HISTORY OF MYCLB
How It All Began
In 1956, the City of Long Beach opened its brand new marina, transforming the mud flats south of Second Street into a sparkling recreation area of beautiful waterways and modem gangways. It was Mossy Kent piloting his “Miss Welcome”, laden with beauteous models, who led the parade of boats into their new home.
During the following months, boating became very popular and the public demand for boating education classes, given by the Long Beach Power Squadron, quadrupled. The Squadron became not only the source of education but became the “Yacht Club” for most boaters, the source of their social life afloat and its membership grew to over 500 people.
It was December 5, 1957, that our club was founded by Art Howard and Mossy Kent who perceived the need for a small, non-facility, active cruising club. A planning meeting was held at the Captain’s Inn (now the Crab Pot) and over dinner that evening the most important parts of our bylaws were drafted.
There were twelve charter members who each sponsored a new member, with a maximum number of 25 members, in order to ensure that our group could be accommodated in other marinas. To keep dues at a minimum, no clubhouse would be acquired. Members had to own their own boats, which were required to have overnight cruising capability. The members were to be safe boaters. Therefore, education in USPS, Coast Guard Auxiliary or equivalent was required. Thus, many of the initial members came from the Power Squadron, which was the principal source of training at that time.
When the discussion turned to a name, Belmont Shore Yacht Club was suggested and almost became our name, but in the end Marina Yacht Club won hands down and our burgee was designed by Mossy. If you hold it by the grommets with the point down, the red design forms the letter “M”. The star is symbolic of boating skill. Dr. Edson Beebe was elected the first Commodore and with that, in 1958, the Marina Yacht Club was born.
Our founders envisioned Marina Yacht Clubs up and down the coast, sharing their docks with visitors from other Marina Yacht Clubs. However, this idea failed to materialize and over the years marinas became more congested. In order to provide more extensive reciprocity for its members, MYC joined the Southern California Yachting Association in 1981. We added “of Long Beach” to our name at that time, to differentiate our Club from the Marina Yacht Club of Del Rey.
The scheduling format we employ today, dinners during the winter and cruises during the boating season, dates back to our beginnings with one major exception. We are probably the only Club to name a port captain for each event. During our first two years, when Mossy served as Vice Commodore, his duties included finding a restaurant each month. In self-defense, he came up with the brilliant idea of rotating port captains.
During our early years, there were no marinas at Oceanside and Dana Point, so the cruises to San Diego were one big blur of speed (9 to 10 knots) all the way. Until 1972, the Club was exclusively power boats. When Norine and Fred Taylor joined in 1966, they sold their sailboat and bought a Hunter power boat in order to join. Pat and Peter Hodges sold their power boat for a sailboat the year he was Commodore and thus began our sail fleet. Cruise attendance averaged 90% in the early years. We are still able to muster almost 50% of our membership on our cruises, which is far above the average of most clubs.
In recognition of their many years of service and role as Founding Members of the Marina Yacht club, Marjorie and Mossy Kent were elected Honorary Members in 1989. In October 1978, a plaque was presented to “Mossy Kent, Founder, for 20 years of leadership and guidance.” At that time he gave us this thought to hold, “Remember what happens with the club in the next 20 years, The Marina Yacht Club’s future lies in our hands.” In recognition of their years of service, Margaret and Bill Goodman were honored as Lifetime Members in 1992. Mossy also suggested we should be judicious in whom we recommend for membership. “The best kind are boaters with ENTHUSIASM!”
These words are still appropriate today. We need members, quality members, who will maintain the high standards of our Club; “the future lies in our hands.” If you have friends interested in boating, we welcome them to our activities.