…courtesy of Annette Kuss

Summer 1975…while cruising in the San Juan Islands, about 10 Sequimites decided to form a yacht club.  This was the same year John Wayne donated acreage at Pitship Point on Sequim Bay to the Port of Port Angeles for the purpose of building a marina!

The new yacht club met monthly, gathered boating friends together, and chose a name. Jim Tallman became the acting chairman.

Then on February 24, 1976…Bill Vetter, attorney, was chosen to act as legal advisor; Pete Lochow gathered sample by-laws for the new club, and by-laws were adopted. Newly elected officers for the fledgling yacht club for 1976-77 were:

  • Commodore, Jim Tallman
  • Vice Commodore, Jim Flanders
  • Secretary, Margaret Blake
  • Treasurer, Judy Flanders
  • Trustee #1, Pete Lochow
  • Trustee #2, Charles Blake, Jr.
  • Trustee #3, Bill Vetter

April 3, 1976…Bill Thomas and Dale Kruse organized Charter Night; 50 members attended…by April 13, there were 170 members! The full agenda included:

  • Selecting the pennant design (selected from a field of five)
  • Setting annual dues at $12
  • Appointing Fred Bower to head up power boat cruises
  • Selecting John Junell, Jack Williams and Neil Cays to contact other sailboat owners “regarding excursions”


  • The first SBYC cruise was headed by Fred Bower to Fisherman Bay Memorial Day weekend, with fifteen reservations for moorage.
  • Neil Cays planned the first sailboat race for Sequim Bay on May 16. It was true sailboat weather: 35 knots for the first race, no wind for the second.
  • The first Annual Picnic was held on August 1, 1976, at Pitship Point. This started a tradition of free steaks for all members, with a decorated sheet cake and members contributing all else. At that time there were two old shacks on the site, with benches and an outhouse.  But the weather was fair and it was the start of a tradition which continues today!
  • On October 10, 1976, the First Annual Small Boat Regatta was held, with El Toros being launched at the very minimal ramp at the end of the existing spit.
  • The first Christmas party was held at the Dungeness Inn with dancing by Jim Rosand’s band.
  • Elected officers for 1977-78 were
    • Commodore: Pete Lochow
    • V.C., John Magner
    • Secretary, Margaret Blake
    • Treasurer, Judy Flanders
    • Trustee #1 , Jack Williams
    • Trustee #3, Bill Kuss
    • The Commodore’s Ball was held April 30, 1977, at the Dungeness Inn.
  • In June 1977 Bill Thomas suggested inquiring about using the small white house at Pitship Point for a club house; it was later used by the builders/engineers of the marina.
  • By October 1977, 2000 signatures had been gathered to give to the Port Commissioners in favor of the marina.
  • A lot had been accomplished in the first two years of this new Sequim Bay Yacht Club, and the work continued until the July 1984 Marina opening.

According to Bill Thomas, a charter member: “We had a lot of fun back in the old days, but we worked hard, too. We attended every meeting the Port of Port Angeles held on the marina, did research on water and marinas, and fought hard to get our new facility. The Club grew from the original fourteen to over three hundred at one time, and we figured we were the largest dry land Yacht Club in the world. Most of the people who belonged didn’t even own a boat, they just wanted to help get the new marina built. If my memory serves, it took either five or seven years from the time we began urging the Port to begin a marina on Sequim Bay until they began excavation. For the people who arrive here and marvel at the facility, you can’t imagine what we went through to get it.”