsored and our float won the Sweepstakes Trophy in the Naples Christmas Parade of Lights.

1965 In 1965, with Ron Hazlehurst as Commodore, the Club was granted Associate Membership in the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA). Eighteen regattas were held and for the first time a junior program was set up to teach young members the fine points of sailing. We were also selected as a sponsor for several classes in the upcoming 1966 Midwinter’s. Our first annual Commodore’s Ball was held in the Commodore’s Room and for the second time we won the Sweepstakes Trophy in the Christmas Parade.

1966 Hugh Wherritt served as Commodore in 1966. With a continued steady growth pattern, the Club was able to sponsor over 23 regattas a number of Power Fleet functions, make its first entry in the semi finals of the Congressional Cup enter a number of National Cup events, including the “Adams Cup” where our women’s crew came within a quarter point of winning in the semi finals at the Richmond Yacht Club sponsored the start of the Catamaran Transpac and hosted the Al Rogers Trophy Race. The year was climaxed by our second Commodore’s Ball and for the third time our entry won the Sweepstakes Trophy in the Naples Christmas Parade of Lights.

1967 was the year of two Commodores. Bill Moran for the first half of the year, then succeeded by Ed Feo. Under their direction, the Club continued to grow and consolidate its gains. The Club took part in a number of national cup events, sponsored 23 regattas as well as the quarter finals of the Sear’s Cup. A small but active power fleet was formed and, under the direction of Ed Feo, a planned effort was started to acquire our own clubhouse. A fourth straight Sweepstakes Trophy in the Christmas Parade and a most successful Commodore’s Ball climaxed the year.  

1968 In 1968, with Vern Baker as Commodore, the Club sponsored over 22 regattas and was again very active in the SCYA Midwinters. A number of sites were considered for a new clubhouse but no commitments were made. A third place trophy in the Christmas Parade and another very successful Commodore’s Ball rounded out the year.

1969 Commodore Victor Stern directed the Club in 1969. We had entries in several national events, sponsored 18 regattas as well as both the quarter finals and the semi finals for the National Women’s Championship, the “Adams Cup”. Our Commodore also served as General Chairman for the NOSA Ensenada Race, the largest long distance sailing race in the world. A permanent site for our clubhouse was acquired with the signing of a lease for facilities in the Edgewater Hyatt House. Remodeling began July 1, and was finished in time for the first Commodore’s Ball to be held in our own club room.

1970 Heading up the Flag for 1970 and guiding the Club through its first full year in our new facility was our first power boat Commodore, Chuck LaTourrette. For the first time we were able to have after race hosting in our own clubhouse for the Midwinters, our Opening Day Fleet Review Parade and other racing and cruising events. Also for the first time we had a National Champion with Dick Alfring in “Bandit” taking first place in the CAL25 Nationals. Special events; such as the August Luau and cruises to Catalina Island were a smashing success.

1971 In 1971, we again had two Commodores. Charlie Nelson took over the Flag for the first part of the year before being transferred to Hawaii. Dick Lowman then assumed command and was the driving force behind the negotiations for acquiring our present facility at 255 Marina Drive. An extensive racing and social calendar was presented to the membership and among the several events that became high points for the year was a very successful Fleet Review on Opening Day, and a wind blown Midwinters, Decker McAllister became Enterprise National Champion, the Commodore’s Ball aboard the Princess Louise and to climax the year, the Club’s Christmas float. “Light of Ages”, designed by Carol Miller and directed by Zollie Byrd, won our fifth Sweepstakes Trophy in the Christmas Parade of Lights.

1972 In 1972, under the direction of Commodore Asa Clark, the Club moved to its new location in the Marina. A long list of dedicated members worked long hours sanding, painting, building and cleaning in order to get the new club ready for the Opening Day festivities. Two weeks later our first Ladies Day Regatta was held. Decker McAllister was again the Enterprise National Champion. The Pop Top series, the Spring and August Luaus as well as a combination Halloween Party and Western Barbecue at the Isthmus highlighted some of the year’s events. The Commodore’s Ball was again held aboard the Princess Louise and an outstanding New Year’s Party ended the year in high style.

1973 Commodore Zollie Byrd led us through 1973. Racing, cruising and social activities continued to fill the calendar. The Club sponsored the Enterprise National Championships in out local waters with Decker McAllister winning again. Dr. Victor Stem attended the IYRU meeting in Europe, presenting details for catamaran measurement rules which were adopted. Luaus, raft ups and parties were enjoyed by all in addition to fleet, invitational, center board and Pop Top series. The Dana Point Regatta was most successful, with the power fleet escorting the racers for the first time. To round out the year, the Commodore’s Ball was held at the Old Ranch Country Club but the energy shortage and cancellation of the Christmas Parade ended our efforts to win a sixth Sweepstakes Trophy with an excellent designed and partially completed float that had to be scrapped.

1974 Doug Waggoner was elected Commodore for 1974. Under his command, over 28 regattas were sponsored by the Club. An Easter Sunrise Service raft up was added to the list of power fleet activities with over a dozen boats in attendance both power and sail. Midwinter participation continued as we again sponsored many classes for this SCYA event. The White Cane Mutiny, with Frank Braun and Zollie Byrd handling the details, was one of the highlights of our racing calendar. Thirty blind teenagers from Orange County raced around noisy marks in Coronado 25s. A great day for the kids and for the Seal Beach Yacht Club. Our Boston Whaler and several members assisted in the Finn National and International Gold Cup Races, sponsored by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. We hosted a pre race dinner and started the Ocean Racing Catamaran Association Transpac Race in July. Despite the energy shortage, fuel conservation, the slump in the economy and general world conditions, our members continued to participate in all the Club’s activities with enthusiasm and dedication. An outstanding Commodore’s Ball aboard the Princess Louise and a noisy, exuberant, fun filled New Year’s Eve Party climaxed a most successful year. 

1975 Leading us through 1975 was Don Brown. We continued to have out many fine regattas throughout the year with a few additions. In January we held the Hot Toddy race. The Pop Top series was extended to three with a week off in between each one. In September we resurrected the Around the Island Race, holding three legs in three days. The White Cane Mutiny was put on again. We assisted Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, along with Long Beach Yacht Club and Little Ships Fleet in the Junior Sabot National Championships on the bay. John Shelly led us to the district semi finals in the National Prince of Wales competition. Staff Commodore Asa Clark with John Shelly and other members aboard participated in the PHRF Championships, the Al Rogers Perpetual this year. Our Commodore won the Commodore’s Trophy on Opening Day at Los Angeles Yacht Club. Both Power and Sail Fleets were active. Many sailed to San Diego and around Catalina Island in planned cruises; several raft ups, a fishing derby, a new poker run, and a shipwreck party rounded out a full schedule. Special Saturday night seminars were conducted, covering such topics as silk screening, line splicing, rigging, and racing rules.

Hugh Wherritt served on the Board of Directors of SCYA and Don Brown was elected to serve on that board for 1976. The year ended with the Commodore’s Ball on the Princess Louise, the New Year’s Eve Party at the clubhouse, and a special evening, the Commodore’s Appreciation Night. Commodore Brown hosted a special December meeting, highlighted by a Polynesian Dancing Troupe and Karate demonstration.

1976 In 1976 the club was led by Commodore Ron Kennedy, who also led the club in many races in his Coronado 45, “Wind Wagon”. His leadership gave the club many activities and races which made this year second to none. These included invitationals, the “Around the Island” series, inside regattas, the SCYA Midwinters, our “White Cane Regatta” for blind children, and the Multi Hull Transpac.


Jr. Staff Commodore Don Brown served on the SCYA Board of Directors as well as our own board, in spite of the many other commitments to his time. He hosted the Club’s Opening Day Celebration, which was one of the highlights of the year.

Our Junior activities reached a new high, building to 39 members of the Jr. Fleet, with John Matzinger as Chairman and his son, Richard as Junior Fleet Captain. There were many willing members to help. A new trend was started with the juniors which promises to build to even better success in the future. Sail and Power Fleets were very active, with cruises, parties, dinghy dinners, raft ups, poker races, and the Newport Cruise with over 100 members attending the dinner that evening at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. One of the highlights was the “Las Vegas Night”.

The “Pop Tops” continued their popularity for 12 weeks and a new summer series was inaugurated to end the year’s evening races. The “Indian Summer Series” was an instant success. The Island Luaus were their usual success, with great food, dancing and parties on the wall to wall boats moored in the Isthmus. There were some changes in the By Laws, and the formation of a Permanent Facility Development Committee to give continuing direction to the Club’s growth. Cal Macy is Chairman of this committee.

The combined Sail and Power Fleet Christmas party at the Club was a huge success with lots of food and dancing to a live band.

The Commodore’s Ball was again held on the Princess Louise, to start the new officers off for the new year with a big bang.

1977 Harry Naeve served as Commodore in 1977. This year’s club membership reached an all time high. The race schedules continued with the club sponsoring over thirty races. Tom Greska became the Catalina 27 National Champion. The Power and Sail Fleet sponsored many activities. The progressive dinner by dinghy had over a hundred participants. Negotiation began with the city to expand the second floor of the Clubhouse. The Facility Development Committee has plans that will greatly improve the club’s facilities.

The special meeting for service awards was highlighted by the Hi Hopes (young handicap people) from the Hope School in Anaheim. The Commodore’s Ball was held at the Golden Sails and in attendance were the largest contingent of Staff Commodores in recent history, which gave the incoming officers a great send off. The New Year’s Eve Party hosted by John George was one of the best parties of the year.

1978 1978, under the leadership of Commodore “Hamm” Ward, was a year of expansion. Spearheaded by John Matzinger, the upstairs floor was enlarged by 50%. We had many new and interesting people join our club, we now have a larger membership. A ladies group contingent to Seal Beach Yacht Club was formed, calling themselves the Sea Belles. The Friday night get togethers at the club are a financial and social success. Our general meetings have increased in attendance each year. We had 30 days of good all out racing during the year and nearly as many power sail fleet activities. Staff Commodore Don Brown was elected Rear Commodore of SCYA the first for a Seal Beach member. Asa Clark was elected Rear Commodore of the Yacht Club Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. Our Staff Commodores have risen and were seen leading many activities of the club. 1978 was the year of the First Avalon Salute to Seal Beach. George Schaadt was chairman We hope this will continue as an annual event. The three facilities owning yacht clubs in the bay are now working to provide a mutual camaraderie for all of their members. The Commodore’s Ball was held at the Queensway Hilton hosted by John and Sue Knox. Hugh Wherritt was Installing Officer and his blend of solemnity and levity provided entertainment for all. John and Sue hosted a gala New Year’s Eve party to end the year.

1979 The 70s drew to a close under the stewardship of Commodore Dick Comstock. 1979 was marked by a burst of membership growth over 25 percent. It was agreed to close the membership at 400. A By Laws Committee was formed to review the Club’s operational guidelines. A set of recommendations from Facilities Development concerning the bar area was accepted and work was begun. The financial position of the Club remained strong. All the traditional events were held, with record turnouts. Even with the enlarged meeting area, general meetings were attended with SRO. An active racing year was highlighted by a strong showing in a challenge series. 1979 was the first full year of the Sea Belles, with their Sunday brunches and other well regarded activities, all conducted, enviably, on a self supporting basis. The year was crowned by the traditional Commodore’s Ball, to which all past commodores were especially invited, and given recognition at the Ball.


Back to Top

1980 Commodore Sam Cunningham launched the decade of the 80’s with a theme: “Get involved. ” Many favorite club events were repeated, including the Whale Watch, Las Vegas Night, the Easter Raft Up and the Annual Island Luau/Vacation Cruise. Other events were added; the two most innovative were the Spring event, Sherwood Forest, when the Isthmus was transformed to a Renaissance Faire Ground, and the inspiring salute to the armed forces in November.

1980 was a year of honors for Seal Beach Yacht Club. Staff Commodore Asa Clark served as Commodore of the Yacht Club Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors, and Staff Commodore Don Brown was elected Commodore of SCYA. The coveted Walt Elliott Trophy was won by Chuck Riordan in “Valkari”, and the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Holiday Series was won by Gerry van Amerongen in “Auklet”. Because of an unusual combination of accidents and incidents, awards were made to numerous qualifying members through reactivation of the Wet Sponge and introduction of the “OUCH! ” awards.

The bar was enlarged and modernized and the kitchen was remodeled, including a microwave oven donated by the Sea Belles. There was full scale participation in the Pop Tops and a record breaking 2900 meals were served during the series. Membership reached the 400 limit permitted by the By Laws and social events were well attended by members and their families. The Sea Belles Brunch and Fashion Show, using members as models, was a family event held on Father’s Day, and brunch lasted all day! The year ended with the traditional Commodore’s Ball and holiday parties, and a rewarding feeling that members had been fully involved in another successful boating, social and financial club year.

1981 The Club, under Commodore John Frazee, started year 1981 with a bang with a great Midwinter Regatta and early season races, followed by the winning for the second time of the prestigious Walt Elliott Trophy by Hal Critz in his Catalina 38 “Critz Craft”. A proper champagne party was enjoyed by all.

Staff Commodore Don Brown served eminently as Commodore of SCYA, where he assisted us in our highly successful involvement in the Olympic Classes Regatta. In this event Staff Commodore Zollie Byrd was named as our four year Olympic Liaison Chairman to represent us in the future Olympic events. This is a tri club and city sponsored event. This year, the highlight of the regatta was our Hamburger Bash and Beer Bust, put on for the participants of the regatta. Over 500 people attended.

In the meantime, our club which had closed at 400 members, continued to solidify, and the new members became even more active in our full schedule of races, cruises, social events and waterborne parties.

