In the spring of 1982 while cruising the waters of Hilton Head Island, David T. Houston and Willard W. Greenwood discussed the possibility of establishing a yacht club for the residents of Hilton Head Plantation. Boat owners were contacted, and it was found there was a great deal of interest.
Twenty-two people met at the Skull Creek Marina Restaurant on April 22, 1982, for the purpose of organizing a yacht club. Those present voted unanimously in favor of a club to be named the Hilton Head Plantation Yacht Club.
The first official meeting of the club was held April 29, 1982, at Spring Lake Pavilion, and David T. Houston was elected as Commodore. The club grew rapidly with many boating and social events held during the year including a "get-acquainted" cocktail party, a boating trip to Beaufort, a Low Country Cookout and dinner dance.
The first annual meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in April of 1983, and the original slate of officers was re-elected to serve through the remainder of that year. On December 9, 1983, the first Change of Watch Dinner Dance was held at the Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Club. Willard W. Greenwood was installed as Commodore. At the end of 1983 the club members had a fleet of 18 sailboats and 28 powerboats, and the membership was 112.
During 1984 the club became affiliated with the Yachting Club of America, a national organization of over 900 yacht clubs. At regular meetings guest speakers from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron and other organizations spoke on various aspects of boating. Several members participated in lifesaving courses and earned CPR certificates. Many boating events were scheduled: a cruise up the Beaufort River aboard the Adventure, a swim and picnic at Spring Lake, a Low Country Cookout and the annual Change of Watch Dinner Dance. The fleet grew to 25 sailboats and 36 powerboats with a membership of 120.
Randall Carpenter was installed as Commodore at the Change of watch Dinner Dance held at the Plantation House on December 1, 1984. The Commodore appointed a committee to update the Constitution and By-Laws, and this was accomplished in April, 1985. Social events for the year included a St. Patrick's Party, Tour of Parris Island, Sunset Cruise aboard the Adventurer, tour of Beaufort, Halloween Party, cruise and tour of Daufuskie Island and numerous raft-ups.
At the end of 1985 the club had 125 members with a waiting list for both boat owners and social memberships. Sailboats numbered 25 with 40 powerboats. At the Change of Watch Dinner Dance held in December, 1985, Loy Kutz was installed as Commodore. During 1986 the membership was filled and the year ended with a waiting list. The club fleet consisted of 25 sailboats and 35 powerboats. Social activities for 1986 included a cruise aboard the Vagabond Low Country Cook-out, Halloween Party, Change of Watch Dinner Dance, fishing tournament and several raft-ups. Highlighting the year's events were the overnight cruises to the Golden Isles and Charleston.
Don Keeler was installed as Commodore at the Change of Watch Dinner Dance on December 6, 1986. The 1987 club membership was at a maximum of 125 with a waiting list. Sailboats numbered at 25 and powerboats at 36. The 1987 social calendar was filled with many enjoyable raft ups, cruises, trips, parties, dinners, speakers and a fishing contest.
1988 was a busy year for the Yacht Club members. A dinner dance on St Patrick's Day was followed by the highlight of the year a trip to the submarine base at King's Bay on May 26. A sunset cruise on the "Adventure" and a cruise to the Savannah Resort and Country Club rounded out the summer events. A boat cruise to Bohicket, raft-ups and a dinner cruise on the "Adventure" opened the fall events. A Halloween Party and fishing tournament with the change of watch Christmas Party on December 8 capped the year. The Yacht Club by-laws were amended to allow the membership to increase to 150 members.
The first activity for the 1989 HHPYC season was a January cruise to the Bahamas. A St. Valentine dinner dance, a cruise to St. Simons and raft up carried the club through the spring and summer. Events in the late summer and fall consisted of cruises to Parris Island, Savannah and Callawassie. The Halloween Party was followed by a fishing tournament and fish fry. The year ended with a change of watch dinner dance at which the Past Commodores were honored.
Robert Peters was installed as the 1990 Commodore at the Change of Watch Dinner Dance held at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The 1990 club membership was at the maximum of 150 members, 85 Boating and 65 Social. and with 30 Sailboats and 55 Powerboats. The 1990 Club year was filled with many enjoyable activities with a most active participation by the club members. The Club activities started with a cruise to the Abacos in January, and followed with a Valentine dinner dance, a raft-up, a weekend cruise to the Golden Isles, and luncheon day trips rounded out the spring and early summer events. A cruise to Dataw Island and a cruise to Edisto Island opened the fall season. A Halloween party, numerous dinners, guest speakers, and a fishing contest made for a most memorable Club year.
On December 7, 1990, Burnett Moody was installed as the ninth Commodore at the annual Change of Watch dinner dance. The total club membership of 150 was comprised of 55 power boaters, 32 sailors and 63 social members. During 1991 the club organized and held their first sailing races. Boating activities included a cruise to Ladies Island for lunch, a Wilmington River/ Thunderbolt luncheon and overnight cruise, two fishing tournaments, a Charleston Navy Base overnight cruise and tour, the Boat Show Lunch cruise to Shelter Cove Marina, a luncheon cruise to Parris Island and eight raft-ups. Special activities included a Caribbean cruise, our first annual Commodore's Ball held on June 28 at the Country Club of Hilton Head, a Valentine's Day dinner-dance at the Port Royal Club, Cook-Out general meeting in September, and the annual Halloween dinner dance party at the Plantation House. The December 1991 Change of Watch dinner dance at the Country Club of Hilton Head completed the year's activities.
1992 was the tenth anniversary of the Yacht Club. Commodore Z. K. Kara initiated many new ideas and changes: first picture directory, first budget, tenth Anniversary Ball, first contact with 1996 Olympic Water Events Committee, and awarding of the "Commodore's Cup" to the first winner, Cliff Warner. Social events included three Balls (Anniversary, Commodore's and Change of Watch) plus the ever popular Halloween Party. On the water there was. a four day cruise to Charleston, two lunch cruises, four raft-ups, two fishing tournaments, followed by fish bakes, and over 15 sail races followed by raft-ups. Some members also enjoyed an Alaska Cruise, while others traveled to Greece for a land tour/cruise combination. Special events this year included a bus trip to view the Andrew Wyeth art show in Jacksonville with lunch at the Jacksonville Yacht Club, a marine Air/Sea Rescue demonstration in Hilton Head Plantation and a trip to the Beaufort Marine Air Station for a tour and F18 fighter indoctrination.
