On March 16, 1886, 32 gentlemen, mostly members of the San Francisco Yacht Club, disappointed that their racing and cruising interests in the “Mosquito Fleet” were being ignored, met at Arion Hall in San Francisco to discuss forming a new yacht club for small boat sailors (boats not to exceed 45 feet).
They had been preceded in 1878 by a number of wealthy yachtsmen who left to found the Pacific Yacht Club (disbanded some 15 years later) following strong disagreement over where to locate SFYC’s new clubhouse (both clubs in fact moved to Sausalito).
More than 30 years later (1927) 49 members of SFYC walked out of the annual meeting to form St. Francis Yacht Club. Once again, the dispute was where to locate a new clubhouse. SFYC moved to Belvedere to be near its “offspring,” the Corinthian; the “49ers” moved to San Francisco. Neither the Corinthian Yacht Club of San Francisco nor the San Francisco Yacht Club is actually located in San Francisco.
Two weeks following the initial meeting, another was held on April 1, 1886, at Irving Hall in San Francisco, and the Corinthian Yacht Club was permanently organized (although for reasons unknown, it was 10 years before it was officially incorporated on Jan 31, 1896). A constitution was adopted and officers elected. Twenty-five persons signed the roll as charter members and total number of members was to be limited to 40. This restriction was lifted almost immediately. The Initiation Fee was $5 and Annual Dues $10. The constitution prohibited the “sale of liquors, cigars or refreshments,” in accordance with the restrictive covenants affixed to the land lease. Fortunately, the covenants said nothing about the consumption of such items.
Wasting no time, the club’s first cruise was organized the following month to Martinez, with the fleet assembling off Tiburon, “where the club proposes to establish an unpretentious clubhouse and anchorage….” (San Francisco Evening News)