The Navy Yacht Club of Long Beach (NYCLB) clubhouse has been located in Alamitos Bay Marina’s Basin One since 2004. It is a prime spot on the point, overlooking the turning basin, directly adjacent to the fuel dock. Club members claim to have the best sunset views in all of Long Beach.
And I think they just might be right.
When the marina was built, the Southern California Tuna Club weigh station was located there. Many summer evenings as I was growing up, sport-fishing boats would stop at the dock, hoist their catch for the obligatory photo, and register the details — tackle used, hours fought, fish type and size.
The cannon would blast and all those in earshot would know in the battle of man against fish, a conquest had been made. To me, it meant there would be fresh fish for dinner.
The meager weigh station housed a scale, cannon, and a walk in refrigerator for all those swordfish steaks. It was a place that fishermen would tell stories about a fish being caught using on 18 pound test "Button Thread," a fine linen line breakable by a fish a 10th of the hooked fish’s weight; landing one was a feat requiring the utmost skill.
Big game fishing locally has diminished and those days are over.
Navy YC took over the weigh station area and has continually improved the grounds while not over-developing it. Over the past 16 years, the club has made steady improvements to the city-owned property.
This week, Hap Wood, Rear Commodore of Navy Yacht Club of Long Beach (NYCLB), delivered good news about capital improvements going on at the clubhouse grounds that they share with Little Ships Fleet of Long Beach (LSF).
“Major progress at NYCLB is proceeding, in conjunction with LSF," Wood said. "Both of our sheds were torn down and stored in a container in the parking lot.”
According to Wood, the entire project was fair to both clubs, adding that they each paid a little more for inside improvements and professional painting, insulation, and electrical. He expressed gratitude to the contractor who honored a 2-year-old bid.
“We (NYCLB) are blessed that after months of negotiation with city of Long Beach and Marine Department, we have a new 15-year lease," Wood said. "The lease is contingent to substantially upgrading the facilities within five years.”
Club director Tony Rietdyk added, “Our club is known for our community outreach, we have been disappointed that our volunteer work with Veterans Women and the Duffy cruise we host, the annual Wounded Warriors cruise to the USS Iowa, Armed Forces Day race, and others needed to be canceled this year.
“We have been thankful to the Marine Department’s maintenance team and the support they have provided during this upgrading process.”
With annual dues of $150, Navy YC membership is capped at 200 members and their spouses. Only recently were they able to clear their waitlist. Thanks to the club’s 2020 Commodore Rodney Coomber, members in the active military may join at any time and the 200-member limit only impacts other membership categories.
With unbeatable sunset views, bargain dues, and an upgraded facility, it's no wonder the club is so popular.
I’m always looking for stories that make being on the water in Long Beach special. Contact me via email at Jo@JoVenture.com.