Poulsbo Yacht Club History

The start of the PYC, as told above by Jean Niemeier, took place in 1956. The incorporators - Hill Sawyer, Leif Ness, Fred Hill, Ed Niemeier and Clarence Gunderson - signed the Articles of Incorporation on March 20. Hill Sawyer was the first commodore.

The first yearbook (1956-57) was issued featuring the club burgee on the cover, an introduction by the trustees, articles of incorporation, by-laws and a membership roster of 150 members. Our first club house, the Panabode building referenced in Jean Niemeier's story, was 30' x 60' and cost between $8,000 and $9,000, partially financed by the sale of $50 bonds at 4% interest. The first rummage sale, the All Seas Bazaar, was held Aug. 2 & 3, 1957 in the partially finished building.

Every member was asked to contribute one day's work or pay a $20 assessment, the birth of our present Work or Pay program. On Aug. 17, 1957 the first potluck dinner/meeting was held in the new clubhouse.

The first Codfish Derby, dinner and dance were held Feb. 7, 1958, with the most successful fisherman/woman given the " Jerk of the Year" award. In the early years of the club, yearbooks were financed by advertisements; the 1958-59 issue featured 30 ads, mostly by members, many of which were prominent local merchants strongly involved in the growth of our community and club. The PYC joined the Women's Interclub Council (W.I.C.) in 1958. WIC had been formed officially during a meeting in Bremerton on September 25,1957; however, women's auxiliaries inter-club visits date back to 1938, when the Bremerton Skipperettes organized and invited the Tacoma Shipmates and the Everett Barnacles. The 1958-59 issue of our yearbook made reference to the first Rainier/Poulsbo log race held in 1959.

[The following is from the 1961-62 Yearbook, page 3 "THIS IS THE POULSBO YACHT CLUB-1960": ]


It all started when a Poulsbo boat stopped by a neighboring yacht club on a cold, snowy day in February, 1956. The warm friendliness shown the chilled boatmen inspired their desire to return such hospitality. The wonderful Poulsbo harbor was certain to be exploited sooner or later by some private concern, while the community sat quietly unaware of unique position. So the snowy-day boatmen organized a non-profit corporation, writing into it broad powers to cover every conceivable project of interest or benefit to the town, the port, private merchants, local fishermen, all visitors. A small notice appeared in the local paper: "Any persons interested in forming a Poulsbo Yacht Club are invited to a pot-luck supper, etc."One hundred and fifty people came to supper that night!

Ever since, PYC has been an energetic, going concern. The do-it yourself policy which originated the club continues. Merchants, commercial boatmen, pleasure boat owners and interested visitors are members. If married, wives must belong as well as husbands. Members are from all walks of life, with no regard to size of boat or pocketbook. Many have no boats at all. Their bond is one with the town, the port, boating generally, and good fellowship.

A lease was secured from the town, on the site where the clubhouse is located. Only then, it was only tidelands. Members scrounged piling from neighboring beaches, drove piling, brought in tons of dirt and gravel, laid a thick slab of concrete and got together to erect the club house out of pre-cut material. Nearly every member bought a $50 bond, to cover the cost of the material. There is no other indebtedness. The responsibility for operation and continuance of the organization rests equally on every member.

Members cleared away the brush from the adjoining hillside, planted shrubs. They sponsor the Girl Marines and participate in the International power Boat, Course and Compass, Ladies' Day, foul weather races, Power squadron activities, inter-club luncheons, and exchange programs with other clubs. This has brought wide publicity to the town and the benefits are felt by local merchants. PYC is ranked with the best of boating groups and the red, white and blue burgee, with its proud Viking ship has flown in many ports and brought back friends and visitors. Perhaps the most unusual activity is the annual cod-fishing derby, where members compete in January to see who can jerk the biggest codfish on his jig, to acquire title of the"Jerk of the Year." Monthly meetings are usually preceded by potluck suppers. The mimeo "Springline" recites a whole calendar of interesting matters. The yearly rummage sale has become a money-making event, widely anticipated by the whole community.

The budget will probably always be limited, since the members do not aspire to a plushy club, and adhere strictly to a pay-as-you-go policy. Ultimately the clubhouse will complete showers, build another wing, and a fireplace, and have someone on hand to welcome, register and assist visitors.
Relations with town and port are excellent. All are now engaged in an ambitious plan to build a new bulkhead, and more mooring spots. PYC members have spent hundreds of hard hours spotting, drilling and dynamiting rocks, which the town equipment has transported out in front of the building. PYC hired a huge crane which placed the first rocks on April 12(the first good tide). The new bulkhead will mean a small park out in front, with a graded spot for beach barbecues ashore. It will greatly expand port facilities and provides a quieter launching spot for the many trailer-borne craft.

They say you get out of an organization just about what you put into it. For that reason we are not interested in members for quantity's sake. We welcome those who will join in putting their shoulders to the big wheel of effort and share with us the pleasure of talking, planning and working to make new friends for Poulsbo, North Kitsap County, and THE POULSBO YACHT CLUB.


