“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

El Toro

El Toro Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 24, 2021
1. El Toro Marker
What is this?
This little boat is called an El Toro. The design was developed in 1940 by several amateur boat builders so that anyone who was the least bit handy could cut the boat out of 2 pieces of plywood and put it together. The final design emerged after several late night sessions of throwing around ideas. The designers called it the bull ship to memorialize these bull sessions. The sail logo is a a shovel and the boat's official name is the El Toro.

Who sailed these boats?

In the late 1930s and early 1940s new residents coming to work in the shipyards were or attracted to the water as a place for recreation. These residents started boating clubs, building boats and launched the first El Toros in the adjacent channel.

Why is this boat important?

Thousands of people learned to sail in an El Toro and some became notable both nationally and internationally. San Franciscan Paul Cayard won the 1975 El Toro American Championship at age 18 in the El Toro built by his father. His boat is now in the Sailing Hall of Fame. John Kostecki, who learned to sail
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in an El Toro at the Richmond Yacht Club, won an Olympic Silver Medal. Each man has won the ultimate test for sailors, the 55,000- mile around the world ocean race.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: SportsWaterways & Vessels.
Location. 37° 55.501′ N, 122° 22.557′ W. Marker is in Richmond, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker is on Cutting Boulevard east of Canal Boulevard, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 640 West Cutting Boulevard, Richmond CA 94804, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "The Sentinel" (approx. half a mile away); Women's Westside Improvement Club (approx. half a mile away); The Richmond Supply Company Building (approx. half a mile away); The Critchett Hotel (approx. half a mile away); Bank of Richmond (approx. 0.6 miles away); First City Hall of Richmond (approx. 0.6 miles away); By Land and By Sea (approx. 0.6 miles away); Our Lady of Mercy Church (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
More about this marker. The marker is located in a small passageway leading from Cutting Boulevard to the boat ramp. It's easy to miss.
Also see . . .  El Toro (dinghy) [Wikipedia]
El Toro Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 24, 2021
2. El Toro Marker - wide view
Visible here with the marker is an exploded-view model of an El Toro, mounted to a pole.
"The El Toro is a one-design class of sailing dinghy. The El Toro is quite small—approximately 8 feet (2.44 ) long—and very simple to sail....The El Toro design is traced back to the Richmond Yacht Club in San Francisco Bay Area around 1940. This is one of many boats derived from the MacGregor Sabot design, which was published in Rudder magazine in 1939. The First El Toro was built in Berkeley, in a night school shop where Ernest (Bud) Coxhead taught boat building. Coxhead, Hal Decker and Bill Warren were instrumental in selecting the design for the Richmond Yacht Club, which wanted a small boat for use as a yacht tender and sailing dinghy. The trio drafted the El Toro design by copying and modifying plans published in Rudder Magazine for the MacGregor Sabot, an eight-foot pram. The Richmond Yacht Club's 40 members, who had been debating possible designs at regular meetings, adopted the plan and named the boat after these bull sessions.

According to the El Toro International Yacht Racing Association, there were over 11,000 El Toros in the class in 2002."
(Submitted on December 24, 2021.) 
El Toro model image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 24, 2021
3. El Toro model
Marker inset: <i>1950s El Toro boat race - Richmond Yacht Club</i> image. Click for full size.
4. Marker inset: 1950s El Toro boat race - Richmond Yacht Club
Credits. This page was last revised on December 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 490 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 24, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.

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Feb. 20, 2024