The California Yacht Club
Pleasure sailing became widespread on the Estuary and Lake Merritt
during the 1880s. The Estuary's first sailing club, the Oakland Canoe
Club, founded in 1885, raced and cruised in small two-masted craft known
as sailing canoes. The Oakland Navy--a loosely organized offshoot of the
Oakland Canoe Club, with no clubhouse of its own--held monthly regattas
on the Estuary during the 1890s. The California Yacht Club, an outgrowth
of the Oakland Navy, was founded in 1894. By 1895 the club boasted 60
members and a fleet of 36 yachts, mostly small sloops.
The California Yacht Club built a two-story clubhouse with wrap-around
veranda in Alameda west of the Webster Street Bridge. The Club moved
twice, to sites in Richmond and Oakland, before it drifted out of
existence soon after World War I. Remarkably, the old clubhouse was
loaded on a barge and shipped to each new location.
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
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