Santa Barbara Yacht Club

A Tradition Since 1872

The Santa Barbara Yacht Club

Thoughts from The Chandlery Yacht Sales

Chandlery Yacht Sales has enjoyed a long history with the Santa Barbara Yacht Club. We’ve sponsored many, many clients as members, acted as SBYC Port Captains, given seminars, and supported various regattas and other Club events. We’ve attended weddings, memorials, parties, meetings, and holiday celebrations at the Club.

We love their Sunday buffets and often you can find us there on the weekends, eating dinner with friends while the kids run around outside on the beach and help themselves to the ice cream sundae bar between games of hide and seek.

There’s no doubt we love SBYC and utilize the facilities as much as possible. But we didn’t know much about their history until we started poking around on their website. Here is some information we gathered about our beloved Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

Santa Barbara Yacht Club… A Brief History

A group of enterprising sailors founded the Santa Barbara Yacht Club in 1872. It was the second yacht club established on the west coast (the first was San Francisco).

The first clubhouse had been the home of John Stearns during the building of Stearns Wharf. Located at the foot of Sterns Wharf, it had a galley with a wood stove and a piano. Unfortunately, during a severe storm in 1924, the
building was washed out to sea. A second facility on the wharf was lost due to non-payment of rent.

Rather than accept these events as omens that they should take up another sport, members realized that the club needed to become financially stable and needed to purchase its own space for a clubhouse. Meanwhile, the City of Santa Barbara wanted a civic auditorium and the Naval Reserve needed space. A cooperative venture resulted, and a building was partially constructed when World War II interrupted…but then the harbor was closed to civilians and the building given to the Navy.

After the war, the club resumed activities and held its first regatta in 1947. By 1951 the Santa Barbara Yacht Club had secured a permanent home on the beach – the site of a Union Oil Company office building. The current
building replaced that original building in 1966.

Today, the Santa Barbara Yacht Club is a thriving, family-oriented home-away-from-home for local sailors and visiting yachters from around the world.

Amenities include a main dining room and bar, banquet facilities and meeting space for everything from weddings to wakes.

The club is home to a cruising fleet and racing fleets, and Wet Wednesday racing is particularly popular from spring to fall. With the clubhouse right at the water’s edge, it’s a wonderful place to watch as boats battle for the start.

If you’d like to find out more about Santa Barbara Yacht Club or how to become a member, please give us a call! We’d love to share our knowledge about the Club and give you a tour of the facilities. It’s truly a special place. And you never know….maybe you’ll end up joining the Chandlery Yacht Sales crew at the next Sunday buffet! 

You can reach us at 805-965-4538 or 


A Few Pictures of The Santa Barbara Yacht Club

(courtesy of Chandlery Yacht Sales, all rights reserved)
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