The Sea Belles (bless ’em), headed by their President, Elaine Ward, continued to enhance all of the Club activities. They published their own cookbook and put on several very successful parties, the least of which was an SCYA dinner, a sit down dinner for 140 people. The Club looked like a grand ballroom with the beautiful decorations and tables.

Good news came to us in December. The adjacent area to the Club became available and the lease was signed on December 21, 1981. Development of that area is a welcome expansion of our facility.

1982 The year of the Club’s 21st birthday (1982) was under the command of Commodore George Schaadt. This year, like all others, started out with a fast beat.

A club motto for the year was announced at the Commodore’s Ball. “Good Friends, Good Times, Good Boating” became the symbol of the SLBYC that was carried throughout the busy year. Our lease for the Club was renewed for an additional five years. Work was started on major remodeling of not only the new addition below, but all new carpeting, drapes, bookcases, etc. All work was completed in time for one of our most enjoyable occasions Opening Day.

All the great functions that make the club so popular were repeated during the year, along with a new one, the San Diego trip by train. The support for all these various functions, parties, programs, races, etc., was always at capacity level.

Two special events were hosted by Seal Beach Yacht Club during this year the Catalina 22 Nationals attended by racing crews from eight different states; and the Pre Olympic Trials, attended by Olympic competitors from twenty two nations. This one ended with a huge burger bash at the Club, where over 700 burgers were sold. Both events were handled very successfully.

As in the years past, Seal Beach Yacht Club experienced active participation of the members in all the club sponsored events. The various raft ups, cruises, brunches and even some unscheduled programs were well planned and attended.


The annual club Luau this year at the Isthmus was something to behold. So many hard working club members put on a spectacular Hawaiian production. It was a program second to none.

Other things that changed throughout the year were: the membership was increased from 400 to 500 through action of the Board of Directors. This was in response to a long waiting list of potential members. A Ham Radio Operations Committee was started at the club. Their title is “HAMROC.” They have their own “net” and are involved in our cruise and race communications. Also, the Club now has “end tie” availability on a limited basis, which is controlled by our Port Captain, and is available to members of visiting reciprocal yacht clubs.

During the course of the year our lovely Sea Belles, under the guidance of Joan Wolfelt, Chairman, put on their various and well attended brunches, programs and parties. They get better every year. We owe them a lot.

The year ended with another fantastic Commodore’s Ball at the Golden Sails.

1983, under the leadership of Commodore Don Labriola, got off to a fast start with the usual great New Year’s Eve Party. Whale Watch and Super Bowl Sunday, quickly followed by the Midwinters Tune Up and a great Midwinters.

The Club motto for the year “We Are Members of The Best” was backed up by the many club functions, social events and a great racing program under Dave Rustigian, (who was also elected at the end of 1983 to President of PHRF for 1984). The many social events, including the Sweethearts Cruise, Las Vegas Nite, the Spring Island Bash, Progressive Dinner by Dinghy as well as the Easter and 4th of July Raft Ups were all outstanding successes. On Opening Day, the rain clouds parted and again we had another outstanding day to remember.

We participated in our first Sail Board Regatta and we were selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to run the “on the water” activities of the U.S. Finals Sail Board trials in 1984. Our Club was again very active in the Olympic Classes Regatta including security and communications, with our ham radio group (HAMROC) doing yeoman duty. We again hosted the Olympic Classes Regatta participant’s dinner, headed up by Jeannette Labriola and assisted by about 100 members of the Club serving over 900 hamburger dinners to competitors from 24 nations an event that was one of our most enjoyable occasions.

Four other special events were hosted by the Seal Beach Yacht Club during the year the Catalina 27 Nationals, the Catalina 30 Nationals, the Cyclone Nationals and all Catalina Race Day, and we again started Ocean Racing Catamaran Association Transpac Race.

The Seal Beach to Dana Point Race, co sponsored by our Club, which has grown into to one of the major Southern California Coastal Races, was another great success with over 100 boats participating.

Our August Luau and Show at the Island was outstanding and a highlight of the year. Headed up by the Carpenters and assisted by the Holfords, the Georges, O’Connors and at least 100 other members, the Isthmus at Catalina was transformed, in a matter of hours, into a Hawaiian paradise. A south seas show with hula dancers, Tahitian dancers, a fire dancer (all Club members) along with the Seal Beach Yacht Club Beachboys, put on such a great show it had to be repeated later at the Club. This was followed by a real Luau feast. The next day, after a Champagne Brunch, we waved Aloha to a group of our members, starting on a week’s vacation cruise from the Island.

Our ladies of the Sea Belles, under the leadership of Marda Carpenter, not only presented their usual great brunches and a fashion show, as well as helping in the hosting of almost every event at the Club, sponsored two Club blood drives at our facility. Both were very successful.

Two other events highlighted our civic pride and responsibility. Our Armed Forces Day Boat Parade and Party was well attended by our members and was much appreciated by the many members from each of the Services who participated. John Martin chaired this event and led the boat Parade aboard the “Semper Fi”. Seal Beach Yacht Club also had an outstanding entry in the City of Seal Beach Christmas Parade.

Under Port Captain Ron Voelker, our reciprocal program with other Clubs was greatly expanded and we now control an “end tie” in the Marina on a year round basis.

The year ended with a wonderful Commodore’s Ball, at which past Commodores were given special recognition with “gold membership cards”.

1984 The year 1984 under the leadership of Commodore Dick Brunner was exciting and an eventful year for the club, highlighted by the Olympic Wind Glider trials and the events surrounding the actual Olympics.

During the year we had all of the usual favorite events such as the races, dances, Luaus, Opening Day, cruises, special events, and the brunches put on by members of the Sea Belles. There were also several unique events. The first was hosting our second SCYA dinner with over 170 people served. The dinner was handled superbly by the Sea Belles under the guidance of Sally Dailey, chairman. The second was co chairing (along with HHYC) the Olympic Wind Glider trials for the U.S. entrants. Dave Rustigian and Bruce Miller were our Race Committee chairmen, helped by a large group of club members. A third event was the “Tall Ships Parade” on July 4th and John Martin was asked to be an escort vessel. Then came the Olympics with over half our members participating in one form or another.

1984 was also noticeable for the introduction of new activities. We had three Friday night birthday dances, the reintroduction of predicted log races, helping Seal Beach City in their rough water swim, a “Secret Cruise” and the changing of the Commodore’s Award night to a Friday night with a dance band.

We hired for the first time a professional bar manager with the resultant upgrading of service and quality.

A financial advisory group was formed to develop financial schemes for payment of proposed future club expansion.

1985 Commodore Jim Wolfelt started 1985 with a Job Fair to provide our newer members an opportunity to meet this year’s Officers and Chairmen and get involved with this year’s programs. We had a full calendar of racing, cruising and social events. Judy Capers was hired at the beginning of the year to manage our bar operations specializing in cheerful hospitality. Our membership was maintained steady at 500 regular members. A new election policy was established requiring two more candidates than the number of openings for the election of Directors. Opening Day was held on May 4th with about 400 members and guests turning out for a full day of activities starting with the ceremony at 9:30 a.m.

This year SLBYC joined the Yacht Racing Union of southern California as their 26th yacht club member. We continued to very actively support S.C.Y.A. attending every meeting usually with three delegates as well as supporting the Association of Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor Yacht Clubs. We have also joined affiliation with Sail America to support SDYC in capturing the America’s Cup and bring it back to Southern California.

Other notable items this year were: (a) a significant upgrade in the “Burgee” to a professionally styled publication under the editorial leadership of Lloyd Kramer; (b) the adoption of a conceptual master plan to upgrade our facility; (c) the addition of one more Clean up Day to the calendar that has really sparkled up our facility; (d) the Board of Directors meetings were moved to the last Tuesday of the month so fresh news could be communicated to the membership at the monthly general meetings; (c) wide screen TV was purchased for video tape programs and the Sea Belles purchased video camera equipment to televise our own activities; and (f) an expanded line of quality accessories was offered to our members under the leadership of Carol Miller.

1986 Commodore Neil Carpenter was at the helm for our Silver Anniversary year, 1986. The year kicked off with an outstanding Commodore’s Ball and followed with a full calendar of racing, cruising and social events. An informal group of recreational vehicle fans participated in two new “campout” events and HAMROC continued to provide communications for club events. Liability insurance rates went out of sight and set the Board of Directors scrambling to find affordable coverage.

Opening Day moved from the traditional early morning time slot to early afternoon with an expanded program celebrating our 25th year.

We joined Southern California Cruisers Association (SCCA) to enable our log racers to enter sanctioned events and we hosted a dinner for YRU of Southern California. We continued our fund raising events in support of Sail America’s efforts to reclaim the America’s Cup.

The Sea Belles, under Chairman Grace George, hosted the traditional brunches and supported club functions in their usual outstanding manner.

The cork floor on the upper deck was replaced with a new hardwood floor and the entire facility was recarpeted. A window was installed in the upper deck west wall, providing a fantastic view of the marina and debunking the myth that the exterior of the building could never be changed.

1987 was an exciting year; for the first time we saw the excitement of an America’s Cup race. Modem technology brought the races into our living rooms. The Congressional Cup brought the same sailors into Alamitos Bay. Under the leadership of Commodore Lawrence S. Lewis (Larry), SLBYC led the way in 1987.

Opening Day was celebrated in great fashion, with enough cannon fire to keep everyone’s ears ringing. Commodore Lewis started the year with the theme “Let’s Join Hands”. Join hands with the new member, the young member, the not so young, the newcomer on the dock, join hands with our yachting neighbors. Our Opening Day cannon fire brought Long Beach Yacht Club’s ceremonies to a halt, and almost ended the good neighbor policy before it started. We apologized, but with a slight smirk on our face.

SLBYC’s Bruce Miller ran Bravo Circle of the Olympic Classes Regatta. With over 190 Olympic class boats entered, it was an exciting regatta.

Our race committees, led by Bill Wallace, organized and managed 35 races with an amazing 1900 race entries. SLBYC hosted the National Regatta for the Catalina 27 Fleet. The regatta, which was managed by the fleet, was so successful they were able to donate $100 to the Charity Regatta and $200 to the SLBYC Facilities fund. To crown the year’s yachting activities, Seal Beach Yacht sailors won the PHRF Championship. SLBYC champions of the largest handicap racing fleet in Southern California! What a year.

Our stairway canopy and awning, a project of the Sea Belles, funded by the Sea Belles and the Club, transformed our plain exterior into a Yacht Club entrance. Our Thursday night Pop Top Burger Bashes served a record number of yachtsmen and provided a significant income for the club.

Patty and Treasurer Hal Critz thought it might be fun to have a Sunday evening barbecue. Bring your own entree and the club would light up the grill and provide the rest. The Sunday night barbecue was one of the biggest successes of the year. The barbecue was instantly popular, with more members using their club than ever before. The barbecues lasted all summer and ended only after it got dark and too cold.

After neatly three years of waiting, fund raisers and a lot of pizzas, SLBYC’s day in glory came. On Veteran’s Day, November 14, 1987, SLBYC was host to the America’s Cup. The Cup arrived from the San Diego Yacht Club under guard in a stretched limousine. Armed escorts provided by the Marine Department watched over the Cup while we basked in the glory of the 132 year old trophy.

The Ist Annual Charity Regatta, conceived by the Commodores of Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, Shoreline, and Commodore Lewis, was an outstanding success. Working together, the yacht clubs of Long Beach contributed over $5,000 to the Children’s Clinic. Seal Beach Yacht Club’s support was primarily instrumental in the success of the regatta. In 1987, Seal Beach Yacht Club did indeed, “Join hands”!

1988 In 1988, John Martin was at the helm as the Commodore, and it was a very eventful year. In February~ the International Order of the Blue Gavel, Seal Beach Yacht Club Chapter, made a recommendation to the Board to make our Senior Staff Commodore Hugh Wherritt a Life Member. A change in the By Laws would be necessary in order to do so. A By Law change was introduced, seconded and passed and Hugh Wherritt became the first accorded this honor. Peggy Gregory, Jr. Staff Commodore of SCYA, and for many years associated with our club, was the recipient of the Yachtswoman of the Year awarded by the Yacht Club Association of LA/LB Harbors.

Eight ceiling fans were installed upstairs, enabling some degree of climate control, and adjustable lighting. The Outboard Shop vacated and will be in the negotiations with our next lease. The bricked enclosure in front of the club was also acquired in order to relocate our liquor storage. The burgees of the local LA/LB area yacht clubs as well as our own, were installed over our “window” upstairs and, for the first time, our club was listed in “The Reciprocity Guide,” with the Register of American Yacht Clubs.

Our “Burgee” format was further improved under the leadership of Jean Hessler van Amerongen. Innovative pictorial cover stories now dominate the front page, and with the Burgee finally out of “4th class” mailing, it is received by all members in a timely manner.

Some of our more dedicated and hard working members were honored by Commodore Martin with a special service award at General Meetings on a quarterly basis. Those members, and many others, who contributed their time and assisted in various ways during the year, were invited to the Commodore’s Award Night for a cocktail party, awards presentation and a concert by the “South Coast Trio.”

The Sea Belles, under the leadership of Carol Miller, made some positive strides in the area of accessories, handling the raffles at the General Meetings, they hosted the brunches, provided gala birthday nights and, of course, were of considerable assistance at various functions.