On December 3, 1992, Bob Runyon was installed as the eleventh Commodore at the Change of Watch dinner dance. Club membership included 62 boaters, 30 sailors and 58 social. An active year began with a luncheon at the Savannah Sheraton Hotel, hosted by the Savannah Olympic Support Council where the Club reinforced its interest in active participation in the 1996 games. Next came the first annual Jazz Brunch at the Grande Ocean Resort. March saw the first event of a ten race sailing season with nine boats competing. Other on-the-water events included two River Cruises, three lunch cruises, a four day extended cruise, two fishing contests and several raft ups followed by dinners. In May, the gala Commodore's Ball was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The fall schedule began with a September cook-out and continued with a well costumed Halloween party and the formal Change of Watch dinner dance on December 3rd at the Hilton Resort. Awards given were the "Commodore's Cup" to Von von Hoffmann, sailing championship to Cliff Warner, and "Most Valuable Player" to Bud Sechrist.
In 1994, with Jerry Darnell as Commodore, Club members enjoyed an active program of water and social events, starting in March with a lunch cruise to San Miguel's at Shelter Cove, and a Jazz Brunch at the Grande Ocean Resort. The Sunday sail races also began in March with a twelve-race program extending through November and finishing with a Sail Awards dinner. Other water events included a fishing contest/Spring Lake dinner, raft ups on the Colleton River, and lunch cruises to the Anchorage in Beaufort, to Melrose on Daufuskie, to Palmer's on Turner Creek, and to the Dockside in Port Royal. A vacation cruise to the Baltic during the summer continued the Club's ocean-faring tradition. Social events included the Commodore's Ball at the Hyatt, a Pig Roast at Spring Lake, the traditional Halloween party at the Plantation House, and the Change of Watch dinner-dance at the Hilton Resort. Membership was maintained at 150 with 21 new boating and 6 new social members. Cliff Warner was awarded the Commodore's Cup, while the sail racing Championship was won by Ann and Chuck Fay.
"Von" von Hoffmann was Commodore in an active year which included previously held events such as the Jazz Brunch, Fishing Contest/Dinner, Commodore's Ball, raft-ups, cruise to the Dockside Restaurant, September dinner/meeting, Halloween Party, and Change-of-Watch Dance. New events included a lunch cruise to Harbour Town, Olympic sailing update at the Savannah Hyatt, and the Day of Sail which gave members an opportunity to sail with the club skippers. The Sail Racing Program was expanded through membership in the Hilton Head Racing Association. HHPYC skippers captured five of the six awards given to the non-spinnaker group. The HHRA sponsored the first "Around the Island" sail race to benefit Volunteers in Medicine, and HHPYC members did most of the work. Change-of-Watch awards included a plaque to Z. K. Kara for his contributions to the sail racing program, the prestigious Commodore's Cup to Chuck and Ann Fay who were also the 1995 race champions, and a mounted ship's bell donated by Commodore von Hoffmann for future membership meetings.
"Von" von Hoffmann again led the club as Commodore through 1996. Popular activities were repeated, including the Harbour Town Lunch/Cruise, the Dockside Lunch/Cruise, the September Pig Roast, the Halloween Dinner/Dance, and of course the Commodore's Ball and the Change-Of-Watch Dinner/Dances. Additional activities included the St. Patrick's Day Dinner/Dance, a sunset dinner/cruise, a cruise to watch the Olympic sail races, and a three day trip to Jekyll Island. HHPYC again dominated the HHRA races with Cliff Warner sailing Tivoli to second place. The second annual sail race to benefit VIM was won by Chuck Fay aboard Chinook. Over $4100 was donated to this fine charity. Barry Gipstein captured our club championship series with Leone. The Board of Governors amended the By-Laws to include two additional members to the Nominating Committee, created a Council of Past Commodores headed by senior Past Commodore Randy Carpenter, and introduced license plates with the club's burgee. At the Change Of Watch, Commodore von Hoffmann awarded the Commodores Cup to Charlie MacMakin, skipper of Mac's Cat.
The HHPYC Commodore for 1997 was Galen Smith. The year kicked off with the popular pizza night, followed by the first boat outing with a luncheon cruise to Harbour Town, a St. Patrick's dinner dance, a luncheon cruise to Thunderbolt, the Commodore's Ball, a picnic at Daufuskie, the ever-popular Dockside cruise in August, a September cookout, a raft up/dinner at Shillings, and a joint Hilton Head Power Squadron and HHPYC rain soaked cruise to Charleston, which was a success despite the weather. The first issue of "Signal Flags" was published in September. The year was topped off with the Halloween dinner dance and the Change of Watch Ball, at which a new award was inaugurated: the "Up The Creek Paddle", donated by Past Commodore Jerry Darnell, for those boaters who needed towing assistance. There have been four recipients to date. The club's sailing Championship Series was won by Ann and Chuck Fay aboard Chinook. The Commodore's Cup was given to Z. K. Kara for his many contributions to the HHPYC sailing program.
Gordon Walker led the club in 1998 as the fifteenth commodore. Monthly meetings started with pizza night in January and were interesting through the year. The social calendar included the annual St. Patrick's Day dinner dance and luncheon cruises to Harbour Town, Rivers End (Thunderbolt) and Dockside (Port Royal). The Commodore's Ball at the Hilton Hotel was a great success. Our sailors sponsored an "Invitation to Sail", offering any of our landlubber members an opportunity to experience the handling of a sailboat. In mid-summer we went to Jekyll Island, GA, on an overnight - some stayed on their boats while others put up at the historic Jekyll Island Club. Fall activities included a New Orleans Jazz dinner dance, our annual Halloween party, dinner at the Boathouse Grill and we closed with the annual Change of Watch Ball in December. Sail race winners this year were Chuck Fay (1st), Chip Engle (2nd), and Von von Hoffmann (3rd). "Up the Creek" paddle recipients were George Brown, Z. K. Kara, and Galen Smith. The prestigious Commodore's Cup was awarded to Galen Smith for his meritorious service to the club, and a new plaque honoring all past commodores is now permanently displayed in the Plantation House. All were saddened by the loss of Z. K. Kara, our tenth commodore, who contributed tirelessly to the club.