On Jan. 2, 1966 an Open House was held honoring a new addition to the clubhouse. The following year saw George Snelson and Walt Woodward as Vice and Rear Commodore in 1967. A Harvest Ball in Oct. 1968 had our own club band in action. In 1969 the first PYC sailing races were held on Liberty Bay in Nelson dinghies. Ed Niemeier was voted Honorary Life Commodore Award for being an ' inspirational leader, a shining light and the club's founding father'.

In 1970, Mary Gray presented an original painting by her, of the clubhouse. Ed Gray led sailing classes in Nelson dinghies, attended by 35 children and adults; all instructors were PYC members. 15 boats entered the Codfish Derby, with Virginia Ganson winning the "Jerk of the Year" award. The PYC came of age that year in predicted log racing with entrants in many races. The membership, which stood at 274 that year, put on a vaudeville show during Viking Fest; the curtain was a giant canvas made by Marge Schmuck, listing Poulsbo ' s merchants.

[The following is from the 1972-73 Yearbook, page 40 "1971 IN REVIEW": ]


 "Sailing into the New Year" was the theme of the New Years Ball, and that"s exactly what members at PYC did-sailed into and through a year which offered a wide variety of Club social, cruising and inter club events, plus that perpetual challenge of fund raising to support the many activities. 
    Beginning with a New YEARS Cruise to Gig Harbor, other family outings took members southward to Quartermaster on Memorial Day, and to Mystery Bay over the Labor Day weekend. Many memorable rendevous were held further north during the summer months, as members enjoyed rafting up and sharing their experiences in the surrounding natural beauty of such areas as the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound. Seen in various coves and inlets were BIG TOOT II, CIMARRON, ISLAND FLING, SHIELD, KOLOTELO, PUGET PRINCESS, QUIT WISHIN H, SCHOTTISCHE II and YANKEE V. 
    With a cloud of smoke and a tremendous bang, a newer and safer cannon started the annual Codfish Derby in January, which saw members, inspired with a generous ration of rum, jerking their lurers in all manner and form up and down Agate Pass. The winning jerk by Cec Willis was celebrated later at the Codfish Ball, with Queen Mary Hudler presiding over and, in fact, creating most of the festivities. 
    More formal affairs saw members skidding through the snowflakes in February to attend the Junior Officers, Ball, which had a Patriotic Theme. Our own Commodore was honored later in June at the Commodore’s Ball, which featured an Oriental-Japanese Theme. 
    Other parties included the Rainier - Poulsbo Dance and the Hyne Cookout and Installation. Fun lovers attending the Harvest Ball in October danced amid pumpkins, squash, corns talks and skeletons to the music of Wayne Mason and the Halloween Justlers, supping at midnight, and fighting those goblins the next morning. 
    Action-packed races attracted predicted loggers to the International predicted, Bremerton Heavy Weather, Everett Invitational, Rainier Poulsbo, Meydenbauer Boomerang, Edmonds Round-the-Isle, Tacoma Olympia and Seattle Yacht Club Challenge Races. 

 Fred Remington placed second in the International Race and honored us by placing second overall in the Jerry Bryant Skipper of the Year Award. Fred also won PYC's Skipper of the Year Award, with Chuck Lowrey next in line, followed by Bob Johnson, Walt Woodward and George Pace. 
    A quarter here, a dollar there, sales and bargains everywhere-that’s what attracted participants in the annual Rummage Sale, which, under the direction of the Randalls and Masons, proved to be the best yet. Another fund-raiser, very unique,-PYC1s Troll Show at the Viking Fest, was an instant success, delighting young and old and all those in between. 
(See also [click here] for more aerial photos  by P/C Tom Henderson)
    WIC luncheons were attended at several clubs around the Sound, but the highlight of the year was the one our own gals hostessed in April. Held at the Viking House and featuring a travel program, it attracted over 150 gals. 
    Slides of Australia, of the 1970 Alaskan Race, of early Club Happenings, and of cruises farther north, were featured at the year1s monthly meetings-along with short lessons in boating safety by Bob Bowsher and Cec. Willis, that proved to be as entertaining as they were practical.
    Eighteen new members joined PYC this year, to bring our total to 299,and with new ideas and several projects in the making, this next year should prove to be more challenging and rewarding than ever. [end of "1971 IN REVIEW"]

The July 15, 1972 International Cruise Race started from Poulsbo, the clubs first opportunity to host this event. The following year the clubhouse roof was replaced, the galley remodeled and a trophy case installed. The fuel crisis almost caused the Christmas Ship Parade to be cancelled. After much debate, and many letters and telephone calls from the public, the event went ahead with only 5 boats. A record 6 PYC boats participated in the International Cruiser Race to Victoria. 1n 1974 the 'Annual Invitational Sailing Race' was established with our nearest neighbors, the Port Madison Y.C. Commodore Barney Thompson summed up the feelings of the club with a memorable quote in the 1973-74 yearbook: "Another year of ' messing about in boats ' has added to our store of memories , to be drawn out and relived from time to time."