SLBYC continued to shine in their racing program. Our members dominated the Catalina Fleets in the 59th SCYA Midwinter Regatta. For the first time, overall trophies were awarded for those who raced the entire Pop Top Series. Member John Naviaux. was among four U.S. entrants in the first 540 mile Copa Galapagos Regatta, racing under our burgee. We hosted many regattas to name a few: PHRF Championships, to which we donated a “Class D” perpetual trophy to PHRF; Catalina 30 Nationals; All Catalina Regatta, through the efforts of our club, $1,000 was handed over to the Children’s Clinic; and once again we hosted a hospitality room during the Ensenada Race. With Bob Robb as our Log Race Chairman, we made monumental strides in the art of racing power boats; competitors in SCCA saw SLBYC as “racers” to be reckoned with. In November, Bob Robb “invented” and ran the First Annual Commodore Martin Offshore Challenge, open to yacht clubs in the greater LA/LB Harbor area. Again, as in many years past, the members went out and provided the safety for the Annual Seal Beach Rough Water swim. Our end tie on Gangway 18 as well as members’ donated slips provided many reciprocal hours to visiting yachtsmen and racers.

The social side of our calendar was once again busy, we kept the members hopping attending the many cruises and parties, the biggest, of course, being our fantastic Opening Day celebration followed very closely in popularity by our 10th Annual Armed Forces Day. Our Sunday barbecues continued by popular demand, there is even talk of having them all year long!

Plans still continue for expansion. We’ve been working closely with the city in order to improve out facility. And the dream goes on.

1989 Gavel in hand, Commodore Jerry Dalley led the way with the New Year’s party ringing in the 28th year. For the third year in a tow, we held the Commodore’s Ball aboard the Queen Mary, and Staff Commodore Neil Carpenter conducted an impressive installation ceremony.

The “Yachtsman of the Year” award of the Yacht Club Association of LA/LB Harbors was awarded to our own Staff Commodore Don Brown. Commodore Brown was also presented a Service Excellence Award by YRUSC.

Our social calendar was changed slightly this year. Under the guiding hand of Billie Frazee, we hosted two dinner meetings, one for SCYA and one for YRUSC. We also hosted several race seminars.

Each year our Opening Day program is bigger and better. The judges for the boat parade were guests and did an excellent job in scoring.

After the “Sweetheart Cruise,” our only island event of the year was the “Moonlight Over Two Harbors. The Memorial Day Weekend at the club was hosted by the three flag officers and their spouses. Even our traditional Luau was a land based event held here at the club. We held our first Mother’s Day Brunch, hosted by Mike and Dee Ferreira. All of these events were well attended.

The word mini cruise took on a new meaning. It now has taken on the connotation of meaning a cruise involving between 3 to 65 yachts at one event. Geri and George Hively hosted the ever popular Labor Day cruise to DRYC.

Bob Robb led us with the Southern California Cruisers Association (SCCA), and the power fleet really turned out. John Kemp won the prestigious “Marina Cup” and presented it to be displayed in the Club trophy case. SLBYC racers won four trophies in the Newport to Ensenada Race. Our hospitality room at the El Cid was well attended for the third year running. We hosted the PHRF Championship for the second year, assisted by ABYC and LBYC. Our race committees and racers have done well in our southern California area. The Seal Beach to Dana Point race was well managed this year; we did it our way!

The Charity Regatta, sponsored by six of the Long Beach yacht clubs, enjoyed an excellent turnout and a check for $7000.00 was presented to the Children’s Clinic. In addition to this, the Burger Bash sponsored by SIBYC netted $1400 for an additional donation. This regatta and the Seal Beach City Rough Water Swim are our two primary civic events.

All of the year’s functions St. Patrick’s Party, Las Vegas Night, Family Day, Hamburger Bashes, Halloween Party, Armed Forces Day, the Sunday BBQ’s, Christmas and New Year’s parties, all with super chair people, and good attendance. Topped by the Commodore’s Award party with awards, snacks, dancing, and good drinks for all those hard workers of Seal Beach Yacht Club.

The political highlight of the year was the change in the by laws, from “Membership” to “Memberships”, making the spouse a member of record with all the privileges. The club expansion is now on hold while negotiations between the City and the Club are being conducted.

The Sea Belles did a number on Mr. “C” and his socks, and he thanks them. The aloha spirit does work Thank you for an outstanding year.

Back to Top

1990 In 1990, Hal Critz served as Commodore during Seal Beach Yacht Club’s 29th year. A full calendar of racing, cruising and social events kept the membership occupied. The Commodore’s Ball was held on the Queen Mary and, as usual, was a sell out.

The Midwinters, billed as the largest regatta in North America, was chaired by none other than Staff Commodore Larry Lewis. This year’s racing came to a halt when the oil tanker American Trader ruptured her hull with her own anchor while attempting to position for off loading at Seal Beach. 394,000 gallons of crude escaped into the water. Seal Beach Y.C. managed to get two races off on Saturday before clean up activities forced closure of Alamitos Bay on Sunday. So much for the Midwinters!

Opening Day fell on Cinco de Mayo in 1990. What better theme than a Mexican fiesta? Mariachis, margaritas, food and dancing well into the night. Our active cruising schedule, started by Joe Radensky last year, was expanded and fine tuned by Ron Gordon in 1990. SIBYC cruisers braved the waters from Santa Barbara Island to San Diego. Included on the Easter Raft up and cruise to Navy Yacht Club was a tour of the battleship New Jersey. Of course, our premiere cruise is the Labor Day weekend cruise to Del Rey Yacht Club. George and Geri Hively hosted the cruise again this year and managed to get all the clubs in the Del Rey area involved in entertaining us. Forty seven boats enjoyed barbecues, poker runs, sabot racing, brunches, cocktail parties, etc.

This year, the entire Bridge supported the Ensenada race and journeyed to Ensenada for the festivities. Ross and Millie Van Voorhis and the rest of the crew manning the hospitality suite at the El Cid Hotel did a great job providing food and drink for our racers. It seemed the shower ran day and night.

Mid year, Bob Robb was named Yachtsman of the Year by the Yacht Club Association of LA/LB Harbors. Bob has given of himself time and time again. He has brought credit to himself and SIBYC. In addition, he was awarded the Harry Brittain Perpetual Trophy for first place in the Midwinters Cruiser Navigation Contest. Stan Daniels agreed to be SIBYC’s chairman for the Charity Regatta. The goal of $10,000 was exceeded and the proceeds were presented to the Long Beach Children’s Clinic.

After much discussion and investigation, the club has moved into the computer age. With the help of a generous contribution from the Sea Belles, a computer and several printers have been installed. Jim Chester, Barry and Vicki Martin, after identifying all the tasks to be computerized, gained board approval on hardware configurations, purchased the equipment and are now in the process of acquiring the necessary software. Training will follow. 

Thanks to the efforts of Howard Newman, our club now has a new public address and sound system.

Plans for expansion are still underway. Hopefully, 1991 will see progress toward completion of the construction phase. SIBYC continues to “stand out from all the rest”. Our members continue to be our greatest asset.

1991 was a terrific year for Seal Beach Yacht Club, full of racing, cruising and parties. The 30th year started off with the Commodore’s Ball held on the Queen Mary. At the change of watch ceremony, Dwight Reed was installed as Commodore.

During the year, Seal Beach Yacht Club’s members contributed to the community in new ways as well as old. We participated, along with five neighboring yacht clubs, in the Charity Regatta and hosted the accompanying Hamburger Bash. It was a lot of work but a substantial benefit to the Children’s Clinic. Jeanne and Bill Boyd were awarded the Founder’s Trophy for their contribution to the Charity Regatta over the past several years. Once again, many of our members turned out with their boats to support the Seal Beach Rough Water Swim. They braved the predawn waters to assist and protect the swimmers. A new project was started under the direction of Carol Miller and Sea Belles. Our members made quilted blankets and supplied stuffed animals for officers of the Seal Beach Police Department to give to children contacted under traumatic circumstances. Appreciation was extended to the Club by the Police Department at our December General Meeting.

The Sea Belles, chaired by Karen Hartman, continued the tradition of service to SlBYC. This year, Birthday Night was reestablished as a monthly event. Under the hand of Marian Pincombe, each month was a terrific success. A theme was picked each month and often the bridge officers’ pictures were decorated with items from eye patches to “muscleman” bodies. The dinner and wine-tasting put on by the Sea Belles in October was an elegant evening enjoyed by all who participated.

This year SlBYC returned to the practice of keeping a stock of accessories on hand at the Club. A “Ship’s Store” was established, Millie Adams taking on the responsibility of getting it started. With a display case downstairs showing off the gear and the bar handling the money, items were easier to purchase. Jackie Gerard took over the responsibilities mid-year, bringing the program to even greater heights.

The Race Management team was active during the year. In addition to the regular schedule of racing, two inter-club races were implemented: Port Royal to Seal Beach, and Marina del Rey to Seal Beach. In a bold move, the Team assigned each of the bridge officers the responsibility of Principle Race Officer for one of the three club races.

There were four Catalina Island events this year, the Sweetheart Cruise to Avalon in February and, later in the year, the Western Barbecue, August “Lu-Wow” and Oktoberfest at the Isthmus. Each was enjoyed by those who made the trip to the Island.

In September, a summer storm passed through Alamitos Bay and jolted our clubhouse with a bolt of lightning. No fire or structural damage, but much of the radio equipment was lost.

Two members brought honor to SlBYC by serving as commodores of area yachting associations, George Hively of the Southern California Yachting Association and Peggy Gregory of the Yacht Club Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

We continue to discuss with and wait on the City regarding a lease and expansion of Club facilities. There were moments of optimism during the year but the realization of the plan is still in the future.

Seal Beach Yacht Club continues to be known throughout southern California as a friendly, hard working club. Its members agree but additionally enjoy the dedication, good spirit and affection we share. Indeed, the future looks bright ahead!

1992 The Commodore’s Ball, held at the Queen Mary, was the site of Commodore Joe Radensky’s promise of a year filled with such varied activities that there would be plenty of fun for everyone.

In the week that followed, Sea Belles presented a concert by the South Coast Trio. Wonderful. The next night we hosted the Installation Dinner Meeting of the Yacht Racing Union of Southern California during which our George Hively was inducted as YRUSC Commodore. Billie Frazee took charge early on and, thanks again to the Sea Belles, the evening turned out to be our usual smashing success. Our first Popcorn Cruising Series program was presented a week later. Approximately 100 members and guests listened to how cruisers managed their voyages into Mexico.

As in all previous years, we were quite active on the racing circuit. The Race Management Committee evolved in its final form this year and saw to it that each of our races was run as “professionally” as could be. Under the leadership of Lynne Eddy, the Committee performed outstandingly.

We’ve had “Sweetheart Cruises” each year commemorating Valentine’s Day with the usual destination being Avalon. Taking nothing away from Avalon, it nevertheless became time for a change. What a change! Sweetheart Cruise by train to San Diego. Jim and Joan Wolfelt hosted this “cruise” and about 100 members enjoyed a wonderful weekend.

Marian Pincombe, as Sea Belles chairman, brought our monthly Birthday Nights to an almost frenetic pitch. Standing room, only. In between Birthday Nights we had “Pub Night”, complete with darts ‘n draft beer. It was gratifying to see the depth of renewed interest in Sea Belles.

From mid spring through late fall, SIBYC attracted its members every Wednesday night to orchestra concerts performed by Dan Walker and his 19 piece “Swing Machine” band. The price was right. Free. Great music to dance by or simply sip a brew and listen to.

The Fleet Surgeon, Doctor Dan Murphy, brought other medical professionals to the club for first aid and C.P.R. courses and, in general, saw to it that we stayed healthy. He was the force in moving the Club into the modern world of “NO SMOKING”. On Dan’s motion (and insistence), the Board of Directors adopted a “no smoking” policy upstairs, while smoking was permitted in the bar. This action was enthusiastically acclaimed by the general membership.

The parties were varied and fun. St. Patrick’s Day was duly honored. During the summer months, the Square Dance Party had us (what else?) square dancing. Everyone breathed fire after sampling from the annual Chili Cook off. A popular move was the shift of the Oktoberfest from the Island to the Clubhouse where a couple hundred members had an “ump pah pah” time. The Halloween Night party. The Thanksgiving cruise to Dana Point. December, always a full month with Commodore’s Awards Night, the Children’s and Adults’ Christmas Parties and New Year’s Eve Party, plus Island cruises… the summer cruises… Ensenada… San Diego… the Sunday barbecues… the Hamroc picnic. What a year!

The Yacht Club continued in its outstanding public services. Again, many members with boats, many without boats but who crewed, and many Hamroc members all participated in the annual Seal Beach Rough Water Swim. “Are you sure it’s time to take the boat out? It’s still dark outside!” This year the purpose of our accompanying boats was brought home when Ron McCoy aboard Fair Lady was instrumental in saving a swimmer from possible drowning.

The Sea Belles continued with the project of making quilted blankets and stuffed animals for Seal Beach Police to give to children, victims of various unhappy incidents.

Our participation with other area yacht clubs in the annual Charity Regatta, benefitting the Children’s Clinic of Long Beach, was so successful that it’s going to be tough to top in the future. A greater than 55% increase in funds over any previous year, and all done during a recession year, at that. Marian Pincombe was awarded the Founder’s Trophy for the outstanding job she did in fund raising.

As with all years, we suffered sadness. We lost Staff Commodore Hamm Ward, our Fleet Chaplain, and John Kemp, who served the Club as Cruiser Navigation Chairman for several years. Of course, other members were also taken and their losses are remembered by the members who knew them best.

Our world, our country and our state were, in 1992, in the throes of a recession. It affected the boating community and impacted on nearly every yacht club including Seal Beach Yacht Club. For economic reasons, many members had to give up their boats and their membership in the Yacht Club. In spring, we took necessary steps to turn the membership decline around and embarked on an active membership drive. “Fly your burgee” was the Commodore’s rallying cry and it worked. Our blue and gold burgees were seen flying throughout the marina. In late spring, we began to again welcome new members and the trend has continued throughout the balance of the year. At year’s end, a strong sense of optimism prevailed.

