This Information section gives
you an interesting history of KHYC. If you are interested in
joining the club select
First named Win’ard Yacht Club, the Club merged in 1960 with Redondo
Harbor Yacht Club to become King Harbor Yacht Club.
Win’ard, the older of the two clubs, was formed in April 1949, with
Robert Goldstone as Commodore. A small clubhouse was built by the
members and remained a familiar landmark until dismantled in July
1960, to make room for harbor expansion. The Club sponsored many
sailing activities in Redondo Harbor, including the Girl Mariner
Scouts and the Sea Explorer Scout Ship "Porpoise". In 1956, the Club
leased Little Fisherman’s Cove at Catalina Isthmus, greatly
expanding its range of activities.
Harbor Yacht Club was organized in 1956 by some small boat sailors
from the South Bay, with Fred Hope as Commodore. Their first fleet
was Win’ard Sabots. Their busy sailing schedule was operated from a
trailer clubhouse, and most boat launching was from the beach. Among
their events was the torchlight Regatta, held at night, the Iron Man
Race, the Cecil R. King trophy race, as well as events for larger
When Redondo Harbor was built, powered by the need to merge and pool
resources, the two clubs merged to form King Harbor Yacht Club.
Win’ard Yacht Club
The Win’ard Yacht Club was formed on April 20, 1949, by a group of
yachtsmen who felt a need for a meeting place for local boaters. The
first Commodore was Robert Goldstone who was a sail maker by trade.
His Rear Commodore was Ernest Walker who was a boat builder. Between
the two of them, they came up with a plan under which members could
obtain sabots ready for finishing at cost. Although some members had
larger boats, the group initially limited its active sailing to
sabots. The following year, they joined SCYA and membership grew
rapidly, expanding into larger boats. Due to the lack of launching
and mooring facilities, the larger boats were kept mostly in San
Pedro. Weekend visits were scheduled when members would sail up and
rendezvous at Redondo Harbor for beach parties, treasure hunts and
general good times. Many races were scheduled from Cabrillo Beach to
Redondo, returning the following day.
Due to the lack of a club house, meetings were held in the Hermosa
South School until 1952, when the members built a facility on the
old Edison Pier at the foot of 10th Street, near where
the Marina offices are today. Many members can still remember the
fun of launching boats through the surf to sail all day, returning
to a cozy room heated by a wood burning stove and a simple hot meal
cooked by the "Petticoat Fleet". In 1956, this building was leased
to the contractor working on the new harbor, and the Daily Breeze
offered them a meeting place on the 2nd floor of their
The Cruising Fleet, which was composed of boats 20 feet and over,
held most of its meetings at Henry’s Yacht Anchorage in San Pedro.
It was at Henry’s in 1960, that the first hospitality day was
started, a "brain child" of Chris Christopher, then fleet captain.
Since then, this event has become an annual affair in conjunction
with Opening Day in the Spring.
A part of the "dues" for the Cruising Fleet, members paid for a
landing card for the Isthmus. Part of this money helped to pay for
the Cove lease. In addition, a super luau, pig in the pit and all,
was a yearly money making event at the Cove on Labor Day, a
tradition that remains to this day. The facility in the early years
consisted of a small framework with an iron roof, all material and
labor donated by the members.
The leaders of Win’ard Yacht Club worked long, hard hours with the
Redondo Harbor Yacht Club committee in forming the current King
Harbor Yacht Club.
Redondo Harbor Yacht Club
One Day in the Spring of 1956, some outrigger sailing friends got
together. Tired of trailering boats to Malibu to race, they came up
with the bright idea of forming their own home-front yacht club, and
so the Redondo Harbor Yacht Club was born. Many of these same people
are still active sailors and KHYC members. One hundred and twenty
people, all small boat sailors from the South Bay, formed the first
group. The largest class of boats was Malibu outriggers. These
boats, as well as others to follow, operated off the beach. The
Club’s first class of boats to form a fleet was the Win’ard sabots.
The club maintained an active racing schedule for large boats and
small boats, and because it was a family-oriented club, dedicated to
family fun, it grew rapidly. Under the able leadership of Fred Hope,
the first Commodore, and Bill White, 1957’s leader, by 1958, sixty
families were represented in six fleets, outriggers and sabots being
the largest. By 1959, one hundred nineteen families belonged! During
these years, meetings of the Yacht Club were held at the Elks Club
in Redondo. Fleet meetings were held in member’s homes. The women
formed an active part of the group, especially crewing! In 1959, the
"material possessions" of the RHYC were listed as: 1) one newly
polished Commodores’ Bell, 2) a race committee float, 3) a trailer,
4) a ditto machine, 5) one anchor and line, 6) one small outboard
motor boat, and 7) some race committee equipment. With this
equipment a fantastic racing schedule was ordered and maintained.
