When it comes to exclusivity, few institutions come close to matching the prestige of the yacht club. Yachting has always been associated with luxury and exclusivity and if you’re a sailing fanatic or yachting enthusiast, becoming an esteemed member of one of the most elite yacht clubs would be a dream. Yacht clubs are much sought-after playgrounds of the super-rich and scoring a membership at one of the most elite yacht clubs can be backbreaking. But equally important is belonging to the right one. And belonging to the right club isn’t always easy. At the Yacht Club de Monaco, for instance, you must first be approved of by H.S.H. Prince Albert II to be granted membership. At the New York Yacht Club, you must be considered worthy of being listed among past members including Franklin D. Roosevelt.
However, affluence isn’t the only factor that the most exclusive and expensive yacht clubs take into account. To gain entrance to these, one has to apply for it – some venues even go as far as requiring a referral from current members to ensure their exclusivity. Others may require you to hunt down senior members’ signatures for you to even be considered. Your application is then to be reviewed by the general committee. If you are approved, the following step would be an interview. If all goes right, you will be granted entrance into the yacht club. Otherwise, you may need to wait a few months before you can reapply. It can take years to get on the waiting list for some of the most exclusive yacht clubs. But at the end of it, all becoming a chosen member of one of these swanky yacht clubs is a significant achievement, both on the social and financial front.
The culture of yacht clubs is a social hub for high-flying individuals that have a proclivity for the nautical. With A-class amenities being one of its highest selling points the heft fee is often considered worth it. From stately rooms to members-only parties and private events, these Yacht clubs ought to spellbind you with their fancy yachts. Also, for those who absolutely love sailing and yachting, the perks of becoming a member can be endless. Whether you are a pro sailor or appreciate the finer thing in life. Here are the most splendid yacht clubs in the world.
New York Yacht Club
The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) has established itself as the epitome of East Coast money and influence. This private club is an integral part of world yachting history, and its Gothic-styled clubhouse was designed by architect Whitney Warren, who also designed New York City’s Grand Central Station. With just over 3,000 members, the NYYC is a strictly by-invitation affair. The clubhouse in Manhattan displays 1,300 models of boats belonging to members. The club was founded in 1844 with headquarters in New York City and the club expanded to Newport in 1988.
Today, this exclusive club is based over two beautiful spots: a Beaux-Arts building in Manhattan, and a grand waterfront location in Newport. Today, the NYYC conducts the Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex and Transatlantic races as well as the biennial Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup for Corinthian (amateur) sailors.
St. Francis Yacht Club
Besides worldwide prestige, it also carries an impressive history as one of the oldest American yacht clubs, having been founded in 1927. Harboured in the Marina district of San Francisco, California. While its Mediterranean Revival-style clubhouse is located on the shores of San Francisco Bay, members can also enjoy access to the private Tinsley Island in the Sacramento Delta. Tinsley Island is our private slice of paradise. Located 60 miles up the Delta from San Francisco, this 40-acre oasis offers a year-round getaway for our members. It’s the perfect setting to escape the city. The club is known for hosting the Rolex Big Boat Series.
Yacht Club de Monaco
Known to be one of the most luxe locations in Europe, Yacht Club de Monaco located in the heart of the city, has been recognized as one of the most exclusive yacht clubs in the world. Monaco was Europe’s yachting capital long before Prince Rainier III founded the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) in 1953 at Port Hercules. This Monaco yacht club boasts a Norman Foster-designed clubhouse and a private restaurant, 1909, headed by Michelin-starred Chef Thierry Thiercelin. It was overseen by Prince Albert I. The royal family is still closely involved with the club.
In the summer of 2014, Prince Albert II unveiled the spanking new club, a centrepiece of Monaco’s glittering seafront. Designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster, the building features a series of deck-like terraces with clear views of the Mediterranean or the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit and a private restaurant headed by Michelin-starred Chef Thierry Thiercelin. Membership to this club is possibly one of the toughest clubs in the world, and the club currently has only about 1,300 members spread across 66 countries. Applicants need to be introduced by two sponsors, who, in turn, need to be elite ‘society members’ of the YCM. All applications need to be cleared by Prince Albert II, who is also the president of the YCM. A strict dress code is maintained at all times. Membership options at the Yacht Club de Monaco include individual and corporate memberships. The club also offers social memberships for those who are interested in the club’s activities and events but do not own a yacht.