On a rainy afternoon in the Fall of 1989 several shore-bound sailors were trading sea stories in Rush Hilborn's dockside garage and the possibility of forming a yacht club surfaced. The idea of having a club composed of those who all had their boats in the Balboa Yacht Basin wasn't new to the marina, but having a group who were willing to put it together was the previously missing element. There were lots of reasons for giving up the idea: no available land on which to build, the city owned the marina, there were already a lot of yacht clubs, it would cost too much, who'd join ...,and more. But the idea of a club where everybody would be in the same location, and where friendships could be maintained among people who were frequently together, was intriguing and seemed worth a try.
The first collective meeting was held in January, 1990 at the old Gladstone's-4-Fish restaurant. Over 40 slip holders subscribed $20.00 each to underwrite the organization of the club and reimburse the five original members, Bill Burke, Paul Gerst, Bill Gorham, Rush Hilborn and Jerry Lester. The club was formed as a California not-for-profit corporation. Officers and Directors were elected and by-laws ratified. The Balboa Basin Yacht Club (BBYC) Burgee which flies from the marina's fore peak combines St. George's Cross with the family crest of Vasco Nunez de Balboa.
The BBYC is essentially a social club with activities consisting of dockside dinners and parties, local cruises to Catalina and other ports of call. The club has some type of boating related activity on a regular basis. In 1996 the Club acquired a small clubhouse adjacent to the marina which is used for meetings and Club parties. Its members enjoy the informal get-togethers, which have resulted from getting to know other boat owners in the Basin. The BBYC also serves as both a sounding board and spokesperson in matters which affect the welfare of those who keep their boats in the Balboa Yacht Basin.
The BBYC is a member of the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA), permitting our sailors to participate in the various races and allowing all of the members to visit the other yacht clubs with whom we have reciprocal privileges. We are also active in boating safety and medical emergency programs for both power and sailing vessels.