History of Seattle Yacht Club

Seattle Yacht Club is incorporated for the purpose of encouraging yachting and boating of all kinds, and the development of the recreational marine advantages of the Pacific Northwest.

Founded in 1892, Seattle Yacht Club has prevailed over the rough seas of wars and endured the battering winds of economic storms since its shabby beginning at a rickety boathouse dock. Along the way, the Club has adapted to our changing culture over the decades and centuries. Today, housed in its elegant Mainstation on Portage Bay, the Club is one of the premier yachting organizations in the world. Its Clubhouse and moorings, 10 Outstations, services, and social activities are second to none, and its financial position is strong. SYC is one of Washington State's oldest and most enduring institutions and in 2010, the National Register of Historical Places listed the SYC Mainstation as a historic resource.

Membership has grown from the original 250 "yachting gentlemen" in 1892 to nearly 5,000 boaters.  The Seattle Yacht Club burgee is recognized around the world because of the Club's continuing contributions to the maritime community, its record of competitive success, and its collaboration in local and international yachting organizations. SYC has been founding members of the Northwest International Yachting Association, the Pacific International Yachting Association, the International Powerboat Association, the International Council of Yacht Clubs and maintains reciprocity with more than 225 other boating groups around the world.


Accomplished boaters, both sailors and powerboaters, have won hundreds of championships and awards, including Olympic medals. The Club hosts a world-class junior sailing program, which has given a start to numerous generations of Northwest sailors. Members come from every socioeconomic background and the SYC Foundation provides funding for youth sailing classes and community boating projects.

The Portage Bay Mainstation buzzes with activity most days of the year. From its beginning, it's where members have celebrated their boating life and community. Today, the Club calendar records weddings, life celebrations, sail and powerboat events, family picnics, holiday parties, and committee meetings. It hosts Women's Group activities, Men's Lunches, Junior Group activities, gourmet quality dinners, sailing classes and more. Boating and the love of being on the water are the center of every activity, including community service. Opening Day, the Club's annual spring celebration, is the region's premier on-the-water event. The internationally known Unlimited Hydroplane Seafair Race week was originated by SYC in conjunction with the City of Seattle.

Members cruise to 10 spectacular Outstations dispersed on the waters of Western Washington and British Columbia. The Club enjoys these amenities thanks to members' significant efforts and contributions over the years.

The Club's strong leadership depends on the efforts of hundreds of dedicated volunteer members involved in 90 committees. In fact, industrious committee members evolve into upper leadership levels, encompassing the bridge officers and the Board of Trustees. These committed and enthusiastic volunteer members also work with the Club's experienced staff to sustain the Club's holdings and to create enjoyable activities.

Being a good neighbor is essential, as is working for a better environment. We continue to spread the gospel of good, even masterful, seamanship through competition, cruising, and rendezvous with other boating groups, and through our respected sailing school. We continue the warm tradition of treating our staff members like family, with the reward that they stay with us for decades.

And, as always, by being good stewards of our splendid Seattle Yacht Club, we prioritize joyful and fulfilling experiences for its members who share the love of all things boating, and the pride of belonging to TBGDYCITWWW - "The Best Gol' Darn Yacht Club in the Whole Wide World!"

     Seattle Yacht Club is proud to be a member of the International Council of Yacht Clubs.