About Totem Yacht Club


The mission of the Totem Yacht Club is to encourage the sport of yachting, to stimulate a greater interest in boating, to promote the science of seamanship and navigation, and to provide a forum for the exchange of boating information and member fellowship. We value fraternal spirit among local boating enthusiasts, effective cooperation among boaters and between boaters and the community, and an interest in boating in general.

Totem maintains a reputation as one of the most active yacht clubs in the South Sound by growing our membership, interacting with other clubs in regattas, social activities and navigation contests and by achieving broad member support for club activities.

To achieve our goals, Totem maintains a clubhouse for club and member activities, sponsors cruises and social activities while also participating in those of other clubs, provides reciprocal moorage for other clubs, conducts monthly general membership meetings, and publishes a website, monthly newsletter and annual yearbook.


Totem Yacht Club was founded in 1955 by seventeen dedicated boaters. Their primary purpose was the furtherance of ideals and goals relating to the activity of boating, the community, and its members. Bringing them together under one roof was secondary, but having a clubhouse facilitated the club achieving its mission. Our first clubhouse on the waterfront in Tacoma destroyed by fire in 1970. Unable to obtain restoration permits, the club moved to its present location at Highland Avenue in Ruston. The clubhouse is available for public rental.
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Various club activities have grown in number and member participation. Many of the first cruises planned in 1955/56 are still on the annual cruise agenda. Some destinations are just too good to miss! The club enjoys weekend cruises year-round and an annual summer cruise. Our members have enjoyed cruising Puget Sound waters, the San Juan Islands, the Canadian Gulf Islands, British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, Desolation Sound and the Broughton Islands. Some members have even cruised the Inside Passage to Southeast Alaska. Over the years, Totem has established reciprocal agreements with nearly one hundred yacht clubs In Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Alaska, California and Hawaii. Many of our members enjoy complimentary clubhouse and moorage amenities when traveling to these destinations. (See types of memberships below and visit Our Reciprocals)

Power Point Slide Show

Click on the link and a new screen will open up. You will see the Totem Yacht Club PowerPoint (blue screen and text). You can either click on the forward or reverse arrows directly underneath the screen or click on the diagonal arrows under the blue screen to go full screen (recommended). Computer applications may vary. In full screen mode you simply click with your mouse on either side of the screen to move forward or reverse. You may either click the ESC key on your keyboard to close the screen or simply close the window.


Today Totem Yacht Club continues to welcome new members of all age groups. Read more about membership in Totem Yacht Club. The membership meets once monthly (except July and August) to discuss club activities and plan upcoming events. Members take turns volunteering time to plan events and activities, participating in club leadership and hosting cruises and social events. We truly value those individuals who dedicate their precious time to the goals and aspirations of the club.

Active membership in the club is either a Vessel/Family membership or a Social membership. Each is conferred by a majority vote of the Board of Directors upon completion of the application process and payment of fees and/or dues. Active members are counted as one family membership, whether a single member or a couple residing in the same household. Family memberships may also include members’ children under age 21.

All active members are entitled to the privileges of the Totem clubhouse, to participate in cruises and social activities, to attend meetings, to vote and hold office and to enjoy clubhouse privileges with our reciprocal clubs. Vessel/Family members are issued a Totem burgee for their boat and are entitled to complimentary moorage at our reciprocal clubs.

Honorary Membership may be conferred by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees upon persons who have been nominated for honorary membership by a voting member of the club. It may be conferred for a period not to exceed one year, but may be reviewed and extended upon expiration if in the best interest of the club. Such memberships require no initiation fee or payment of dues or assessments to the club. Honorary Members are entitled to the privileges of the clubhouse and social activities and may attend meetings, but may not vote or hold office.

Life membership may be conferred by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees upon members who have made outstanding contributions to the Club. Such membership requires no dues, fees, or assessments. Life members are entitled to the privileges of the clubhouse and social activities, may attend meetings, and may vote and hold office.