Island Heights Yacht Club

Island Heights Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States. Located on Barnegat Bay along the central coast of New Jersey, it is home of the Wanamaker Cup. Founded in July 1898, 30 summer residents agreed to form a yacht club and for that purpose assembled at the house of Charles Webb, a white house across from the club. The first meeting decided that race entrance fees were $.50, and boats must be skippered by owners in good standing.

Stories from Island Heights Yacht Club

On Aug. 9, 1898, the club constitution was adopted. Article 2 states that the purpose of the club is to promote yachting and rowing (rowing has seemed to fall to the wayside). Article 7 states that the original annual dues were to be $3 for members and $2 for junior members. Rule 11 states that the crew for any yachts shall consist of one man for every five feet of deck length and each yacht shall return to port with the same number of crew that she left with. Women were permitted to join in 1899, when an amendment was passed that allowed a ladies’ auxiliary to be formed.

On April 7, 1900, the club incorporated in the state of New Jersey at a cost of $5.16. Riparian rights were purchased at the foot of Oak Avenue for $100.00. Construction on the club house began and the facility was ready for the summer of 1900. On April 28, 1900, the membership agreed on plans for a south wing to the club house, a pier, and to modestly furnish the house for less than $3,500. They approved a north wing three years later for $3,000. They also agreed to purchase the riparian grant from Thomas Perrine for $200. Interclub races then began with Bay Head Yacht Club and Seaside Park Yacht Club. Spectators often viewed races from chartered railroad cars that left from the old Island Heights train station on River Avenue. On Aug. 2, 1901, Bay Head YC, Mantoloking YC, Seaside Park YC, and IHYC agreed to mark a bay channel from Bay Head to Island Heights.