Each Commodore reports on the progress of the plans for the expansion and rejuvenation of the clubhouse. This Commodore can do no less. The Yacht Club has been anxious for many years to finally resolve the future of our clubhouse. We hadn’t been able to get the City of Long Beach to act. Now, however, the city appears to be moving forward and, apparently, has good reason to proceed. The tentative numbers seem to be reasonable, and the proposed improvements appear, at this point, to be satisfactory. It will remain to be seen how close we really are to the project. Perhaps next year.

A sense of closeness, camaraderie and warmth mark our membership. One’s own living room could scarcely be more inviting than to enter the Seal Beach Yacht Club filled with family like friends. This, then, is the foundation upon which to build.

1993 Commodore Bill McComas began the year with the promise of austerity due to the continuing economic decline. The club’s membership had dropped to 315 members and recruiting was a difficult job for Membership Chairmen Les and Chris Hawkes. However, there was no decline in club activities or enthusiasm on the part of the membership.

The Commodore’s Ball at the Long Beach Marriott Hotel began the year with a gala celebration. Also, in January the YRUSC installation dinner was held at the club, hosted by Billie Frazee. Our own Staff Commodore, Jerry Dalley, was installed as Commodore of the YRUSC. Sally Dalley still active in the club, served on the club’s Board of Directors.

The clubhouse was the site of social activity and parties throughout the year. They began on New Year’s Day with a Pajama Social for the “morning after.” The Super Bowl Pot Luck Dinner proved a popular event and everybody liked the food. Dena Sabean devised the Tacky Party in March. At that party, some clothing that had not been seen since the sixties was right in style. Irmgard Turner gave the Oktoberfest a real German flavor this year, complete with an Ohm Pa band. Dan Daly and Pam showed us a “hot time” in October. The Chili Cook-off gave ten teams the chance to display their skills and secret chili recipes. The Halloween party was a gathering of pirates led by Black Beard Mewes and the lovely wench Terry. The Children’s Christmas Party by Barry and Vickie Martin (and kids) and the Adult Christmas Party by Sue and Dick Owens capped the holiday season. The New Year’s Eve Party hosted by Steve Stanec was a proper celebration to wrap up the year.

These usual events were augmented by special activities hosted by the Sea Belles. Sea Belles Chairman Cindy Gothberg, with her bubbly personality, did an outstanding job providing activity for the membership. The South Coast Trio performed in January to a packed house. The talent show was a huge success and revealed hitherto unknown talents of some of our membership. The Birthday Night and Pub Night Parties hosted by the Sea Belles continued to be very popular and a lot of fun.

The Cruising Committee chaired by Ron Gordon held seven mini cruises during the year. From Cabrillo to Dana Point Yacht Clubs and from Catalina to San Clemente Islands, the club’s burgee was flown by our intrepid cruisers. Eddie and Diane Kiefer hosted the cruise to the Isthmus for the Summer Island Event. They provided a great luau on the beach that was enjoyed by everyone attending.

Dr. Lynne Eddy served in her second year as Race Management Team Chairman. The RMT provided 37 days of on the water sail boat racing for the club. The races were conducted in the highest standard. The RMT and Race Committees of the club earned the professional reputation they enjoy in the SPBA. For the power boaters, Jim Sullivan chaired the Cruiser Navigation Committee. There were 13 contests of predicted log races enjoyed by club members. These teams upheld the tradition of Corinthian yachting on which the club was founded.

Public service was also a part of club activities this year. The Charity Regatta, produced by Howard Newman, generated over $12,000 for the Children’s Clinic of Long Beach. The Sea Belles, with Carol Miller’s supervision, provided quilted blankets and stuffed toys for those unfortunate children who come in contact with the Seal Beach Police Department. Mabel Thole led the way in knitting caps for the newborn at Long Beach Community Hospital. The club again provided boats for the Seal Beach Rough Water Swim, protecting and aiding the swimmers.

Herb and Mabel Thole were recognized for their many years of service to the club and awarded Life Memberships. Herb and Mabel have been married over 55 years and have belonged to the club for the past 30 years. Their devotion to the club has not gone unnoticed. Sal and Bonnie Macias have also served the club this year beyond the call of duty for a volunteer member. For their efforts, they were chosen as Members of the Year for 1993.

In the fall when the Sunday BBQ’s came to an end, the weekend dinners began. Bonnie Macias accepted the appointment as Bar Captain and instituted Friday, Saturday and Sunday night cook your own dinners. This program increased use of the club by the membership. It made the club a popular weekend place to go for dinner. Plans to continue this activity through 1994 have been made and this innovative idea will continue.

The greatest accomplishment this year was the securing of a new lease for the club facility with the City of Long Beach. After months of negotiations and work by many members, the lease agreement was finalized. The agreement was approved by the Board of Directors at a special session in August. The following day, Commodores McComas, Ferreira and Newman signed the lease agreement at the Long Beach City Hall. The new lease ensures the Seal Beach Yacht Club use of the facility until the year 2019. Plans were drawn for the remodeling of the clubhouse. They include renovation inside and the construction of an exterior deck overlooking the marina. Upon completion, the club facility promises to be an attractive and modern yacht club.

In the club history this year we do not have to hope for or dream of improvements in the club. The past hopes and dreams have been partly realized with the signing of the new lease. The planned construction is about to begin and economic recovery is in sight. The future looks bright for the club and we can begin 1994 with a very optimistic outlook.

1994 Ten years after he joined the club, Mike Ferreira took over the helm of the organization. He usually ended his Burgee articles with the line “see you around the club,” and you did. Almost every weekend, one could find Mike at the club, conversing with members and prospective members, making them feel welcome, making this one of the most energetic years for the club.

This was the year that the clubhouse expansion started. Yes! Finally it started. We put all our pictures, trophies, burgees and race equipment into storage for the duration of the build out. The Board even approved the purchase of the new upstairs bar (30 feet long!).

Sally Dalley and the Race Management Team continued to put on a super race program. This was the year the Outlaw Regatta was made an official inter club race.

Hamroc, under the direction of Ed Koran, continued to be very active and helpful to the club. This year they supplied the communication for the Seal Beach Rough Water Swim.

Thanks to Harold Alexander, SIBYC continued to provide on the water safety for Seal Beach’s Rough Water Swim participants. Another major community project was hosting the Charity Regatta of Long Beach. This year, under the chairmanship of Carol Miller, we raised over $18,000 for the Long Beach Children’s Clinic.

With our Jr. Staff Commodore Bill McComas recovering from major bypass surgery, the Blue Gavel jumped in and gave a helping hand with the Opening Day events. Opening Day was highlighted by the participation of 10 SCYA yacht clubs performing the club’s first surprise mock wedding. It seems that Mike was the first single Commodore of Seal Beach Yacht Club. SIBYC was honored in Santana magazine with a full page article, complete with pictures.

Sea Belles were very busy this year, hosting events such as the Mother’s Day Brunch, South Coast Trio, sweet shoppe, Birthday Night and the return of the Luau. In fact, they accumulated over $8,000 to purchase needed club items.

Our Membership team, Dave and Lynn Woolrage, pulled out all the stops and brought in a record 62 members.

Since this is a volunteer club, we like to recognize those outstanding individuals who contribute to the organization. This year, SIBYC’s Member of the Year was Millie Adams. Also recognized was Jerry Dalley for outstanding sportsmanship.

This year we mourn the loss of two very special people, Ed Holford and Jackie Croft. We miss them dearly.

1995 During his tenure as Commodore Howard G. Newman, Jr. led the Club through the arduous task of reconstruction. The long waited remodeling was to become reality during this year. The year began normally with the Commodore’s Ball being held at the Long Beach Marriot Hotel. Then, the pomp and circumstance of the Ball gave way to the many active social programs at the Club. The activities began in January with the Super Bowl Sunday pot luck and St. Patrick’s Day Party. An active and successful Mini Cruise program took off under the direction of Jim Lium. The yachting and cruising season was under way once again.

During the early spring the finishing touches were put on the tenant improvement plans by the Facilities Development Committee. The Board of Directors gave their approval to the improvements that were presented by the Committee. Some construction had already begun at the complex but the Clubhouse was delayed until after Opening Day.

The Opening Day Ceremonies and party on May 6th. was the last event held in the old Clubhouse. The Opening Day theme was “Hardhats and Hammers”. The ceremony was held amid the already started construction work around the buildings and parking lot.

The following Monday storage containers appeared in the parking lot and contents of the Club were carefully packed away. House Chairman Chuck Riordan did a masterful job of dismantling the Club and then putting it back together after construction. The Clubhouse was emptied and the contractor began the demolition of the interior just before the first Pop Tops series began. Rear Commodore Dave Woolrage would not be deterred in the pursuit of the race schedule and Vice Commodore Bruce Miller proceeded with the burger bashes. The galley was demolished so Power Fleet Captain Don Cobleigh parked his motor home in front of the Club Sea Belles Chairperson Sheila Comeau used the motor home as a base of operations for the Thursday burger bashes. The bar was opened amid the construction debris and it was business as usual.

This summer proved that the members of the Seal Beach Yacht Club could come together to overcome any obstacle. All three series of the Pop Tops were held, followed by Indian Summer Races and hamburger bashes. All during the summer Commodore Newman kept an almost daily vigil at the Clubhouse. He worked closely with the contractor, the architect and the developer to get the project completed to everyone’s satisfaction, on time and under budget. Director Don Wilkins supervised the installation of the new galley equipment he had obtained for the Club’s use. Donna Reed used her skills in interior decorating to coordinate the colors and accessories inside the Clubhouse. Staff Commodore Bill McComas worked with the developer and the city to keep the project moving.

When the job was done we had a new exterior deck with gas BBQ’s and glass wind screen. A 30 foot long granite topped bar is the centerpiece of the upper deck, and an elevator was installed for the use of our members who require assistance. Two new restrooms were added upstairs and two new restrooms were added downstairs. The old bar area downstairs was turned into a general purpose room. The Club’s lower deck also houses the HAMROC Radio Shack and the new and complete galley. The construction could not have been completed without the “sweat equity” supplied by many of our members. The fixing, patching, painting, cleaning and furniture moving was all accomplished by our volunteer members.

The Club’s Staff Commodores organized a dedication ceremony that was held at the Club on November 18th. The ceremony was attended by officials from the city of Long Beach, the developer, neighboring yacht clubs and the membership of the Seal Beach Yacht Club. At 1:30 P.M. the remodeled Clubhouse was dedicated for the use of the membership and the Burgee was raised to the sound of the Club cannon. Commodore Newman, his flag officers and Vice Mayor Doug Drummond cut the ribbon on the front door and began the reception and cocktail party in the new facilities.

Now that the job is finally done, we can all be proud of the beautifully remodeled Clubhouse. In the past so many Club members worked very hard to make this long awaited dream come true. The future now holds the anticipation of increased membership, attracted by our new facility and many beautiful sunsets that will be seen from the new upper deck.

1996 Commodore Bruce Miller assumed command of our gorgeous new facility for our 35th year. The Commodore’s Ball was held at the Seaport Marina Hotel (ex Clarion, ex Hyatt Edgewater). Deja vu! This was the hotel that our Club occupied for many of its early years, 1964 to 1972. Billie Frazee did an outstanding job of organizing this event. While the primary reconstruction had been completed, many of the final details remained to be done. House Chairman Chuck Riordon continued to display the many burgees that have been given to the Club along with the trophies and awards we have received.

A sad note began our year with the passing of Sr. Staff Commodore Hugh Wherritt. He is fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Our cruise program prospered under the leadership of Jim Lium and his team of cruise chairmen. There were a total of 10 cruises scheduled this year offering a variety of destinations from marinas up and down the coast to Catalina and Santa Cruz Islands.

The year began with a New Year’s Day Pajama Party and ended with a New Year’s Eve Gala. Our members and guests were treated to an almost non stop round of parties and social gatherings. In addition to our many traditional parties we added the “Not Necessarily Clam Chowder Cookoff,” a Mexican Fiesta, and held our Annual Photo Contest. The very popular Sunday Barbecues started in March and continued until December. Fun Fridays were added with Club members volunteering to host an evening of catered food. A wide variety of cuisine was offered and enjoyed by all. Lynn Woolrage organized our first Women’s Mariner Seminar. This was put on by women for women. It was a great success and hopefully it will continue into the future. We hosted meetings for the YRUSC, SCYA, and SCCA. The Children’s Christmas Party provided fun and amazement for young and old alike. “How did he do that” was heard quite often as the magician performed his tricks.

Our Race Management Committee headed by Rayma Alexander worked very hard to provide high quality racing for our competitors. We hosted three Club races and over 30 other races for this year. The Outlaw Regatta suffered from a total lack of wind. No one finished. We were again host to the PHRF Area Hi Point Series for the year. The Club Whaler received a complete facelift and a new engine. Maybe it will make into the next century! Power Fleet Captain Bob Green organized training sessions for Cruiser Navigation contests. We developed a good group this year. We should be ready to do battle in 1997.

Hamroc was active with communications for the Rough Water Swim and hosted many activities open to all Club members. Anna Gleckler provided one of their most interesting evenings, speaking about her cruising radio experiences. Work continued on the “ham” shack with the christening party in March. The Club computer found a home there,

Seal Beach Yacht Club continues to expand its support of outside community activities. Our long standing involvement with the Seal Beach Rough Water Swim and the Yacht Clubs of Long Beach Charity Regatta are prime examples. We continue to work with the Seal Beach Police Department by supplying quilted blankets and stuffed animals for small children involved in trauma. For the Long Beach Community Hospital we provide hand knitted hats/bonnets for the newborns. Beginning in 1995 and continued in 1996 Carol Miller, working with the Regional Center of Orange County, brought their Christmas “Wish Tree” program to us containing names of adults and children with special needs. It was our privilege to help.

