Ferryboat Sausalito History


Arriving at the North West Pacific pier in Sausalito August 1, 1926

In the Oakland Estuary during Alameda Mole Period 1931-1933 
(SP service) San Francisco Ferry Building to Alameda Pier.


Providing Ferry Service for Passengers and Automobiles



Since 1939, she has served as the Clubhouse for Sportsmen Yacht Club
(Check out "Sportsmen Yacht Club History")



Introducing Matt Tate. Matt is the SYC Historian effective January 2020


Matt's March 2020 Article

Historian Matt Tate


Continuing on from last month’s History of Sportsmen Yacht Club, here is Part 3 from a Sportsmen “Bulletin” dated March 1975:

“Last month’s article showed how an idea in the minds of a few creative sportsmen, coupled with hard work and enthusiasm, stimulated a functional Sportsmen organization; an organization complete with its own leased recreational area.

At this point in their history, Sportsmen Inc. had advanced to a material stage far beyond the average accommodations of similar groups. These men could well have laid aside their tools of arduous labor and basked in the sunshine of their triumphal accomplishments. However, these hearty pioneers of the early 1930s were ever restless to improve their lot. Casting their eyes around for further potentialities, they hit on a novel scheme: to purchase a moveable clubhouse. This was accomplished with the purchase of the ferry boat “Sausalito.” The Sausalito was a stout mass of timbers and wood built in 1894 by the Fulton Iron Works at North Beach, (now the Marina) in San Francisco. The vessel was designed by J. Dickie for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. She was a wooden hull boat with a copper sheathed bottom measuring 256 feet one inch overall length and 68 feet beam over guards. Ordinarily, 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 and she continued in passenger service between the same points until her retirement in 1931.”

History Part 4 next month.


Matt's February 2020 Article

Continuing on from last month’s History of Sportsmen Yacht Club, here is Part 2 from a Sportsmen “Bulletin” dated February 1975:

 “In the minutes of the December 19, 1931, meeting of Sportsmen you can see that the membership was already launching a campaign for better sportsmen legislation. A letter was sent to Governor Jim Ralph urging adequate appointments to the Fish and Game Commission and passage of Bill 672 (prohibiting the selling of striped bass as a commercial venture). This letter, plus letters to similar organizations and the solicitations of commercial markets, gave Sportsmen the distinct honor of spear heading an attack that gained such force that the net result was inevitable. The Club can well be proud of the effort of this action, for it was the biggest single bit of legislation in this state to protect the abundance of striped bass for our enthusiastic anglers.

As the progressive organization gained momentum, its founders still held to their original aim of providing its members with a recreational area. It was a plot of ground facing the San Joaquin River and stretching out through the sand dunes to Wilbur Road. After a thorough investigation of the site by the membership, it was unanimously agreed to lease this site from Ben Morris. On July 1, 1932, a lease was negotiated and one of the Club’s earliest dreams became a reality. This was the fundamental step that started a chain reaction that to this day is paramount in the acquiring and improving of accommodations for members of Sportsmen.

The leasing of the site proved an immediate success as was evidenced by the many picnics and gatherings perpetrated at the grounds. This memorable improvement was not without financial complications. The Club rose to meet this condition with the spirit and understanding that has marked its steady progress throughout the years. The initiation fee of $5.00 was raised to $10.00; however, the annual dues of $6.00 was maintained. The ensuing year was one of great rejoicing, the amiable comradeship of the fast growing membership was expressed in bountiful Cioppino dinners, frolicsome picnics and enjoyable Bar-B-Ques.”

(Part 3 next month.)


A photo from Sportsmen Yacht Club’s past.
This one is entitled:  “A good day’s catch!”
You can check out more of our History on our web site!


Matt's January 2020 Article

The following 12 part history was first published 45 years ago, in 1975, in what was then called the Sportsmen Bulletin.  It was then repeated again five years ago in our Newsletter, but I am sure that you will all enjoy its contents and historical perspectives once again as much as I have.   As your new Historian, I have been perusing many such items that have been collected in our museum over the years and would like to share some of these with you from time to time, for while some of our members have been around the Club for many years, many of us, myself included, are not fully aware of all that has transpired in the growing and building of this wonderful Club. 

Part I:  Early Days of Sportsmen Inc. 

One sultry September evening in 1930, W. C. McCullock assembled a group of Sportsmen together in the basement of his sporting goods store in Oakland for the express purpose of organizing a functional club of sportsmen.  Those present at this momentous meeting were – H.W. Wilson, J.J. Scannel, Mr. Moots and Dick Pratt.

The men were drawn together by a common bond; they were all members of a rival sportsmen club. The club they thought was defunct in its obligation to demands of sportsmen. This little group of men with a wide perspective of the future was determined to create an organization that would cater to the needs and desires of sportsmen.

The first order of business was the selection of a name. Mr. McCulloch offered a rod and reel as a prize to the individual submitting the best name. Mr. Moots theorized that the primal aim of the organization was to promote activities to coordinate the interest of sportsmen in all fields of endeavor. Therefore the name  “Sportsmen” offered the broadest implication of diversified interest.

The second aim of the organization was to offer its membership the greatest possible protection financially. Mr. Moots pointed out this could best be accomplished by incorporating the organization, thereby limiting the individual member’s obligation to a confined sphere of responsibility. Both of these aims being of fine merit, giving rise to the combination of the two,  producing the name “Sportsmen Inc.” This name and the theories behind it were quickly adopted. The name “Sportsmen Inc.” is unique among similar organizations in that it does not limit the club geographically nor does it restrict it in its aim and purpose.

Charles W. Fisher petitioned Sacramento for incorporation of “Sportsmen Inc.” On September 5, 1931, the petition was granted and “Sportsmen Inc.” became a full fledged legalized corporation in the State of California.

HISTORY PART 2 next month!




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 Matt Tate. historian@sportsmenyc.org