THE HISTORY OF THE BREMERTON YACHT CLUB

Table of Contents

The Building of the Clubhouse (1937)

Things started picking up for the club in the fall of 1937. It might safely be said that this marked the real beginning of the Bremerton Yacht Club. Up to this time the club had just been marking time. But with an actual club site and moorages the members started to roll in and the real B.Y.C. was started. The clubhouse was finally built under contract in January and February of 1938, under Commodore Brooks. Meetings were practically out of the question during this time as most of the membership turned to and aided the construction in any way that they were able.

The first official meeting in the new clubhouse was held March 7th, 1938. This was quite an event. Everett and Queen City Yacht Clubs sent flowers and everything.

The first social event was a party and dance on March 19th, 1938. From that time forward, several money raising projects were instituted. Parties were given regularly and several outboard motors and boats were raffled. Some kind soul decided that the Secretary had too much to do about this time, consequently, the Treasurer's office was put under a separate head. Just who went in office is unknown.

The Board of Trustees came out with a plan on berth rentals at $2.00 per month. This was adopted by the membership. The Board also presented the House Rules of the Seattle Yacht Club. These were also adopted by the club. During the month of March, a caretaker, (Mr. Gene Woods) was employed by the club. It is recorded that he was $1 a year man.

By the way, Captain Jake Huckins was appointed Fleet Captain for 1938. Some items about the new clubhouse:

As mentioned before, monthly dances were being sponsored by the club as a means of making some pocket money. However, with an admission fee of $.25 per person all it made was some headaches. Captain George Tappe and crew did the interior decorating. The piano cost $450.00, which was too much. It was bought on time payments along with the furniture. The newly organized Skipperettes made the drapes. Captain Crow made and donated the ship's wheels that decorate the light fixtures in the main hall. Commodore Brooks' mother, (Mrs. A. L. Brooks) sewed the canvas for the deck in the dance hall. Mr. George Mueller, the jeweler, donated the electric clock. Captain Hillbery did the expert wiring job.

One idea that did make money for the club was the raffling of boats, complete with outboard motor and trailer. One such raffle with Captain VanderStaay in charge, netted $624.

A grid was installed in the summer of 1938 as well as a flagpole --complete with yard and gaff.

The annual "Shake Down" Cruise was held in '38 with several of the boats cruising down Sound to Fox Island. Memorial Day was on Monday so it made quite a long weekend for the gang. However, the Commodore had elaborate plans for a Memorial Day celebration in connection with the boats so all the gang was requested to be back by 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Memorial Day. It isn't recorded just exactly what the Memorial Day services were, but Commodore Brooks' cruiser was assigned to receive the party and funeral escort from the Spanish-American War Veterans to scatter ashes of a departed comrade of that organization over the water during the ceremonies.

In the summer of 1938, the B.Y.C. sponsored the Nanaimo Race for the first time. Things really flew around these diggings for awhile.

Radio station KVI of Tacoma broadcast the start of the race and Rear Admiral Fenner acted as official starter aboard a Coast Guard vessel.

All B.Y.C. boats moored at the club left their respective berths in order to leave some room for the visitors. Also, a complimentary membership card was presented to every Captain to enter the race. Only two cruisers from Bremerton entered the race: Jack Kuphal and Dr. Ray Schutt being the Skippers.

George Tappe

Another year is behind us and we see that the nominations and election of officers for 1939 is coming along. This time George Tappe was elected Commodore with Jake Huckins as Vice Commodore and Fred Givens as Rear Commodore, Howard Niles as Secretary and Orville Strong, Treasurer. This election was held October 3rd, 1938. Also, on October 31st, the Board was increased to seven members, with the Commodore becoming the odd man. Of course, this required a change in the By-laws --which was done. Also, the meetings were moved up to 7:30 instead of 8:00 p.m.

Commodore Tappe was installed in office by Mr. H. E. Jamieson, who was a newspaper marine editor associated, at that time, with the Seattle Star. We note that Commodore Tappe officially thanked Mr. Paul Rosenbarger for designing the clubhouse.

In the year of 1939, several social and boating events were scheduled, including and interesting April Fools Stag Cruise and the annual Heavy Weather Cruise and Dance on February 25th and 26th.

This year the club also sponsored a very interesting educational program -- with an object. This was to secure the participants a license to enable them to carry passengers for hire --such as charter work, etc. This was probably the only successful educational program that B.Y.C. has ever put across. It is also notable that Captain Gib Palmer got out the annual --as usual. The club was growing fast. There was a waiting list for boats and so it was necessary to construct another wing of floats. The piling was driven for this south wing in May, 1939. Also in May, a successful "Sealed Orders Race" was held, along with a Mystery Cruise.

Ed Werner

In September, the annual Corn Roast was the big event along with the nominations for officers for 1940. The election took place on October 2nd with Ed Werner given the job of Commodore, Fred Givens moving up to Vice Commodore and Tom Lebo as Rear Commodore. Captain W. K. Jones was elected Secretary with Orville Strong retaining the Treasurer's job.

The new berths were constructed by contract in September 1939. In November of this same year Vice Commodore Huckins declared at a meeting that the floats are getting low in the water and that they should be repaired. Those words are still echoing around the club. It's like talking about the weather. Also, it is noted that a committee was appointed by the chair to see about getting a separate building for the caretaker to caretake in. This committee is still functioning and is reporting progress at every meeting. Another weather proposition.


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