Home | Go Sailing! | Get On Our List! | Support Us

| Print |

Houston Yacht Club burgee

Stories from the Houston Yacht Club

The Houston Yacht Club

3620 Miramar Drive
Shoreacres, TX 77571
281.471.1255

Website: www.houstonyachtclub.com


Perched on the Western shore of Galveston Bay, the Houston Yacht Club (HYC) is the oldest yacht club in Texas. With a reputation for excellence in race management, HYC hosts two or three regional, national or international regattas a year.


History

Dan E. Kennedy's boat, Ethlwayne

In 1897, after a summer filled with boating excursions, sailing parties and two hotly contested regattas, a group of yachtsmen organized what is today the oldest yacht club in Texas, the Houston Yacht Club (HYC). Dan E. Kennedy, a former Texas Ranger, was elected the first commodore at a meeting held in the Binz Building, Houston’s first skyscraper, on February 2, 1898.

In 1905, the members reorganized as the Houston Yacht & Power Boat Club. Members continued to hold meetings in downtown Houston and moor their boats at the club wharf on Buffalo Bayou near Allen’s Landing. The purpose of the organization included promoting and encouraging both the science and sport of boating, and maintaining a cleaner and healthier bayou. Lumber magnate John H. Kirby donated his steam

boat, the Lawrence to the Club to promote interest in Houston’s fledgling ship channel and Galveston Bay’s commercial and recreational potential. After two years the Club reorganized as the Houston Launch Club.

Home of the Houston Yacht Club, postcard ca. 1911The Launch Club, with its impressive fleet of motor cruisers, continued to meet downtown until 1910, when they built a club house on Buffalo Bayou in Harrisburg (now part of Houston’s East End) opposite Brady Island and today's Port of Houston turning basin. In addition to encouraging and organizing sailing, power boating, and canoeing events, promoting the development of the ship channel and Houston as a deep water port continued to be a primary focus of the Club.

After World War I, the sailing members, ready to compete in regattas with other clubs in the South, began a movement to relocate the Club to Galveston Bay where practicing their sailing skills would be more convenient. In 1923, these members established a sailing facility in Seabrook known as the “Houston Yacht Club, Launch Club Bayshore Home.”

In 
1926, the two groups began selling their respective properties and pooling resources to build the Shoreacres clubhouse. Retaining the Houston Yacht Club name and the burgee of the Houston Launch Club, they moved into their “magnificent and commodious” Spanish building in July of 1927. This three story stucco building, affectionately referred to as the “Pink Palace,” has provided a warm home on the Bay for member families for almost 75 years.

Launch Club house

During World War II, the clubhouse was occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard, which converted it into a training facility. As in World War I, members and their boats went to war. Their power boats were used to help patrol the Houston Ship Channel, a vital oil port.

From its landmark home on upper Galveston Bay, HYC continues a long established tradition of organizing regattas, hosting national and world championships, and promoting Houston as a nationally recognized yacht racing and recreational boating center. Click here for additional history, including a list of HYC's commodores through the years. 

Fish Class sailing

 

The Lipton Regattas

Named after Sir Thomas Lipton, the British tea magnate who launched five unsuccessful bids for the America's Cup, the Lipton Regattas are a unique story about the beginnings of affordable one-design yacht racing in the Gulf Coast. HYC played host to the Lipton Regattas in 1929 and 1941.

Click here for the story of the Lipton Regattas and the Gulf Yachting Association. 

More History from the Houston Yacht Club


BACK TO YACHT CLUB STORIES PAGE

 
Home
Contact or Visit
About Us
Hall of Fame
STEM Education
Collections/Libraries
On-Site Programs
Sailors & Stories
Contributors
Search
Adams Cup
Mid-Year Update

If you have a note-
worthy story from
your Club's history,
let us know about it:

Click here to email.

Thank you.


Join us: Click here to donate now using our secure online server.
Click here to nominate your candidate for induction to the National Sailing Hall of Fame
Shop using Amazon Smile and a portion of your purchases will be donated to NSHOF


© 2017 National Sailing Hall of Fame, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

facebook-btn            twitter-btn             Instagram-sailinghall            US SAILING LOGO