The Commodore for 1999 was Dennis Buckley. The year kicked off with a cruise to Cumberland Island/Fernandina Beach followed by the St. Patrick's Day Dinner Dance. The next event was the popular Luncheon Cruise to Harbourtown and then the inaugural Luncheon Cruise to The Savannah Yacht Club. The Invitation to Sail event drew seven boats and twenty "landlubbers" who experienced a great day of sailing. The Commodore's Ball at the Hilton Hotel, and a Cruise to Charleston, held jointly with the Power Squadron, completed the first half of the year. Summer activities included a perfect picnic at Bay Point and the ever popular Luncheon Cruise to Dockside. The annual September Cook Out was canceled by Hurricane Floyd. Fall activities included an overnight cruise to Beaufort, the Buffet Dinner at the Boathouse, a shortened cruise to Bohicket and a Luncheon Cruise to Daufuskie Island. The annual Change of Watch Ball, held at the Hilton Hotel, closed out the year's schedule. The Up The Creek Paddle was bestowed on Von von Hoffmann. Ten sail races were held during the year and the first place winner was Lou Strayer skippering "Oooh-De-Pain". Second place was Merle Walker with "Magic" and third place was Chuck Fay with "Chinook". The coveted Commodore's Cup was awarded to John Summers for his tireless efforts in yacht racing and boating activities.
The millennium year 2000 Commodore was Bob Harrison, who led a very strong board. The motto of the board was "if it's fun, let's do it" and fun was had. One of the board's objectives was to increase the attendance at the General Meetings. This was accomplished by having light, interesting meetings and increasing the level of refreshments following the meeting, i.e., ice cream, pies, cheese and crackers, etc. For the first time, the membership officer held a wine and cheese party for new members and the board. This was highly successful and resulted in many new members immediately becoming involved in the various programs. The board purchased miniature flags to be used on the officers' tables at formal functions. Also badges were purchased for all board members to wear on called occasions. This year the kayak flotilla named the "Plantation Paddlers" was formed and became active. Thirteen cruises were held of which three were overnight. Attendance at all cruises was greatly increased by the enthusiastic board members. The sixteen boats of the Hilton Head Sailing Association, under the auspices of the HHPYC, had a very active year, scheduling thirteen races. Sailing trophies for the winning captains, awarded at the Change of Watch banquet on December 1, were: 1st Place: Paul Capron, 2nd Place: Von von Hoffmann, and 3rd Place: Merle Walker. The Commodore's Cup was awarded to Allen Moss for his great contribution to both the sail program and the many cruises. A first-time Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Gordon Stone for his long history of holding responsible positions in the club. Also presented for the first time was the Commodore's Hat to the incoming Commodore. It is intended this tradition be continued.
Walter Kirk was installed as Commodore for 2001 at the Change of Watch Dinner Dance. The theme was New Member Involvement, and making HHPYC the most enjoyable club on the Island. General meetings had record attendance. The social calendar included the annual St. Patrick's affair, luncheon cruise to Harbour Town, the Commodore's Ball, luncheon at the Savannah Yacht Club, Docksider, Savannah Harbor Westin and a dinner at Boathouse II. Boating events were equally popular with trips to St. Simons/Jekyll Island, Dataw/Bohicket, Beaufort and Charleston. There was also a fun raft-up on the May River and an exciting fishing tournament. We started our first website www.hhpyc.org. Chuck Fay developed and maintained it, as our webmaster. The September 11 terrorist attack happened on this watch. HHPYC collected $1300 for the 911 Fireman's Fund; the Governing Board was invited to the studios of WTOC-TV in Savannah to present the check to one of Hilton Head's fireman. This donation was then sent to the New York City Firemen. The Hilton Head Sailing Association had a very ambitious racing schedule. First Place went to Merle Walker, 2nd place to Lu Strayer, 3rd place to Bill Sharp. The sailors of our club sponsored a well-attended Invitation to Sail. The Change of Watch Ball was held at Sea Pines Convention Center. There the Commodore's Cup was presented to Bill Sharp for his organizational involvement in the sailing program. The Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Bob Harrison for his many years of behind the scene contributions. The Commodore's Hat was passed on to Allen Moss -keeping with tradition.
2002 was the year of our 20th Anniversary and Allen Moss served as our Commodore. We had a very enthusiastic board and they were supported by strong attendance at all of the events they planned. The membership committee had its¹ reception for the new members and the Board of Governors resulting in an eager group of new members willing to participate and help with club events. Our Commodore's Ball was a celebration of our 20thAnniversary. It was held in May at the Moss Creek Clubhouse with 11 past commodores as guests of honor. They were presented with a special Past Commodore's license plate. Our social events were very well attended. The Mardi Gras and the Hawaiian Luau had capacity crowds. Our boating events consisted of four overnight trips and four day trips, all enthusiastically received. Our fishing event was popular again and the fishermen hope that it will be repeated twice next year. The sail racing program had a major effort at rebuilding. Since the number of sail racers had dropped significantly, four seminars to teach novices racing rules and techniques were organized by the Fleet Captain Sail. He held an in-the-water seminar with experienced racers crewing on novices' boats while they practiced racing starts. As a result, the fall series of races averaged eleven boats per race. A committee was formed to review the by-laws and a number of revisions were made including increasing the membership to 160 and adding the immediate Past Commodore to the Board of Governors. At the Change of Watch, the Commodore's Cup was awarded to Paul Capron for the tremendous effort he put into the sailing program. The Commodore's Trophy was made into a perpetual trophy. Since the Commodore's Cup recognizes contributions to the sailing program, it was felt that recognition was needed for the contributions to the overall yacht club program. The new Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Eleanor Bell for the enthusiasm she generated in making our meetings a lot of fun. The Commodore's Hat had to be feminized so that it could be passed on to Lois Wilkinson.
