From the Commodore


Ahoy,

Founded in 1872, Santa Barbara Yacht Club is the second oldest yacht club on the west coast of North America. We are a family-oriented club, rich with history and tradition. We're devoted to promoting and managing yachting activities, advancing the art of seamanship, preserving maritime tradition, and providing for the social and recreational needs of our members, while being mindful of our important role in the community. We are a non-profit private club and membership is by invitation only.

Our professionally-managed clubhouse is on the beach at the Santa Barbara Harbor and boasts a large dining room, bar, and meeting rooms, all looking south across the Santa Barbara Channel to the beautiful Channel Islands.

Our chef offers delicious meals Wednesday through Sunday, including daily lunch selections, a Sunday brunch and family-style buffet dinner, and a more formal Friday dinner. We accommodate member-sponsored weddings, meetings, and private parties in the clubhouse and on our beach.

SBYC enjoys formal reciprocity with many other world-class yacht clubs and extends traditional yacht club reciprocity to credentialed visiting yachtsmen from clubs worldwide. Our guest end-tie accommodates visiting yachts to 80 feet. Reservations are welcome and encouraged.

Santa Barbara’s mild "California Riviera" climate allows us to race year-round and we employ a full time professional race director. PHRF and One Design fleets compete in weekend regattas, which are run from a committee boat on the water, along with a few longer destination races to the Channel Islands, Ventura, or Oxnard. We co-host the popular Santa Barbara to King Harbor race, typically with 100 or more boats on the line. The Santa Barbara to King Harbor race starts at SBYC and the Coastal Cup race, starting in San Francisco, finishes at SBYC.

Of the many historic yachting trophies on display in our Clubhouse, a favorite is the Star Lipton Cup which was deeded to the club by Sir Thomas Lipton in 1925. Always sailed in Stars, this race is held annually in July. Over the past 85 years, Star Lipton Trophy winners include many of the world's top sailors.

Our CHRF Club Handicap Race Fleet sails on Sundays using courses set on our private race marks and run from our clubhouse race deck. Most races use staggered starts, with handicaps based on moving average performance, so the first boat to cross the finish line is the winner, making it possible for every boat eventually to win a race - and most do.

The SBYC "Wet Wednesday" beer can races run weekly during Daylight Saving Time and typically draw 40 to 60 boats, with starts for PHRF classes and several One Design fleets, as well as the CHRF-inspired H Fleet. A hearty barbeque and upbeat party for skippers, crew, and spectators follows at the clubhouse each week.  

SBYC racing yachtsmen represent the club in major regattas worldwide and several of our members are circumnavigators. The sun never sets on the SBYC burgee.

Our Cruising Fleet has activities year-round, including weekend cruises to the Channel Islands, Oxnard, and Ventura. Two weeks in early August are devoted to our annual Catalina Island cruise, some 90 miles southeast, which includes a week of fun and games in Avalon followed by a week of relaxation at Two Harbors, Cherry Cove, and Emerald Bay.

Founded by SBYC members over 40 years ago, the Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation is a major asset to the Santa Barbara community. Hundreds of young sailors have learned to sail and compete in Sabots, Optis, CFJs, and Lasers. The Junior Sailing Team prepares more experienced young sailors for out of town regattas. SBYSF also operates middle and high school sailing teams for our local schools. In July host the Junior Olympics in Santa Barbara.

Our very active Santa Barbara Yacht Club Women add an important dimension to the club and to our community. Their goals are to provide additional opportunities for yacht club women to become better acquainted with each other and involved in yacht club activities, to promote sailing and boating, and to support the Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation through scholarships for young sailors. Membership is open to female SBYC members and wives of members.

The annual Charity Regatta, held in early September, includes events for both sail and power boats, a brunch and barbeque, and live music and activities throughout the day. All funds, including sponsorships and contributions, go to a local non-profit.

Many other activities are scheduled throughout the year, including holiday and theme parties, special programs for kids, fishing expeditions, dominoes, golf, and ping pong tournaments, and a lively weekly Monday Forum featuring guest speakers on a wide range of topics.

Fair winds and following seas,

John D. Koontz
2018 Commodore
64º F H: 64º F L: 49º F
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