The Club was started in 1939 by boating-minded people who met in the Redwood City Sportsmen’s Club. Many had moved to Redwood City because they found housing in San Francisco too expensive.
The war made both gasoline and leisure opportunities scarce, and so the Club’s sailboat races against the South Bay and Palo Alto Yacht Clubs brought hundreds of spectators to Redwood City’s shores. Additional entertainment was provided by naval aviators, who flew out of Moffett Field to practice bombing runs on a shipwreck in the South Bay which remains there today.
The Club has had a close relationship with Redwood City since inception. The Club initial agreement with the City stipulated that the City could use the Club's facilities as needed with prior notice (although there is no record of this ever happening). The Club’s hospitality extended to the Harbormaster's wife, who was allowed to keep a cow tied to the Clubhouse.
Following the War, a Club member who was a civil engineer developed plans for Redwood City to create a municipal harbor. The plans were approved and construction commenced. Unfortunately, the State became involved, and the ground was not broken for the Clubhouse (see photos above and below) for another 20 years.
While the original Clubhouse did not have a bar, the Club’s official history notes that “The addition of a cocktail lounge was made by a number of farsighted members”.
The Club embraced diversity early; it was one of the first Bay Area clubs to disband the “Women’s Auxiliary” and instead welcome women as full Club members. The Club was also one of the first to elect a female Commodore.