Sportsmen Yacht Club History



 


1934, Sausalito under tow heading for the Delta
Her steam engine & stack have been removed.
(Bay Bridge in the background)

 

 

 

The Sausalito at her first delta location

 

 

 

The Sportsmen Yacht Club harbor as it appeared in 1939


 


 

The Sportsmen's Sausalito in 2003

(Southern view)

 

 


 

The Sausalito in 2010

(Riverside view)

 


 

Past Commodores

1931 Jack Scannell
1932 Walt McCullough
1933 Dick Pratt
1934 Bill Bryant
1935 Ernie LaFranz
1936 Harold Craigie
1937 Clyde Scoville
1938 Joe Thoza
1939 Roy Hartford
1940 Leon Barker
1941 Charles H. Peterson
1942 Jack Pierce
1943 Charles Carry
1944 Jack Evans
1945 George Graham
1946 Leo Pine
1947 Ray Hipkins
1948 W. O. "Bill" Stephens
1949 Fred Hitchcock
1950 Frank Shattuck
1950 Bill Mansell
1951 C. "White" Foulkes
1952-53 Bill Steadman 
1953 Les Porter
1954 Claude Salmon
1955 Cyril "Cy" Bond
1956-58 Leo Woodke1959
1959 Clyde Scoville
1959-60 Clyde Worrell

1961 Ralph Greco
1962 Leo Woodke
1963-64 Troyce Severe
1965 Gil Olvera 
1966 Bud Strom 
1967-68 Frank Fernandes
1969 George Sciacqua
1970 Terry Sannebeck
1971 Robert Holmes
1972 Bert Landes
1973 Willard Phillips
1974 Earl Matheron
1975 Jack Fish
1976 Joe Carrion
1977 John Werner
1978 Jerry Redfern
1979 Preston Rice
1980 Bill Hampshire
1981 Ray Murphy
1982 John A. Kelley
1983 Bob Saunders
1984 Paul Scannell
1985 Jim Dawson
1986 Herb Pekonen
1987 Ed Collins
1988 Tim Doolin
1989 Tom White
1990 Rex Cook
1991 Tandy Chamberlain

1992 Mike Hammer
1993 Ken Williams
1994 Keith Hammer
1995 Lorri Doolin * 
1996 Ted Brown
1997 Jerry Fitzgerald
1998 Bob Doell
1998 Chris Yarbrough
1999 Freda Lucido
2000 Diane Essary
2001 Carol Hager
2002 Lou Zobb
2003 Lonnie Gibson
2004 Dave Selvy
2005 Darlene Dawson
2006 Chuck Carroll
2007 Sherry Lively
2008 Casey Curry
2009 Steve Martinez
2009-10 Bob Karr
2011 Garry Ridolfi
2012 Ricky Scannell
2013 Louie Rocha
2014 Don Wilson
2015 Rick Barton
2016 Doug Horton



* First SYC Lady Commodore


 


Historian Kathie Hammer

The Sportsmen Yacht Club got its humble beginning on a sultry September evening in 1930 when a group of men gathered together in the basement of a sporting goods store in Oakland for the express purpose of organizing a functional club for Sportsmen.  In 1932, they leased a plot of land facing the San Joaquin River; they did not stop there. Casting their eyes around for further possibilities, they hit on a novel idea— to purchase a moveable clubhouse. This was accomplished by the purchase of the Ferryboat “Sausalito” in 1934.  In 1939, she was moved to her present location on Wilbur Avenue in Antioch.

The Sausalito was built in 1894 at the Fulton Iron Works at North Beach (now the Marina) in San Francisco. The vessel was designed by J. W. Dickie for the North Pacific Coast Railroad Company. She was a wooden hull boat with a copper sheathed bottom measuring 256 feet 1 inch overall length, and 68 feet 3 inches beam. She carried passengers in the day and freight cars at night between San Francisco and Sausalito. She had a seating capacity of 1300 and was fitted with narrow gauge tracks. In 1903, the tracks were removed and the seating capacity was increased to 1500. She continued in passenger service between the same points until her retirement in 1931.

