About Us

The Ocean Gate Yacht Club was founded in 1909 by a group of summer
residents from Philadelphia “to promote yachting and rowing and to
foster athletic sports upon the water and to promote the interests and welfare
of Ocean Gate.” The club’s purpose was later expanded to include an active
social program for members and their guests.

In July 1910 the club was incorporated and purchased a parcel of land
on the southwest corner of Ocean Gate and Riviera Avenues. In that same
year the club received a riparian grant from the state for the adjoining
waterfront parcel and plans were completed to build a clubhouse. For
unknown reasons, perhaps financial, the members decided to build their
clubhouse on pilings in the center of the riparian grant with access either by
a long catwalk or by boat. The original building lot was later sold to the
Robinson family and is now occupied by Diana Ottenberg’s home.

The original building was completed in 1912 and offered a main room
with two fireplaces and a kitchen. A back porch which overlooked the “T”
shaped boat dock was later enclosed to enlarge the main room. Several
years later, the west side of the club was expanded to include a stage area
used in the summer months for various presentations including popular
traveling minstrel shows during the 1920s and 30s. A screened front porch
was added during the 1950s to complete the original building. In the early
1970s, the stage was eliminated and the area was converted into the
Commodore’s Lounge with a private club liquor license for the enjoyment of
members and their guests.

Building the clubhouse on pilings over the water may have saved
money in 1912 but later led to major structural problems. During the 1940s
a bulkhead was built around the base of the building and the enclosed area
was backfilled with sand to give the appearance of dry land. Over time the
pilings supporting the building rotted and by the late 1980s the original
clubhouse was structurally unsound. The membership decided to undertake
a major rebuilding project and in 1994 the present clubhouse was dedicated
during a gala reopening party attended by members, guest and friends. In
keeping with the look of the new building, the original dock was replaced in
1997 with a modern breakwater and bulkhead system designed to both
protect the building’s foundation and to provide safe berthing facilities for
members’ boats.

Today the club remains true to its original purpose of fostering sailing
and athletic competition on the water by offering a summer sailing school
for both children and adults and by participating in various sailboat races
and events. The club also sponsors and supports many U.S. Sailing events
and is a charter member of the Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association
since 1914. The Beck Crabbe Trophy, for the “A Cat” Class is one of the
premier races of the BBYRA season, and has traditionally started from
anchor in front of the club on the OGYC bay day since 1941.

Even with such a strong sailing tradition, many members are not
boaters and join simply to enjoy the active social calendar offering a full
range of activities from informal dinners in the clubhouse to the popular
Land and Sea Auction held each summer. Membership in the Ocean Gate
Yacht Club is open to everyone.