Mike and Georgia Springer, Dave Smith, and Carol Miller continued with our Junior Program. They had activities throughout the year. Our juniors were able to participate in ABYC’s “Learn to Sail” program. The donation of a Sabot by Howard Newman was greatly appreciated and will enable those without a boat to sail.

The membership passed the 400 mark this year. Our future is bright thanks to the efforts of “The Members of The Best”… Seal Beach Yacht Club.

1997 Commodore Dave Woolrage‘s theme: Set your course for fun in 1997 began when a Bag Piper led over 200 members and guests around the decks of the Queen Mary to the Queen’s Ballroom for the 1997 Commodore’s Ball. Ruthanne Ferreira did an outstanding job of planning and organizing this event. Staff Commodore Mike Ferreira conducted an impressive installation ceremony.

The beginning of the year started out on a sad note having to conduct two memorial services for members that had passed away in late 1996. The first was to officiate Dick “Red” Willmore’s Celebration of Life on January 4. Next, we said goodbye to our dear friend and race secretary Ken Bishop. We also mourned the loss of Doug Ward and Jack Briscoe later in the year.

Commodore Woolrage felt very strongly that Club members should be able to identify their Board of Directors, Flag Officers and their spouses when they came into the Club. All 1997 Board of Directors were given shirts with the logo “Team SIBYC”. A group photo was taken and displayed in the Clubhouse along with the photos of the Flag Officers and their spouses. Commodore Woolrage started the tradition of having a Commodore’s Burgee. This is a three foot long SIBYC Burgee made by David Stumpf. It’s embroidered with three gold stars on both sides of the Burgee. It is to be passed on to the incoming Commodore at the annual Commodore’s Balls.

1997 was the year of fine tuning around the Clubhouse. Windows in the stairway and behind the bar were converted so they opened to aid the air flow. Window coverings were installed on the west side to cut down heat from the afternoon sun. The Seal Beach Yacht Club logo was added on the windows and patio windscreens facing the marina. Thanks to a suggestion made by Sally Dalley, a security screen door was installed in the galley area that allowed the back door to be open for ventilation. The electrical outlets were upgraded so we no longer blow out the Christmas tree lights when the microwave oven is on. A downstairs office was built and completely furnished with new furniture, computer, and fax/copier. A ventilation fan was installed in the Ham Shack and bulletin boards were installed in the downstairs windows with a moving message sign that can be programmed to display upcoming events with room for posted flyers.

The Club established its own worldwide web site, The site was designed and developed by our own web magician, Ben Ach. By the end of the year we had over 2,000 hits world wide on our website.

1997 was also a year of winning trophies, including the Staff Commodores’ at the SCYA Old Timers Night. SIBYC won attendance awards for the highest percentage of staff commodores in attendance at the meeting and most commodores in attendance. This was the first time in SCYA’s history that one club has won both awards. We ended the year in third place for SCYA’s Yacht Club of the Year award. We are very proud of this honor since it was the first time SIBYC has ever entered the “race.” We were third out of eight contestants. We also hosted our first SCYA and SCCA dinner meetings in our newly remodeled Club and received kudos from everyone that attended.

The Sea Belles, under the direction of Judy Fellhoelter, moved their meetings to Saturday, allowing more of the working gals and those who lived farther from the Club a better opportunity to attend. Birthday Nights were moved to Saturday night, which not only produced some great theme parties but made more attractive events for more people to attend.

Opening Day ceremonies were held May 3. The Opening Day Parade produced a record number of 48 boats. Our thanks to Carter Trigg who produced a professional video tape of all the Opening Day activities and donated copies of the tape to all members that wanted them.

The Race Management Committee headed by Stacy Jackson worked very hard to provide high quality racing for our competitors. We started the Interclub Series of nine races with Shoreline Yacht Club, Little Ships Fleet, and Seal Beach Yacht Club participating. The club having the most winning boats takes the trophy. We hosted three races in the Interclub Series, and approximately 30 other races throughout the year. We hosted the PHRF Area Hi Point Series for the Year, the All Catalina Regatta, and committed to be the host for the Catalina 25 Nationals in July, 1998. The Rites of Spring race was dedicated as the Ken Bishop Memorial Race. Ken always felt sorry for the last boat to finish the race, so in addition to presenting a trophy for the best start, we also added another trophy for the boat that finishes last.

We did a good job of planning and staying within the budget for 1997. The Flag Officers put on a Progressive Dinner in June for over 100 members and we had enough money left in the budget to provide the annual Adult Christmas Party free to the first 150 members to send in their reservations. We also invested $75,000 into a Soloman Smith Barney money market/mutual fund account.

This year SIBYC’s Member of the Year Award went to Jerry and Sally Dalley in recognition of their dedicated and generous attitude in helping where needed, such as hosting a Fun Friday dinner, helping with the Burger Bashes, repeatedly offering the use of their boat Sea Owl II for Race Committee duty, resetting race buoy marks inside the breakwater and being general goodwill ambassadors for SIBYC throughout the SCYA and YRU yachting community.

Seal Beach Yacht Club brought back trophies from the area Christmas Boat Parades. The SIBYC Junior Mariners decorated Don Averill and Debbie DeVarso’s Catalina 38 Unplugged and won “Best in Excellence” trophy in the Naples Island Christmas Boat Parade. Ron and Kathy Coomber’s Carver 33 The Ritz. won 2nd place for “Whimsical Humor” for a power boat in the Los Angeles Harbor Christmas Boat Parade and “Best Spirit of Christmas” for a powerboat over 30 feet in the Shoreline Christmas Boat Parade. Jesse and Valerie McPherson’s Hatteras 48 Freeway won third place in the “Commercial Powerboat” category in the Los Angeles Harbor Christmas Parade. Jim and Robbie Nagashima’s Catalina 38 At Ease won “Best Spirit of Christmas” for a sailboat. Richard Craven’s Yorktown 41 Genesis won first place “Overall Appearance” in the Shoreline Christmas Boat Parade.

1998 Commodore Don Cobleigh and his first mate Sheila Comeau kept the momentum going with a theme of camaraderie and Club prosperity. The mantra for the year was “Come on down to the Club, join the fun and get involved.” Revisions and improvements to the Club facilities continued with interest focused on air conditioning, the elevator, electrical updates, downstairs refurbishing, setting up the Honor Bar, and getting the new office space fleshed out by building a resource index of suppliers and a good general filing system.

The Commodore’s Ball was held aboard the Queen Mary with about 180 folks in attendance. June Holford took charge of the detailed planning and decorations. It was the first (and only) time the stunning centerpiece on every table was a fishbowl with two live goldfish. They were very effective and well received by all except a few party goers who lamented a lack of fresh seafood on the evening menu and proceeded to consume their table decorations! Fortunately, most of the fishes found good homes to live out the rest of their lives.

Steve Murphy took charge of the Race Program and Chris Fellhoelter guided us through a successful year of Club Cruises. David Smith started an interesting and educational series of potluck evening meetings titles “Boat Talk,” which featured guest speakers and a variety of subjects such as; boat and engine maintenance, wood preserving and refinishing, fiberglass care, electrical trouble shooting, etc. Richard Craven started a Singles Mixer group in April as a way to draw single people into Club activity and meet each other. Sue Kratzer brought her professional buyer’s experience to our Ship’s Store.

During the first few months of the year, Commodore Cobleigh and Sheila attended 38 Opening Day ceremonies held by various yacht clubs throughout southern California. This seasonal belt buster is affectionately called the “deviled egg circuit”. SIBYC’s own Opening Day ceremony had over 300 people in attendance, standing room only!

On May 30th, a “first’ was experienced by the Club when a SlBYC racing team was chosen to participate in the San Diego Lipton Cup Race. Pitted against hard core professional teams our chances of placing were not good, but it was an interesting experience!

The Club had another “first” when it was given the honor of hosting the prestigious Catalina 25/250 Nationals the weekend of July 16 19. Sally Dalley was the PRO of this five race series event.

On November 14, power boater Commodore Cobleigh was at the helm of a sail boat in the Commodore’s Challenge Race to Dana Point. Bob Hubbard volunteered his Catalina 30 boat Dos Amigos, and himself as part of the crew, along with Harold Alexander, Jim Lincoln, and Tony Rietdyk. Getting off to a bad start, they found themselves in the infamous position of DAL, but due to the skills of seasoned racers aboard, the power boat helmsman was able to save face by finishing in a more respectable 4th place.

Since 1983 Commodore Cobleigh has been an active member of the Boat Owners Association, and other yachting organizations that keep in contact with the City of Long Beach committees and departments affecting City Marina fees and developments. Incidents involving personal safety and theft around the Alamitos and Downtown Marinas prompted interest in the Dock Watch Program. Seal Beach members participated by reporting safety problems on gangways, served as Dock Captains and greeters, and at the same time were good ambassadors for introducing new members to the Club.

By mid summer an ambitious Marina Development Project was seriously threatening boaters slips, parking, traffic, noise, and everything else currently peaceful and tolerable. A Save Our Bay Program was started and there was no problem finding eager participants who were willing to fight City Hall. A City with grand images of tax dollars and a developer with the money and plans for a large hotel/bed and breakfast complex were ready to forever change the whole southwest end of the land surrounding Alamitos Bay and Marina. Marina folks and yacht club members around the Bay banded together raising a great din and hue of protests. As the result the development plans were killed!

Commodore Cobleigh was instrumental in opening channels and continuing a dialogue with City officials on all subjects concerning the Marina boating community. Mark Sandoval, City of Long Beach Director of Marina Bureau, was the chief contact.

Most senior Club members will remember Cobleigh’s first boat as the Hard Way Four, a 38 foot sportfishing vessel that gained modest fame as the Club’s unofficial Bar boat for 13 consecutive years at Easter Raft ups. Recently, the sporting life has given way to the comforts of a 40 foot trawler named Nauti Lady.

Throughout the year, with grace, energy, and enthusiasm, Sheila was involved in nearly every Club activity and particularly the Charity events. Upon retiring to Staff Commodore status Cobleigh was invited to join the Blue Gavel.

1999 Commodore Harold Alexander – The theme for Commodore Harold Alexander’s year was “Wine and Dine in 99.” The wine and dine started on January 1 when the flag officers cooked brunch for those who could get up. They also served Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s for those who needed help with the dog that bit them the night before.

Next came the Commodore’s Ball at the Long Beach Marriott Hotel. The fun started in the hospitality suite then moved on to the ballroom for a great meal, the swearing in ceremonies, then dancing. The festivities wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without the hard work and organization of Millie Adams, June Holfeld, Chris and Terry Mewes, Pam Joy, and Ruthanne Ferreira.

Of course what would January be without “Super Bowl Sunday,” Jesse McPherson, Jan Schuck, and Ed Pirrell handled the food service, while Mike and Mary Ellen Murphy took care of the famous pools. The club was so full it was difficult to find a place to set down, upstairs, downstairs, and on the patio. Needless to say the party was continued well after the game was over.

The Seabelles donated a 120 place setting of china and silverware to the club. Hooray! No more eating off of paper plates on party nights. This was perfect timing as it wasn’t long before we were into our fun Friday dinners and our Sunday B.O.E. BBQs. Jim and Mary Lium continued with the caterer that Rayma Alexander found the year before. Members were served a choice of two entries, salad and desert for one low price. Friday night was well attended, the food was great, but the camaraderie around the club was what brought the people out. Sunday’s were well attended, people liked boating during the day then coming to the club where the BBQs were fired up and ready for cooking, the salad was prepared and the potatoes baked. No need to go home and mess up the kitchen.

Steve Murphy and his race committee again did an outstanding job with the races. Because of their skill and dedication to host a great race the amount of racers increased from the previous year.

Commodore Harold Alexander proposed a new perpetual trophy, “Best Corrected time of a SlBYC skipper in the Newport to Ensenada race”. The trophy was designed, handmade and donated to the club by Terry Hanna. The participation in the Ensenada race by SlBYC members rose dramatically, as a matter of fact SlBYC just missed getting the trophy given out by NOSA for the most boats finishing by a yacht club by only one boat.

Before long the club was into the cruising season. Because of the number of new members who have power boats the number of boats attending the cruises were up. This gave the new members a chance to meet some long time members and realize how much fun our members have, but also how helpful they can be. Whenever there is anyone who is a novice to rafting up or anchoring, there is always members ready to help them get safely rafted up or anchored. Commodore Harold Alexander was lucky to get Dick and Meredith Swartz to be chairman of the cruises. They in turn got at least 3 couples to host each cruise, this made the job easier so no one was overwhelmed. This worked out smoothly as the cruises had record numbers showing up. Everyone had a great time.

During the year most of the events were bringing in more attendance, it was soon discovered we needed some relief from the heat, so the Board Of Directors got busy shopping for the best price they could get for an air conditioning system. By the month of May the air conditioning system was operational and everyone was enjoying the cool air.

My commodore year was going along smoothly when disaster struck, my company transferred me to Akron, Ohio. At this time I became known as the Long Distance Commodore. Thanks to my Vice Commodore Jim Lium and my first mate Rayma the club was left in good hands. I was able to set things up where I was home for board and general membership meetings. This is not the way I would have liked my commodore year to go as I missed a lot of fun and a chance to interface with the members.

I still feel the club had a great year thanks to it’s great members.

Back to Top

2000 Commodore Jim Lium ushered in the new millennium with his first mate, Mary. Their theme was “Team 2000” and that was evidenced by the progress made all during the year. This was the first year of the newly created “Race Only Membership.” This program produced 67 members, many of whom converted to regular membership before the end of the year.

