How did we get where we are today? Back in the late thirties, Dr. Jack E. Taylor and Dr. Glenn E. Thorpe, sailing friends, met on a regular basis for lunch at a restaurant overlooking Santa Monica Bay. As with all yachting types, the conversations during these lunches invariably turned to the subject of boats and boating. Before long, these men who jokingly called themselves the “End of the World Yacht Club”, were joined by Boyd “Bud” Verplank and Stratford Enright. It was soon decided to form a “real” yacht club. There was a lively discussion, (a tradition which continues even today in yachting circles) regarding a name for the new club. Bud Verplankwas very partial to “Demerara” the name of the rum found in the chest used on our Treasure Cruise to this day. He was outvoted and the first official meeting ofSanta Monica Yacht Club was held on April 22, 1941. The four founding Members became officers, led by Commodore Jack Taylor. Charter Members were Dr. Jack Taylor, Dr. Glenn Thorpe, Bud Verplank, Stratford Enright, Richard and William Lewis, George Mauser and Gene Curry. It appears there was an immediate membership drive netting four new Members, Jack J. Smith, Paul Platt, Leonard Price and Harry McKinny Jr. Theburgee which proudly flies from our mast was designed by the Enrights. Some of these first Members raced Star class boats. One such race was Santa Monica to Point Dume, a beat to weather, sailed with the aid of a quart of rum and a bailing can, according to Strat Enright and Brownie Thorpe. SMYC was off and racing.
World War II did not stop SMYC. The first Annual Meeting was held at the Pirate’s Den in Hollywood during a blackout. Many future meetings were held at the Enright’s home in the Hollywood Hills and later in Newport Beach. In the early days, there were strong views as to Membership requirements. Do you believe, ownership of keel boats with a minimum lentth of 18 feet and no centerboards or powerboats admitted! Glenn Thorpe became Commodore in 1942 and in February 1942, SMYC was officially recognized as a member of the Southern California YachtingAssociation. The war ended and SMYC again had the freedom to race and cruise, doubling its activity. In the spring of 1947 arrangements were made with Flitz Brothers Landing in San Pedro for an SMYC anchorage.