Spreckels Lake and the San Francisco Model Yacht Club are special parts of the city’s long and colorful maritime history. Established in 1898, the club is believed to be the oldest such organization in the United States. Originally conceived to “… encourage model boating [free sailing],” the club’s 175 active members live across the U.S. and in Europe, and it also accommodates all types of modem, RC, power models and sponsors a wide variety of events throughout the year.
Since 1903, the members have served as the primary custodians of Spreckels Lake, which was built to promote model yachting. In the early days, carefully crafted sailboats were released from the shore and allowed to sail freely while their owners watched closely and kept them away from the lake edge with long poles.
In 1937, the city of San Francisco contributed funds to construct a clubhouse at the lake’s western end, and this building now houses one of the world’s largest vintage free-sailing-model collections. Today, you’ll see many types of RC boats and sailboats as well as the free-sail yachts for which it was designed.