In 1977 the club took a giant step forward with the purchase of our present building site and water space for the marina. Commodore Arnold Morton and his wife Bernice fronted the $5,000 earnest money to hold the property until they could convince the membership of the wisdom of purchasing the last available piece of land so perfect for our purposes. In June the club paid $100,000 for the site, the former ARCO dock and uplands, and leased the tidelands from the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR). The purchase was financed by the sale of $100 bonds at 7% interest which raised $96,000; the balance was paid from the treasury. Walt Jolly was the bond chairman. The plan was to pay off 10% of the bonds per year, by way of a drawing. That year the Yearbook was changed to a loose leaf format, and advertising was eliminated.

In 1978, club member Vince Bryan's BARBARIAN with 2 other members in the crew of 7 entered the Victoria - Maui race and placed our burgee in the Hawaii YC. Bob Johnson's SCHOTTISCHE IV won 1st overall in the International Power Cruise Race, a first for the PYC. On May 24, the first of 10 annual bond drawings was held to pay for the marina property purchase.

During the sixties, seventies and eighties many traditions were born, the membership grew and the by-laws were amended from time to time to improve the operation of the organization.

Another first was established in 1979, when P/C David and Tasha Davis organized the first annual crab feed. This popular event has been held every year except one, when no crab was available. The property was rezoned for ' public use marina ' . In 1980 Floyd McManus started a youth sailing program, and the club established another first: The SYC Stimson Trophy race was won by the PYC for best 4 boat team, and the Latt trophy for best individual boat.

In 1981 a 25th Anniversary Commemorative folder was issued and a special P/C ball held on September 25. Commodore Bob Bedinger stated: "In reviewing the objects and purposes stated by our organizers 25 years ago, one cannot help but feel that their hopes for the future of our club are being realized. As we look ahead to the next 25 years, we again find ourselves with hopes for the future - our own moorage, a new and improved clubhouse, ample parking etc.Knowing the caliber of our members, I have no doubt that the present hopes will also be realized.

That year 8' El Toro sailing prams were added to the sail training fleet, either loaned or purchased by members and donated to the program. At the November general meeting, the first official proposal to build the marina was presented; Floyd McManus was a real mover on this, as were Dick Hess and Walt Jolly.

In October 1982 all the permits were in hand for the new marina, which required a start of construction within one year. By August of the following year the pressure was on to start construction. Bremerton Concrete delivered the first 4 sections of floats to the Port of Poulsbo boat launching ramp, where club members assembled them. They were then towed by Chuck Lowry and his PUGET PRINCESS to our new property where they were attached to the existing pier; this action reserved the permit process. As this pier was badly in need of rebuilding, a work party was organized to replace stringers and planking. By November the first usable 40 slip section of moorage was in place and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held.

February '84 saw 120 slips in place, mostly financed by pre-sales. When financing became tight, an offer was made to existing slip owners to purchase one or more additional slips at the original price, and many owners stepped up to the plate again. In July the gate house containing the electrical service, designed by Tom Henderson and built by Tom Valiga and Mel Schmuck, was torched by a suspected arsonist, cutting all power to the docks. Chuck Lowry organized landscaping for the property, with plantings and ditches for parking lot lighting and sprinkler system. In September John and Barb Stephenson started the monthly Friday night steak fry which has continued since; no business is conducted, just good fellowship.

In 1985 the Work or Pay program was officially restarted, with 8 hours of work required per member per year, or pay $4 per hour not worked. The club took a big step forward when it purchased the adjacent (to the north) Edmonds Yacht Club property for $105,000, payable in 5 annual payments, and the use of 4 club owned slips for a 5 year period. On July 4 Marge Schmuck and Virginia Valiga started the annual recognition of our country ' s Independence Day in the old metal shed which was on the newly purchased property. In June '87 the final bonds for the purchase of the marina and clubhouse site were paid off. Some years a $50 per member assessment was charged to pay off this debt. Commodore Crowder appointed a standing committee for clubhouse planning, and Arnie and Bernice Morton received the Arnold Morton Award, established by Dick Hess for outstanding service to the club. The following year the club received approval for rezone and a shoreline permit allowing major expansion of our facilities - discussions were also started on covers for A dock.

March 1989: The first estimate of $679,376 for development of the grounds and clubhouse was submitted. The clubhouse design and cost estimates raised some serious questions, and some meetings became a bit confrontational , so it was back to the drawing board. Ideas for a clubhouse ran the gamut from bringing in a barge and building an ark type structure on it, to obtaining surplus 1-room classrooms and connecting them. In June the EYC mortgage was paid off and deposits were taken on A dock covers. Jim and Carol Haskins restarted a youth sail training program at our marina with 10 students.


