Island Heights Yacht Club

P.O. Box 721

River Avenue

Island Heights , NJ 08732

Founded in 1898, 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.



A Brief History of Island Heights Yacht Club
by Donald Bottomley, Past Club Historian

The following notes have been extracted from the original meeting minute book of the yacht club and cover the years from 1898 to 1911.

On July 28 1898, about 30 summer residents agreed to form a yacht club and for that purpose assembled at the house of Charles Webb (the 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.

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 $3500. They approved a north wing three years later for $3000. They also agreed to purchase the riparian grant from Thomas Perrine for $200. Interclub races then began with Bay Head and Seaside Park YC’s. 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.

On June 6, 1906, the House Committee was instructed to look into the possibility of installing a telephone in the club house.

On July 7, 1906, Mr. Van Sant authorized the purchase of a row boat for the club not to exceed $10.00.

On Sept. 5, 1908, the Ladies’ Auxiliary purchased the ship’s clock which now rests on the west wall.

Quick Links

The Sailing Museum & Hall of Fame

365 Thames Street

Newport, RI 02840