The St. Francis Yacht Club was founded in 1927 on a site already rich in local lore. Earlier, while this was still marshland, it was also home to the Stone Boat Yard and the building of a schooner named Yankee. The earthquake of 1906 knocked the Yankee off its cradle, but the boat was picked up and finished.
Today, after repeated terms as a St. Francis flagship, the Yankee can still be seen here, its bow aimed at the Marina Green. The yacht harbor was begun as part of the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, to mark the opening of the Panama Canal. The Exposition embodied all the exuberance and hope of the day, but only the nearby Palace of Fine Arts remains (presenting occasional maintenance challenges to the City since, like the rest of the fair, it wasn't built to last).
The original St. Francis Clubhouse was finished just barely ahead of the Depression and the lean years that came with it. St. Francis yachts stood patrol duty during World War II, and later they carried the burgee around the world. Today, hardly anything remains of the original Willis Polk structure. Fire and earthquake saw to that. But through the years, the Club served the sport and it anchored the international game of yachting on San Francisco Bay. In 1958, the Club initiated an annual cruise that led to the purchase of a Delta Station on the San Joaquin River, Tinsley Island, where the members go now to work the summer fogbite out of their toes. The Club inaugurated its Perpetual Trophy Regatta in 1963, and this annual September gathering has become our signature event--the Rolex Big Boat Series-- drawing great sailors from all the great ports of the Blue Planet.
People and boats make the sport of yacht racing, and for 81 years, through members, guests, pros, and generation after generation of kids insisting, "I'm not cold; let me try it again," we've known the best of both.
To explore StFYC history further, click the buttons below.