Under the leadership of Lois Wilkinson, our first female Commodore, the club experienced record attendance and many interesting programs and events during 2003. A very dedicated and innovative board provided a number of firsts. Small group seminars were held on cruising local waters, fishing and sail racing. We were treated to an interesting evening with Claiborne Young in February. In addition to our pizza party in January, the group enjoyed a Sunny Caribbee social in March, a wine tasting in June and a Low Country Boil in September. Chuck Fay and the board treated the club to a review of the year¹s activities at our November meeting. Our first Regatta and Blessing of the Fleet was held on a beautiful day in May with participation by 120 members. Cruisers went as far south as Fernandina Beach, FL and as far north as Bald Head Island, NC with the usual stops in Beaufort, Dataw, Charleston, Savannah, St. Simons and Jekyll Islands. We were blessed with gorgeous weather for all. Eight sail races were held and awards presented at two award parties. The Fishing Event in May was a success with Nancy Davies landing the largest cobia. Luncheons were enjoyed in Harbourtown at the Quarterdeck, at Port Royal at the Dockside, and at the Savannah Yacht Club. A very special luncheon cruise was held at Brays Island Plantation. A large crowd enjoyed a beach party at Bay Point Island. We were joined by the South Carolina Yacht Club for our weekend at the Beaufort Shrimp Festival highlighted by a guided tour of Parris Island. A very enthusiastic membership chairman and committee caused us to reach our new limit of 160 members with a very large waiting list. We enjoyed the hospitality of the Moss Creek Country Club for our Commodore's Ball and held Change of Watch at the beautiful Sea Pines Conference Center. Year end sail awards were presented : 1st place to Von von Hoffmann, 2nd place to Bill Sharp and 3rd place to John Dunn. This year the Commodore's Cup was awarded to Don Correll for his continued support of the sail racing program and the Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Dave and Carol Thompson for the wide range of support they offered to the club's activities. Bob Olmstead was also recognized for his four years as Treasurer of the club.
With the installation of Bill Sharp and the 2004 Board of Governors, the aim of providing fun with varied activities planned to meet the interests of the members will continue. Bill Sharp was installed as Commodore for 2004 at the Change of Watch Ball in December held at the Sea Pines Resort. The year's activities started off with a large turnout at the January Pizza Party. Wine tasting in February and the St. Patrick's Party in March were also very successful. Boating events began with the Harbour Town Luncheon and Cruise in March and the Sailing events with a Race day in April. We also cruised to St. Simon, Jekyll Island and St. Marys in April and were blessed with warm sunny weather. In May we had our annual Commodore's Ball at the Moss Creek Club House. The Invitation to Sail held in the summer was such a popular event, it was repeated in the Fall. We kept busy during the summer with the Fishing contest, Savannah Yacht Club Luncheon Cruise, the cruise to Dataw and beyond, Port Royal Dockside Luncheon and the very popular Bay Point Island Picnic. We were once again blessed with perfect weather and a huge attendance. In June we held our 2nd annual Blessing of the Fleet with 18 colorfully decorated vessels passing by Bill Sharp's boat "Natoma". This was followed by a Pig and Chicken Roast at the Plantation House with 120 in attendance. Awards were given for the Best Decorated Vessel and Best Attired Crew. The fall season was kicked off with a Low Country Shrimp Boil in September followed with the Octoberfest in October. There was also a boating event that month with the Cruise to Beaufort for the Shrimp Festival. This year the club entered the Computer age by converting our communication from mailing to E-mailing. The change was very smooth and has been a dramatic cost savings for the club. The year was completed at the Change of Watch Ball in December held at Moss Creek Club House. The Commodore's Cup was awarded to Ed Peterson, Captain of Sail for his work in moving the sail program in a new direction, meeting the needs of the members. The Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Chuck Fay for his many years of service to the club in a variety of ways. Sadly the year was also marked by the passing of Von von Hoffman who was Commodore in 1995 and 1996. Von was instrumental in the development of our Sail program and remained extremely active to the end.
Tom Tomfohrde was installed as 22nd Commodore of HHPYC at the Change of Watch in December. The Club held interesting events each month; 28 in total throughout 2005. There were 12 power boat events (with some sailors participating), 6 sailing events, and 10 social events (on shore) including 2 formal galas. Social members participated in most boating events. Total attendance in all events was 2108, a new Club record. The Commodore's Cup was awarded to Maury Tepper for leading a record number of power events with record attendance. The Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Laura Fine who introduced new technology to upgrade Club communications, thereby improving quality and achieving substantial cost savings.
Dick Sell was installed as Commodore for the year 2006 at the December 2005 Change of Watch Ball. The Club was especially active this year with record attendance at most of the events. High fuel prices are keeping some of the boats close to their home ports but the Club still sponsored boating events to St Simons and Jekyll Islands and Charleston as well as the more "local" cruises to Beaufort, Port Royal, Daufuskie Island and additional ports around Hilton Head. The Board placed a special emphasis on "small boat" cruises and sponsored a few day cruises to shorter destinations in order to encourage more boating activities. In addition to the sailing and cruising activities, the Club had an excellent complement of social activities with an "around the World" theme. The Commodores Cup was awarded to Ben Rush, Fleet Captain of Sail, for his tireless efforts to organize and encourage the Club's sailing fleet. The Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Rosanne Ball, Fleet Captain Social, for her innovative organization of the social activities for this year.
Paul Koepke was installed as Commodore for the year 2007 at the December 2006 Change of Watch Ball. The year was a very special one for the HHPYC as it was our 25th anniversary year. The events were many during the year and member attendance was at a new high. The Board gave special consideration to communicating these events to the membership by enlisting the help of the telephone committee and the use of repetitive e-mails. The Club sponsored a number of boat cruises during the year to destinations including Harbour Town, Daufuskie, Dockside, Palmetto Bay Marina, Beaufort Shrimp Festival, Charleston, St. Simons Island and a small boat raft-up behind Pickney Island. Additionally there were many social and sailing events during the year including the Ya-Gotta Regatta. The theme for the Commodores Ball was the 25th anniversary of the HHPYC. At the December Change of Watch Ball the Commodores Cup was awarded to Dick Sell for his participation and leadership in many boating events and the Commodores Trophy was awarded to Barbara Nowacek for her hard work and well organized participation as Membership Officer. A plaque was awarded to Whitey Johnson, recognizing his 25 years of club membership as a founding member of the Club.
