Table of Contents

BYC Clubhouse and Property Development 1947 - 2004

When last we discussed this topic, we had made it to 1946 where the Club had moved to its present location and the Rail Road had finally paid us off to the tune of $13,250. BYC was on a roll! Satisfied that stability had finally settled in, it was time to set about improving the facility.


From 1947 to 1957, the marina was reconfigured, the park (which was an island at high tide) had been fully joined to the main clubhouse property and equipped with a cooking shack and picnic area. The existing rudimentary tidal grid had been replaced with a small but appropriate marine railway located roughly where it is today.


1957 also saw the sale of some property (our first potential out station) on Point Monroe (Port Madison area) for $5,500 (original cost was $600) and it is generally accepted that this money was used to pave the existing parking lot.

Although not strictly BYC property, in 1958 we paid $329 as our share to purchase the Sucia Island Group which was subsequently turned over to the State for a marine park. A plaque on the island in Fossil Bay commemorates the event.

As the Club grew in popularity, much discussion centered around a clubhouse modernization program. This argument took many turns and finally, in 1967 came to fruition as the clubhouse we have today but not without a lot of work. An authorization to spend $150,000 was passed and the firm of Gilman and Green was hired to draw up the plans (photos). A book could be written about what transpired over the next few months but boiled down to this.

A plan was adopted whereby the members would come up with $40,000 cash for framing construction done by Bruce Construction Co. (secretly a member) using the aforementioned plans and sweat equity from the membership. The result is the clubhouse we have today and no mortgage! While the finished product doesn't match the artist's concept (photo) exactly, it's pretty close. The effort by the membership and the leadership of the Club was truly amazing.

The next major undertaking in 1976 was to replace the marine railway with one that could handle larger boats and accommodate a rolling cover to expand usage.

Track Foundations

The latter has yet to be added; a forgivable sin when we look at all the accomplishments made in the interim. The rail car we have today and all the cement work was done by work parties. In addition, the rails and support timbers were replaced by the membership in 1993 as they had deteriorated greatly. No cost figures are available for these projects.

In 1984, the rock bulkhead around the park was added by hired labor for a cost of $25,000 and in 1991 the old fuel system was replaced by a contractor at a cost of

$125,000 in response to environmental legislation.

New Rail Car

This was to be just the first of many projects accomplished as a direct result of this legislation. In fact, BYC adopted a pro-active stance with the EPA and aggressively pursued compliance.

Also in 1991, a new shop building was erected by the membership at a cost of $30,000 to replace what could only laughingly be called a shop in the basement of the clubhouse. It took many work party days and a huge dumpster to move it all out! In 1993 and again in a pro-active manner our marine railway was converted to a zero discharge facility as we continued to work with the EPA. This was done by the membership by building a collection trench at the end of the cement platform and erecting a new building housing the winch, the wastewater facility and caretaker garage at a cost of $30,000.

Another big project was precipitated by major rain fall in the winter of 1991-92. The waterfront bulkhead from the clubhouse to the marine railway had been in disrepair for a number of years. It had been installed in the early '50's with land-fill behind it and over the years time and tide had taken their toll.

The bulkhead had "pooched" out in several places but it wasn't severe enough to get put high up on the funded maintenance list. Then one day, after heavy winter rains, sink holes began to occur and safety lines restricting access had to be put up. This development catapulted this repair to the top of the list.

Estimates were obtained that ranged upwards of $100,000 for the repair. After much discussion, the E-committee recommended the repair to the floor for a vote. It was here that an irate and energetic member took the floor to challenge the membership of a "do-it-yourself" club to get off their collective "duffs" and do something. He also had a plan which he presented, which was adopted and subsequently executed by work party in the summer of 1992 (photos) for a cost of under $30,000!

After being emptied of its "shop" materials, the clubhouse basement had become an unusable space due to water in-leakage especially at high tide. In 1996 a basement remodel was authorized and again executed by the membership into what you see today at a cost of less than $15,000.

And of course, this story would not be complete without documenting the sewage pump-out facility ($20,000), galley remodel for about $90,000 and the "cats-asstrophy" correction and remodel of the caretakers apartment for about $15,000; all completed in the last two years.

These are just the big items and don't include a new roof, the floats, Oro Bay and numerous smaller remodels and improvements.

We are a busy and industrious Club that still believes we can "do-it-ourselves". Not only does this save money and yield a better product, it allows each of us to take ownership of and have pride in our Club.

P/C Bob Wheeler; BYC Historian