The Ventura Yacht Club, originally known as the Ventura County Boat Club, was organized in 1938. In 1988 we celebrated our 50th anniversary.
Ventura Yacht Club is one of the few clubs on the coast which owns its own clubhouse and slips. The club has a proud history of having started as a do-it-yourself type organization. The club’s official newsletter is the Forecast, which has been published monthly since 1940, one of the oldest continuous publications in yachting.
Ventura Yacht Club prides itself in accomplishments which range from an active racing and cruising program, to being one of the prime moving forces in having the Ventura Harbor constructed. The club has long been supportive of the Ventura Port District and Ventura Harbor in matters ranging from lobbying efforts to get the harbor constructed –and reconstructed following devastating 1969 floods– and the breakwater built, to playing key roles in such activities as the annual Christmas Parade of Lights and other functions which help put the harbor’s best foot forward.
Many yacht club members have served on the Port District’s Board of Commissioners over the years and, in fact, the club was somewhat instrumental in the Port District having been formed in the first place. It can reasonably be said that the club has been a moving force in the development and growth of Ventura Harbor.
The club has nurtured many youth sailing programs and has supported youths in regional and national sailing championships.
The club was incorporated in 1940 as a non-profit organization, with an original membership of 60.
From the beginning, one of the more serious aims of the members has been to work for better boating facilities in Ventura County. Among the early activities of the club was the construction of launching and mooring facilities at Hueneme Harbor in 1939. World War II halted this project, and efforts were then centered on clearing the snags from the coastal slough known as McGrath Lake in order to hold regattas for outboards and small sailboats and create an interest in boats and boating.
After the war, efforts were resumed to secure harbor facilities in Ventura County with particular emphasis on the Pierpont Bay area. During the campaign to secure a harbor, one of the highlights was the construction of a model of the proposed harbor, which was used extensively for publicity purposes. These efforts, combined with others, resulted in the formation of the Ventura Port District, which eventually built the Ventura Marina.
A year or so after World War II ended, the City of Ventura allowed the club to use a city-owned building on the Ventura Pier where regular meetings were held. When freeway construction caused demolition of the building, the meeting place was moved to the Ventura Recreation Center on Main Street.