OYC Tidal Grid History

The latest addition to the OYC archives is a photograph from the 1950s (courtesy Jon Bryant). The OYC’s facilities, including the grids, are visible in the lower middle section of the image. 

The grids were an important addition to the OYC a half a century ago. In 1954 OYC member and historian Stanley H. Lilian an-nounced that “the Club now has gridiron facilities for three boats at the same time, so their owners may utilize the low tides to clean and paint and make minor repairs to the underwater portions of their craft.” Tidal grids were a time-honored method of boat maintenance fairly common in Olympia in the mid-20th century. 

The 1955 annual mentions use of the grids in Rule 24 (“Any member wishing to use grid shall ask Caretaker for assignment date. If for any reason member is unable to use date given he shall cancel same with Caretaker so that date may be given to some other member”). The 1959 annual reported that the OYC continued to maintain “three grids, a paint float, and power bilge pumps which are available for our use through arrangements with the caretaker.” In addition, the OYC offered a floating workshop called the “Snoose [tobacco] Club,” visible in the lower right section of the photo. 

The knowledge of how to use the grids was passed on from member to member for several generations, explained OYC member Matt Herinckx recently. The tidal grid was rebuilt and located farther west when the current boardwalk was constructed along the waterfront.