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Welcome to the
Rio Grande Yacht Club

Let the fun begin!

As the Rio Grande winds South it makes a stop in Elephant Butte Lake. This marvelous lake is the largest body of water in New Mexico where many different species of fish live including: Striped bass, White bass, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye. Grab your rod, set your sail or go for a cruise and enjoy what the Rio Grande has in store for you.

Commodores Corner

Dear RGYC Member,


                 Welcome new members!  YEA, we still have water to launch at Rock Canyon!  April is a windy month so make sure you keep looking to the shore as far as you can see and if there is dust kicking up or a white/black wall of water coming at you be ready for wind gusts.  If the wind is really bad, drop sails, throw an anchor out and head down wind for a cove or an island.  Then wait it out.  My first priority is safety so please make sure you know what you are doing before you decide to take off all by yourself.  Don’t forget , there is safety in numbers.   By the way, if there is an emergency on the water, like a man overboard or a flipped boat then the race shuts down and all of us are asked to help out. If you are in trouble save yourself first then see if you can help but don’t get in the way.


We have a full sailing calendar with events held the second Saturday of every month with some exceptions which are dependent on the Full Moon. We abide by the US Sailing Association Rules and Regulations to keep in check with legalities. Why does it matter? You might ask.  Well the answer is if there is a collision and if there is damage there might be a lawsuit in the making.  By following the USSAILING rules you might have a chance in court.  Also, US Sailing provides  an awesome racing rule book that I encourage everyone to have just to know the right of way rules in order to keep safe while on the water. 


John Doghtery has accepted the position of Race Committee Chair since Alex was swamped with work and family matters.  So please be gracious... if you have a request, put it in writing and address it to John. He will have the committee review it and make a determination of what to do.  We use VHF Channel 68 to communicate while on the water.  Please come close by John and check in before the races.

Coming right up this Saturday, April 20th is a the Moonrise Regatta.  The first of it's kind.  This race is approximately 20 miles long, wind permitting.   Now you might be interested in why it’s called the Moon Rise Regatta.  Since the water level is high and everyone can easily launch their boats in the spring the thought was to hold the Sunrise Regatta at this time but not many of us are prepared to race all night long with all the necessary equipment like having running lights on the boat.  So, the race will end at Moon Rise which is 5:00 pm.   This gives you enough time to motor in and put your boat up before dark.  Please come by and check in before the races so that John can keep track when everyone is ready to begin.  Then join us for dinner and awards at the Sierra Golf Club.  Dinner starts at 6:00 pm but we will be glad to see you whenever you can make it. Please either text or call Emily, our secretary, at (505-401-1676) so that she can order enough burritos for everyone who plans to attend the skipper's meeting and how many you have in your party for dinner.  

Please volunteer and take your turn for something like race committee at least one time this year.  You can help John out in holding up flags, writing down finish times, and keeping him company. At the very least send a crew member to join him.  Also, if you want to see something happen, then see to it by volunteering.

If you need a sailing lesson or two, contact me to make arrangements.  I will usually be available the Sunday on the race weekends for a couple of hours from 1-3 or 4pm.  A portion of the money collected will be donated to the WOW (Women on the Water) account for future events.

I look forward to seeing you on the water.  Enjoy,

Sue Strasia Commodore    505-227-9827


The RGYC is having a beach party on June 8 starting at 10 am.  Bring your dinghies, chairs, umbrellas, and join us at Lyons Beach.  Ken Tighe will have a camper set up and the grill ready to go.  Please give him a call to let him know that you are coming.  His number is 505 328 4826.



Sue Strasia



Please volunteer and help Ken organize these events.  Give him a call at 505 328 4826 if you can help.  Thanks

Message from Past Commodore

Rio Grande Yacht Club  

PO Box 220 

Elephant Butte NM 87935 



Hello Sailors, Crew and families, who may wish to learn more about sailing. 2024 marks the 64th year the Rio Grande Yacht Club has been established as a sailing organization with a primary interest of on the water sailing regattas at Elephant Butte Lake. In addition we also offer “on board" instruction and safety seminars for beginners who wish to improve skills or learn more about sailing. 

We meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month, unless otherwise posted, at the Mast Up Storage yard we manage as a concession for the Elephant Butte Lake State Park. The yard location is inside the State Park at Marina Del Sur area. This area has a boat inspection service, necessary prior to launching your boat, a launching ramp and a large mast pole to assist in raising a sailboat mast. All of these facilities are available free of charge to the public.

Below please find our Calendar of Events for this year.  New this year is the date of the full moon cycle to assist in other plans you might make in overnight recreation opportunities at the lake. In addition please check out “Boats for Sale" as we have several which might wet your appetite to purchase a sailing vessel. And finally, check out our lake water level as the water managers brought over 200k cubic feet of water to store in our lake. The lake is near 23.7% full, at this writing and still rising. This is very close to our high water level of last year. If you have any questions or wish additional information please call or text me at your convenience. 

Ken Tighe Mast Up Storage Manager, 

505 328 4826 or email 


Jan. 13th,  2024,  Frostbite Regatta.                                           Full moon is Thursday “Wolf Moon" 01/25/24

Feb. 10th, 2024, Valentine Day Chute Out.                                Full moon is Saturday “Snow Moon" 02/24/24

Mar. 09th, 2024, Spring Series Race #1.                                      Full moon is Monday “Worm Moon" 03/25/24     (note, Spring Forward March 10th.)

April 20th, (3rd Saturday), Sunrise Regatta Distance Race.      Full moon is Tuesday “Pink Moon" 04/23/24

 May 11, 2024, Anniversary Cup.                                                 Full moon is Thursday “Flower Moon" 05/23/24

June 8th, 2024, Beach Party/Raft Up.                                         Full Moon is Sunday “Strawberry Moon” 06/21/24

July 13th, 2024, Beach Party/Raft Up.                                         Full Moon is Sunday “Buck Moon" 07/21/24

Aug.10th, 2024, Beach Party/Raft Up.                                        Full Moon is Monday “Sturgeon Moon" 08/19/24

Sept. 14th, 2024, Fall Series  Race #1.                                        Full Moon is Tuesday “Harvest Moon" 09/17/24

Oct. 12th, 2024, Fall Series Race #2.                                           Full Moon is October “Hunters Moon" 10/17/24

Nov. 9th, 2024, Commodore Cup.                                              Full Moon is November “Beaver Moon" 11/15/24

Dec. 14th, 2024, River of Lights Cup.                                         Full Moon is December “Cold Moon" 12/15/24


We started our season in January with lake levels at an elevation below 4,295 ft of elevation which is 4% of capacity.  Runoff brought our elevation level to 4,333 at the end of May which is considered 40% of capacity. Water goes over our spillway at 4,365. At present our elevation is 4,325 but we expect it to start dropping more rapidly because the slope of the lake causes loss of elevation faster the lower it gets. I use a website, Elephant Butte Lake Water Levels on Google to follow the managers projections. Right now they have told our State Park Officials that they will not stop the water released through the dam until the end of October. What this means to me is that the elevation will be back below 4,300 ft, however even at 4% of capacity we can still use the full lake for sailing from Dam Site Marina to the South to Kettle top North, which is about 8 nautical miles. The channel is narrow but we can still sail all year around. Hope this helps, I appreciate your reaching out.


Ken Tighe Mast Up Storage Manager,,  or text 505 328 4826.

Click here                                  to see the current Lake Levels of Elephant Butte form the Water Data for Texas.

Click below for a boating safety quiz.

Rio Grande Experiences

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

Jimmy Dean

Sailboat Bow

Boats for Sale!

1984 O' Day 26' swing keel and 1984 EZ Loader Tandem Axle Trailer and Johnson 4 stroke outboard motor.


OWNERS HEALTH FORCES SALE. Boat is completely outfitted with canvas covers in like new condition to
cover main sail, head sail and top of boat, cockpit cushions bagged and stored inside while not in use are
in excellent condition as is all interior teak, flooring and salon cushions. This boat motor and trailer
should sell for $15,000.00 but family wishes for a fast sale and are asking only $6,500.00. This yard
listing the boat makes no warranties regarding operation or sea worthiness and like any boat, the buyer
should obtain their own marine survey. For more information please contact Ken Tighe, mast up storage
manager for the Rio Grande Yacht Club, 505 328 4826, text messages okay, or email


 Catalina 27.


 triple axle trailer, 9 sails (spinnakers, genoas, jibs, etc.), Yamaha 9.9 hp outboard. 

