The seven founding members of the Sausalito Yacht Club were already junior members of other yacht clubs, but with teenage hubris thought they could do better themselves.
The founders conceived and established the new club on New Year’s Eve of 1942. The time was right. World War II had called many of the older, local boat owners to Europe or the Pacific. Before heading off to war, they trusted their boats to the care of the club’s young founders, the oldest just three months short of his seventeenth birthday.
The club had several names in the first few days (including the tongue in cheek Ritz Sailing and Racquet Club) until Sausalito Yacht Club became the obvious choice. A mood of teenage rebellion was reflected in a provision of the first bylaws: no one could join the club who was older than the oldest founding member. Later, the maximum age limit was raised, although it was not abandoned until 1953.
Originally the club meetings were held in members’ homes, but they soon adopted the Officer’s saloon of the steam schooner, Santa Barbara. Club meetings had to be scheduled at low tide due to the fact that the Santa Barbara was beached in mud at the south end of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor. Later on the members rented the former clubhouse of the San Francisco Yacht Club on the Sausalito waterfront (future home of the Trident, then the Horizons restaurants).