Cruiser Haven Yacht Club owns Commodore Island, which is accessible only by boat and is located at the junction of Disappointment and Honker Cut sloughs in the heart of the Delta. We enjoy lovely grassy areas with shade, picnic tables, BBQs, and over 200 feet of docks with 30 and 50-amp power.
In 1959, Cruiser Haven Yacht Club was formed with Nick Jozevich as its first Commodore. As soon as the club was formed and properly incorporated, an application was made to P.I.C.Y.A (Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association). We were accepted, which gave us visitation rights to other clubs.
The first few years, we met either on the beach at Cruiser Haven Harbor, where our boats were currently docked, or in a shed owned by Bud Sutcliff – the first Port Captain and Membership Chairman. We had monthly cruises to other clubs, including Vallejo, Sacramento, Petaluma, San Rafael, and San Francisco. The membership continued to grow, and our Opening Day Crab Feed was established.
In January 1965, Cruiser Haven Commodore Paul Robinett assigned Doug Silva the task of finding an island. After several months of cruising the Delta and talking with boaters, he learned of an island along Empire Tract that might be available for lease. The island, owned by Orlo Hayes, was available for a 7-year lease at a rate of $65 a year. On December 4, 1965, an offer was presented to our board of directors, and it was approved. We realized that extensive dredging, pilings, and docking facilities would be needed. After the board meeting, a general membership meeting was held to elect the 1966 officers, and Doug was elected Commodore.
In January 1966, the dredging began at a cost of $2,500. The dredging material was deposited on the island and on the island directly across the river, which helped to build up both areas. A dock was also built at the cost of $2,500. When the entire dock was finished, it measured 212 feet and included a gangway to the island. At the time, it was noted that this depleted the current bank account for the club. Doug Silva, Ralph Hyer, and Bud Sutliff were the overseers of the projects. Dick Reetor, one of the members, assisted in towing the docks to the island for placement.
Opening day arrived! On April 24, 1966, 18 boats were tied to the new dock. The dredging was not dried, so there was no access to the island. A contest was held to select a name for the island. The name chosen was Commodore Island. In 1972, the island lease ran out, and a new lease with the option to buy was negotiated. In March of 1976, a purchase agreement was made for the 5-acre commodore island and the frontage of the island directly east from our docks.
As time passed, many other projects ensued, including the significant project of adding rock to the front of the island to prevent erosion; the grass was planted, electricity was provided for the docks, sprinklers were set, and pumps were added. Throughout the process, the leaders and membership all worked together to build the wonderful Commodore Island we enjoy so much today.
All of the founding members deserve much gratitude for their work and devotion to the island we enjoy today. In recent years, the current CHYC, members have worked diligently to expand our electric outlets on the dock and replace the decking and float material under the gangway. One member who helped a great deal in these projects was Gary Silva, the 2022 and 2023 commodore and grandson of Doug Silva. The membership continues to maintain the Island.
– Narrative from Ralph and Lena Hyer, Doug Silva, Josephine Adams, and Gil Barr
“You can't buy happiness. BUT you can buy a boat and enjoy fabulous times at Commodore Island!”
Happy CHYC Member