Where owning a boat is optional.
*Event and club photos taken by Jonny Nomad Media.
The Halifax River Yacht Club, incorporated as a private club on May 19, 1896, is believed to be the oldest yacht club on the eastern seacoast that is still located at its original site. In the Daytona Beach area, it is known to be the one private organization that has been in continuous operation from 1896 to the present — spanning three centuries.
An author once wrote, eulogizing the Club: “The Queen of the River, she balances on her spindly legs in the brackish water of the Halifax River, as though she had just tip toed from the shore. She is old and shows her age, but has withstood lightning, hurricanes, and floods, all these years. She is the Halifax River Yacht Club, one of Daytona’s earliest landmarks.” She also has been called affectionately, “Heaven on the Halifax.”
With the Club’s founding in 1896, five men drafted the Constitution and Bylaws. These documents, though faded, are preserved and seen in the Club’s Historical Cabinet. The Club’s first meeting was held on 8 January 1896, attended by 13 prominent townsmen who were its founding fathers. All were avid sailors with a common sport, racing their gaff-rigged catboats on the Halifax River. Victor Vuillaume was elected the first Commodore with five members to the Board of Trustees.
Thirty-one members were elected to membership in February and committees were appointed. Treasurer E. G. Harris was instructed to collect a $10 initiation fee and 50 cents dues per month (about $500 and $25 today). Among these early members were R. S. Maley, Parker Wilder, Chas. E. Burgoyne, Charles Ballough, James N. Gamble, and Carl Knapp, many of whose names are well remembered by longtime residents. All worked to make the Yacht Club a reality that has prospered to this day.
During the first year, members met in the large Atlantic Building across the street where balls also were held. In March 1896, Laurence Thompson, a founding father of Daytona and one of the original 13 members, gave permission to construct a wharf from his premises on Beach Street, including the “riparian rights.” It was built 8 feet wide and ran out 150 feet with a T-structure at the end for a cost of $225. In February 1897 the original clubhouse, about 25 by 40 feet in size with porches on the south and east sides, was built by S. H. Gove for $1,367 — about $65,000 in 2003 dollars. This first building is now called the “West Room” and contains the Historical Cabinet with pictures and stories of the Club’s history. Chas. Burgoyne became the 4th Commodore in 1899 and initiated dredging a 4.5’ deep channel from the Club’s dock into the natural river channel, sharing the cost, and generously helping in other ways.
HRYC is a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs and the Yachting Clubs of America, allowing for reciprocal privileges at yacht clubs throughout Florida and across the country. For information contact Membership Director Freddie Friend at (386) 255-7459 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit the information request form under the membership tab on the website.
The HRYC recently welcomed aboard a new Executive Chef, Ronald Reed. Robert is a dedicated culinary leader with over 20 years of experience in casino, hotel and food service. He has provided culinary service for the President of the United States, The Queen of Holland, and the Kennedy family, as well as many celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. He has worked at the Hilton, Hotel Del Coronado, Bellagio and Westin properties. Robert has traveled extensively for his profession in the past and is looking forward to concentrating his efforts for the Halifax River Yacht Club.
The club is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week except Monday and breakfast is served on the weekends. They have both a clubhouse and a tiki bar where you can enjoy one of their delicious meals.
WEDDINGS AND PRIVATE EVENTS
You and your guests will be intrigued by the old world charm of the Halifax River Yacht Club. Their Commodore’s Room, Halifax Room, Flag Room and the Tiki Bar-Pool areas will impress you from the moment you arrive under the porte-cochere, entering through the large wooden doors and receiving sincere greetings from the amazing staff. The entire clubhouse is surrounded by warm colors and inviting pieces and adornments, with the dining areas all overlooking the breathtaking view of the Halifax River and the Marina.
No party is too big or small for their dedicated staff. From an intimate dinner for two to a celebration that fills an entire room, the exquisite cuisine and experienced service staff will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
You can contact the Banquet Manager, Kim Nelson, at (386)255-7459 or email@example.com with any questions you may have.
