Tanga Yacht Club

The History of the Club

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Tanga Yacht Club was founded on 1st May 1944 when a number of local businessmen and government officials formed a limited company. The certificate of incorporation was issued by the registrar of companies in Dar es Salaam on 7th June 1944. Founder members of the club in that time were G. Tirant, A.R. Pain, R.C. Jerrard, W. Bain, A.A. Phibbs, P. Roach and D. McQueen, all of them, as usual in that time, males .

The first two stated objectives of the company were:

  • To promote boating, yachting and sailing at Tanga and the vicinity of Tanga.
  • For this purpose to acquire or take over the effect and liabilities of the present unincorporated club known as Tanga Yacht Club.


This unincorporated club consisted of a small number of local people one of whom was G.W. Hatchell, a magistrate, who became the clubs first commodore in 1941. But the club was really started before 1941 by Emil Hartmann, a local building contractor, who arrived in Tanga about 1936. As far as it is known, Emil Hartmann owned the first boat to be moored at the club, named “Lorraine” after his original home. Hartmann and Hatchell were friends and often went fishing together. He also wrote an article on fishing around Tanga, which was published in “Tanganyika Notes and Records” in 1954. Other members at that time were Eldred Hitchkock and Abdulla Karimjee, both of them were later knighted for their services to the country and the sisal industry. Alee le Maitre, also a member at that time, and G.W. Hatchell were awarded the OBE for similar services.

The club premises at that time consisted of a clearing carved from the cliff to the left of the present steps as one enters the club. A small club house was built on what is now the paved area. When the club was formed in 1944 many new members were attracted and more boats, both power and sail began to appear. As time went on and the club prospered and could afford it, the present structures were built up. The paved area was done by courtesy of Amboni Estates.


A water color painting showing the club in 1949 was done by Mrs. A. Budge and is still hanging in the bar. The polished paneling behind the bar was a gift of a member who spent more time at the bar than he did at his job. He said he was tired of staring at a whitewashed wall. The oil painting of a sailing race behind the bar was done by Mrs. Joan Wadhan, wife of a member.

Organized sailing was started about 1944, when members donated various trophies to be competed for. Reciprocal sailing matches between Tanga, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam became annual events. A number of Osprey class dinghies were made available for members to purchase during the 1950’s and good use was made of them. The dinghies changed hands many times as members left the club. None them are serviceable today. Since 1983 there has been little organized sailing apart from windsurfers, catamarans and now Optimists.


Fishing became very popular during the 1970’s and Ian Moncrieff, a former port pilot, arranged for the club to be accepted as a member of the International Game Fishing Association and the Game Fish Union of Africa. Subsequently, some club member's catches appeared in the annual records of the IGFA and until today the club still holds two records,

  • Garfish of 4.1kg,caught November 1969 by Alois Zorten on a 37 kg line
  • Giant Trevally (Karautesi) of 54.8kg, caught October 1970 by Mrs. Polly Mosgard on a 24kg line.

The biggest fish, ever brought in by a club member was a Black Marlin of 113.25kg caught by Attilie Torriani in December 1974 on a 37 kg line.

Fish were much more plentiful in those days and huge catches were made almost every weekend. A local merchant bought the catches from members at 50 cents per pound. On one occasion he had to take three trips with his truck to remove the catch. Most of the profit was spent by members over the bar that same evening. Not so many fish are brought in these days, but that is no reflection on the skill and patience of those few fishermen who still keep trying, as recent photographs still show.