The “hat” was passed to Commodore Ed Peterson in December, 2007, at the Change of Watch Ball. In February, 140 members gathered at Hudson’s for shrimp soup and appetizers, and a program put on by the restaurant manager and their shrimp boat captain. In March, the boating season began with Bloody Mary’s under the “Old Oak Tree.” Lunch at the Quarter Deck was attended by 130 people. In May, the Headliners were featured at the Commodore’s Ball. Also, in May, the sailing fleet went to Walburg Creek for an overnight and a great raft up dinner. In June, the trip to Jekyll Island and St Simons was enjoyed by 4 sailboats and 4 power boats. In July, an overnight to Bull Creek and a luncheon to Up the Creek Restaurant were attended by both sailing and power vessels. The Dockside seafood luncheon in August was superb. 156 members attended. Invitation to sail in September was marked by beautiful weather. In October, 80 people came to Beaufort to join the boaters for a cocktail party to celebrate the end of the boating season and attend the annual Shrimp Festival. The October General Meeting included a Low Country Boil dinner. Many people helped to make this a great year. During the Change of Watch, the Commodore’s Cup was awarded to Marty Slagowitz, Sailing Fleet Captain, for his careful organization and innovative plans. The Commodore’s Trophy was temporarily renamed “the no glass left unfilled award” and given to Terry McPherson, Fleet Lieutenant Social, for his dedication and hard work in buying and delivering beverages to every meeting for the past two years. We ended the year solvent and with 30 social applications for entry into the club. 2009 should be another great year.
The Change of Watch Ball was held at the Sea Pines Conference Center in December 2008. Maury Tepper was installed as the Commodore for 2009. Our 27th year commenced with a Pizza Party in January which was well attended. We welcomed our new members with a cocktail party at Dolphin Head in March. In all, there were 32 events during the year, which kept us busy enjoying our boats and the camaraderie of the members. For the Southern cruise to St. Simons Island, we had a very successful “land package” for those who did not go by boat. We stayed at the Village Inn and Pub and enjoyed touring the island, socializing, and enjoying dinner. We had another successful “land package” in June for the Northern cruise to Charleston. The Marriott Courtyard at Ashley River was our headquarters and we had a choice of restaurants for dinner. Fleet Captain Sail was John Shkor, who ably presided over several enjoyable sailing events. The Commodore's Ball in May was a sold out event at the Country Club of Hilton Head and once again The Headliners provided the music. In May we cruised to Palmetto Bay and lunched at the Yacht Club of Hilton Head's clubhouse. In July we cruised up Broad Creek and lunched at San Miguel's restaurant. The luncheon at the Dockside restaurant in Port Royal was as popular as ever and was greatly enjoyed by all. September saw us cruising to Jack Rowe Island (a private island) for a catered lunch in their pavilion. Everyone enjoyed this special event. At the November general meeting, a special plaque was presented to Chuck Fay for his many years of service to the club in creating and maintaining our web site. The Change of Watch Ball took place at The Westin Resort in early December. We enjoyed a delicious meal and the music of Tommy Beaumont's band. The Commodore's Cup was awarded to Steve Schwab, who had served as Fleet Captain Power for two years and did an excellent job in planning and carrying out many boating events. The Commodore's Trophy was awarded to Nancy Correll, Membership Chairman She also served as photographer and publicity Chairman.
The Change of Watch Ball was held in December 2009 at the Westin Resort, with Maury Tepper handing over the commodore’s hat to Mike Finnerty for 2010. The 2010 activities began with a full house for the annual pizza party at the Plantation House, the first of 29 meetings and events during the year. New members were formally welcomed at a board and new member party at Dolphin Head in March featuring Lowcountry shrimp and barbecue prepared by Don and Nancy Correll. The March general meeting featured music by the new Hilton Head Jazz Ensemble, whose performers include several Yacht Club members. Blessed by a great day, the annual cruise to Harbourtown for bloody marys and lunch attracted several boats and the usual large crowd who drove to the event. The Southern Cruise to St. Simons Island in April attracted several boaters to the Golden Isles Marina and more members who drove down for the dock party and dining. Tours and overnights on St. Catherine’s and Sapelo Islands enhanced the experience for some, while an extended cruise to St. Augustine was enjoyed by others. Commodore Mike Finnerty was honored at the annual Commodore’s Ball held May 6 at the Crowne Plaza. Music was again provided by the Headliners. Good weather made for good participation and good competition in the annual Fishing Contest. Many boats turned out for the Blessing of the Fleet June 6, and the day was capped by the annual Pig Roast at the Plantation House. The Northern Cruise brought boaters and driving members to Mt. Pleasant for a two-day stay at Charleston Harbor Marina. Some boaters made stops at Edisto and Bohicket to break up the trip. July featured several boating activities, including a luncheon cruise to Port Royal Marina. In August, the Dockside Luncheon Cruise again attracted a full house. The fall season began with the annual Low Country Boil at which Sail Captain Ben Rush was awarded the Up the Creek Without a Paddle Trophy for getting his anchor stuck on a sunken shrimp boat. September’s Invitation to Sail had several boats and enough wind for a good sail. The cruise to the Beaufort Shrimp Festival drew a good crowd for the Friday dinner and a capacity crowd for the Saturday dock party. The Extended Southern Cruise in October had only three boats, but featured fabulous weather and an unexpected encounter with a submarine and its armed escort boats. The Change of Watch Ball was held at Sea Pines Country Club and featured a great meal and music by Permanent Tourist. The Commodore’s Trophy was awarded to Bob Gackenbach for stepping up to be Beverage Officer in mid-season. Fleet Captain Power Roger Benning received the Commodore’s Cup for his stellar work in organizing many of the year’s events.
Commodore Marty Slagowitz and his board were installed at the annual Change of Watch Ball, Dec. 7, 2010, at the Sea Pines Country Club. Members enjoyed the site so much that the 2011 Change of Watch was also held there. With the new commodore stressing participation, the year got off to a roaring start with 199 people at the traditional pizza party in January, the first of 28 meetings and events for 2011. Programs on Hilton Head’s drinking water in February and loggerhead turtles in April were well received, as was the St. Patrick’s Day party in March. The boating season kicked off with 13 boats and 100 members participating in the Harbour Town Luncheon Cruise for Bloody Marys and lunch. The Southern Cruise to St. Simons in April attracted 12 boats. An elegant Commodore’s Ball at the Country Club of Hilton Head followed in May, with guests enjoying a great meal and dancing to the Headliners. With a new weeklong format, May’s Fishing Contest attracted more boats and more fishermen than in recent years. Nineteen boats paraded past Commodore Marty’s boat, Equinox, in the Blessing of the Fleet in early June; the Pig Roast was successful as usual. The Northern Cruise in June attracted 6 boats, with twenty members attending the dinner at SNOB in Charleston. June and July also featured lunch cruises to Shelter Cove and Port Royal. The August luncheon at Dockside attracted 6 boats and a healthy crowd. The fall season began with Jimmy Fitts catering the popular Lowcountry Boil. A few days later, 5 sailors hosted non-sailors for the Invitation to Sail. The October meeting featured a dinner followed by a talk on sharks that inhabit local waters. At the Change of Watch Ball, Jim Donham was awarded the Commodore’s Trophy for his diligent and dedicated work for the good of the club. Jim Ackerman was awarded the Commodore’s Cup for his efforts in guiding the power fleet and cruising events with exceptional execution.