The gallant old girl was the first successful oil-burning ferry on the bay, and in her lifetime she has had quite a past.  It was around 6 o'clock on the evening of November 30, 1901, that the Sausalito collided on the fog shrouded bay with the older, smaller San Rafael and sank her. The San Rafael was built in the east in 1877; she was noted for her speed, but on that fateful night she wasn't fast enough to get out of the Sausalito's way.  The cook in her dining room was killed and two passengers drowned. The horse on board to haul express also went down with the ship. This accident was incorporated in the opening sequence of Jack London's The Sea Wolf.  In his book, he refers to the lost ferry as the Martinez.

The next time the Sausalito ran into serious difficulties was in the spring of 1920, but this time tragedy was averted. Around 1000 passengers, mostly women, were on board when she pulled out of the slip at Sausalito at one o'clock in the afternoon for San Francisco. As she drew abreast of Alcatraz, the steel braces on her walking beam suddenly snapped with a horrendous blow and crashed down into the vessel's upper housing. Immediately, the piston rod dropped off, fell into the engine and threshed about with an appalling sound before tearing through the deck. The terrified passengers panicked after a pipe gave way and the cabin filled with steam. 

Pandemonium increased when someone released the slats holding the life preservers and they rained down on the panicked people. The Ukiah, the ferry Cazadero, and 25 tugs from San Francisco stood by. Eventually, the passengers were removed from the damaged craft to the Ukiah via two laid planks. A rough sea was an additional hazard. While the rescue was in progress, a barge bearing heavy boxcars was caught in a wave and smashed into the Sausalito's side. Everyone was saved and no one was seriously injured. Repaired, she continued to make the Marin run until 1930 when she was retired. 

In 1933, she was sold to Learner and Rosenthal of Oakland. It was from this firm that Sportsmen, Inc. purchased the Sausalito minus her mammoth engine and boiler. The Sausalito was towed to her new home on a day that was stormy and windy. The tug boats, Fighting Bob and Rover, assisted each other in this task. The Fighting Bob abandoned the tow when calmer water was reached past Point Richmond. The tug Rover completed the tow by getting the Sausalito to her new site in the near record time of six hours. 

In 1939, the Sportsmen, Inc. bought land. A dredging contract was signed for a land locked harbor 100 x 300 feet. Because of the holes that were chopped into the bottom of the ferry (so she wouldn't rock and roll with the tides) the members were worried about moving her. The moving of the Sausalito was a very simple matter after all. The members salvaged an old pump and motor to pump the boat dry. It worked like a charm. Three hours and 15 minutes after starting the pump the boat was dry, and 45 minutes after the tug boats hooked on the Sausalito was almost home. 

The Sausalito is a marvelous clubhouse with its 60 cabins for members, large dance floor, and a bar from the 1939 World's Fair at Treasure Island which had been used in the ladies lounge. The club has numerous covered berths. Members enjoy many monthly and yearly activities and the Club is a PICYA member. No argument at all, the Sportsmen Yacht Club has the most interesting clubhouse on the Delta.

Kathie Hammer 

Sportsmen Yacht Club Historian


 

Be sure to visit Curator Kathie's Museum when on-board the Sausalito

 


 

May 2004

Elise Huard provides this chronology of Sportsmen Developments & Activities: 


SPORTSMEN YACHT CLUB FIRSTS

Meeting to Form a Sport Club
President (Commodore)
Fish Derby
Barbecue
Dance
Lunch Served in Completed Lunchroom
Beach Party
Halloween Dance (Costume)
Telephone Installed
Hot Showers
Gas Heaters
Launch Ramp
Membership Meeting in Antioch
4S Rendezvous at Sportsmen
Group Rendezvous
Commodore Dinner
Carnival
Annual Fish Derby
Reno Night
Annual Picnic
All Female Race Crew
Tree Trim Brunch
Crab Dinner
Tijuana Night
Family Membership

Sep 1930
       1931
Oct 1935
Oct 1935
Oct 1935
Oct 1936
Oct 1936
Oct 1936
Mar1949
Jun  1956
Jul   1958
Jul   1958
Feb 1963
Jun  1966
Aug 1967
Sep 1967
Jul   1967
Oct 1968
Sep 1972
Sep 1973
Oct 1975
Dec 1978
Feb 1978
Sep 1985
May1987
 

 


If you should happen to have old newspaper articles, photos, other artifacts, or personal knowledge relevant to the history of The Ferryboat Sausalito, please contact Historian Kathie (please see "Contact SYC Staff" on Home Page).

Thank you.
 

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