In 1990 the future D dock was discussed and the membership approved the covers for A dock. The clubhouse construction funds reached $305, 000 due to a renewed successful push on slip sales. A membership survey was held to assess the skills available to help in construction. On July 3rd the first Liberty Bay boat parade, prior to the fireworks, was organized by John and Barb Stephenson; this tradition is alive and well today. July 4 saw the last event in our old clubhouse downtown, with a large crowd in attendance. From then on and until the new clubhouse was ready, the meetings were held at the Sons of Norway building. The Arctic Express came roaring through that December and did considerable damage to the marina.

With permits in hand for the new clubhouse, a ground breaking ceremony was held on Jan. 1, 1991. [Clubhouse Story] Our contractor was Jim Engels. A nonsmoking policy was adopted, causing some controversy. In April a work party was held on the clubhouse sub-floor to pre-stain the cedar siding. The Youth sailing program, with 3 Puget Trainers and 3 Lasser II boats on loan from the Seattle Sailing Foundation, was shifted to Kingston due to all the construction activity at our facility. Many manhours of work were put in by the membership in sub-floor strengthening, cabinet work, painting, landscaping, storm sewers and sprinkler system. On August 28 a dedication ceremony was held to officially open the new clubhouse and the first board and general meetings were held in the new facility in September. Tom Valiga asked for contributions for a 100 year time capsule which was buried in front of the clubhouse near the entrance - the spot is marked by a plate.

Compared to the hectic pace of the previous years, the period 1992 - 1995 was relatively quiet. Further improvements were made to the clubhouse, including parking lot lighting designed by Tom Henderson, conversion to natural gas, and entrance gate by Bob " Smitty" Smith. Plans for A dock covers, D dock and storage building also moved along. On Jan. 5, 1993 the first meeting of the Retired Gentlemens Association, a.k.a. the O.F.C., was held. In 1993 the Adopt-A-Highway program was started by John and Earleen Hunt.

A new clubhouse rental policy was adopted in 1994, eliminating rentals to non-members, and the dues were raised from $100 to $125 to offset rental loss. The storage building was completed and Gloria Holcomb became the first female Bridge member. A new dockmaster program was established to simplify and control the reciprocal dock. Personalized bricks were sold to the membership to help finance the $35,000 barbecue. Our junior members took 1st place in the SYC Opening Day Junior Decorated Boat Division.

In June 1996, the club installed our first female commodore, Gloria Holcomb. Thanks to "Smitty" and Jim Gilmer, a new flagpole and bulkhead were installed. Charlie and Harumi Nation's PYC cookbook made up of members' recipes was ready for sale in October and became an immediate success.

In January 1997 a report was made to the membership on the '96/97 winter storm damage, which was not significant thanks to repeated snow clearing by members in between storms. The Edmonds YC, however, incurred considerable damage and requested temporary moorage at our marina, which was gladly given. A new social event was tried in August, a Welcome Back Margarita Party, hosted by the PYC Board, which was so well attended that it also has become a regular event to start the new club season. Membership was reported to be pushing the 400 mark. That Fall a new series of Sunday afternoon sailing races was started, and the 2 day sailing race around Bainbridge Island was resurrected. A reminder was issued that the club-owned Puget Trainer ' Li'l Red' was available to any club member. The new BBQ pavilion with natural gas grills was completed.

In Feb. '98 the club established a Web page, www.poulsboyc.org, password Viking, which was expected to help slip sales and provide information on our club to members and the outside world. That year's SYC Opening Day parade saw our juniors again win 1st place, and the PYC officers boat EASTWIND won the dressed sail category. In June all the authorized club slips were sold, and the scullery remodeling and enlargement was progressing nicely. The Independence Day celebration this year included, for the first time, a children's parade and readings by children of quotations by early patriots. A new social event, Octoberfest, was started in the Fall, and all cross stichers, embroiderers and needle-pointers were invited to ' Half-Hitches', a new social activity held 2 Mondays a month in the membership lounge. Two new committees were also formed that Fall, one to explore an Outstation, the other to set up a Youth Sailing Program.

In 1998, the Outstation plan was rejected by the membership. The Youth Sailing Program, although scaled down from its original plan, was operated for two weeks in August. Sixteen youngsters completed the well-organized course. The program was a huge success.

The year 2000 saw several improvements to our beautiful facility and marina. The aging Dockmaster Shack and the pier beneath it needed extensive repair. A new structure resembling a lighthouse was built, after the work on the pier was completed. The small clubhouse trophy case was replaced with a handsome, lighted, mahogany cabinet. Later in the year, the bar was expanded and constructed with matching mahogany woodwork. It included a marble counter top, wine chiller, glass washer, and beer cooler.

A TGIF was added to the social calendar and the steak fry's were continued through the summer.

