Boats 06

John Selbach

July 16, 1948 ~ March 13, 2021 (age 72)


On March 13th, John set sail on his final voyage after losing his battle with cancer.  John will be joining his beloved wife Karin of 30 years, parents Bill & Meg Selbach, siblings Dave Selbach and Lynn Selbach-Allen as well as his cherished cat “Tiger”.  John is survived by his brother Bill Selbach, and sisters Kathy (Selbach) Adams and Susan (Selbach) Sequeira as well as many nieces and nephews.

John grew up in Piedmont, California.  John graduated from Piedmont High School and Long Beach State University.  John always chose to live near water as his passion was sailing.  He started out sailing with his dad at a very young age.  In his teen years John spent many enjoyable days skippering “El Toro’s and Snipes” at Lake Merritt in Oakland.  John then moved on to sailing larger boats in the San Francisco Bay.  Some of his favorite sailing days were the small boat races at Clear Lake each summer.

John was a master at restoring and rigging sailboats, beginning in Long Beach and then moving to Alameda.  “If the wind could move it – John could rig it”.  John restored to perfection a Moore 24 named “Sassy Mama” in honor of his wife.  John and his lifelong sailing buddy, John Skinner, sailed her many times in the double handed Farallon’s race which always presented some very exciting adventures!

In more recent years, John transitioned to racing Radio Controlled Model Sail boats.  John remained competitive in sailing, racing his RC boats locally and across the country.

John was a longtime member of the Encinal Yacht Club, Lake Merritt Sailing Club and Alameda Association of Realtors.  John was currently associated with Keller Williams Realty in Alameda.  Around the office he was referred to as the “Lagoon Real Estate Legend”.  John’s clients often became clients for life.  His contract motto “If it’s not on paper it doesn’t exist” was something he lived by.  John made a fashion statement, always wearing Hawaiian shirts, shorts and sandals - regardless of the weather.

In lieu of a service, donations can be made to the “Encinal Sailing Foundation” for their Youth Sailing program @ 1251 Pacific Marina – Alameda, CA 94501


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