A Brief History of the Surf City Yacht Club

About 1894 a group of young men, who vacationed regularly or lived in Surf City on LBI created an informal club for the promotion of aquatic sports. Over the years these young men, joined by others from time to time, continued their interest despite wars, depressions, and hurricanes and became known locally as the “Surf City Yacht Club”.

In 1936, because bay front lots were being developed, it was decided to “acquire something of a more permanent nature”.

In 1937 lot 36 fronting south side of 9th street were purchased for $200.00.

In 1938 the lot was bulkhead and made fit for use.

In 1939 lots 34 and 35 were acquired expanding their space. These lots eventually became what is the marina today.

In the summer of 1940 it was decided that a formal organization be continued, so on Sept 26, 1940 the Surf City Yacht Club was duly incorporated as a non-profit club under the laws of New Jersey. By-laws were created and Officers elected. The first Commodore was William Lohr; Vice-Commodore was Edward Neill; Secretary-Treasurer was W.H. Jones; and Dockmaster was Joseph Tressel.

From 1941 to 1946 because of war restrictions and the Hurricane of 1944 very little was accomplished.

In 1947 a sailing division of the club was organized by then Surf City Councilman Richard W. Warren Sr. There were 27 sailboats and they would gather at the cove between 15th and 17th Streets (Now part of Surf City Bay Beach) to hold races.

In 1952 as the club grew larger and with a membership of 82 members, it was decided to acquire two additional lots with riparian rights between 9th and 10th Streets. All the while the races were being run from the John Elfman Sr. property located on 15th Street in Surf City. This is where the old original club house was first located as a gathering point for the sailors.

In 1954 a club house was built on the lots between 9th and 10th Streets and is where the present day Surf City Yacht Club resides with the South 9th Street lots comprising the marina.

Some of the Founding Members from that time: Edward Dougen, James Hogg, W.H. Jones, John Kundel, William Lohr, Edward Neill, William Shay, Joseph Tressel, J.W. Synder, Walter Pullinger, Richard M. Warren Sr., John H. Elfman, Verna L. Gedicke, Donald M. Warren, John Zepp, Harry Gedicke, Otto Hansen, Richard M. Warren Jr., James B. Karbeck, Auther W. Smith, Ralph Messersmith, Millicent Messersmith, Harry J. Gedicke, William M. Gedicke, Eugene P. Lambinue, Hubert S. Mount, Chester A. Gardner, James A. Holland, Jr. , John (Jack) Holland, Robert Holland, Gerard Murray, Otto W. Peyer Jr., Lousia Peyer Jr., W.P. Conway, Charles Freitag, Elise Freitag, Albert B. Serwazi, C. Bartley Elfman, Eleanor Elfman, Otto W. Peyer Sr., Louisa Peyer Sr., Claire Bunnell, Fred N. Bunnell, W.P. Aiken, Edward H. Smith, Samuel C. Smith, Millard N. Wattis, Georgia Secor, Sally Secor, Harry Conelius, Augustus C. Elfman, Alice B. Elfman, Jean K. Elfman, John H. Elfman, Harold E. Jones, Ralph W. Jones, Edith Jones, Helen Jones, O.F Vreland, Nelson C. Croll, J.W. Synder, Irving C. Snyder.

Photographs from the Early Days at SCYC

  • Race Committee Observation Deck on top of Club House. (Circa late 1940’s)
  • SCYC Club House Photo 2: (Circa late 1940’s)
  • Race Committee Observation Deck on top of Club House. (Circa late 1940’s)
  • SCYC Club House Photo 4 (Circa late 1940’s)
  • Race Regatta (Circa late 1940’s)
  • Race Regatta with welcoming signal flags (Circa early 1950’s)
  • Al Serwazi (In dark shirt, middle) with Jack Holland on the left is holding the SCYC Burgee he designed.  (Circa early 1950’s)
  • SCYC Racing “Comets” (Circa early 1950’s)
  • SCYC Racing “Comets” (Circa early 1950’s)
  • SCYC “Comet” races would start right of the Surf City Bay Beach. (Circa late 1940’s)
  • SCYC “SCYC “Comet” Racing on Manahawkin Bay (Circa late 1940’s)
  • SCYC “Lightings” Racing on Manahawkin Bay (Circa early 1950’s)
  • SCYC “Moths” races would start right of the Surf City Bay Beach. (Circa late 1940’s)
  • SCYC staging races in front of the Club House and off of Surf City Bay Beach. (Circa 1950’s)