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.
Over 200 active members, we are the largest affinity group in the Union League.
For sailors and power boaters. Open to all levels of boaters including those with no boating experience yet.
For boat owners and non-boat owners. About half of our members own a boat.
Enjoy reciprocity at hundreds of yacht clubs in the continental U.S, Hawaii, Virgin Islands and Alaska.
Member of:
  • Yachting Clubs of America
  • CBYRA (Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association
  • U.S. Sailing Association
Yacht Club A Look Back

The Yacht Club began in 1983 after a couple of League members attended the Annapolis Sailing School's nine-day cruising course in the Virgin Islands and were immediately "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. There were 25 League members at the first meeting 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. After the New Year a grand party was organized and held on February 24, 1984, this was the first Commodore's Ball. The Commodore's Ball celebrates the induction of the new Commodore while paying tribute to the retiring Commodore.

The Yacht Club Today

Today the Yacht Club has almost 200 members ranging in ages from 21 - 90 years. It meets year round, once in the spring and fall on the water for the annual regattas and in the uncooperative weather months the Yacht Club hosts guest speakers at the League. In addition, the members have longer trips planned out of the area. Recent trips have included an expedition to the Galapagos Islands, trips to the British Virgin Islands, and Belize.

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. Sharon McGinley, Yacht Club member for 16 years and now a Past Commodore said, "I joined the Yacht Club to gain sailing experience. I was new at sailing and figured this would be a great way to meet people who needed crew. We now have our own boat and the entire family are sailors." Many members willingly act as crew along with the boats' owners, this is a great way to meet and socialize with your fellow League members. When asked to name the best thing about the Yacht Club the members resoundingly cried "the people."


How Do I Join?

Many League members joined the Union League to become members in the Yacht Club. Former Admissions Committee Chairman, John Fowler, has been a Yacht Club and League member for 14 years. When asked why he joined the Yacht Club he replied, "Along with a lot of other people it is one of the main reasons that I joined the League. It is a group of fun people who enjoy being on the water." All League members are encouraged to attend any and all of the Yacht Club events. Each year they hold the Yacht Club Open and invite all interested League members to come and sail on the members' boats. Previously, a joint venture cruise with the Pepper Patrons was held in Cape May over three days in June. It was a fun-filled time with a number of League members in attendance deciding to join the Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club is one the League's premier affinity clubs good for all ages. If you're single, have young children, or are a couple looking for adventure, the Yacht Club will provide you with the opportunity to experience many new things in wonderful settings around the world.

For more information on joining, contact the Union League of Philadelphia, or the current Commodore.
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The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-563-6500