[The following was contributed by P\C Phil Osterli, and P\C Ken and Pat Harrington "PYC History Update" - Enhancement of Club Facilities - & 2005 - 2012 Update ]

PYC History Update 
Authored by P/C Ken Harrington & P/C Phil Osterli
   In 2005, under the leadership of Sue Johnson, an improvements committee was formed to enhance Club facilities.  Over the next 2 years, a survey of the membership, numerous committee meetings, information updates and an affirmative vote at the 2007 Annual Meeting to spend up to $80K on the recommended improvements were conducted. After several public hearings and approval by the City of Poulsbo in 2008, construction began. Jack Sutherland coordinated the construction effort of contractors and member volunteers under the supervision of P/C Skip Peters. Over 1300 hours of volunteer work by Club members significantly contributed to the timely under budget effort. Upon completion in January 2009, a new storage room had been added, the coatroom remodeled, the juniors got their own quarters, a new ships store took shape, the lounge was remodeled and a new quarterdeck with removable exterior panels increasing club capacity for social events had been constructed.  Additionally, the Skylarks reupholstered the furniture in the members lounge, adding the fireplace and new TV. Later that year, Doug Garner coordinated an all-volunteer replacement of the outer deck floor overlooking the marina with new stringers and composite flooring. 
   Work started on the pier with an inspection in 2005, sistering of degraded pilings in 2006 and completion with new decking and railings in 2007.  Cost was shared equally by PYC and MMA.  2005 also saw the donation and installation of the junior sailing club house on the docks.
   PYC’s 50th Anniversary was celebrated all year long in 2006. [See P\C Tom Herderson's Tribute] Members wore lapel pins and clothing with 50th anniversary logos and flew a 50th anniversary burgee on their yachts. The highlight of the celebration was a 50th anniversary luncheon hosted by Commodore Harrington. The highlight of the luncheon honoring Past Commodores was the inspiring and uplifting remarks by Past Commodores including PC Hal Hoover, our 2nd Commodore (1958-59).  Their remarks gave us all a deep appreciation for what it took to create and build the Club we enjoy today.     

2008 marked the formal recognition of Skylarks as a line item entity in the PYC budget.
MMA established the Maintenance and Planning and Safety and Environment Committees to improve dock facilities and safety in 2010.  These were made standing committees of the MMA Board in the restated MMA Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in 2011.  In 2012, the MMA board established the “DNR Lease Committee” to begin the lengthy process of preparing for MMA negotiations with DNR to renew the aquatic lands lease under our PYC marina.

[End of "PYC History Update" ]

10/04The Junior Sailing program acquired 11 new Dewitt sailing dinghies to replace the aged El Toro fleet. This popular program graduated 44 students in the summer of 2000 and 76 in both the beginning and intermediate classes in 2001.
07-11-09 Remodel Work Parties

The Junior Sailing Program continues to grow, as 2004 saw 91 youngsters complete the program. The program now spans 8 weeks, with both beginner and advanced levels. Many of our graduates are now members of the North Kitsap High School Sailing Team. Along with the sailing program, the Poulsbo Yacht Club Juniors are now an active part of the club. They total 22 members and are involved in all aspects of our boating activities. They have been instrumental in purchasing and securing donated Lasers sailboats to add to our sailing program. We recently were awarded the Garrett Horder Memorial Trophy for our development of the Junior Sailing and Junior Yacht Club Programs. They represent PYC with a float in the Poulsbo Viking Fest parade.

This club chronology, abbreviated due to space restrictions, brings us up the present. A more comprehensive history is being worked on, as well as possibly a small library. Your involvement and contributions are invited - please stay tuned.


New Building

Poulsbo Yacht Club has a proud history. It is important that we remember the events that made this one of he premiere organizations in the Seattle area. The charter anil long time members gave selfishly so that we can enjoy boating from this wonderful facility. Many of these folks are still with us, but as time moves forward, the rue events of those years can be easily forgotten. I asked a committee to chronicle their thoughts and research into a club history. You have just read a synopsis of their efforts. I hope that knowing the hard work and wisdom that built PYC will make us all proud members.

Tom Harris P/C




PYC Honors Our WWII Veterans

Top row (left to right): Ralph Weaver, Bob Johnson and George Gregg
Bottom row: Chuck Lowery (Jeff Steel’s grandfather) and Mel Schmuck ( Patty Henderson’s father)

[PYC WWII veterans: as of July 2019, Ralph Weaver was the remaining survivor.  Bob Johnson PC, George Gregg, Chuck Lowery PC, Mel Schmuck. Chuck is PC Jeff Steel’s grandfather, Mel is Patty Henderson’s father and was onboard the USS Missouri during the signing of Japan's surrender ending the war.]