Commodore Steve Schwab and the 2012 board were installed at the annual Change of Watch Ball Dec. 6, 2011 at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The Club year got off to a great start with 131 people attending the annual January pizza party and Commodore quiz, the first of 27 meetings and events. The March program about Hilton Head during the Civil War and the April program on sailing in the Mediterranean were well attended and well received, as was the St. Patrick’s Day dinner in March. In a new twist for 2012, the annual luncheon/Bloody Mary cruise was moved from Harbour Town to Windmill Harbor. The event featured fantastic weather, a beautiful and welcoming venue and a sellout crowd. A successful Southern Cruise to St. Simons was followed by the Commodore’s Ball at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The ball featured music by the Headliners and more casual “yacht club” attire. The Fishing Contest was a big success, with some large fish caught. June began with the annual Blessing of the Fleet, with about 20 boats, followed by a pig roast attended by 115 people. The annual Northern Cruise to Charleston included a record crowd. Other summer events included a notable sailboat race to the “goalposts”, a lunch at Captain Woody’s and the annual luncheon at Dockside in Port Royal. The fall season began in traditional fashion with Jimmy Fitts catering the popular Lowcountry Boil at the Plantation House. A few days later, five sailors hosted 18 non-sailors for the Invitation to Sail. The October meeting featured a presentation on whales and sharks by club member Bob Mackenzie, and the November Year in Review meeting included a pizza party. During the year, the Ships Store was put on line, the Club’s website was upgraded, and several new boating members were installed. At the Change of Watch Ball, again at the Country Club, Steve awarded the 2012 Commodore’s Trophy to Treasurer Dean Carroll for his diligent and dedicated work on getting the Club’s finances in order during the year. Sail Fleet Captain Sharon Peterson received the Commodore’s Cup for achieving unprecedented participation in Sail events and for guiding the sail fleet through a busy and successful year. Sailors John Shkor and Bill and Mary Frances Peery received mention for sailing through two “named” storms this season. The evening progressed with the installation of 2013 Commodore Roger Benning and his slate of officers, followed by dancing. The year finished with 145 members consisting of 55 powerboat, 25 sailboat and 65 social members.
Commodore Roger Benning and the rest of the 2013 board were installed at the annual Change of Watch Ball Dec. 4, 2012, at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The Club year got off to a great start with a full house for a potluck supper at the January meeting, a successful departure from the traditional opening pizza party. The February meeting featured food from the Skull Creek Boathouse and an excellent program on dolphins by Carlos Chacon of the Coastal Discovery Museum. A large group of new members were welcomed at a reception at the Spring Lake Pavilion in March. Another new vendor, Kelly’s Tavern, provided great food for the St. Patrick’s Day dinner in March. A magician provided entertainment. The annual luncheon/Bloody Mary cruise in March kicked off the boating season and moved back to Harbour Town after a year at Windmill Harbor. The April meeting featured food from Mi Tierra and an interesting program on tides and reefs. A successful Southern Cruise to St. Simons was followed by the Commodore’s Ball at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The ball featured music by the Headliners and more casual “yacht club” attire. The Fishing Contest was a big success. June began with 18 boats participating in the annual Blessing of the Fleet on a beautiful day, followed by a pig roast by Jimmy Fitts at the Spring Lake Pavilion. The annual Northern Cruise to Charleston was a success. Other summer events included a sailboat race, a sail to Daufuskie Island for lunch at the Old Daufuskie Crab Co., and the fabulous annual luncheon at Dockside in Port Royal. The fall season began in nontraditional fashion with a fun boat-making contest, with boats load-tested in the pool with six 6-packs of beer, followed by an hors d’oeuvre party at Spring Lake Pavilion. The club had a good contingent at the Beaufort Shrimpfest. Members enjoyed a dinner at the Breakwater Restaurant and a traditional dock party the next night. The October meeting featured an Oktoberfest meal from the Skull Creek Boathouse that was served on china plates with real tableware instead of plastic. Sailors braved temperatures in the 40s for an overnight trip to Thunderbolt and dinner at Tubby’s in late October. The November Year in Review meeting again included a pizza party. At the Change of Watch Ball on Dec. 3, again at the Country Club, Roger awarded the 2013 Commodore’s Trophy to Membership Officer Steve Schlader for his dedicated work on increasing club membership during the year. Social Fleet Captain Sue Crespan received the Commodore’s Cup for arranging a great variety of programs for the general meetings and bringing them in under budget. The evening progressed with the installation of 2014 Commodore Jim Ackerman and his slate of officers, followed by dancing.
Commodore Jim Ackerman and the rest of the 2014 board were installed at the annual Change of Watch Ball Dec. 3, 2013, at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The Club year got off to a great start with a full house for a potluck supper at the January meeting.
The February meeting featured food from the Skull Creek Boathouse and an excellent program by Cathy Sakas, education director at NOAA’s Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. New members were welcomed at a reception at the Spring Lake Pavilion in March. Kelly’s Tavern again provided great food for the St. Patrick’s Day dinner in March. The annual luncheon/Bloody Mary cruise April 3 at Windmill Harbor kicked off the boating season after a year at Harbour Town. The April meeting featured food from Wise Guys and a riveting presentation by Dick Erler and Aubrey Vaughn on their adventures during a sail to Bermuda.
