Yacht Clubs of the Southwest Desert

The vast majority of California’s yacht clubs are on or near the state’s Pacific Ocean coast. Finding a yacht club east of Riverside or up and down the Central Valley is rare, though a few do exist (or have existed). Did you know California’s largest city on the Colorado River was once home to a yacht club? A yacht club with no yachts, just the same, currently exists a few miles east of Blythe and on the Arizona side of the Colorado River (Quartzsite).

Blythe Boat Club is currently listed on the state’s Division of Boating and Waterways website as a boat launch ramp destination – but without a listed phone number or website. However there is little to no information available of whether the venue – which is listed by DBW as a yacht club – is operational. Online research of “Blythe Boat Club” reveals it was at the center of a legal dispute with tribal officials during the latter half of the 2000s and early part of the 2010s. The dispute reportedly ended with Blythe Boat Club being evicted from its waterfront location on the Colorado River (just south of the Blythe). No information about the club has been available since the club was reportedly evicted from its home.

Across the river and a few miles into the Grand Canyon State is Quartzsite Yacht Club in Quartzsite. There are no lakes, rivers or other waterways within Quartzsite’s city limits – the closest waterway is the Colorado River, about 20 miles away. So why is there a Quartzsite Yacht Club? The club, it turns out, isn’t a private boating society but instead a restaurant. It opened in the 1970s and even offered customers a $10 “membership.” Its motto is “Welcome Aboard – Long Time No Sea!” The club’s website (mockingly) says it might become a real yacht club one day, should a certain natural disaster strike Arizona’s stately neighbor to the west.

“Who knows – if an earthquake ever sends California into the ocean one day, the Yacht Club could end up as beach front property,” Quartzsite Yacht Club’s website states.


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