Membership under the guidance of Dennis Braidwood reversed the downward trend. Our numbers increased by 20% (to over 400 regular memberships).

The Racing Program continued to be very successful with over 40 races. The Seal Beach to Dana Point Race produced a new record of entries with over 100. In the Newport to Ensenada Race SIBYC won 3rd in entries and 2nd in trophies won. The Pop Tops Series was successfully extended an additional four weeks.

The social calendar was very full, providing members with an array of activities including seven major parties, many other functions, and educational programs. The Sea Belles Birthday Nights became so popular they were held almost every month. At the November Birthday Night we also celebrated Barbara Young’s 20th anniversary as a Seal Beach Yacht Club employee. “Saturday Night Live,” a no cover charge dance with professional DJs providing the music, was introduced to promote activity on Saturday nights. It proved to be very popular with the dancing crowd. All of this activity resulted in the Food and Beverage Operations setting a new record for net income.

The Cruise Program, chaired by Steve Hollen was very successful. The Cruises to Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, Catalina Avalon Golf, and the Island Event were the most popular. The Island Event was a page from the past. We took our own band over to the Island. The event set a modem day attendance record with over 180 participants.

The Power/Sail Fleet Challenge was master minded by Sail Fleet Captain Terry Hanna. He challenged the Power Fleet captained by Jesse McPherson, to a contest of “most members in attendance” on all of the planned Club cruises. The Sail Fleet won and earned a dinner served to them by the Power Fleet members. At the annual SCYA “Old Timers Night” SlBYC won the trophies for the best percentage of Staff Commodores present, and for the Club with the most attendees.

Even with all the fun and games through out the year, we were also active in community and charity efforts. The Charity Regatta was very successful, raising over $13,000 for the Children’s Clinic of Long Beach. The Sea Belles continued their regular charity work by making and donating knitted hats for hospital newborns, and baby blankets distributed by the Seal Beach Police Department to traumatized children. Two new events were added. Panthers at Sea offered under privileged students of Franklin High School an opportunity to spend a day sailing, and for the first time we were a co sponsor of the annual Leukemia Cup Charity Race. In July, we were once again very active in the Seal Beach Rough Water Swim.

The Juniors Program, under the guidance of Erin Rittenhouse, rebounded from a few youngsters to approximately 30 members. Our little armada of small sail boats grew to nine Sabots and a few other boats. The Long Beach Marine Department provided a new home for the Juniors’ boats and equipment on Gangway 22.

The downstairs remodeling plan was completed and all new furniture and fixtures were ordered and some installed before the year’s end. Kitchen improvements were made to lay the foundation for “Grill Your Own” evenings designed to replace the Fun Friday catered meals.

Life Memberships were awarded to two couples who have been historically very active with SIBYC: Jerry and Sally Dalley, and John and Billie Frazee.

Significant by law changes were made. OD duties were redefined with stronger participation by Board members now required. Life Membership guidelines were defined, and a Human Resource Committee was established. The Ways and Means Committee was very active as a research arm for the Board. We ended the year with Sally Dalley being awarded the Yachtswoman of the Year by ASPBYC. Our holiday spirited members won five trophies in the area Christmas Boat Parades. June Holford was nominated as Seal Beach Yacht Club’s Member of the Year.

2001 – Commodore Richard Craven lead the club into the millennium. Activities continued as busy as ever. A sellout crowd attended the Commodore’s Ball and was held on the Queen Mary and hosted by June Holford. It was followed by a well-attended Commodores Champagne Brunch the next day. The installation officer was S/C Jerry Dalley. Racing was set up for another year of both Ocean and Bay Programs continuing the active racing schedule by Race Chairman Steve Murphy. The club had 33 Ocean races. 25 Bat races were held chaired by Luke Sayer. The NOSA Newport-Ensenada race was held and our Club won the South Bay Yacht Racing Club trophy for the most boats entered.

The Sea Belles continued their active support with the chair combined of three Mary Lium, Maureen Purton, and Diane Kiefer. The US Sailing Basic Keelboat Programs class continued with Ken Wiese as Instructor.

A new computer was approved and set up by S/C Jim Lium. The Quick Book Pro Program was installed. The Board approved hiring a part time office helper to handle various Club duties and give service to members. Our treasurer from 2000, Jim Chester, continued to help the new treasurer and Assistant Treasurer was combined into one job. George Ballard became the treasurer. Laura Penwarden-Smith later became Treasurer and installed the Peachtree bookkeeping system. Jim Chester was awarded Member of the Year.

In February we began the Grill Your Own for Friday night dinner which became a quite popular food service system replacing the various catering companies used in the past. The program was set up by Rear Commodore Dennis and Edera Braidwood. In March we hired new people for Food and Beverage Service. Ruben Lagunas was hired for Food and Beverage service this year.

We continued the Jr. Program chaired by Erin Rittenhouse. Bill Hodge succeeded her in July. The club supported the Leukemia Race in June and various fund raising events chaired by Lynn Woolrage. We worked with Dana Point West YC and Bahia Corinthian YC for successful event on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We co-sponsored the Catalina Conservancy Ball which was chaired by Tom Rogers and Edera Braidwood.

Our Opening Day Ceremony was one of the best, complete with a bagpiper band and a full size seal mascot “Littlepup”(Mary Lium inside). The theme was “Sea Odyssey”. The hors d’ oeuvres were plentiful and were beautifully presented.

The Club kept its regular schedule after the tragedy of September 11th. We held appropriate prayers and remembrances during our various meetings and functions that month.

Various improvements were done on the patio with new tables, chairs, awning, and improved BBQ’s. The Board approved a program to allow member name plates on items donated by them. FDC recommended a study to expand the upper floor in November. Meetings were held with Bancap and fellow tenant Scuba Duba. Drawings were done by Loren Uridel. John Goddard, Membership Chairman reported membership is over 400(438).

At the SCYA Old Timers Night, we won the trophy for the Most Commodores Present and Most Living Commodores Present. Sally Dalley was given an award for 50 Years in Boating.

2002 – Crusin’ thru 02 was the theme for the year the Club was led by our first female Commodore, Ruthanne Ferreira. Director Lynn Woolrage did a dynamic job orchestrating the Black and White Commodore’s Ball at ‘The Reef’ Restaurant, with Staff Commodore Sam Cunningham managing the installation ceremonies. 2002 was a busy year for the Club! Junior’s Chairman Bill Hodge introduced a summer sailing program for our Juniors, we implemented both a Long Range Planning and Standard Operating Procedures Committees, and opened negotiations with City to lease the land and dock at 233 Marina Drive for a Junior Sailing and Racing Center. Directors Tom Dougherty, Facilities Development Committee Chairman and Larry Boyd, House Manager developed a plan to maintain and begin to replace our now seven year old facilities, and we made progress by upgrading our electrical systems, refinishing our once again stunning wood floor and replacing our worn barstools.

Treasurer Laura Penwarden Smith transitioned our accounting software to Peachtree and worked with Vice Commodore Dennis Braidwood to improve our cash management procedures, including the installation of two upgraded cash registers. August saw a smooth transition in the Treasurer’s role from Laura to Pam Joy, with Dan Daly doing an awesome job as “Treasurer’s Assistant”. Dan re-structured our membership database and Pam implemented policies and procedures to improve our membership reporting and communications around financial issues.

Staff Commodore Jerry Dalley was everywhere- serving as Election Officer in both 2001 and 2002, as Committee member on the Race, Audit and Ways and Means Committees, and using Sea Owl IV as the Committee Boat for the majority of our races. Early in the year he became certified by SCYA as a Principal Race Officer, and went on to serve in this capacity for many Club races and the Mid Winter Regatta. His dedication, willingness to act as advisor (not dictator) and true friendship made awarding him ‘Member of the Year’ and honor well earned.

The Bridge and Board of Directors worked together to manage the Club successfully through the year. Many of the Staff Commodores participated on Committees and we saw a rejuvenated interest from them in Club Operations. A team of Staff Commodores hosted a beautiful Opening Day, with Ron Hazelhurst and Mike Ferreira working closely with Rear Commodore George Wilson to blend humor and dignity effectively into a great ceremony.

After many years of taking the leadership role in the Charity Regatta for the Children’s Clinic of Long Beach, and two years participating with Dana West Yacht Club in the The Leukemia Cup, the Club embarked on hosting the Catalina Island Conservancy Ball in the Casino in Avalon to raise funds and support for the Catalina Island Conservancy. Edera Braidwood and Director Tom Rogers were co-hosts, strongly supported by Pam Joy on computers, with help from Secretary Beth Yates and Joe, Laura Penwarden Smith, Director Scott and Sonya Hoatson, and Staff Commodore Don Brown and Margie. The Ball was a rousing success – we were proud of our performance as the first Club without a facility on Catalina to step up and host the fund-raiser.

As we ended the year, member Randy Crawford donated a beautiful perpetual trophy for our top three Junior racers, and we awarded the ‘Scuba Duba Cup’ for the first time. Through the year we worked hard together, played just as hard on Cruises and at Club Parties and had a marvelous time…Crusin’ thru ’02.

2003 – Commodore Dennis Braidwood’s mission for the club in 2003 was dedicated to keeping the club on course financially, encouraging membership involvement in club activities and making sure that the good times lasted all year long!

The year began with the Commodore’s Ball held on the Queen Mary. June Holford organized an elegant event straight out of 1940. We wined, dined, and danced the night away.

Although January and February are considered the dead of winter, which here is not too bad, our racing, cruising, and Juniors programs were already in full swing, planning the year to come and sponsoring events on the water.

Our racing program, under the direction of Steve Murphy, continued to by the ‘place to be’. We sponsored races starting in January and continuing throughout the year. The club had 25 boats enter and finish the Ensenada race. The summer Pop Tops series continued to be a great way to spend a Thursday and we had weekend races through out the year.

As well as being on the water in Seal Beach area we were represented in races around the world. Harold Alexander with his all SLBYC crew on the vessel Misty came in 2nd in the Puerto Vallarta Race. David Fell on Gold Digger came in 3rd. We all kept close track of the Transpac race because we had two club boats in contention; Andy and Jan Seibert on Enchanted Lady and John Davis on Pipe Dream. They left our harbor, but not our minds or prayers. A calling tree and the internet allowed us to keep daily tabs on their progress. We were delighted when Enchanted Lady finished 2nd in her class.

SLBYC races were on the water but so were lots of our cruisers. Under the watchful eyes of Hank Jason and Dave Sieber there was a cruise every month and sometimes two. We traveled from San Diego to the Channel Islands.

Our food program continued to flourish and Friday night continued to be a place that people came for a grill-your-own after a day at work. It was a place of fun, food and unwinding, and problems were left at the door with the OD. Although water is our thing, the club was usually in use for a party of some kind or another on Saturday nights.

The Juniors program continued to grow and we now had a weekend sailing schedule for our children, and for the first time a summer camp during the week. Three days a week children received instruction to make them proficient on the water and something for us to be proud of. One of the highlights of the year was when they presented themselves to the Board of Directors at the July meeting. Three very “in control” Flag Officers were taken aback by the emotion of seeing what a club can do.

The new accounting procedures instituted in 2002 were put to the test in 2003. The changes worked to substantially reduce our monthly receivables and stabilize the Club’s cash flow. Although not the most exciting part of the Club life, the attention paid to these issues will help us to remain a viable organization far into the future. By the end of the year, the mission of implementing these new financial procedures had proven successful due to the tireless efforts of Club Treasurer Pam Joy, ably assisted by Dan Daly. It was with great joy and appreciation that the club recognized them as member and helper of the year.

We continued to work on increasing our membership and welcomed many new members. Joe and Beth Yates put together several open houses and were joined by lots of volunteers who wanted to show off their club. Sixty three people chose to become part of the SLBYC family. We enjoyed seeing our new members getting involved and a good time was being had by anyone who wanted to have a good time.

2004 – Commodore George Frischkorn Wilson assumed the leadership role in Seal Beach Yacht Club one minute after midnight, January 1st, 2004 and was formally sworn in on January 17th, the Queen’s Salon in the HMS Queen Mary during our traditional Commodore’s Ball. Our theme for the year was announced at this time, by the Commodore, as “Romancing the Seas”. Both June Holford and Lynn Woolrage outdid themselves in presenting an elegant night.

In consonance with our announced theme for the year, we selected the Opening Day theme as “Buccaneer Days”. The Commodore chartered the 73’ wooden hull 1939 vintage schooner “Dirigo II” as his boat parade review boat and also honored the Staff Commodores with a cocktail party on the “Dirigo II” the night before.

Opening Day went perfectly with a large turnout for the boat parade preceded by the Long Beach Fire Dept Fireboat. The ceremony and dinner arrangements were executed perfectly with Jr. Staff Commodore, Dennis Braidwood and Edera managing the many minute details.

The Racing Program, as always is one of the pillars on which a Yacht Club builds its reputation. Our 2004 Race Chairman, Terry Hanna, planned and executed a highly successful year-around calendar of races. Along with the traditional races, Terry added the “Ship Rock Race” to and from Catalina. It should prove to be another tradition with Seal Beach Yacht Club. Our Pop Tops Thursday night Summer Series with sixteen (16) races has built up in such popularity that we have had up to 40 boats competing.

Our Junior’s Chairman, Bill Hodge, has, with the help of many parents and also our lead Instructor Mike White, built our Junior’s Program over a period of four to five years, so that our year-around Program races up to eighteen (18) Sabots and our participant Juniors are placing higher each year in Junior’s competition with other Yacht Clubs. The Summer Junior’s Program is equally impressive.

