Union League Yacht Club

The Union League Yacht Club is an affinity group organized within the Union League of Philadelphia. Membership is open to all League members and their guests, whether or not they are experienced yachtspersons.

Stories from Union League Yacht Club

The Union League Yacht Club is an activity of the Union League of Philadelphia, whose purpose is to encourage the sport of yachting within the League, promote safety and courtesy on the water and enhance friendship among the members. The Club began in 1983 after a couple of members of the Union League of Philadelphia attended a nine-day cruising course in the Virgin Islands run by the Annapolis Sailing School. Immediately, they were “hooked” on sailing. Leading the charge was Elliott Rittenhouse, who quickly took action and placed an announcement in the League’s newsletter asking for League members who were interested in sailing to attend a meeting. The first meeting brought 25 League members and the Yacht Club was formed thereafter, electing Elliot as the first Commodore. The club began to take shape with both an organizational structure and a program of events. The first Yacht Club cruise took place in the fall of 1983 at Great Oak Landing and traditions were started.

With more than 200 active members ranging in age from 21 to 90, the Union League Yacht Club is the largest affinity group in the Union League, and is open to all levels of boaters, including those with no boating experience, whether or not they own a boat.

Ellie Hovey, a founding member of the Yacht Club commented, “What keeps me involved is not only my interest in sailing, but the people in the club – the camaraderie, friendship & openness in sharing their boats with you.” This reinforces the Yacht Club’s commitment to involve members without boats. Many members willingly act as crew along with boat owners – a great way to meet and socialize with fellow League members. When asked to name the best thing about the Yacht Club, the members resoundingly cried “the people.”

The Union League Yacht Club is very excited to be a founding member of the NSHOF. While our Yacht Club is only 30 years old, we are part of a larger historic organization, The Union League of Philadelphia. By becoming a founding member, we have ensured that the Union League of Philadelphia will always have a place in Sailing History. We are a club built on tradition, and we look forward to creating a new tradition with our support for the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Wes McMichael