Life was pretty simple then, sailing was the thing. All these hearty
sailors with their "assets" were a very valuable part of forming the
new yacht club and have continued to be part of the backbone of the
Both Win’ard and Redondo Harbor Yacht Clubs specialized in yacht
racing. Do to the fact that Win’ard members stored their big boats
in San Pedro, it was natural that a race be organized from the San
Pedro to the Santa Monica Bay area. In 1951, this race was named the
Matt Walsh Perpetual Trophy race and was named after its donor who
was a widely known Corinthian who won many races in the area. Matt
Walsh always believed that yacht races should be held along the
coast line where the public could watch, and when he presented the
Matt Walsh Trophy to the Win’ard Club, he specified the course
should be from Portuguese Bend up the coast to Manhattan Beach and
then back to the Win’ard Yacht Club at Redondo. The Matt Walsh is
still raced today as a part of our Spinnaker series. The Redondo
Harbor Yacht Club with its small boat flavor organized a race using
the Portsmouth handicap system , in 1959. This race was given the
name "Cecil R. King" after the local Congressman who saw to it that
the Harbor project was included in the omnibus Rivers and Harbors
Bill in Congress and after whom the Harbor was named. The Cecil R.
King race is still an annual race at KHYC. Members also raced up and
down the coast in regattas and long distance races such as the
Ensenada Race and the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race, a tradition
that continues today.
On August 23, 1949, the Win’ard Yacht Club women organized a
committee to help with club functions. The "Petticoat Fleet" was
chosen as a name. Its officers were elected by the women but still
had to be approved by the Commodore! The principle function of this
group was to serve as a welcoming committee at meetings, conduct
money-making raffles each month, and provide refreshments at
Later the board "requested" that the women put on a dinner for club
members every month. The women spent time cleaning the clubhouse,
selling Tupperware, shampoo, baked goods and other odds and ends for
money in order to buy galley equipment. They constantly cooked and
served food at races and other events. As is true today, their main
complaints were the lack of proper equipment, the disappearance of
what equipment they had, and the lack of cooperation by club members
in making reservations on time!
Although women’s races were discussed from time to time, not much
interest seemed to be generated until 1951 when Win’ard joined SCYA.
At that time Arch Johnson, the then Commodore, organized a women’s
Invitational Race as one of Win’ards first events. He invited the
Petticoat Fleet to attend the race committee meeting so that the
women could be "assigned Duties" for the day. He stated "This race
has been established to give the distaff side of yachting a chance
to compete in an event restricted to their own sex". He also
remarked that the affair would be largely social but races "would be
held in an approved manner, flags, guns, and everything"! The
Petticoat Fleet had very few boats and did little sailing on their
own. Two Win’ard gals entered and six other yacht club entries
competed, with Balboa taking first and second.
The fleet found time to help the Girl Mariners with many of their
projects and to assist the crew of the "Porpoise" (mostly feeding
them). They arranged the first Installation Dinner for the Yacht
Club in 1954. It was held at the Hermosa Biltmore. They noted that
it was a grand affair, the first time the club had ever had such a
ceremony complete with flag exchanges and introduction of officers.
Because Redondo Harbor Yacht Club was a very family oriented club,
and because most of the women were actively taking care of small
children, or crewing for their husbands, there did not seem to be a
need for a separate fleet strictly for women’s activities. The women
were most supportive and actively involved in all yacht club
functions. Many of these women began meeting on Wednesday to talk
things over, plan for dinners, and so on. Because they left their
housework, they laughingly called themselves the "Dirty Dishes
Fleet". All other times, they were referred to as the "Chickens of
the Sea". In 1966, they petitioned the board for organization and in
March were given the "go-ahead". On April 6 ,1966, at
10:00 a. m., they held their first official meeting as The First
Mates and have been going strong ever since. Throughout the years,
the First mates traveled up and down the coast sailing Sabots on
Wednesday afternoons. They would hold 6 to 8 regattas a year. At
King Harbor they sometimes would have up to 70 participants in their
regattas and a constant battle with the Harbor master for room, but
somehow they would prevail.
Besides sailing, the ladies actively engage in money-making
activities to buy equipment for the clubhouse. With help from the
Board and other fleets, they have equipped an excellent galley from
which fabulous feasts come forth! They put on fashion shows and
bazaars, knit, crochet, needlepoint and what ever else is the going
Recently, more and more of the clubs women have entered the work
force. In 1990, a new women’s group was formed. Because they had to
meet in the evenings, after the working day, they named their group
The Night Watch. The King Harbor Yacht Club Night Watch women
organize the Christmas Boat parade in the Harbor every year and hold
many Yachting activities throughout the year.
Beginning with Win’ard and Redondo Harbor Yacht clubs, great
emphasis has always been placed on the junior members, and a
concerted effort by parents and club members has been made to help
them become active sailors and good yacht club participants. The
first recorded junior regatta dates back to June 1959, when a Junior
Regatta was held, sponsored by Bill and Maggi White. Kim Gale took
top honors for the two days of Sabot sailing.
In 1961, after the two clubs merged a junior fleet was organized
under the watchful eyes of Bill Pipkin, Ed Brown, and Bill Gale. All
young people from the ages 13-19 were eligible and the group was
very active. In October, they held their first big race called "Le
Nut". It was a crazy race day such as only Bill Pipkin could devise.