A successful Southern Cruise to St. Simons Island ended with some boaters going on to Fernandina Beach, St. Augustine and Jekyll Island. The annual Commodore’s Ball was held at the Sonesta Resort and featured music by the Fabulous Classics and more casual “yacht club” attire. The Sail Fleet had a day sail to Daufuskie Island and an overnight sail to Beaufort. The month ended with the annual afternoon Blessing of the Fleet followed by an evening pig roast by Jimmy Fitts at the Plantation House. The annual Northern Cruise to Charleston was a success with four boats involved. Several members drove to Charleston for the dinner at the Leaf Café and the annual dock party. Other summer events included a sail to the Black Marlin for lunch and the fabulous annual luncheon at Dockside in Port Royal, which attracted 79 members.
The fall season began with a tailgate-themed meeting catered by One Hot Mamas and an entertaining program on sharks in the Lowcountry by biologist Tom Murphy. The club had a good contingent at the Beaufort Shrimpfest with members enjoying dinner at the Wren Bistro and a traditional dock party the next night. The October meeting featured an Oktoberfest meal from the Skull Creek Boathouse. Annual election results were announced. Sailors stayed close to home for an overnight trip to Beaufort and dinner at Wren Bistro in late October. The November Year in Review meeting again included a pizza party and a slide show of the year’s activities. The Change of Watch Ball on Dec. 2 was held again at the Country Club of Hilton Head with music by the Headliners.
Commodore Jim Ackerman awarded the 2014 Commodore’s Trophy to Bill and Lisa Ennis for outstanding work on Power events. Frank Mangan and Tony Ferrari received the Commodore’s Cup for excellent contributions as Beverage Officers. The evening progressed with the installation of 2015 Commodore Sandy Koepke and her slate of officers, followed by dancing.
Commodore Sandy Koepke and the rest of the 2015 board were installed at the annual Change of Watch Ball Dec. 8, 2014 at the Country Club of Hilton Head. The occasion marked the first time in club history that both husband and wife have served as commodore of HHPYC. Paul Koepke was commodore in 2007.
The year began with a potluck supper and a program by Dave Harter, director of the Port Royal Foundation Maritime Center, about the center and Port Royal Sound. The February meeting featured desserts and a program on horseshoe crabs by Carlos Chacon of the Coastal Discovery Museum. New members were welcomed at a reception March 8 at the Spring Lake Pavilion. The St. Patrick’s meeting in March featured food from Kelly’s Tavern and a program by member Heidi Fearon about her harrowing experience of having her boat sink 200 miles offshore with a film of her being rescued by the Coast Guard. The annual luncheon and Bloody Mary cruise March 26 at Windmill Harbour got the boating season off to a great start. A sail race and dock party were held April 13 followed by an appetizer night with a talk by Tom Murphy on bald eagles.
April also featured the annual Southern Cruise to Jekyll Island, Ga. Five boats and about 40 people enjoyed a traditional dock party April 21 and a dinner April 22 at Latitude 31. The Commodore’s Ball was held May 7 at the Golf Club at Indigo Run with 94 attending. Great food and good music by the Hollywood Band made for a wonderful evening at that new venue. A few days later, eight sailboats went to Daufuskie for a buffet lunch at Freeport followed by an overnight anchor out. The annual Blessing of the Fleet moved to an earlier date, May 16, so the club could have Jimmy Fitts for the evening pig roast. May concluded with and overnight sail cruise to Dataw Island and Beaufort.
Then bad luck started to crop up. Weather canceled a couple of sails, and the always popular seafood buffet set for Aug. 6 at Dockside in Port Royal was canceled when the restaurant was damaged by a fire at the seafood processing plant next door and had to close. A highlight of August was Ed and Sharon Peterson marking their 500th sail since they bought their boat Carolina 15 years ago.
The Fall season got off to a good start with a program by Tonya Hudson of Hudson’s on the Docks on the history of shrimping on Hilton Head, followed by samples of Hudson’s recipes. Bad luck arrived again, as the Beaufort Shrimp Festival was wiped out by the floods that devastated much of South Carolina. Bad luck continued later in the month when high winds and small craft warnings forced cancellation of the annual Northern Cruise to Charleston, for which Bill Knight had arranged a great itinerary. Some members went for a dinner in Beaufort and at least one went to Charleston anyway. The October general meeting featured a Lowcountry Boil by Jimmy Fitts. The November Year-in-Review meeting featured the usual slide show of the year’s events and an Italian dinner catered by Bella Italia.
The Change of Watch Ball was held Dec. 8 at the Country Club of Hilton Head, again with music by the Headliners. New Commodore Sharon Peterson and the rest of the 2016 board were sworn in, marking the second time in club history that a husband and wife both were commodores. Ed Peterson was commodore in 2008. Sandy Koepke presented the Commodore’s Trophy to Secretary Sue Donham for being her “rock” during the year. She awarded the Commodore’s Cup to Bill Knight, Fleet Captain Sail, for his work with the Sail Fleet.
Commodore Sharon Peterson and the rest of the2016 board were installed at the annual Change of Watch Ball Dec. 2, 2015, at the Country Club of Hilton Head. Outgoing Commodore Sandy Koepke presented the Commodore’s Trophy to Secretary Sue Donham for being her “rock” during the year. She awarded the Commodore’s Cup to Bill Knight, Fleet Captain Sail, for his work with the Sail Fleet.
It turned out to be a two-part year. The first half was pretty normal, with good meetings and good boating and dining events. Terrific heat and Tropical Storm Hermine took a toll on several summer boating events and Hurricane Matthew ended the year by damaging or destroying many club boats. Damage to many club boating destinations will be a challenge for 2017 event planners.
The year began with a free pizza party that attracted a capacity crowd of 130 members. February brought us to a potluck supper and a hilarious program of members describing their funny and unusual boating experiences. Past Commodore Paul Koepke stole the show with his tale of his boating trip to Canada. The March meeting on the real St. Patrick’s Day featured a meal from Reilley’s and a neat program by Chip Michalov, who tags sharks in Port Royal Sound. New members were welcomed at a reception March 6 at the Spring Lake Pavilion.
Getting the club boating season off to a great start March 31 was the annual luncheon and Bloody Mary cruise/drive to a new destination – the Savannah Yacht Club. April began with sailors going on a shakedown cruise. The April meeting featured a dinner from Kelly’s Tavern and a program by club members Jim and Carol Alberto on their experiences while they taught school for nine years on Daufuskie Island. At the end of April, 45 members participated in the Southern Rendezvous at St Simons Island. Nine boats made the trip, including six sailboats.