[Photo provided by John Helbig]





Past Commodore Tom Henderson
Good evening, my name is Tom Henderson and I was the 33rd commodore of the Poulsbo Yacht Club during 1988 - 1989. Patty and I joined the club in 1983, but had been quite aware of the activities of PYC because Patty's parents Mel and Margie schmuck had been members since 1975 and had kept us up to speed on all the action. I was asked by Vice Commodore Lisa Conrad to give a brief history of how this organization came to be …. I've thought about what to say…. There are so many stories to share, hours and hours to tell just what I know would be too much fun. 
I will try to be brief. I have broken the story down into 10 year segments with two to three minutes per decade 
At the end I would like to propose a toast to the past 0 years and a separate Toast to the next 60 years. So please, everyone have a glass of something to raise for the toast. 
The toast to the past 60 years 
It is with great and sincere appreciation that we dedicate this evening to our past, present and future. To all the past, present and future commodores, flag officers, the boards of trustees as well as all our members over the past years, currently and into the future. 
We all need to be aware of the hard work, dedication, planning and sacrifice it took to create the original yacht club property and building of 34 years out of the mudflats at the port of Poulsbo where the marine science center currently stands. 
We also need to acknowledge the forethought of this early group of leaders to step up to envision, plan and create our existing marina and clubhouse that we enjoy here today.  
Here's to the past!!! 
It is our hope that with this same spirit, dedication and hard work our club will continue to go forward and provide the first class yacht club facilities and activities that the officers and members envisioned 60 years ago when they created our articles of incorporation.
Here's to the next 60 yrs! 
The first 10 years beginning summer 1956 75 Poulsbo, North Kitsap and Bainbridge people gathered at the miller bay home of Ed and Jean Niemeier to discuss the possible interest in officially forming the Poulsbo yacht club. By September of 1956 they had membership of about 140. They had been officially recognized by the state of Washington as the Poulsbo Yacht Club. They had a burgee designed and crafted by Mrs. Hill Sawyer. They didn't have a club house, so they met at the armory on Jensen Way. 
Soon, Ed Niemeier, who was also the city attorney found a piece of tidelands not belonging to anyone. The luck and the dream of the Poulsbo Yacht Club were coming together. However, the tidelands were actually mudflats. Soon Clarence Paulson, the city engineer, along with Ed, John Ephland and Fred Hill of Fred Hill materials, all PYC members found a way to fill in the mudflats with rock and gravel fill to create a base for the future clubhouse. A panabode pre-cut cedar home kit was purchased with $50.00 bonds and member work parties put it all together… all in the first year of the PYC!! 
The next 9 years they continued to build the infrastructure of the organization, created boating events and social activities. PYC struck a deal with the city to lease the land and clubhouse for 25 years. A buck a year, lease expires April 30, 1990. 
1966 the club is now 10 years old. The club had grown in members and the original site and clubhouse were bursting with activities. The leadership had doubled the size of the building by adding the south wing with a fireplace, an outside patio with overhead cover on the west side so they could enjoy the outside while under cover. They were also able to increase the size of the lot for additional parking and a drive around the building. 
All was good and well, just about perfect for the next 10 years, except Poulsbo was growing to be a popular destination, the port was growing in size and parking downtown and near the clubhouse was beginning to be a problem. 
By 1976 the club was beginning to really suffer from Poulsbo squeeze. Three years before in 1973 another lucky thing happened. The oil embargo and production slow-down. In 1977 the Richfield Arco company put their diesel fuel and furnace oil distribution site on the market. Arnold Morton was on the PYC board, and being a very astute fellow, made a recommendation to the board to take a serious look at acquiring the property. This was met with not much enthusiasm. Arnie made several more attempts to convince the board, and still there was very little interest. Finally, Arnie and Bernice Morton put $5,000.00 of their own money as earnest down to hold the property until Arnie could convince the board to decide it could sell bonds to finance the $100,000.00 to buy it. Shortly after the bonds were generated in 1977, the board started the planning necessary to design and create a marina at the new site and then to build the clubhouse. After many revisions, final plans for a 120 slip marina permit was approved by the corp. Of army engineers, city of Poulsbo, Wash. State Dept. Of Ecology, Dept. Of Natural Resources and Fish and Wild Life.  
Now to determine how we were going to finance the construction of the marina and clubhouse. After much consideration and planning, it was determined to use a phased approach and to sell slips to finance the building of slips, and hold the profits in the construction fund to build the clubhouse and upland infrastructure. In 1983 a float was placed at the foot of the dock which constituted beginning the project before the permit expired. Over the next few years the marina expanded in phases and our construction fund increased. 
The decade from 1986 through 1996 were very intense and very productive. 
The phased approach to slip sales and construction generated the cash through a onetime development to do the following; 
1.    Build slips 
2.    Buy the Edmond yacht club property next door 
3.    Design and build the clubhouse including the marine staging area the deck 
4.    Landscape and parking 
5.    Build the shop/office building to the north 
6.    Build the barbeque pavilion 
7.    Build "d" dock 
All of the above were designed and built without having to borrow money from a bank and without having to assess the membership. Individual members stepped up to purchase slips, offered their time and expertise to help build, dig, plant, and work hard. We gained may new members in the process. 
In 1990 our lease of the old clubhouse and property downtown was about to terminate. The new clubhouse design was approved and Jim Ingalls of Kitsap trident homes was chosen to build it. This was 13 years after the purchase of the Richfield Arco property. It was time to settle down and play "yacht club" Rear Commodore Gloria Holcomb's comments at 1996 40 year anniversary 1996 to 2006 the club continued to flourish with growth of membership, expanded social and boating events, minor updates of facilities and general good will and comradery. 2006 we celebrated our 50th anniversary in the years to follow we actually had to re-deck the marine staging area, built the quarter deck cover for expanded interior seating, remodeled the coat room, added a junior yacht club room and created new chair and table storage on the north end of the main room. 
Here we are today celebrating our 60th anniversary with much to celebrate as well as to look forward to. 
Toast to the past 
Toast to the future 

