How would you describe your club? First, you
must realize that we are an all-volunteer club.
We don’t have any sort of pretentiousness in this
club. While we do own and use our boats, have
formal meetings and conduct ourselves according
to our bylaws and rules, you will find that everyone at this club is friendly, cheerful and fairly well
behaved on most occasions.
Dress code? We are very casual most of the time
but we also have formal dinners, theme nights
and other fun events.
Best feature of the club? We’re close in enough
that visiting cruise-ins from other yacht clubs can
walk downtown from their boat. As for the club
itself, we have a great dining and meeting area
with a large dance floor that we like to put to use.
We’d also like to point out that we are proud to
provide room for and assist in the sponsoring of
the San Rafael High School sailing program, and
we have yearly events and assist the San Rafael
Lifehouse Agency with a Christmas party and
boat rides and provide the clubhouse so they
can prepare for their performance at the Great
Always a yacht club? Yes, the building was in fact
built by its members. The area has not always
been a yacht club. In fact, our old deck area consists of the pilings that used to support the oil
companies and their lightering barges that used
to commercially use the canal.
Describe your typical member. First of all, she’s
Irish — actually we have no typical member.
Many of the members are tradespeople, but we
also have professionals and business owners
from all walks of life.
Do you have a paid bartender? We don’t have
a paid anybody. We’re an all-volunteer club, so
don’t complain if your drink is late.
Are you open to the public on any nights?
Because of California’s ABC laws, we cannot be
open to the public without paying for a special
license. We are always open to members of reciprocal yacht clubs and we encourage the public to
call and come as our guests some night so that
they can decide if they would like to join.
Live music? Yes please. We try to have bands and
live music whenever possible.
Food service? Not on a daily basis. We usually
have food on Friday evenings and for planned
dinners and events. Our club fortunately contains
members who have some culinary bent, so we do
have some great meals.
Membership dues? Very reasonable. Only $350
Signature cocktail? Not particularly, but the
current favorite appears to be what used to be
called a Skyy-scraper. Skyy vodka, soda and
Reciprocity? We extend invitation to all members of PIC YA-affiliated clubs. We also extend
privileges to yacht club members from all over the
world on request.
Membership events? Usually at least monthly,
and a monthly cruise-out to other clubs throughout much of the year.
Are there yachts? Yes.
PICYA: PACIFIC INTER-CLUB YACHT ASSOCIATION
Despite contradicting accounts regarding its origins — some claim it was started by William
McNear of the McNear brick company and former San Rafael council member Fred Jensen;
others say a group of working-class men were the founders — what’s indisputable is that
the 4,000-square-foot clubhouse was built from the ground up by its members, many of
them contractors. Located at the west end of the San Rafael Canal, it has a protected harbor
offering visiting boats more than 300 feet of dock space and plenty of room to have a good
time inside, too. The club’s main goal is to promote proper and safe boating practices and
to provide a comfortable atmosphere of member camaraderie — which the cocktail lounge
overlooking the harbor next to the expansive deck helps facilitate. Still run by volunteers
and featuring events like the New Year’s Eve “hangover” cruise-in, the unstuffy San Rafael
Yacht Club has been going strong since 1938. ANS WERS PROVIDED BY J.E.B. PICKETT, COMMODORE
EST. 1938, ABOU T
100 MEMBERS, SAN
RAFAEL, 37° 58’08.4”N