The biennial GulfStreamer Race from Daytona Beach, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina takes place during Memorial Day Weekend on even-numbered years. The first 10 miles of the Race is another challenge as the racers sprint to the Main Street Pier in Daytona Beach in the “Brian Every Sprint” race. Not only is this a “Race within a Race” before boats set a course to Charleston Harbor, 215 miles away, but it also gives spectators their best view. A separate trophy will be awarded in Charleston for this unique tradition.
The goal of the GulfStreamer is to increase awareness of sailing and area attractions and to provide an opportunity to organize a multi-state race offshore for several different classes of boats This year’s race was held from May 28 – 30.
JUNIOR SAILING CAMP – SUMMER SESSIONS
Available for boys and girls between the ages of 8-16. No experience is required to participate. Students get hands-on boating experience and learn boating safety and rules while having fun on the water. They have access to the pool and during inclement weather, alternate learning games will be enjoyed. Lunch, snacks and beverages are provided by HRYC.
Each junior sailor is required to pass a swimming test prior to being allowed out on the water. The swim test includes treading water in the deep end of the pool while putting on their life vest, swimming the length of the pool and back, then taking the life vest off.
The 2021 weeks available for registration are: July 12, July 19 and July 26.
The Halifax River Yacht Club is known by its members as a “fun family of friends” and offers an assortment of amenities to its members, as well as countless events, live music and activities to be a part of. They have a private pool, a boaters lounge, free day dockage and overnight slips, pickleball courts and are host to poker runs and regattas. If you are looking to be a part of a club, but want some more information, you can schedule a private tour today.
Throughout the Years: 1890-1999
- 1890s:The HRYC was incorporated as a private club on May 19, 1896.
- 1896: The first HRYC regatta was held on Washington’s Birthday.
- 1902: Mr. Gove built a 30-foot addition to the east end of the clubhouse that included the landmark square cupola.
- 1905: Commodore Allen gave the HRYC the Commodore Allen Trophy for long distance motor races (now displayed in the trophy case).
- 1906: A second story addition was made to the clubhouse, including today’s “Bridge” with a porch on the east end.
- 1930s: Powerboat races on the Halifax became more popular, reaching a peak in the late 1930s before World War II.
- 1950s: Many improvements were made, including the addition of a closed-in porch with glass-paneled sliding doors and a walk-around deck built at the east end where finger piers had previously provided dockage for several boats. It was called the River Room, and later became today’s Flag Room.
- 1951: The new Municipal Yacht Basin was completed, and the following year the Yacht Club made a major effort to relocate to a proposed new clubhouse on leased city property.
- 1970s: This time was considered the rebirth of ocean racing. Bylaws were amended to limit the number of active members to 500 persons.
- 1972: The Club sponsored the HRYC Invitational Race, running from Ponce Inlet to Cape Canaveral.
- 1974: The Commodores were organized, evolving from the First Mates.
- 1975: A large addition was made to the north side of the clubhouse, and the kitchen was moved down from the second deck.
- 1976: The introduction of the Lady Helmsman Race and the first running of the Daytona Challenge Race.
- 1978: The first Daytona to Bermuda race – known as the TransAt.
- 1984: The Club reached an active membership of 500.
- 1988: New “in-house” computer system was introduced.
- 1990: Commodore Robert Clarke, with First Lady Jeanette, took the helm in 1990 and brought a final resolution of the state’s challenge of the deed to previously submerged land that came in 1988.
- 1992: The Club amended its Bylaws to eliminate gender as a measure of status, thus providing that women could become full voting members and could aspire to becoming flag officers and even Commodore.
- 1995: The old clubhouse built above the water of the river was held together by diligent efforts and kept looking regal.
- 1996: The HRYC celebrated its Centennial Year, having grown and prospered on the same site longer than any other yacht club on the east coast.
- 1999: After103 years, the Club elected its first female director. The Commodears celebrated its 25th Anniversary. The final racing of the TransAt is held.
Halifax River Yacht Club
386.255.7459 • www.hryc.com
Office Hours: Tuesday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.