The pundits often say that nothing lasts forever. Perhaps this is true, but our Pennsylvania Yacht Club (PYC), established in 1943, is 75 years young and is getting better with every passing year. At times it was not easy to do: fiscal problems often appeared and were finally solved; extensive remodeling of our clubhouse and improving the grounds and equipment were a must; and most of all, having each member work for the common good had to be achieved.
Let us start at PYC’s beginning. In early 1943 eighteen members of a different yacht club in Philadelphia decided to form another club for boating and social affairs. The new club was to be entirely independent of the parent club. After spending a great deal of time and effort, they found an underused area of land along State Road in Andalusia in Lower Bucks County. This tract contained a little over six acres extending from State Road to the shore of the Delaware River; the price paid for this tract was about $7,000. Can you imagine what waterfront property would cost today?
On this acreage a good distance from State Road stood an older structure with beautiful views of the Delaware River. One would have to do some research to find out when it was constructed. It was not what one would call “modern.” The ceiling in the entry room and that of today’s bar area was built at a very low height. The rooms on the second floor were extremely cramped. The upstairs houses the Board of Directors’ room, storage space and a great supply of cleaning materials. Both the entry room, which the ladies’ group used as a meeting area, and the main room were rebuilt, with major work needed. The results were an amazing improvement; visitors often compliment us on the interior of our clubhouse.
During the 1980’s many PYC members felt that some type of deck would be an asset to the club and be an area to relax on after work or boating. With our commodore at that time, Paul Krisher, he and many club members undertook this vast and difficult project. When finished (it took many months to build), PYC was the proud owner of a deck that is approximately 30 feet wide and abuts the rear of the clubhouse. Facing the Delaware River, the deck is about 70 feet in length. Needless to say, it became a popular social area for the membership.
Even before the deck was constructed, our members discussed building some type of covered structure in order to escape any rain and also to provide a shady area. Our pavilion was completed in the mid-1980’s. It still is a magnificent structure and is considered one of PYC’s gems.
One of PYC’s proudest achievements was the building of a first-class sluiceway to haul and/or launch any boat in our fleet. The ancient rail system was discarded and a very efficient concrete driveway became the bottom of the new sluice- way. Steve Burakiewicz led our membership in building the Mary B, a vehicle that is able to hold any boat in the club that needs to enter or leave the Delaware River.
PYC, since its earliest years, had a walkway system connected to several floats and piers. Today we have a series of floats which, when connected, total about 120 feet. Boats 18 feet or smaller may dock behind a float during the boating season. PYC’s larger boats may use the mooring anchor system; we have a tender to transport PYC members to their moored boats.
As we close this article, we must thank the 18 boaters who created the Pennsylvania Yacht Club in 1943.