For Sale $5,500 obo

Brad Bradley K. Smith 505-321-8641

For additional information, please contact Ken Tighe, mast up storage manager, 505 328 4826, text ok or e-mail

Hunter picture next to dock.jpg

1994 Hunter Fisher 26' water ballast with swing keel sailboat.

For Sale $18,500.00 (however all offers considered)

Package includes Honda 4 stroke
electric start 9.9hp outboard motor and galvanized tandem axle trailer. This is an exceptionally well maintained vessel with current titles for boat and trailer in Texas. Boat previously sailed in Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico and San Carlos, Mexico. Boat is presently located in El Paso Tx. Package of equipment includes Autohelm ST50 Bidata display, Ritc-2 Compass, and Bulkhead 3.75" combination instruments all in working order. Boat also has
completely enclosed stand up enclosure for cockpit with Windows in addition to Bimini and dodger for sailing. Recent maintenance includes fresh bottom paint and repacking axle bearings on trailer. For more information contact owner by email: And thank you in advance for considering the sailing vessel “Golden Flyer”.

Sailing - 1994 26' Hunter Fisher Sail Boat.JPG

1974 Hull Model Sailing Dinghy

For Sale $3,500 obo

This is a like New, indoor kept boat and trailer which has just come to our Mast Up Storage facility at Elephant Butte Lake. The boat was built by Diller-Schwill (DS Yachts) in Odessa, Ontario Canada as a limited edition DS-16 designed by G. Diller and Herman Schwill, first built in 1970. This is a 1974 Hull and Trailer, the Model is a Sailing Dinghy, with covered cabin, weighs in at 500 lb, and with Centerboard down draft is 4.00 ft and can be towed by any vehicle. The boat and trailer have New Mexico Titles.

For additional information, please contact Ken Tighe, mast up storage manager, 505 328 4826, text ok or e-mail

Sunfish sailboats

Listed June 3, 2022 

The club has several (6 total) Sunfish sailboats that we are selling. The basic boats (5 of them) are complete having spars, sail, rudder and dagger board. Some may need more work but they all will float and sail. They are sold as is for $250. They don’t have a trailer but they are titled. To transport them it’s probably best put it on the car roof or in the bed of a truck or buy a small trailer like the ones sold at harbor freight or northern tool. 


Then there is one with a titled trailer, a nice sail and a new rudder and dagger board that is $1000. 

For more information please contact 

Rick 575-649-6385 or

Past Commodore Ken Tighe

Text or call: 505-328-4826



20 ft Balboa Sailboat

$2,000.00 1969 Balboa 20ft swing keel sailboat and trailer. Recent maintenance included installation of a new keel winch, cable and hardware. Also the trailer has been modified with an extended tongue for launching. Equipment includes 3 1/2hp, 4 stroke outboard motor and depth sounder/fish finder with house 12 volt battery. This is a ready to sail boat including all sails, rigging and hardware. Boat and trailer have clear New Mexico titles. Boat is in mast up storage at Marina Del Sur. Call Terry at phone number on for sale sign. Or Ken, mast up storage manager, 505 328 4826 or email:

For more information please contact 

Rick 575-649-6385 or

Past Commodore Ken Tighe

Text or call: 505-328-4826


0103241059 (1).jpg

Catalina 22

Listed November, 2023


1992 Catalina 22 wing keel. 135% roller furling head-sail, Autopilot, pop top with enclosure, tohatsu outboard, 2 mainsail, one with 2 sets of reef points, 1 storm jib, 2 Genoa, 1 cruising spinnaker in furling sock, vhf radio, whisker pole, stainless steel rail mounted grill, much other gear. Can change forestay if desired to use hanked on sails instead of roller furling.  

$8,000 or best offer. 


For more information please contact 

Ken Tighe  Text or call: 505-328-4826


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