HYC Active Fleets

The Houston Yacht Club has several active fleets that provide opportunities for racing at various levels of competition in different types of boats.



The Ensign is the largest class of full keel sailboats in North America, with over 2000 boats manufactured since 1962. As a family day sailor, the Ensign has a large, deep cockpit, with enough room to comfortably seat six to eight adults. The helm has a nice feel on all points of sail, and the boat has a versatile head sail inventory, including a working jib, a blade, #2 and #1 genoas, and a spinnaker. 

The Ensign is 22 and 1/2 feet long, weighs about 3,000 pounds, and is best raced with a crew of four. Favored by former dinghy sailors and cruisers alike, it has no life lines and therefore many dinghy techniques (hiking, roll tacking, etc) can be used effectively. Racing is very close, strategic and tactical, with older boats performing just as well as the newer ones.

The J/22 is the choice of one-design fleets and institutional sailing programs worldwide, because she has proven to be a great value and a favorite among juniors and adults alike. The J/22 at 1800 lbs. can be towed behind an SUV and be launched on the local yacht club hoist. With its easy-to-rig, deck-stepped mast, you can be from trailer to sailing in 30 minutes.

The J/22 has a comfortable self-bailing cockpit with 7 ft. long seats and room for 4-6 people in the cabin to escape the rain or cold. It is built for safety with buoyancy tanks and offshore hatches. Her 700 lb. lead keel lowers the center of gravity, creating nearly 1700 foot pounds of righting moment at 90 degrees of heel. There are over 1,650 J/22's now sailing in 65 active fleets in eighteen countries on three continents.

The J/24 is an international One-Design and Midget Ocean Racing Club trailerable keelboat class built by J/Boats. The J/24 was created to fulfill the diverse needs of recreational sailors such as cruising, one design racing, day sailing, and handicap racing. The J/24 is built predominantly of fiberglass, with wood trim. It has a fractional sloop rig, a raked stem, a plumb transom, a transom-hung rudder controlled by a tiller and a fixed fin keel. The boat is normally fitted with a small 3 to 6 hp outboard motor for docking and maneuvering.

The design has sleeping accommodation for four people, with a double "V"-berth in the bow cabin and two straight settees in the main cabin. The galley is located on the starboard side just aft of the bow cabin. The head is located just aft of the bow cabin on the starboard side stowed under a table. The J/24 class has more than 50,000 people sailing 5,500 boats worldwide; is established in 27 countries with well and is the world's most popular one design keelboat.


The Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF)enables different types and sizes of sailboats to race against each other equitably. Boats are assigned handicaps by the Galveston Bay PHRF office and make use of extensive performance records of each boat type in a variety of conditions and points of sail. PHRF is a national system so there are performance records for almost every type of boat. The system assumes that a boat is equipped for racing but does make allowance for variations such as fixed versus folding prop, etc.

Youth Fleets

HYC has an active youth program that offers year-round sailing for a wide range of skill level from beginner to advanced racer. The program uses the Opti, OPen Skiff, Sunfish, C420, and ILCA-Laser boats. For more information go to Youth Program.