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History of the Club

It may surprise you to learn that the first "River View Yacht Club" home was the old Sacramento River Steamer the "Cherokee." The old paddle wheel was built and launched in August 9, 1912 out of the west Oakland shipyard. She was used to carry freight from San Francisco to Sacramento. As more modern ships were developed, the "Cherokee" was given to the City of Sacramento then some time later sold to the Sacramento Yacht Club and again sold to private owners. The "Cherokee" changed hands many times before being acquired from the Army and Navy Officers Club in 1954.

Earl Moore was the first River View Yacht Club Commodore. River View Yacht Club was accepted for membership in the PICYA on December 14, 1955. First dues were paid in January 1956.

The winter of 1966 was very hard on the "Cherokee" (River View Yacht Club) when massive storms washed the pilings away for the old steamer and her hull was damaged beyond repair. In November of 1967 the "Cherokee" was toasted during the last cocktail party aboard and was torched by the local fire department. The "Cherokee" is gone, but River View Yacht Club lives on!

After the demise of the Cherokee, the Club had to meet in several different places from 1967 to 1970. This was not the best of situations as the club suffered the loss of many members.

Fortunately for the Club, River View had retained a controlling first mortgage and foreclosed with a nest egg to be applied to a new club house. With these funds, the club made a successful bid on a 62-foot vessel that formerly served as the Elkhorn Ferry. In 1971, the Elkhorn Ferry was brought to Island Marina. After dismantling the superstructure, construction of the clubhouse began.

Then in 1976 the new clubhouse was brought to Bud's Bait Shop in Freeport where it remained until 2000. At that time, the members decided to move the clubhouse once again and started looking for a new berthing spot. After a lot of research, Cliff's Marina in Freeport was chosen to be our new home. In order to accomplish the move, it was necessary to hire 2 tugs and along with help from several club members, the clubhouse was moved a short distance to the location where it was moored for nearly eleven years.

In 2010, as it had during other times in the club's tenure, the cost of maintaining the barge outpaced the ability to generate income from membership dues and fundraisers. The single largest expense for the club has been rent paid to the marina, followed by maintenance and insurance. After long and hard deliberations, the membership of RVYC voted to sell the barge and consider reverting to a "paper" organization, a cruising-only club without a permanent meeting place. An offer was made by the owners of Holland Riverside Marina in Brentwood. Not only would the barge have a new home and a new owner, the club would retain its ability to meet aboard the clubhouse.

On April 14, 2011, the barge was moved from its location in Freeport, all the way down the Sacramento River, into Three-Mile Slough, across the San Joaquin, around Frank's Tract and then into Holland Tract where she served as a meeting place for River View Yacht Club until early in 2014.

The long drive to the south Delta took its toll on the largely Sacramento-based members of the yacht club, and attendance at the dinners and meetings slowly declined. The board made the decision to make the final step to becoming a cruising-only club in 2014. Meetings now take place during the monthly cruises from April through October, and at various locations during the winter months including members' homes and local restaurants. If you are looking to explore the Delta with seasoned boaters, and to socialize with like-minded people without the need to support a clubhouse, come and check us out!