In this year, the juniors had their first Commodores’ Ball. They
also took on as their duty, the mailing of the Telltale each month.
In 1962, a younger group called the "Splitnebs" was formed for
younger kids which kept them interested and busy. Meetings for both
groups were held the same evenings as the general meeting making for
a good "family Night".
In 1964, David and Ellie Johns took over the Junior Program and
brought the two groups into a total planned program of activities.
Dick Kline was hired as a sailing instructor. Parent involvement
became very intense. Diane Hope even organized a "baby sitting"
service using the club teenagers. Unfortunately the voluntary
contribution fund didn’t work out.
In 1965, Dick and Marcia Reed reorganized the 7-12 year olds into
the "Jolly Rogers" group. They had 40 active members (3 of their
own). The older Juniors were busy with sailing, dancing and Tuesday
Through all this effort we have developed a good supply of very apt
sailors, skippers and crew as well. Our young people have
distinguished themselves and have brought honor to our club by
winning local, national and international races. Winners or not,
they have actively participated, with the true Corinthian spirit,
with yacht clubs worldwide, putting KHYC on the map.
In 1952, the forward thinking cruising yachtsmen of Win’ard took a
lease on Little Fisherman’s Cove at the Isthmus in Catalina. The
lease area was much larger than it is today, running over to the
other side of the reef. The lease cost $1,000 per year, and proud
members adorned the area with a small "hut", open on three sides,
with the back covered with reed matting to stem the canyon wind.
Behind the hut was a swamp which required constant draining, and
bucket brigades were constantly hauling sand and rock up to make dry
land. Barbecue pits were constructed of rock, with grates from old
refrigerators over them. Later, 50 gallon oil drums, cut in half,
made excellent barbecues. As remains true today, many pleasant
evenings were spent barbecuing on the beach, while children and
teenagers felt free to roam the Isthmus.
In those days, there was an unwritten law preventing the use of
outboard engines on dinghies. The idea was to retain the quiet and
peaceful environment, while at the same time, improving one’s
physique by the use of oars. Everyone was quite skilled at rowing
and beaching the boats through the surf. Although, everyone thought
the idea of a dinghy dock was a pretty good one, an old float from
Redondo Harbor, (previously a race committee platform), which was
towed over to serve the purpose, ended up being a loose weapon which
had to be dodged when it constantly broke loose from its anchor. At
the end of that summer, the platform was donated to the Boy Scouts,
later hauled up to the beach at the Isthmus, and a year later,
hauled off to the dump. That was the first and last effort at a
dinghy dock, at least until the 90’s when Staff Commodore Tom
Collins, Tim Taylor and Bob White hauled over the USN bridge
pontoons to serve as our floating dinghy dock (or semi beached
whales, dependent on the tide).
In 1965, a storage vault was built on the beach. The Island Company
laid the foundation and the members did the rest. It remained until
1977 when, battered by the tides, it was moved with a bulldozer over
by the hill and another larger vault was built.
In 1966, a dream was realized with the construction of the current
A-frame. Walt Shaw was the contractor and the finishing was
completed by the members.
The Labor Day Luau was started in the 50’s as an end to summer fun,
with 50 to 60 people participating. The tradition of the pig roast
was commenced and has continued until today. The pig was cooked in a
pit, dug and lined with lava rock. Today, the meat is cooked on a
spit with a motor, gears and pulleys to power the spit. While the
pig roasts, young and old alike cavort on the beach, have dinghy
races, hula lessons and treasure hunts.
King Harbor Yacht Club
In February, 1960, the " Great Amalgamation" dinner party was held
at the San Pedro Hacienda Hotel, now long gone, and King Harbor
Yacht Club became a reality. Today KHYC operates under the charter
of Win’ard Yacht Club, and is celebrating its 50th
birthday this April, 1999.
The new club facility was formally dedicated in 1964. Several
additions and improvements to the club building have been added over
the years. The club has survived two major storms, one in 1983 and
the second in 1987. Rigging and guest docks have been added over the
years and in 1997, two new jib cranes and a new launching platform
were completed. KHYC now has the most dock space for members and
guests, anywhere in the Santa Monica bay area.
Today, King Harbor Yacht Club is highly respected up and down the
coast, not only for our yachting activities, but also for our
enthusiastic participation and leadership in the yachting community
activities. This enviable reputation is primarily due to a
membership that is warm, friendly, active and willing to go that
extra (nautical) mile on behalf of others.
April 20, 1949 Win’ard Yacht Club Started
Summer 1952 First Lease at Little Fisherman’s Cove
Spring 1956 Redondo Harbor Yacht Club Started
February 1960 King Harbor Yacht Club Amalgamation
April 6, 1966 First Mates Started
March 1983 First Major Storm Hit the Club
January 1987 Second Major Storm Hit the Club
November 1997 Dedication of New Hoist & Platform
April 20, 1999 50th Anniversary