PYC Theme Song

Some time in 2018 Gina O'Neal wrote the words to the Poulsbo Yacht Club Theme Song. Around the same time, Greg Tarr organized the PYC Ukulele Orchestra*, aka "PYC Ukulele Band", and performed the song at several club events.  [*Editors Note: according to Lana Tarr "Greg calls it the PYC Ukulele Orchestra."]
According to Gina, "It all started when Rear Commodore Debbie Lee, now Commodore, created the ukulele band! "You Are My Sunshine" was the first song we learned from Greg on a cruise. So I used that tune."
"But I was going on a trip and only had one day to write it while packing. So then I tossed it by email to Lana Tarr and Debbie Lee for edits, and by the time I got home, a few things had been  adjusted and voila! a song! I believe Debbie wanted to sing it at every pot luck that had new members. If she (Debbie Lee) hadn't started the band, I doubt we'd have a song." 
According to Lana Tarr: "As I remember it, after a practice session, we were talking about how PYC needed a "theme song".  Gina agreed we should have one, and I challenged her to write one.  The next day at our practice she brought "the song".  We were blown away and I was so surprised and proud of her.  That's how I remember the birth of the song."
Below is a 2020 recording of the song for a fundraising event to support the PYC Junior Sailing Program. The song was first sung publicly in 2019 during the city of Poulsbo's Viking Fest Parade.
(tune “You Are My Sunshine”)  Lyrics by Gina O'Neal
We are a yacht club, the Poulsbo Yacht Club
We like to eat and drink and play.
We hoist the sails up, we rev the engines.
As we cruise down Liberty Bay.
We cook with crock pots. We dodge the crab pots.
We know the currents, winds, and tides.
The newbies scurry, but there’s no hurry
Vintage members will be your guide.
The guys have OFA - they’re on the sofa,
With doughnuts sharing ocean tales
A bit of shop talk, a lot of blarney,
But it keeps them out of jail.
The gals plan parties, the gals have luncheons
And they have SKYLARKS, WIC and WOW.
A dance will pop up, we all will mop up.
Volunteers, come line up now!
And when the sun shines, we know it’s summer.
We scatter far and wide with glee.
Best place on earth here, get on your boat, dear
And go navigate the Salish Sea.
We are a yacht club, the Poulsbo Yacht Club
We like to eat and drink and play.
We hoist the sails up, we rev the engines.
As we cruise down Liberty Bay.


Opening Day 1990

From "Start of Poulsbo Yacht Club" by Jean Niemeier 


"Right away folks started talking about a clubhouse." 

"But where? And how to pay?" 

In clearing up legal descriptions for some Poulsbo property where Mobil Oil wanted to put a gas station, Ed found one piece of tidelands not belonging to anybody. An odd-shaped piece, it should belong to the City, but what could the City do with it' Well, Ed thought the City could lease the mudflat to PYC for $1 a year if we would keep the junk off it. We could use it to launch small boats. That seemed to suit everybody. Now if only PYC had some upland property, we could build, only nobody wanted to sell any. Well, why not make some land? Fill in the mud. The place was in nobody’s way and there were no complaints, so that is what was done! The fellows corralled logs and Clarence Paulson, Town Engineer, dove some pilings in his spare time. But the southwest wind washed though and over the logs and they collapsed in a jumble. 

"Has to be rocks," said John Ephland, an old deep-sea diver who knew blasting and heavy construction. Ed had lots of gear so he and John drove all over North Kitsap looking for rocks. When they saw a big one, they’d offer to remove it and folks were usually delighted. One man wanted an especially difficult one taken out, only to have his wife so excited about the lovely rocks--after it was all in pieces-that she wouldn’t let the fellows take them away. But the first rocks dumped into the mud were the big boulders Jean had been saving for her new rock garden; Ed thought the Yacht Club needed the rocks worse than Jean did. When they were dumped into the muck, they just went down out of sight, it was that sloppy. But finally enough broken concrete and rock were dumped in so that there was a dry piece of land big enough to build on. 

When Fred and the other fellows judged that the land was firm enough to support a building, everybody had ideas but the big question was money. It was decided to sell $50 bonds without interest, to be redeemed by lot; that way nobody would buy many and everybody would share in the expense. Just about every family pitched in to buy two or three bonds. Fred and Bob Hayes and Leif and Bjarne and Les and Mel and all the other guys set to work to fill and level the site, and when Hal Hoover and Jergy Almos laid out the Panabode housing that had been ordered, everybody got into the act. There were boards to assemble, the oof to put on, plumbing, wiring, painting-you name it. Lil Almos and the gals put on a Rummage Sale. Poulsbo folks came to look and comment. They couldn’t believe that the Clubhouse was sitting where there had been only water before. 

