Enduring Seabrook club has a devoted membership and stronger home
A stormy Saturday morning in April looked pretty dismal for those participating in the Seabrook Sailing Club’s Spring Regatta. But by 1 p.m., the skies cleared and the race began with more than a dozen boats competing.
Like all maritime endeavors, the club’s history is inextricably shaped by the sea and the weather.
Seabrook Sailing Club has been around since 1934. The club, established as a place for boaters to get together and enjoy social sailing, racing, training and fun events, has as much tenacity as its 130 members.
Originally on the Kemah waterfront, the club in 1950 bought its current property, 1010 Todville Road, in Seabrook. The club is on a vulnerable piece of land. Storms certainly have taken their toll over the years. In 2008, Hurricane Ike destroyed the clubhouse — built after Hurricane Carla in 1961 — and just about everything else surrounding the perimeter. A new clubhouse, completed in 2010, is a major upgrade in strength, function and style.
Designed to withstand 130 mph winds, it includes hurricane windows across the entire bay side. The ground surrounding the clubhouse was raised 5 feet, and the floor of the clubhouse is 25 feet above sea level. The open-concept top floor with high-beamed ceilings includes a large dining room, kitchen and long serving bar. A covered wraparound outside deck provides scenic views of Galveston Bay and the Clear Lake channel. Other amenities include an outdoor grill, play area and outside storage lockers with 27 spaces for small boats.
The club’s main objective is to encourage and promote good fellowship, sportsmanship and racing of small yachts.
“We’re a family-oriented sailing club,” Vice Commodore Mark Clayton said. “We are run 100 percent by our members and are all about small boat racing and club events.”
Catamarans, Lasers, Sunfish, optimists and windsurfers are the most likely boats you will see racing from March to November. Kayaks and paddleboards are part of the inventory as well. Seabrook Sailing Club organizes a number of regional and national regattas. Its members compete in Wednesday night races, and have informal practice sessions during the off season.
The club offers youth programs.
“Kids get hands-on sailing experience under the supervision of an instructor and parent helpers, but the main objective is to teach the youth to be comfortable and independent in a sailboat,” Clayton said.
Members travel long distances to enjoy the Seabrook Sailing Club, Clayton said.
“It’s their weekend beach house,” he said.
Gary and Diane Guthrie drive in from Katy at least every other weekend to sail their Hobie 16.
“We like the casual atmosphere,” Gary Guthrie said.
Sugar Land resident Victor Dubuisson joined the club in 2008.
“It’s my retirement hobby,” Dubuisson said.
Chris Kuhlman, who lives directly in back of the club, has been a member since 1988.
“Living here is like having 500 feet of waterfront,” Kuhlman said. “The easy access to the bay is great and you can’t beat the view.”