The Alpena Yacht Club is located on the shores of Lake Huron, south of the Alpena Thunder Bay Marina and just north of Bay View City Park,
in the downtown area of Alpena. It is minutes away to the city’s most popular points of interest by land or by water.
Today the club features an ample seating for meetings, dinners and special activities. The kitchen has been expanded, adding a commercial dishwasher, a large refrigerator, range, two ovens and two microwaves. It easily accommodates club, private or catered events.
The waterfront room includes a full service bar with a spectacular view of Thunder Bay. It is a relaxing place to get together. On nice days the new patio and furniture can be also be enjoyed.
Alpena Yacht Club is a wonderful place with great activities throughout the year. It has a friendly and informal atmosphere that makes it fun for the whole family.
The Club supports an active small boat sailing program. Kids of all ages participate in the program every summer.
The events calendar is a complete list of gatherings, parties, meetings and other activities.
The Alpena Yacht club welcomes new members every year, both young and old.
For recent club news/announcements, click HERE .
The Mission of Alpena Yacht Club shall be to:
Encourage, promote and support safe boating, education, seamanship and small boat handling among its members and the yachting community,
Encourage, promote and support the spirit of fellowship among its members, families and fellow yachtsmen,
Continue to maintain, enhance, and improve the club's facility for the enjoyment of its members, families and guests.
The shipmates are a group of AYC members that meet the second Thursday of each month; they have a "pot luck", and a short meeting. The purpose of this group is to support the club with such things as furniture, kitchen needs, and general help when at all possible.
The group is a fun group, and it is a great place to meet new friends. It is casual, and in June, July and August, we do not have a meeting, but we still meet for the evening, but it is not a planned meal as the other nine months.
The dues for the Shipmates are $15.00, per year.
Alpena Yacht Club History
In the 1920’s and 30’s the last remnants of the lumbering industry, the sawmills, lumber docks and holding ponds, were disappearing from the waterfront and river-sides of Alpena. Fletcher’s steam yacht “Winyah” was seeing its last days and Harry Fletcher’s 12 Meter sloop “Iris” and Phil Fletcher’s 8 Meter sloop were based at the Fletcher-Gilchrist Docks on the river and were annual competitors in the Mackinaw Races. The only other pleasure boating was a group of semi-one design sailing enthusiasts, mostly with home built boats, some of which had the temperamental outboards of that time.
In the 1930’s the sailing enthusiasts formed the Alpena Boat Club as an identifiable entity when in competition at Tawas, Bay City, Port Austin and Port Huron. To compete, many boats were trailored by auto over early gravel roads. Such small craft were moored and stored at the Fletcher-Gilchrist Docks, where the
old dog-leg hoist still stands as a memento.
During World War II many of the boats disintegrated due to age, neglect or rot. During the mid 1950’s the “Windjammer Fleet” of over 20 K-Class Catboats was formed to provide racing competition for many years. The Club now has a very active PHRF fleet with scheduled races.
Toward the end of the War it was decided to form the Alpena Yacht Club with more emphasis on power boats. Phil Fletcher’s 47 foot Chris Craft “Constellation” was the flagship. During that time our first marina building was constructed. Organization was completed in the later 1940’s when a lease for the land was obtained from the city and construction was begun. Many problems arose as it was “made land” of sawdust and wain-edge lumber so expensive excavations were necessary requiring much fill to establish suitable subterranean support. Money ran out and for two years the bare foundation of the building was covered with tar paper, boards and rocks. In 1951 the Alpena Boat Club merged with the Alpena Yacht Club. With their donation of $900.00, and the sale of eleven $100.00 Founder’s Certificates to Yacht Club members and hundreds of hours or work by members, the building was completed that year. Heating, plumbing, and electrical work followed and the original portion of the building was formally dedicated. All during this time the club’s financial structure was endlessly precarious, but with the support of Phil Fletcher, who was Commodore the first six years, and the board of directors, loans could be quickly and easily arranged. In 1957-58, the entry vestibule and locker was built. At the same time, a wet bar was constructed along part of the lake-side wall. In 1968 the lake-side sun-room was added in 1979 the wet bar was removed from the meeting room and the present wet bar was constructed.
In 1985 insulation was installed throughout the attic. Due to the high water peak of 1986, an armor stone break-wall was installed and extensive interior remodeling was also done. A new roof, outside deck and storage-shed highlighted the improvements done in 1987. Thanks to donations by many members, the “Galley” project was completed in 1988, along with installation of new flooring, an ice machine and a beer dispenser in the barroom. A fenced-in area for storage of fuel tanks was completed in 1989. In 1990, a new TV-VCR and Audio system was installed along with a new canopied entrance way.
The area’s pleasure boating has increased phenomenally since the 1940’s. Club membership has grown steadily and the club’s programs have broadly widened. Our club is deemed as one of the finer clubs on the Great Lakes.
The 1990’s saw the Yngling sail boats replace the Cat boats, with a fleet of near 20 boats, the group have local races on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. They have traveled out of state to complete in regattas, and have hosted some also. The Club added a roof over the grill area. The late 90’s early 2000’s, also brought some structural changes to the Club. The City of Alpena put into action a plan to improve the looks of the Harbor area, which included the Club. With this in mind and the need for a larger kitchen area, the club undertook the task. The kitchen area is enlarged, new appliances were purchased. The outside improvements included a new roof, new siding, and the landscaping has been redone.