Club History


The Yacht Club was founded in the Spring of 1965 by 15 sailors who had purchased sailboats from Reed’s Quiet World. A few years before Reed’s had purchased a narrow un-buildable piece of land on Wayzata Bay to offer mooring for the newly invented fiberglass boats. This land extended east from our current turn-a-round area to the to the end of our current eastern shoreline. Reed’s eventually sold this land to the sailors. The new Wayzata Yacht Club formed racing and social programs to enhance the marina.

In the early days, with only the original property, our facilities consisted of a Satellite (port-a-potty) on the bulkhead. A new member once arrived with his Ensign and asked a member if this was where you catch the launch for the clubhouse. The member pointed to the Satellite and said, "That’s it".

One Design

The racing schedule was initiated in 1965 with about 16 Ensigns and 15 O’Day Day sailors. By 1967 there were 28 Ensigns and 21 Day sailors plus about 22 other boats. Family membership was originally granted only to the 2 recognized classes. By 1968 there were 30 Ensigns, 32 Day sailors, and about 35 MORC boats. The PHRF class was added in about 1979. The 70's and early 80's saw a very competitive MORC handicap racing fleet.

In the late 70's a group of sailors made a fleet purchase of the first J24's produced and became the first one design J24 fleet in the world. The early 80's continued this with the J22 and the creation of J22 Fleet #1. WYC is also home to the rebirth of Capri 25 One Design sailing.  Sonar fleet #5 was added in the early 80's, and we also have one design racing for S27.9's, and our longstanding Ensign fleet. WYC is approximately 75% one design racing.

Second Lake Shore

The property west of the turn-a-round to the boat ramp included a dilapidated family cabin built in the late 1800’s. It was owned by the Oak Grove Marina, who sold bait and rented slips and fishing boats. After a long discussion within the club regarding the necessity for a clubhouse and additional space, the WYC obtained a first right of refusal and purchased the property in 1973 from his heirs.


The Clubhouse remained in the ramshackle cabin condition for several years. When water and sewer were made available in 1981 we razed the cabin and built our current clubhouse.

Third Lake Shore

The property west of the boat launch/clubhouse had been operated as a marina or boat landing since the early settlement days of the community. The current channel cut into the land was once covered by a boathouse that was used for floating boats into the workshop.  The existing marina had become rundown and was becoming an eyesore to the community.  WYC attempted to purchase the property, but the membership was unable to agree on a price and the property was sold to townhome developers. Fortunately the developer was unable to gain acceptable city permitting, the property became available again, and WYC purchased the marina in 1985.

Wayzata Community Sailing Center

In 2007 the childhood home of Dave Rosekrans (past US Sailing President) located west of the channel became available. The boom in housing prices made the property unaffordable for the club to purchase. Through the generosity of past commodore Denny Sanford and an army of smaller donors a purchase of the property was quickly arranged for just over 2 million dollars. The sailing center is a separate entity from the Wayzata Yacht Club, but they are a welcome neighbor housing Wayzata youth sailing programs, the sailing school, college and H.S. racing programs, and many community programs that would be impractical at the yacht club.

Current Membership

We currently have five one-design fleets (S2 7.9, Ensign, J22, J24, Capri 25, & Sonar) plus handicap racing fleets using PHRF and MORC rules. There are over 600 members of various classes of memberships and 200 Full members on the mooring priority list.

Lake History

11,000 Yrs Ago

Large blocks of ice were left in the wake of the retreating glacier. These blocks of ice which were buried in soil and rock, eventually melted to form Lake Minnetonka. First People - Dakota Sioux, Cheyenne, Iowa and Ojibwa people all occupied the area around Lake Minnetonka at some point. The woodland areas surrounding the lake were used as burial grounds and were highly revered as a place of great spiritual importance.


The first recorded people of European descent came to Lake Minnetonka. Joseph Brown and Will Snelling (both boys 14 years of age) traveled up Minnehaha Creek by canoe to the headwaters at Lake Minnetonka.


The Treaty of Mendota was established transferring 2 million acres of Indian land, including Lake Minnetonka, to the U.S. government. Hockakaduta asked that the area around Lake Minnetonka remain Indian land; the request was denied. Most of the chiefs refused to sign the treaty for this reason although the treaty was enacted despite the lack of signatures.


Governor Ramsey "officially" names Lake Minnetonka after being told that it is the Indian name for the lake meaning "Big Water". The name Lake Minnetonka appears on the first official state map. The town of Excelsior is established by a group of immigrants from New York.


The Minnetonka Hotel is built at Minnetonka Mills.


Minnetonka's first steamboat, the Governor Ramsey, is launched.


Lake Minnetonka was becoming a popular tourist destination, especially for southerners trying to escape the aftermath of the civil war.


The St. Paul and Pacific Company completed a railroad to Wayzata.


The Wayzata Yacht Club property becomes extensively used as a boat landing area.


The Steamboat "City of St. Louis" was constructed in Wayzata. It was 160 feet long and was the first inland vessel to have electric lights. It had a capacity of 1,000 passengers.


The Belle of Minnetonka, the largest vessel ever launched on the lake was first used on July third. The Belle measured 300 feet and had a capacity for 2,500 passengers.


James J Hill moves the Wayzata Depot to an area behind the Wayzata Yacht Club, forcing many residents to travel around the downtown marsh (now the Wayzata Bay Shopping Center) by boat, landing at what is now the Wayzata Yacht Club.


Jack Christopherson buys "Dansk" and his first and only suit of sails.


The Minnetonka Yacht Club becomes incorporated.

1880 -1890 ERA

This time period was considered the lake's heyday. There were several grand hotels and resorts as well as many steamships cruising the lake. This period ended abruptly as economic depression set in as well as people traveling further north with the expansion of the railroad.


Curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus L.) was first noticed in Lake Minnetonka.


The first Purple Loosestrife is noticed in Lake Minnetonka.


Wayzata Yacht Club is established.


The lake receives 3 million gallons of treated wastewater each day from dysfunctional sewage treatment plants.


J24 Fleet One becomes the first J24 fleet in the world.


The last of the sewage treatment plants discharging into Lake Minnetonka is closed. Since this closing both phosphorus and nitrogen levels in the lake have dropped substantially.


Eurasian Water Milfoil is first identified in Lake Minnetonka.


Capri 25 Feet holds first One Design regatta during the WYC Fall Regatta.


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