You don’t have to be a builder of boats or sailor of model yachts to come by and enjoy the excitement of power and sail boats at the Model Yacht Clubhouse in Golden Gate Park. Hobbyists from all over the United States join the club, which is open to anyone with an interest in model yachting and power boating. Founded in 1898, members of the Model Yacht Club used to sail their yachts on Stow Lake until traffic made it impossible to truly enjoy the activity. The club relocated to Spreckels Lake in 1904.
Things to Do
Located at the 36th Avenue and Fulton Street entrance of Golden Gate Park, the clubhouse offers access to Spreckels Lake and plenty of fun for water enthusiasts. Posted in the clubhouse and in a glass case on the outside wall, scan the schedule of club events to see the kinds of activities you may want to make note of. Monthly membership meetings take place at 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of every month, which are open to everyone.
The Golden Gate Park Model Yacht Clubhouse is a unique attraction because it is the only venue remaining in the United States that actively races freesail yachts – vessels that only use the wind, sail settings, and rudder settings for movement. The club even offers freesail boat leases for members, where a user will also receive instruction in freesail boat operation.
Consider participating in the Sail Squadron, which hosts competition in five different classes of radio control model yachts, as well as four classes of freesail model yachts. The clubhouse is also home to an active Power Squadron, which showcases working model boats considered works of art. All season long, you will find that both squadrons hold regattas on Saturdays and Sundays – usually starting at 1 p.m. Some sail squadron classes will also host regattas on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons.
In February, the ‘Frost Bite Regatta’ takes place, which includes a showing of powerboats and any other model sailing vessel. The biennial “Wooden Boats on Parade” highlights the allure of hand built boats, but also includes boat engineering demonstrations. The Rubber Ducky Roundup is another event hosted by the clubhouse.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars to keep a lookout for opening day of the season, which occurs in early March of each year. The season ends in late October.
During your participation at the clubhouse, you may want to take in the sights of the manmade lake, which is a haven for birds and other creatures. Turtles often sun on the concrete sculpture situated at the west end of the lake. Some people make a day out of it with the kids.
Address: 36th Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive
Phone: (415) 386-1037
Season: Early March to late October