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International Order of the Blue Gavel

Who are we?
We are a world-wide organization made up of Past Commodores of qualified yacht clubs.

What do we do?
We strive to preserve the proven traditions, customs and ethics of yachting so that they may not be lost to those yet to come.
We meet locally, regionally, nationally and internationally in the true spirit of camaraderie enhanced by our common bond of having been a Commodore.

How did we get started?
We have grown from a humble beginning in 1953 to a worldwide organization . Our founder was Ev. G. Henry, Commodore of the Rainier Yacht Club of Seattle, Washington. In 1954 the organization crossed over the border into Canada and truly became the "International" Order of the Blue Gavel. Since that time we have expanded into over eleven countries.

How are we recognized?
We have a distinctive burgee that members are honored to fly and we have an arm patch worn on the right sleeve of the traditional blazer which identifies us as Blue Gavel members. IOBG insignia of rank is also worn on the right sleeve of the blazer.

How are we organized?
Individual members belong to Chapters representing their Yacht Clubs (or to Districts at large). Geographically located Yacht Club Chapters are bound together as Chapters and Districts. Districts are currently located in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
We have members in Japan, and we have many individual members throughout the world.

How are we governed?
We are governed by a Board of Directors comprised of District Directors, Regional V/Ps, and other elected officers such as President, various Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as International officers representing each member country. Districts are represented by elected officers who meet regionally.

What do our missions include?
Youth marine and sailing training, community water activity support, Make a Wish Foundation, Sea Scout support, Safety at Sea presentations, Yacht Club officer training and management courses, pollution identification and detoxification action, monitoring and lobbying government marine legislation, support of the National Boating Federation, National and sponsorship of the US Junior Sailing.

What is our Humanitarian Foundation?

This is a non-profit, United States tax exempt corporation. The Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of IOBG members and selected professionals chosen for their expertise in law, medicine, accounting and public relations. The Foundation supports youth sailing, safe boating and other educational programs which are in accordance with the organization's stated purposes as recommended by the IOBG general membership. Requests for grant funding for local humanitarian causes are submitted to the Foundation by members through their respective IOBG area, District or Chapter.

Do we have an Auxiliary?
Yes! Our Auxiliary membership encompasses all members spouses and partners. The Auxiliary has its own by-laws, officers and insignia. The support of the Auxiliary members is an integral part of the success of IOBG. The Auxiliary web site is

What is a Qualified Yacht Club?

The club must have been in existence at least five years with a minimum of five eligible past Commodores and be of sound financial standing.
The club must have a clubhouse or permanent meeting place and an established address.
The Club must have enough members to sustain itself.
Variation from these criteria may be approved by the Executive Committee as request by District Officers and Area Vice Presidents.

What is the Insignia?
The International Order of the Blue Gavel flag is registered with Lloyd's Registry of Flags as our official flag. The same embroidered emblem is worn on the right sleeve of the yachting blazer. Badges, caps, ties, decals, shirts and jackets are also available. The flag is flown from the yardarm or masthead of the ship, designating that on board is a Past Commodore. This flag properly designates and honors Past Commodores, and is now flown all over the world and is recognized as the symbol to identify a member of "Yachting's Most Exclusive Society."

It is amazing that an idea of one out-going Commodore in 1953 has resulted in an organization of outstanding individuals of distinction and latitude, and by their actions, receive the respect of the yachting society throughout the world. This organization continues to grow and serve. There is no doubt that the word will spread still further, that membership will increase many-fold and that the prestige and influence of the International Order of the Blue Gavel will gain increasing stature in the yachting world.
We invite you to join this select group, the cost is very small and the usefulness and enjoyment to yourself and others, very large.