May activities began with the Commodore’s Ball honoring Commodore Sharon Peterson and her husband, Ed, on the 5th at the Country Club of Hilton Head. Music was provided by the Hollywood Band. A week later boaters headed to Freeport on Daufuskie Island for lunch at the Old Daufuskie Crab House. June activities began with the annual Blessing of the Fleet June 4 followed in the evening by the traditional pig roast catered by Jimmy Fitts. The annual Northern Rendezvous to Charleston was held June 15-16 featuring dinners at Water’s Edge on Shem Creek and at Leaf Restaurant in Charleston. A great luncheon trip to the South Carolina Yacht Club in Windmill Harbour on July 7 replaced the traditional luncheon cruise to the Dockside Restaurant in Port Royal, which never reopened after being damaged in a fire the year before.
On August 10, a half dozen boats and 40 people ventured to the Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center for a self-guided tour of the facility, a presentation by one of the docents and a lunch from Joe Love’s Lobster. Later in the month, the five power boaters and friends who motored to Daws Island for a picnic and raft-up were blessed with beautiful weather and had a great time. The September meeting starting our fall activities featured a great talk by the new commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Savannah. One Hot Mama’s served a delicious meal. The turnout for the annual trip to the Beaufort Shrimpfest was lower than usual, with only three boats, but all participants enjoyed the dock party and the dinner at the Breakwater Restaurant.
The whole story of October was Hurricane Matthew. It postponed our October meeting. It spared our boats docked in Windmill Harbour and dry stored at Hilton Head Boathouse, but destroyed or damaged many others berthed elsewhere. In November, we had our annual Year in Review meeting, with dinner from G.W. Southern Catering and Barbecue, which had been scheduled for October.
The Change of Watch Ball with a Winter Wonderland theme was held Dec. 6 at the Country Club of Hilton Head, with the usual great music by the Headliners. New Commodore Bill Ennis and his suite of officers were sworn in. Outgoing Commodore Sharon Peterson awarded the Commodore’s Trophy to Roger and Linda Benning and Juergen and Madeleine Thiessen for their work in providing photos of club events. She awarded the Commodore’s Cup to Jim Ackerman for his stellar work with the Power Fleet.
The Change of Watch Ball with a Winter Wonderland theme was held Dec. 6, 2016, at the Country Club of Hilton Head, with a great meal and the usual outstanding music by the Headliners. New Commodore Bill Ennis and his suite of officers were sworn in.
The club year 2017 got going Jan.19 with the traditional free pizza party served up by members of the Board of Governors. Nearly 120 attended. At the Feb. 16 general meeting, Larry Toomer of Bluffton gave a fascinating talk on crabbing in the Lowcountry. The Toomer family restaurant, Bluffton Seafood House, provided an excellent meal after the talk.
March began with a New Member Reception welcoming six new boating members and thirteen social members who got to meet the board, learn about planned activities and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres provided by board members. The March general meeting featured corned beef and cabbage etc. from Kelly’s Tavern and a presentation on beach renourishment by Scott Liggett, the town’s director of public projects and facilities. The month ended with the first boating function of the year, a lunch trip to the Savannah Yacht Club on Wilmington Island in Savannah. Two sailboats from our Matthew-depleted fleet and one power boat made the trip. The rest of the three dozen attendees drove.
For the April meeting, members were treated to a fascinating talk by Geoff Wheatley about his experiences in organizing the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team. Skull Creek Boathouse topped off the meeting with a delicious meal. The end of April brought the Southern Rendezvous at Golden Isle Marina in St. Simons, GA. The event featured the traditional dock party on Wednesday and dinner at Delaney’s Bistro on Thursday.
On May 11, the annual Commodore’s Ball, with a theme of “Welcome Home -- Making Matthew a Memory,” honored Commodore Bill Ennis and his wife, Lisa. The Country Club of Hilton Head provided a fine meal and the Hollywood Band contributed enjoyable music. For May 18 the Sail Fleet arranged a lunch trip to the Old Daufuskie Crab Company at Freeport Marina on Daufuskie Island. Several boaters rafted up in Bull Creek afterward and spent the night. June began with the annual Blessing of the Fleet at midday June 3, followed by the traditional and excellent Jimmy Fitts-catered pig roast at the Plantation House. On June 13 &14, the Northern Rendezvous brought members to the Charleston Harbor Resort, where participants enjoyed a dock party on Tuesday and a dinner at the Charleston Harbor Fish House on Wednesday.
In July, members went to the South Carolina Yacht Club in Windmill Harbour, enjoying Bloody Marys on the deck before the club’s usual delicious lunch. At the end of the month, several hardy members turned out on a rainy day for a lunch at Up the Creek Pub at the Board Creek Marina. On Aug. 9, a small group enjoyed lunch at Buffalo’s Restaurant in Palmetto Bluff. In September, a two-day trip to Beaufort was postponed when the area was evacuated by Hurricane Irma. The September general meeting featured a virtual tour of the waterways and marshes of the Lowcountry by marine biologist Amber Kuehn, owner of Spartina Marine Education Charters, followed by a meal from One Hot Mama’s.
On Oct. 19, Mike Majer, owner of Majer’s Diving and Salvage, gave a fascinating presentation of his company’s removing the cruise ship Spirit of Harbour Town from the marsh where it was driven by Hurricane Irma. A delicious meal from Annie O’s Southern Kitchen finished the meeting. The two-day trip to Beaufort postponed by Irma was held Nov. 1 & 2. The first day took members to the Parris Island Marine base to view the Santa Elena Monument and the Marine Corps Museum and then the Dockside Restaurant on St. Helena Island for dinner. The next day, members went to the Santa Elena Museum for a tour, followed by lunch at Blackstone’s restaurant. The annual Year in Review meeting Nov. 16 featured a slide show of the year’s activities and a dinner from Street Meet American Takeout and Tavern. 2017 ended with the annual Change of Watch Ball at the Country Club of Hilton Head. New Commodore A.J. Ferrari and his suite of officers were sworn in. Outgoing Commodore Bill Ennis awarded the Commodore’s Cup to Rick Sauers for his outstanding work in planning and running boating events and the Commodore’s Trophy to JoAnn Westover for her excellent job in organizing our monthly dinner meetings. In all, 103 members enjoyed the Country Club’s meal and music by the Headliners.
Hilton Head Plantation Yacht Club