Skip to content

San Francisco Bay Sailing Photos Found in the Attic

We recently received some photos from Bay Area sailor Alan Wulzen, who, with his wife Caroline, did the 2001 Baja Ha-Ha aboard their Cabo Rico 38, Silhouette. His brother Warren was rummaging through some of their father Frank Wulzen’s treasures, and came across a stash of sailing photos from the ‘good old days.’

Alan relayed the story of how his father started sailing on San Francisco Bay. “Frank Wulzen was born in San Francisco in January 1906. He told me that in 1921 when [he was] swimming in Aquatic Park, a classmate, Denny Jordan (St. Francis YC member and future owner of renowned race boat Bolero), hoisted him aboard a sailboat saying ‘What are you doing swimming when you could be on the water sailing?’ That experience changed his life! He sailed on the Bay and raced there and down the coast to SoCal, and delivered boats back. Frank became a yacht broker and co-owned a Q boat, Imp, which he kept moored at Corinthian Yacht Club. He learned photography from his father, D. H. Wulzen, and worked in that field all his employed life. Frank worked for Gabriel Moulin and shot the building of the Bay Bridge and what Dad said was his favorite shot, from the fantail of a tug towing the last square-rigger out the Gate; a dark, foggy photo.”

Unfortunately, the photos don’t have notes to indicate the names of people or boats. Maybe some of our readers can come up with boat names or boat types.

Frank Wulzen-1
Anchored on San Francisco Bay.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen
Where’s the wind? Notoriously windy San Francisco was good in T-shirts and with a pipe to help you find the wind even back then.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen
Frank Wulzen Cityfront
Racing on the Cityfront was good then, as now. R Class sloops mix it up.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen
Frank Wulzen Corinthian Yacht Club
Belvedere Cove is a calm anchorage in front of the Corinthian Yacht Club.
© 2022 Frank Wulzen

We know there are many Aquatic Park swimmers who are also sailors, but probably not many who discovered sailing because a buddy sailed by and scooped them out of the water. That moment is what got Frank sailing, and surely his son Alan as well, and then gave us all this moment to savor some of sailing’s history on San Francisco Bay. Remember the phrase “These are the good old days,” and if you have them, you can add more “good old days” photos to our Sailagram by sending to [email protected].

We’ll share more photos of the past, in the future, but for now we are curious if anyone can help give the Wulzen family and ourselves some insight into these photos. If you know anything, please let us know in the comments section below.


  1. John P West Jr 2 years ago

    These are wonderful photos. Please post anymore that you may find, thank you!

  2. Bill O'Connor 2 years ago

    Your first picture in the series looks like the Corinthian YC anchorage in front of the club. In those days CYC did not have berths as now. Small boats were kept up on the lower deck near the hoist (still there); and larger boats were all anchored off shore. Everyone had dinghies to get to their boats.
    There is also on the left a Bird boat…several Birds were anchored there over the years (Polly and Robin
    I recall). In the 50s I grew up sailing a Mercury with my Father which we kept on the CYC dock and raced in the old SBYRA …your picture pre-dates that a little; but it is still a very familiar view to me after 70 years …our earliest images ! ….those are the ones that stick.

  3. William Podzon 2 years ago

    The first photo looks like the sailboat “Angelita”, winner of a gold medal in the I’m guessing 1920 or so Olympics in Los Angeles. Angelita’s winning skipper then went on to invent the swim flipper after a trip to the South Pacific where he saw natives attach leaves to their feet. Angelita is now in Newport RI.

  4. Walt Johnson 2 years ago

    The R boats in the photo are Art Rousseau’s “Ace” (R10, Corinthian YC), Charles Langlais’ “Lady Gay” (R2, St Francis YC), and Martin Weil’s “Francesca” (R6, SFYC).

    • John Arndt 2 years ago

      Walt – we learn so much from our readers. Thanks for helping us and everyone to learn more about San Francisco Bay Sailing.

Leave a Comment

Get Your Hands on a Copy
'Latitude 38's February issue has stacks of great stories, photos and commentary to give you several fun, interesting and inspiring hours' worth of reading.
Driver Wanted
Be the person that everyone loves to see each month! Deliver 'Latitude 38' magazines to our Bay Area distributors on the first of the month, then, go sailing for the next 29-30 days!