A Short History of SBYC


By P/C Bob Schmidt (now deceased)

On 10 December 1938 a small group of Kenmore and Grand Island residents formed a club whose purpose was “to promote” the friendship of its members, maintain a club house, dock and boat houses at Sandy Beach for the benefit of its members, to acquire a knowledge of aquatic sports, and for entertainment and pleasure”.

A constitution incorporating Sandy Beach Yacht Club was accepted on 16 March 1939. On 4 May of that year the first lot was purchased. The fact that they were able to build a clubhouse, small dock and plan a regatta, which was held on 25 July, is a tribute to the tenacity of purpose of those early members.

Following World War II, the first of seven or eight additions (including the present 1988), was started. Over the years three additional pieces of property have been added.

There have been many fleets of different classes of sailboats competing at the club and in many area regattas. Presently the races are between several sizes of auxiliaries. Powerboats have competed in Predicted Log and other contests.

There have been two catastrophes, major or minor depending on who has to fix them. A new dock, built in the spring of 1963 was wiped out by an ice jam in the winter of 1964. Rebuilt in its present general form by August 1964. In November of 1969 a fire severely damaged the interior. A blessing in disguise. We were able, with the insurance money, to gut and refinish the interior following one motif.

A chronological listing of events does not illustrate the real Sandy Beach. Our history is one of dedicated, hard working people, sound financial planning, and camaraderie unmatched in any club anywhere. It is a club where volunteer members designed and built most of the physical plant; continue to maintain it, all with a minimum of professional help. All paid for from current income or interest bearing bonds purchased by our members. At the same time dues and fees have been kept at a nominal level and unlike most clubs there has never been an assessment.

So that, in brief, is the legacy you have inherited. Hopefully our present members, and those in the future will continue in the same manner as those who preceded us.