Our Story

History of BYC

In 1922, when Newport Harbor was more shoals and sandbars than open water, the Southland Sailing Club, soon renamed the Balboa Yacht Club, was formed by a small group of sailors wanting an active organization with an emphasis on family sailing. From its beginnings in a small wooden structure on open, sandy Balboa Peninsula, BYC has evolved to become one of southern California's most prestigious yachting organizations. In 1926, the Club moved to a new clubhouse on the southeast corner of Little Balboa Island, a stone's throw from its present location on Bayside Drive. Over the fireplace hung a burnished wood plaque bearing the Club's motto, "A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck." Originally donated by the first Commodore, Isaac B. Potter, the plaque hangs today over the present Club's dining room fireplace.

The Newport Harbor of the past began to change as dredging began in 1935, and the following year the harbor we know today was officially opened for navigation. Balboa Yacht Club, with it's prime location near the harbor entrance, now had a convenient, protected anchorage for its growing fleet.

BYC signed a lease with the Catalina Island Company in 1957 giving them an outstation site at Whites Cove, west of Avalon. Thanks to members' untold hours of hard work, from cement work to landscaping, from plumbing and wiring to carpentry and painting, this facility is now a treasured getaway site for members to enjoy.

The Clubhouse and facilities on Bayside Drive have evolved over almost a century of use to meet the changing yachting needs of the membership and to provide a comfortable environment for a wide variety of social activities. A detailed history of Balboa Yacht Club includes a litany of its members' successes in some of yachting's most highly acclaimed competitions. Its cruisers have ranged worldwide in their boats. In fact, Baja California and the coast of mainland Mexico are as familiar to many of the members as the coves of Catalina.

Today, the Balboa Yacht Club is still among the leaders in yachting and still true to its tradition of family.

  • Past Commodores
    • 1922 Isaac Potter*
      1923 Frank Hutton*
      1924/25 H. M. Worcester*
      1926 W. M. Davenport*
      1927 H. M. Worcester*
      1928 Robert Bostwick*
      1929 Louis Coffey*
      1930 B. F. Mansfield*
      1931 Evart Adams*
      1932 E. G. Sherman*
      1933 Walter Cuorsen*
      1934/35 T. Higbee Embry*
      1936 Paul Johnson*
      1937 J. Eugene Ziegler*
      1938 H. F. Batchelor*
      1939 Lewis Bish*
      1940 Howard Baker*
      1941 Edmund Riesen*
      1942 Theodore Jonson*
      1943 Fred Hunie*
      1944 Mark Healy*
      1945/46 Donald Kemp*
      1947 Robert Boyd*
      1948 Richard Fenton*
      1949 Castleman Smith*
      1950 Fred Smales*
      1951 Harry Blodgett*  
      1952 Converse Wurdemann*
      1953 L. B. Wheeler*
      1954 James Whyte*
      1955 Marshall Kennedy*
      1956 Frank Wood, Jr.*
      1957 Chip Cleary*
      1958 Paul Holmes*
      1959 William Campbell*
      1960 Vilan Couch*
      1961 Carroll Hudson*
      1962 John Biby, Jr.*
      1963 William Blurock*
      1964 John Payne*
      1965 Charles Glasgow, Jr.*
      1966 David Young*
      1967 Frank Lynch*
      1968 Ralph Deaver*
      1969 David Smiley*
      1970 Donald Franklin*
      1971 Edwin Steen, Jr.*
      1972 Jack Baillie*
      1973 George Hoedinghaus*
      1974 David Lang*
      1975 Kenneth Ross*
      1976 Preston Zillgitt
      1977 Morrie Kirk
      1978 William Carlson*
      1979 Bob Williamson*
      1980 Phillip Glasgow*
      1981 John Robinson*
      1982 Terence Welsh  
      1983 William Taylor*
      1984 Richard Jones
      1985 Richard Krenz*
      1986 Alan Andrews, M.D.*
      1987 Richard Jenness
      1988 Douglas Wall*
      1989 John Cazier*
      1990 James Kelly*
      1991 George Leitch*
      1992 John Barker*
      1993 Richard Lawrence*
      1994 Donald Anderson*
      1995 Dudley Johnson
      1996 Edward Di Orio
      1997 Richard Blatterman
      1998 Charles Buchanan*
      1999 Stanley Cochran
      2000 Mike Wathen
      2001 Tom Purcell
      2002 Josh Walker*
      2003 Jeffrey Allen
      2004 Howard Neff
      2005 Norm Shepherd
      2006 William Seals
      2007 Craig Reynolds
      2008 Art Mitchell
      2009 Alan Andrews
      2010 Richard Pacelli
      2011 Peter Bretschger
      2012 Judi Gorski
      2013 Ray Lewis  
      2014 Glenn Highland
      2015 Gary Davidson
      2016 Doug West
      2017  Tom Mooers
      2018 Bill Bloomberg  
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1801 Bayside Drive Corona del Mar, CA 92625 949.673.3515
33° 36' 15" N 117°52' 59" W
- / 50º F
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