Yachting and Recreational Boating

On any given summer day, thousands of boaters head to Lake Michigan for sailing, cruising and yacht racing.  Today, seven harbors shelter over five thousand boats. Organized boating began in 1875 with the establishment of the Chicago Yacht Club.  It is the oldest yacht club on Lake Michigan.  The Columbia and Jackson Park Yacht Clubs followed later in the 19th century and helped to pioneer racing and cruising off Chicago.  By the 1940s, there were eight private yacht clubs along the Chicago shore.

Fine yachts were built and launched at Grebe’s Yacht Yard, located on the North Branch of the Chicago River near Riverview Amusement Park.