Presque Isle Yacht Club

A Little History

Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie and situated within one of the finest natural harbors on the Great Lakes, the Presque Isle Yacht Club is the home port for 150 members and their families. In 1944, a group of Erie boaters who rented their boat stalls from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at Presque Isle State Park joined together to form Presque Isle Boat Owners Association. Their primary purpose was to improve the ailing facilities at their rented boat dockage. These members proposed to rebuild the existing docks near today's Presque Isle State Park's Nature Center Building. The project was completely funded by the newly formed Boat Owners Association. In exchange for the service the Commonwealth, the State Park, and the Harbor Commission allowed the Club the use of the property adjacent to the Nature Center. This proved to be a worthwhile partnership with the Commonwealth. Boat dockage that would have then cost the Commonwealth $125,000 in repairs was reformed and expanded into a well-designed marina at no expense to the Commonwealth.

Over the years, the Club nurtured and further expanded this facility until the late 1950's, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania rebuilt the peninsula and created the 'new lake' in the process. The Commonwealth realized the benefits provided by the Presque Isle Yacht Club (renamed from Presque Isle Boat Owners Association) and agreed to provide the Club a lease at this newly created lake. The Club designed and built another attractive marina, using its own labor and financial resources. Eventually, the Commonwealth reappraised the use of Presque Isle State Park lands and started controlling and restricting usage. This meant that Presque Isle Yacht Club, as well as other facilities located on the peninsula, would have to seek a new home.

It was 1962 and there was still tremendous potential on Erie's under-developed waterfront. The members of Presque Isle Yacht Club formed a partnership with the City of Erie, and with the guidance and assistance of Art Gardner, Erie's Mayor, and Joe Martin, Erie's Port Administrator and former Mayor, leased property in the west canal basin at the foot of Peach Street to relocate their yacht club. Once again, club members invested their own labor and money to quickly modernize this deteriorated area. The end result of this effort was the installation of docking accommodations for one hundred forty-two member boats and ten guest stalls.

Today, the Club features a well-maintained clubhouse with restrooms, showers, kitchen, and meeting room plus other facilities for members and guests including a picnic shelter, grill area, boat lift facility, pump-out station, lighted parking lot, and gated access. Caretakers are on duty throughout the boating season to attend to the needs of members and guests. Presque Isle Yacht Club takes pride in developing and maintaining its boating facilities to the benefit of Erie's entire boating community.

Visiting boaters that stay at Presque Isle Yacht Club during the boating season generate considerable tourist revenue to many stores, restaurants, bars, and other businesses in the rejuvenated Erie downtown and bayfront. Presque Isle Yacht Club is known throughout the Great Lakes as a friendly place for visiting boats to stop, and as having the best location on Presque Isle Bay. Visit us and we think you will agree that we are truly the boaters' gateway to beautiful Presque Isle and ERIEsistible Erie!