Again, within the definition of our theme for the year, the theme for the Club’s traditional “Island Event” was “Pirates of the Pacific.” It was remarkable how many club members dressed (costume) for the event. A large turn out meant a lot of fun, due again to the efforts of Dennis and Edera Braidwood and their many helpers.

Our intrepid Cruise Chairman, Hank Walker, planned a schedule with thirteen (13) cruises for the year. With great attention to detail and communication with the receiving yacht clubs in Newport and San Diego, et. al., and with the creative minds of the individual cruise hosts, everyone had a fabulous time.

Making sure that our yacht club area racing associations continue to represent our club in a myriad of issues confronting Power and Sail boaters, your representatives, to the Yacht Racing Union (YRU) and Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) as well as our harbor association, The Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs (ASPBYC), attended the various association meetings and managed to make the YRU Catalina Cruise in July and the SCYA Commodore’s Cruise to Catalina Island Yacht Club’s facility in Avalon in September.

Our Food Service Program, begun in 2001 primarily by Dennis Braidwood and our Food Service “Chef” Ruben Lagunas, thrived through this year and only in November when Ruben took his annual sabbatical to his home in Mexico, were we confronted with regret, as Ruben, at 43 years of age, succumbed to a heart attach and passed away. All members of Seal Beach Yacht Club during these years have fond and affectionate memories of this vital member of our staff.

Our Membership Chairmen Joe and Beth Yates recruited over 70 new members and we maintained a membership level of 350 members during their stewardship. It is always a good feeling meeting these new members and building new friendships that will last forever.

For the second year, Commodore Wilson planned, executed and this year hosted the Military “Dining In” celebrating the birth dates in November, of the US Navy and US Marine Corps. Captain Rusty Mirick, USN, flew in from the Pentagon to address the formally and well turned out members. Colonel C.A. Smith, USAF (Ret.) also addressed the assembled, and following “tradition”, after the many formal toasts, various members of the Mess, were assessed, by the Commodore, the appropriate penalties for violating either posted Mess Regulations or general good order. The result, as always, in a “Dining In” scenario, was hilarious. The wine, port and cognac did not seem to dim the wits of the attendees to any particular degree.

The Yacht Club “season” seems to be less intensive as the year progresses; however the steady efforts of our Seal Belles’ Chairpersons Nancy Hanna and Mary Dominick, to keep our monthly Birthday Night Parties on track is commendable.

These were augmented with other Club parties and together we have a whole year long “season”.

We finished the year with a “Bravo Zulu” for our financial planning, chaired by our indomitable Treasurer, Pam Joy. Our final budget numbers came in on or near targets established before the year started.

Finally, the job of the Commodore becomes complete when he or she announces his selection for the Member of the Year. For 2004, Bill Hodge was chosen for his effective and dedicated efforts in forming and leading a superb Junior’s Program.

2005 – Commodore Jim Czarnecki

2006 – Commodore Donald Neff had a vision to set a course for the yacht club to follow that would establish growth while also maintaining and expanding the fun factor in the club’s ongoing events.

During 2006, the plans for rebuilding the Alamitos Bay Marina were being finalized by the Marina Department. The Commodore believed that Seal Beach Yacht Club should have their own slips. The Commodore and Tim van Grove approached the Marina Department for initial talks. The initial talks were extremely successful and resulted in the potential to obtain control of approximately 110 slips. The Commodore and Judge Advocate Victor Danhi drafted by-laws for the proposed slips and, with the full cooperation of the BoD, the by-laws were passed. With the slip usage by-laws in hand, the Commodore, Tim van Grove and Dean Garland retuned to the Marina Department to finalize the negotiations. With the full support of the Marina Department, Seal Beach Yacht Club has secured 110 slips in Basin 2 right across from the Long Beach Yacht Club! The plan for slip assignments was initiated in August.

During the slip negations, the idea for a site to build permanent clubhouse surfaced. Concurrent with the slip arrangements, we had the good fortune to discuss several possible building site locations near our current premises. In the end, a premier land site for a SLBYC clubhouse was selected adjacent to the slip area. Dean Garland had plans of a potential clubhouse drawn up and asked for input from members.

The next step was to educate the BoD and the membership about our lease situation. We have a great lease for commercial waterfront property, but it becomes more expensive every year. The Commodore presented the BoD a graph of rising facility costs versus time. Over time, it becomes apparent that it is less expensive to maintain a fixed rate mortgage than fund a continuously rising rent. That is, our current and future rent payments would support a permanent clubhouse. Of course, a fund raising drive and gifts would have to be undertaken. Growth always takes a little effort, but that’s how the club got to where it is today.

Some members see the virtue of slips and a permanent facility as necessary for the continuation and growth of Seal Beach Yacht Club. Some members oppose these growth ideas. Each view has merit, but to me, if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind. Regardless, the ideas have sparked healthy conversation and debate over the club’s future direction. If the Club decides to move forward, we have secured a prime location.

The Commodore was in the fortunate position to inherit a juniors program that was guided by very involved instructors. The Commodore challenged and funded these motivated instructors to stretch. There were several goals; 1) Introduce Olympic class boats to our fleet – done. :Laser class was added. 2) Make our kids competitive – done. Podium finishes in Newport Harbor against higher quality boats. 3) Have fun – done. As evidenced by the growth in the juniors’ membership. Robin Stout arranged an agreement with West Marine to donate a percentage of a weekend’s sales to the Junior Program.

Well, enough high level conversation, lets get to the fun.

One of the Commodore’s main objectives was to have the lights on in the club. This means that, if you were driving by, or on a whim stopped by the club, something would be happening and, some of your friends would be there. To this end the club was open, aside from other events, every Thursday through Sunday night. Full bar service with professional bar tenders was provided and a true “Cheers” atmosphere developed.

Dinners were served every Friday night and the salad bar was upgraded. Do to overwhelming positive response from the members, our locally famous roast beef was served twice a month. Saturday nights were Sea Belles and Club party nights and on Sundays the Grill Your Own tradition continued, although some members started calling it, “Burn Your Own”. Also on Sundays, a brunch was served from 10am – 2pm.

Seal Beach Yacht Club’s cruising tradition continued in 2006 under the extremely able direction of Edera Braidwood. During prime cruising season we had two cruises a month. In fact, several members of other Yacht clubs joined SlBYC because of our cruises.

Racing is one of the premier foundations of our Yacht Club. Under the watchful direction of Jack Day, our tradition of professionally-run racing events continued. Adding to the bar-side racing while awaiting the official results was the addition of videos of the evening’s race displayed on the big screen by our overhead projector. What a great social event on Thursday nights and more and more non racers started to attend to enjoy the fun, food and camaraderie. Besides podium finishes in the Newport to Ensenada Race, Seal Beach Yacht Club won the trophy for the most boats entered.

Once again our Charity Events for the Children’s Clinic set yet another record for donations.

Unfortunately, in July my employer decided to move our corporate headquarters to Nashville, TN. This meant flying in for some Board meetings and teleconferencing others. All in all, I had planned on finishing out my Commodore year achieving more for the Club rather than relocating to another state. Thanks to the hard work of the Vice Commodore. Hank Walker, and the Board of Directors along with the membership, the Club never missed a beat.

From the beginning Commodore’s Ball arranged by Jane Danhi through the end of my term, it was a year of change and growth for the yacht club. I thank all our members for continuing to make Seal Beach Yacht Club the best yacht club in Southern California.

2007 – Commodore Hank Walker

2008 – Commodore Steve Hollen began the year with a theme for everyone to “Get her out of the slip”, which was followed through with some of the largest number of cruises and race events in club history. Some Thursday nights after a Pop Tops race there were over 150 racers crowding for space at the bar. Food service was brought back to profitable levels not seen in years under the stewardship of Vice Commodore Sheila Comeau. Cruises went to every corner of Southern California including Mexico and the Channel Islands. Short cruises to Marina Pacifica drew hundreds and others to distant locals gave members every choice they could imagine under the capable hands of Rear Commodore Jeff Dawson and his wife Cynamon.

One big item on Steve’s agenda for the past several years was to redo and complete the compass rose in the club house lobby. Late into the night before Opening Day’s festivities, it was completed and added a final touch to the clubhouse. In the Office, we installed a complete DSL based computer wireless network which added not only to the Treasurer’s capabilities but also quick race results postings upstairs at the bar and online as well. In addition, it allowed members’ the ability to enjoy Wi-Fi access within the clubhouse.

2009 – Commodore Sheila Comeau

Back to Top

2010 – Commodore Jeff Dawson The club began 2010 with the awareness that we had to meet the challenges of a tough economic climate head-on. Three major objectives were set at the beginning of the year; stabilize our finances, increase our membership, and enhance member benefits and activities.

Achieving financial stability first involved finding areas where cost-cutting could occur. A careful review of all club programs resulted in spending reductions where the members’ enjoyment of the club would not be affected. Importantly, a proposal was made to our landlords to give the club a reduction in rent until the economy improved and membership levels increased. After months of negotiations and hard work by our Judge Advocate Victor Danhi, a 2 year, 40% rent reduction was agreed to by our landlords and the City of Long Beach. This agreement alone achieved a $72,000 savings for our club.

Adding new sources of club revenue was a 2010 priority. One untapped area that we identified was rental of our facility on days when there were no club activities. Our Calendar Chairperson Beth Yates worked very hard in booking outside events such as weddings, receptions and business meetings. As a result, the club was rented many nights by non-members and members alike, adding an additional revenue stream.

The next objective was to increase membership. A good membership team was assembled, chaired first by Darlene Martin then, because of work commitments, taken over by Robbi Nagashima. Both ladies had a lot of new and great ideas and had set a year full of membership events to attract new members. The club enjoyed wine tastings, beer tastings, booths at outside events and various other activities that attracted many new candidates to our club.

We also worked in 2010 to enhance the club’s benefits to our members. A major addition was our boat slip program. Control of slips in the marina is important in attracting and retaining boat-owning members. It’s an advantage long held by our yacht club neighbors. To ensure that SlBYC was given similar abilities, the Long Range Planning Committee consisting of Commodore Jeff Dawson, Rear Commodore Jim Hanna, Staff Commodore Dwight Reed, Judge Advocate Victor Danhi and Director Roger Gripe submitted a proposal to the marina requesting control of current members’ / future slips in Alamitos Bay. The proposal was accepted by the marina with immediate control of 130 slips and future control of up to 250. The program was immediately implemented and over the course of 2010 placed over 20 members in slips with 30 more on the waiting list. To date this program is responsible for bringing in over 25 new members.

In another move to improve the club, Jane Danhi volunteered as our Club of the Year Coordinator and the club was entered into the running for the SCYA Club of the Year Award. In order to win, clubs compete against other clubs for points awarded for various activities. These activities include racing, cruising, juniors programs, charitable donations and community involvement. The biggest benefit in competing for this award is the required involvement; all of these activities were good for the improvement of the club and its members. It gave the members more activities to choose from and increased our involvement in the local community and charitable organizations. As the year closed we did not win Club of the Year however we were very close, only three points away! We did however win the Commodores award and the benefits to the club by participating in this great event.

The last major objective was to just make the club fun again. Many, many activities were planned for the year with an emphasis on new ideas, getting new members in, getting new members involved and getting old members back at the club. The following are just some of the happenings inside and outside the club for 2010.

The Commodores Ball was held at The Reef in Long Beach and was hosted by Jane and Victor Danhi and Staff Commodore Dwight Reed was the installing officer. It was an elegant event and was the start off of the clubs 50th year of boating. One hundred and sixty people including over twenty Past and Staff Commodores came out for the event. To commemorate the clubs 50 years, Jane and Victor created a 45 minute slideshow of Seal Beach Yacht Clubs history containing pictures of members and events throughout the clubs history. The slide show was shown at the event and was given to all attendees on a DVD. It was a huge hit and it really showed the fun times that this club has had over the years.

We held over 20 house and Sea Belles parties throughout 2010 and all were very well attended. Our Sea Belle’s Chairperson Dee Fether did an excellent job and planned the year out in style. Many members stepped up to host events ranging from Super bowl to birthday to Halloween parties. We enjoyed great food, great music and good times. Attendance was up and it was really nice to see all of the new faces getting involved.

We bolstered our Friday night dinners throughout the year under the leadership of our Vice Commodore Bob Schweitzer. With an improved menu and a lower cost, increasing numbers of members joined us for the delicious Friday Night dinners with their friends.

Our Cruising program started up in March with our traditional short cruise to Marina Pacifica. We coordinated this event with an open house to try to attract new members. We had an outstanding turnout, over 15 new members joined due to this event and everyone had a blast. The balance of the year we had numerous cruises scheduled from a trip to Santa Barbara Island, numerous trips to Catalina to all the way down to San Diego. Our main cruise, The Island Event was hosted by our members Cindy Brooks and Karl Reithmaier. Along with their own homemade beer they threw one heck of a party and made a lot of people happy.

Opening day was held on Saturday, May 1st and was another memorable event. Our Maintenance Chairperson Jerry King did an outstanding job readying the club for its special day and it was ready to be seen by all. The ceremony was held in the morning with over 250 officials from other clubs and visitors. After the ceremony we had our traditional and very well known reception and appetizer contest hosted by Jan Sibert. The members out did themselves again and the reception was a hit.

Following the reception we held our annual Commodores review of the fleet organized by Sail Fleet Captain Andy Sibert and Power Fleet Captain Hank Walker. The theme of the parade was Caribbean Carnival and 37 boats were decorated to their finest. After the parade all of the participants joined up with other members and had a dock party. Later that night a Caribbean dinner was served at the club and members danced to a great Reggae band. The club was officially opened in style.

