Club History

A Tradition of Excellence


In the spring of 1913, a group of Hilo gentlemen met to organize a social club to “promote aquatic and other athletic sports and pastimes.” Initially meeting at a member’s home, the new club was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in December 1919 and new by-laws were enacted in 1920. A successful bond drive held in the same year allowed the construction of a new clubhouse on leased land on Hilo Bay near Banyan Drive.

The Hilo Yacht Club was unsuccessful in renewing the lease, due to expire in 1939, and in 1938 began the search for a new home for the Club. The Club found and purchased a new lease of 2.84 acres, including the large Harlocker home, on the ocean in Keaukaha, its present location.

A successful bond drive in 1938 allowed a complete renovation and the new clubhouse was dedicated on June 10, 1939, with a formal dinner dance. One month later the swimming pool opened.

In 1946, a tsunami completely washed the club away and a majority of the membership left the area. Luckily, a dedicated core of 49 members personally guaranteed the mortgage, and the Club was quickly rebuilt on the same site. The foresight of the founders and the determined resolve of its members have contributed to its current success.

Today the Club welcomes current and new members to a unique experience of year-round social and recreational opportunities all within a relaxed, elegant environment.