History of SIYC
The Sauvie Island Yacht Club is one of Portland, Oregon’s earliest yacht clubs. The sailing club was launched in 1977 with a mission to promote sailing and cruising for members worldwide. Ever since Joshua Slocum published Sailing Alone Around The World in 1899, generations of boaters have been intrigued by visions of cruising to far off lands. The revolutionary introduction of fiberglass into boat building made owning a sailboat possible much more accessible for folks with ordinary incomes, and in the 1970’s Portland had a growing number of do-it-yourself boat builders. These folks came together for encouragement, advice and helping one another with their projects. It was natural for them to form a club to support their dreams. The founders gathered at Parker’s Landing on Sauvie Island and solicited advice from the Commodore of the Multnomah Channel Yacht Club. They eagerly accepted his advice but passed on the blue blazer, white pants and captain’s hat.
In 1980 the Sauvie Island Yacht Club was formed to facilitate their dreams of going sailing. Founding members included Ben and Elaine Clarke on Gamboleer, their 50’ home built ketch, Craig and Molly Hull, Elmer and Helen Olson, Lloyd and Paula Anderson and many others. Tom and Becky Coffield (sv Caberet) designed the logo and most of the new members just sewed their own burgees. The group met at the old Sauvie Island School. Although it was destroyed by fire, a new school was built and that is where the SIYC has met ever since.
The focus of the SIYC is to support sail cruising, whether a current activity or a dream for the future. Monthly meetings feature talks by fellow cruisers describing their adventures in the far corners of the world, nautical and safety education, and talks about the environment of the Columbia River and the world’s oceans. Monthly cruises provide an opportunity to spend the weekend on the boat socializing and occasionally testing sailing skills. At any given time, a handful of SIYC members will be found cruising in the Pacific or around the world. About 1/3 of members have offshore passage-making experience, 1/3 coastal cruising experience, and the remainder are honing their sailing skills on the river.