We had a wonderful year with our race program under the leadership of our Race Chairperson Terry Hanna, our assistant Race Chairperson Bob Hubbard, PRO Joe Yates, the race committee and our volunteer committee boats. Seal Beach Yacht club has always had a reputation of having an outstanding racing program but some how this group made it even better. 2010 was an outstanding year for race participation, in every one of our race series we experienced more boat entries and much more of the racers at the club afterward celebrating and watching race videos taken by our Burgee Editor Kelly Walsh.

In addition to racing at the club many of our members did pretty well bringing in first place trophies up and down the coast. Tom Brott on Electra, a J109 and our Port Captain John Neff on Meand’er, a Catalina 36 both brought in a first place finishes in the Sperry Topsider NOOD Regatta in San Diego. For the Newport to Ensenada race, Sail Fleet Captain Andy Sibert on Enchanted Lady won first place in the Cruise Gennaker as well as Cruise all Boats classes bringing back both the Blue Gavel and the Secretary of Foreign Relations – Mexico perpetual trophies. Another winner was a new member Daniel Kriz on Tugtub that had a first place finish for the Cruise Non-Spinnaker class. Tom Brott doing it again in San Francisco for the Rolex Big Boat Series winning both the IRC D and Keefe-Kilburn perpetual trophies as well as a first place finish for the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race.

Our juniors program was still going strong under the management of our Juniors Program Chairpersons Kim and Brad Bergeron. We had over 30 kids in our program sailing every weekend in the spring and daily in the summer. Our kids enjoyed great instruction from our coaching staff, sailing and racing as well as parties on 4th of July and Christmas.

At the end of the year it was now the holiday season and time to celebrate. Along with the annual Christmas parties at the club our Whaler Captain Ken Kozuch and his wife Ceilia organized the clubs entry in to the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. A great float was constructed and members of our club along with the flag officers enjoyed riding on the float and celebrating the holiday season with all of the people that came out to see the parade, it was a memorable night.

Closing out the year meant one more award to give out, the Seal Beach Member of the Year Trophy for 2010. This trophy was awarded to Jane and Victor Danhi for all of their hard work, dedication and support they have given to our fine club over the years.

All in all I think 2010 turned out pretty well, we did not quite get the membership I was hoping for but we have turned the finances around. By the end of 2010 we made a profit of over $20K and were able to add an additional $30K into our FDC fund. Other than the finances I also think our members enjoyed our club this year, we had a lot of fun events and I saw a lot of smiling faces.

As your Commodore for 2010 I would like to thank all of you that supported my wife Cynamon, my daughter Madison, my son Jack and myself throughout my years on the flag. We made a lot of new friends at this club and it is very close to our hearts. It was a truly amazing experience being your Commodore and I appreciate the opportunity and the trust you all gave me. Hopefully, I have served the club well. I will never forget all of your help and support… Thank You.

2011 – Commodore Bob Schweitzer The year started out with a wonderful Commodore’s Ball at the Maya Hotel beautifully hosted by Ceilia Kozuch & Kelly Walsh. The next morning our famous “Baconmania” brunch attended by over 30 people. In April our club was vandalized and all the electronics were stolen. They even took the prime rib from the refrigerator. Through the valiant efforts of our Vice Commodore, Jim Hanna, everything was replaced and we were ready to go for our Opening Day!

May and June had more great events including the Cat Harbor cruise hosted by Cindy Brooks and Karl Reithmaier. Out theme for the Island Event was Beach Blanket Bingo. It was very well attended with over 150 members.

All in all it was a great year and I am very proud to have served as your Commodore for 2011.

Back to Top

2012 – Commodore Jim Hanna Before I summarize Seal Beach Yacht Club’s 2012 activities, I would like to honor the Staff Commodores that passed over the bar this year. These men served our club well and are an important part of our club’s history and traditions. They leave us their legacy and many, many fond memories.

John Frazee – Staff Commodore 1981

Ron Hazelhurst – Staff Commodore 1965
George F. Wilson – Staff Commodore 2004
Don Cobleigh – Staff Commodore 1998
Dick Brunner – Staff Commodore 1984

We also lost members, Cookie Keller and Torye Sifton. May we always be mindful of how important our family and friendships are and express our love and gratitude to them often for we do not know when they will no longer be with us. I am honored to have been able to serve as your Commodore this year and am grateful for the members of Seal Beach yacht Club who serve the club so willingly and do such amazing work. I have made some amazing friends and some unforgettable memories. Thank you! Sincerely, Jim Hanna

Our year in review:

Our theme this year was “Les Voyages Extraordinaire.” Throughout the year, each club party took us on a voyage throughout the world. We started our journey at the Commodore’s Installation Ball and once again Jane and Victor Danhi amazed us as our hosts. We “traveled” to Italy, Ireland, Greece, Mexico, Germany, Margaritaville, Las Vegas, Transylvania, the North Pole, and we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Paris. All of our party hosts did an excellent job as our “Tour Guides” at each virtual location. For attending each event, members received a stamp in their SlBYC Passport and Norma King was crowned “#1 World Traveler” at the end of the year for collecting the most stamps.

Our Sea Belles, under Lily Green’s leadership, continued their monthly luncheons and parties. They enhanced the “Voyages” theme by providing passport stamps as well. Some Sea Belles’s highlights for the year were a wonderful evening at the Los Alamitos Race Track in June and a Sun-bathing Beauty Beach Party in August.

Our club cruises took us to new and familiar locations. Mark and Lynn Nelson hosted our club’s maiden voyage to Big Geiger Cove and everyone had a great time. We had an anchoring seminar prior to the cruise to make sure our cruisers knew what to do.  Dennis and Becky Keene hosted our annual island event, the Kiwi Kruise”, complete with a live band for all to enjoy.  We also had several other cruises to Newport Bay, San Diego, Channel Islands, Avalon, Cat Harbor, Marina del Rey, and Cabrillo Beach.  We appreciate our cruise hosts and for all the work they did to make each cruise such an enjoyable event.

Our race program continued to excel. Under Bob Hubbard’s direction as race committee chairman, the club sponsored close to 40 races, including the PHRF Championships, with great participation from all over Southern California. SlBYC was also represented well at the SCYA Midwinters, NOSA’s Newport to Ensenada Race, the Charity Regatta, and several other regattas up and down the coast.

Our club -participated in the California Coastal Clean-up Day in September. Our clean-up site captain, Carina Hanna, worked with the California Coastal Commission and the El Dorado Nature Center to establish an official clean-up site at Seal Beach Yacht Club. Over 90 volunteers from 3 yacht clubs came out on the hottest day of the year and collected over 900 pounds of trash from Alamitos Bay!

And finally, our Opening Day this year definitely made a lasting impression within our yachting community. Our Flag Officers, along with several club members decided to bend traditions and try on something new.  Navy blazers and white shorts on Opening Day was take to the extreme next level with loud argyle golf shorts on our club colors; blue, yellow, and white! We received mixed reviews, but for the most part, the shorts where a success and they elevated our club to practically celebrity status.  Everyone knew who we were, everyone wanted our picture, and everyone wanted to know where we got those shorts. We definitely set ourselves apart that day as the friendliest, most fun-loving club around.

Bon Voyage 2012! May every year be an extraordinary voyage at Seal Beach Yacht Club filled with fun, adventure, and most of all – FRIENDS!

Back to Top

2013 – Commodore Lynn Buscher 2013 started out with the theme of Reimagine, Reduce, and Recycle.  In an age where we have a responsibility for sustaining our planet we wanted to do everything we could to encourage creating a smaller footprint.  The year started with a dress exchange for the Commodore’s Ball, it was a great success and several ladies went home with a new dress to wear at the ball.  Jane and Victor Danhi once again out did themselves and presented a fabulous ball at the Hilton in Long Beach with place cards you could plant in your garden and beautiful succulents on the tables to take home.

We moved our monthly meetings to Friday nights and it was such an overwhelming success we actually ran out of dinners on the first month, which we quickly corrected. So many members were excited to see what was on tap for the new year, we shortened the format to an hour or less so members could have a nice dinner, get informed and still enjoy a wonderful evening with friends and unwind from the week.

The bar got a nice facelift in December of 2012 we replaced all of the metal hardware and raised the sinks to make it more comfortable for our bartenders. We introduced a wine committee to keep our wines current so there are always some interesting selections. We also created a Food Captain position to enhance our Friday Night dinners with Judy Singer taking the lead mid-year. Several members participated in providing the club with some wonderful meals.

Jan May headed our Sea Belles and they did an excellent job of having breakfast meetings as well as their luncheons to accommodate several of the members. They also did some interesting things like create a fabulous quilt of tall ships and host a Fashion Show with the International Order of the Blue Gavel to raise money for charity. For their annual tradition of giving back to the club the Sea Belles donated to the club to have the downstairs chairs reupholstered. The club along with donations from our members re-finished the wood on all of the club chairs upstairs to make our club room sparkle.

Opening Day was held the first weekend in May and we had a great turn out of visiting yacht clubs and members to welcome in the official boating season. The clubhouse sparkled and we had another wonderful presentation and clever re-imagined appetizers for our guests to enjoy. I received several emails and personal notes from various yacht clubs congratulating us on a job well done.

Our cruises were well attended and we mixed it up a bit this year. We went to Emerald Bay in June as guests of Corsair Yacht Club and participated in their annual “Ashbridge Race” weekend and of course our own Terry Hanna on “Nancy J” took home a trophy! Our July Island Event at the Isthmus featured the first annual cardboard boat race, with plenty of unique designs and lots of laughter for the spectators. We combined our September cruise to Newport Beach to coincide with our Coastal Clean-up day. We had a nice turn out to clean up Alamitos Bay, but also represented well in the Back Bay in Newport.

Jim and Lily Green ran our Junior Sailing program this year and we had a record number of participants in our first session. The hosted a 4th of July lunch and a very fun Christmas Breakfast with the balloon guy and of course Santa made his annual visit.

The Race Program expertly run by Bob Hubbard and Terry Hanna continued to be a well-attended component in our 2013 year, with Saturday Sailors and the Mid-Winter Regatta starting off the year. We continued into our Summer Pop Top series, again hosted the PHRF Championships in August and participated in the Annual Charity Regatta and we ended the year with our Sunday Sailor series.

We had a great year of club parties for our various holidays and birthday/anniversary celebrations and thanks for all the wonderful members that hosted these wonderful events. Our 2013 Member of the Year was Beth Yates, she has done so much for the club with the Race Program, keeping our Calendar up to date, serving as Bar Captain and skillfully renting out our club on our off nights to help our members as well as non-members host fun events for birthday, anniversaries and weddings at our wonderful facility. Congratulations Beth, you’re the best!

2013 was a great year of fun, friendship and trying to keep in mind to do more things to reduce our carbon footprint… but wait Seal Beach yacht Club had one other achievement for the year. In early January we received a letter from the Commodore at the Southern California Yachting Association , we jumped for joy reading that we had been awarded the prestigious “2013 Club of the Year” award! Thank you to all the volunteers and participants at all of these wonderful events. Thank you to our board of directors, chairmen and members for your support for the past 3 years and allowing me to be your 2013 Commodore, it was truly an honor.

2014 – Commodore Matthew Radigan

2015 – Commodore Roger Gripe

2016 – Commodore Walt Simmons

2019 – Commodore John Caldwell

John Caldwell’s theme and goal for the year was, “Honoring Tradition, Encouraging the Future, and Having Fun”. 

There are no bigger traditions for yacht clubs than the Change of Watch, Commodore’s Ball, and Opening Day.  After fifteen years our Change of Watch and Commodore’s Ball returned to the Queen Mary with over 130 in attendance at the Black-Tie optional affair. 

Opening Day saw a parking lot full of people and a club house full of food.  Signaling the official opening of the club with a cannon of club-colored confetti, members and guests enjoyed the selection and quality of homemade hors d’oeuvres SlBYC is known for on Opening Day.  After the traditional boat parade members and guest returned to the clubhouse for more food, dancing, and to have their caricature drawn.

We hosted over two-dozen races, with Pop Tops racers keeping the club full for 20 Thursday nights from Spring to Fall.  Additionally, we hosted Saturday Sailors and Sunday Sailors series, a Pt. Fermin night race, a N2E Tune-Up, and the Midwinter Regatta.

Members cruised the local waters to over a half-dozen club cruises from Marina del Rey to the North, Catalina to the West, and San Diego to the South, with an intrepid group venturing once again to bareboat the BVIs. 

On the business side of things, we unexpectedly had to replace one of the air conditioning units early in the year, as well as our door entry system.  Our lease was also renewed for another 10 years ensuring our current location to 2029.

Vice Commodore Laura Ellsworth tackled our food program further reducing costs and waste while at the same time increasing options, quality and service.  The results speak for themselves seen in the increase in Friday Night Dinner attendees and the accompanying increases in bar revenue with some of the lowest costs by percentage that we’ve seen in years.

We began the year with a goal to increase membership by 20%.  We later learned that the actual membership count was 14 less, leaving us in a precarious position at the beginning of the year.  We ended the year with an approximate 22% over our original goal based on incorrect data.

The increase in membership would not have happened without the contributions of members like Troy and Diana Bakken, who gave selflessly in their outreach and member-drive activities; or Shelly Davidson and Jan Sibert who regularly worked a membership table outside the club; or Jim Green and Richard Maure answering questions and sharing their passion for the club while giving tours; or without Rowanda Tucker skillfully weaving it all together.

Encouraging the future includes passing down our traditions and what makes them traditions – and sometimes creating new traditions – as we’re not just encouraging our youth, but future boaters; future members; and future leaders of our club.  This – boating and our Yacht Club – is supposed to be about having fun, and we hope this was as fun a year for our members as it was for us. 

bottom of page