Sep. 17th, 2010

Climb Aboard the Philadelphia Yacht Club

Yachting & Entertainment: Originally founded in the 1850's, the Philadelphia Yacht Club grew quickly after the Civil War, as the sport of boating became popular. At its peak, the Club had buildings and piers on the Delaware River south of the Schuylkill River and the Navy Yard in the area west of Tinicum Island in Essington, Pennsylvania; it even had its own stop on the local railroad. In the days before air conditioning, members often used the Club as an escape from the city's infamously hot summers, actually staying at the Club's quarters on the weekends, where they mingled with friends, played games and of course enjoyed their boats.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression took its toll on the Club, and by the time the U.S. entered WWII, it was forced to suspend operations due to lack of funds and available members. The Club remained dormant until 1986. However, upon completion of the Philadelphia Marine Center at Piers 12 through 24 on the Delaware River, enough interested boaters joined to assemble and reincorporate the club in April 1987.

Despite the name, the Philadelphia Yacht Club isn't exclusively dedicated to yachts; the Club's purpose is the social engagement of everyone with a love of the water and an interest in all things boating, whether power, sail or paddle. Though most members do own boats (and some own several), boat ownership is not a requirement for membership. All boating enthusiasts are welcome to attend monthly meetings; to join, a new member needs only to be sponsored by an existing member. The open monthly meetings facilitate prospective members meeting current members, and thus acquiring sponsorship to join.

Monthly meetings are held year-round, usually at the Club's quarters, though summer meetings are often held waterside in the form of a cruise or rendezvous on the Chesapeake. Most indoor meetings are dinner meetings and feature a guest speaker. The Club also holds other activities throughout the year, including socials, dances, parties and boating-related educational programs such as boaters' first aid training.

Philadelphia Yacht Club members enjoy reciprocal privileges at yacht clubs nationwide, as well as many other countries through PYC's listing in the Register of American Yacht Clubs. Members are also welcome as guests at the 35 Delaware River Yachtsmen's League member organizations facilities and activities.

For more details and the date, time and location of the next meeting, reference the Club's Web site.
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