Folk have to be reminded about this every so often, because nobody can possibly remember all the haul work and organizing that it took to put Poulsbo Yach Club together-not just as the Clubhouse, but as a responsible, solvent organization of wonderful people (whether they are on or off their boats)-every single one of them. 
The Grand 14 - What Is It and Why Is It Important?
by Commodore Earl Hunt (2021-22)
I would guess that most PYC Members have at least heard of the Grand 14 - the flags displayed to the left represent the Puget Sound area Yacht Clubs who are members of the group.  You have likely noticed these very same flags displayed in out Clubhouse, right above the Flag Officer table. But how many Members know the history of the Grand 14, its purpose and why it is important to PYC and our Members?
History and Classes
The Grand 14 has been in existence since 1949.  Its primary goal is to work with all of the major Puget Sound yacht clubs to further our common boating interests. Key to fostering the communication between and among Grand 14 clubs, is the concept of a Class of Bridge Officers at each of the clubs.  Each class has a year designation, as well as a mascot and class song.  For example, me and my Commodore counterparts in the Grand 14 are the Class of 2022 and our mascot is a Triton. Vice Commodore Owen is in the Class of 2023 and their mascot is a Kingfisher.  Rear Commodore Valladarez is in the Class of 2024, and their mascot is a Salty Dog. Sounds a lot like a college fraternity or sorority, and it kind of is!
The New Rear Commodores Meet
The first time a new class of incoming Rear Commodores and their spouses meet each other is at the August Cruise-In, hosted at the Bremerton Yacht Club. This is an opportunity to get to know each other and experience a welcome sense of relief that we are all in this somewhat unknown adventure together. The recently promoted Vice Commodores and Commodores also attend this event.  This is where the incoming Rear Commodore class chooses their mascot and class song, and sings the new song in front of the the other two classes at the end of the cruise-in. This is only the first of many events that the Grand 14 clubs sponsor.  The event specifically for the Junior Officers (Vice Commodores and Rear Commodores) is the J.O. Ball with the J.O. short for Junior Officer.  Each club sponsors this event every other year and most J.O. Balls are themed with attendees in full costume.  This is an opportunity for the members of the hosting club to honor their junior officers and a chance to meet the junior officers from the other clubs.  Due to the pandemic, our J.O. Ball scheduled for early 2021 was cancelled.  The next J.O. Ball at PYC will be in early 2023. 
For a fun look at a past PYC J.O. Ball from 2005 with a Mardi Gras theme - CLICK HERE
Other Grand 14 Events
There are a number of additional Grand 14 events that the officer classes attend. Many of these events can also be attended by members of the Grand 14 clubs.  These events include: the Bremerton Heavy Weather Log Race held for 3 days over President's Day weekend. In addition to the log race, there are dinners, dancing and a skit competition.  I had the honor of being a judge for the skit competition at the recent event. The upcoming Tacoma Yacht Club Marine Daffodil event includes a full weekend of activities, including dinners and dancing, a trivia contest and a decorated boat parade on Sunday.  PYC is planning on entering a boat in the parade and all PYC members are welcome to attend the event. And of course every first Saturday in May is Opening Day, sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club.  Lots of tradition on display for this event along with the usual food, drinks, music and dancing. All of our members are welcome to attend.
The Commodore's Ball
As the graduating class of Commodore's get closer to their graduation date (Change of Watch) each of the Grand 14 Clubs hosts a Commodore's Ball to honor the hard work and achievements of their Commodore over the three years of their trip through "The Chairs".  For PYC, this is typically scheduled for late April.  Many of the Commodore Balls over the last couple of years were cancelled, but many of them were rescheduled.  We were fortunate to be able to honor Past Commodore Marianne Brooke last September and Past Commodore Debbie Lee's rescheduled Ball is coming up at our clubhouse on March 18th.  My Commodore's Ball is back on the normal schedule and will happen on April 30th (registration opens today! - click here).  This event is formal/semi-formal and includes a multi-course dinner, drinks and dancing.  The Commodore Balls are one of the last official events that the soon to be outgoing class will have with each other, so they are always a little bittersweet.  
Why Is All Of This Important
Speaking for myself, this journey as one of the leaders of PYC has been amazing, and it wouldn't have been the same without the relationships formed and support provided by my fellow Tritons and PYC members.  Although all of the Grand 14 Clubs are run a little differently, the ability to bounce ideas and issues off of my Grand 14 counterparts has been invaluable. The relationships Lena and I have formed during the last three years will last a lifetime. Oh, and by the way, P/C Marianne Brooke and her Nominating Committee are right now in the process of helping one of our PYC members to become part of the Class of 2025. What will your mascot be?