November 2018 Notes from PC Jerry Sinnott (transcribed by Chris Mead 11/29/18 – all errors are Chris Mead’s fault)

We joined in 1973 - $25 to join.

Attended the first charter party in 1974 at Shrine Club on 8th and French

At that time we had no place we called home.  Held meetings at Cascade Club and the Lakeview Tavern and Sids Place and the Sportsmans Club and East and South Erie Turners.

The board and bridge formed committees – membership, construction, leasing, permit comm with corp of engineers , material and purchasing committee (john and john)

Once we obtained a lease on the property we set about getting necessary fill material foir the break walls and parking lot.  As we acquired fill material Dick Walkow started putting it in the water, with a borrowed front end loader.  After a month or so we were notifgiced by the Corpt to cease and desist unknown to us at the time the corp was making over flights and taking photos.  We didn’t have our permits yet – bad start.

Negotiated contract with Bob Rumble “Marine Contractor” for Phase A or ‘The Project’.  John Nowakowski short leased of basin.

Ran into problems with Rumble about finishing the A Portion of the project.  Dick Wilhelm as on the board at the time and said he would finish the project for less money and time.  We entered into contract with Dick.  We supplied material and he installed it.

That was the beginning of the work parties.  Wednesday nights and Saturdays and sometimes Sundays (removing wood, garbage and debris from the fill)

Herb Olsen had acquired an old green construction trailer from H Platt Company that was our office and winter shelter during work parties.

About this time the Board and Bridge sent out a request for a $1000 certificate and our membership went from 230 members to 60.  We started all this with $60,000 dollars

With that seed money we sent John Nowak and John Kabasinski west to buy necessary material for the walls and railroad rail

Dick Wilhelm started the west side of the club driving railroad rail and installing hatch covers from lake freighters.  Also railroad cars we split in half in the water.  Bill Heider put articles in the newspaper with aerial photos of the progress we were making.  This stimulated membership.

We completed the west side and the following year we finished the east side working summer and winter.

Spouses and families sacrificed much over these early years.


Barcelona Yacht Club

1973 Gary Page
1974 Dick Robertson Charter #1
1975 Robert Liedec
1976 Ed Corky Wienczkowski
1977 Lee Wright
1978 John Kabasinski – Ground Breaking
Charter #1 Shrine on 8th & French  
1979 Dick Walkow
1980 Bill Heider
1981 Jerry Sinnott
1982 Charlie Farrington
1983 Jack Suleski
1984 John Nowak – Ground Breaking
1985 Terry Thorpe


  • Cork
  • Heider
  • Walkow
  • Bud Jordan
  • Tom Bruman
  • Dick Wilhelm
  • Charlie Farrington
  • Herb Olson
  • Jim Ford
  • Rodgers Bill
  • John Nowak
  • Vince STanwniak
  • Bob Pastica
  • Ed Skowunski
  • Nat Doval – Bob Wetsel
  • Mark Golden
  • Gene Brenic
  • Jim Delewski
  • Ed Muck
  • Father Levis




History from the web site (as of 11/29/18)



CPYC was formed in 1972 when a group of boaters living in Erie and belonging to the Barcelona Yacht Club decided to start a new club closer to home.

Tired of driving thirty miles to attend yacht club meetings and social functions, the group began to solicit prospective members to form a new club.  Invitations were sent to lists from Presque Isle Marina and other bay boating facilities to see if anyone would be interested in forming a new Erie, PA yacht club.

A fairly large group of boaters turned out for this initial meeting held at Syd's Cafe on West Eight Street. Those attending the meeting agreed to start a new club and committees were set up to name the club and agree on a structure. Of those at the meeting only I-LYA Commodore Bill Heider and CPYC P/C Ed (Corky) Wienczkowski are still members.

Through the efforts of the Board of Directors, the club wasgranted a charter as a nonprofit corporation by the State of Pennsylvania on August 29, 1973. For the next few years the club existed mostly as a social organization, holding monthly meetings, picnics, dances, and other activities. Soon the members started calling for a facility to call home and a committee was formed to find a suitable site. Bill Heider was named to chair the committee and after spending several months looking over all available property a site was recommended at the foot of Poplar St. The membership agreed on the location and after some negotiations with the Erie-Western-PA Port Authority a long-term lease was signed.

After obtaining the lease, permits were needed from the Pennsylvania DER and the Army Corps of Engineers to put in the docks. This proved to be more difficult than anyone had anticipated resulting in 18 months of negotiations with environmentally conscious government agencies. Finally a permit was granted.

Next a decision had to be made on how to fund and construct the club. Some members wanted to go to a bank and borrow a million dollars and have it built by outside contractors. After much discussion it was decided that in the long run this would be much too expensive and the club would be financially better off to build the club themselves. In order to accomplish this the board voted to assess each member $1,000 to get the project started. From a membership of about 350, approximately 80 stayed on to see the project through. Ground breaking for the club was held on April 15, 1978 with city and port authority officials there to help turn over the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt.

Using the member's money to buy materials and hire a contractor to drive pilings and put the break wall sections into place, the club members and their families, working weekends, vacations, and whenever else they could find the time assembled all the break wall sections, filled the break walls and the main parking area. The members also built all the docks, working through the winter of 1978-79 using the bay ice as a work platform. While some members worked on the docks, others worked on building all the other CPYC facilities.

The first boats moved into the west side of the club in the summer of 1979. That was a tough summer as the east break wall was not finished and the easterly winds made it very rough in the basin. Working through the winter of 79-80 the east break wall was finished and the east side docks were built.

Since that time the tradition of the members building the club has continued. Members have constructed picnic shelters, rebuilt the docks and finger piers using long-lasting materials, laid sidewalks, built a fuel dock and did the landscaping.

It bears pointing out that all of this has been done on a pay-as-you-go basis.

In 1984 it was decided that the club was in good shape both physically and financially and it was time to build a clubhouse. To do this a design was needed along with someone to head up the construction project. The board of directors came up with the plan, John Evans, a member who is also an architect, came up with a design and Herb Olson who worked as a construction foreman was chosen to head the project.

Herb, through his knowledge of construction and a desire for CPYC to have the best clubhouse possible made many modifications to the original plans as the work progressed. Since the work was being done by mostly amateurs, Herb had to exercise a great deal of patience. Fortunately, there were enough talented craftsmen amongst the membership, most of whom were more than willing to donate their time to work on the building, and the project proceeded nearly on schedule. Thanks to Herb's leadership, CPYC's clubhouse turned out to be the fine facility he had envisioned it to be. Upon completion, the club formally dedicated the building to Herbert R. Olson.

With the club completed, the membership turned it's efforts to furnishing it along with a beautification project for the grounds. Work did not stop there, however, the Board of Directors appointed all the past commodores to a long range planning committee to come up with plans for the future of the Commodore Perry Yacht Club.

In 1997, a new lease was negotiated with the Port Authority, giving the club a longer term and more property to the south. This enabled expansion of parking facilities and provided more room for the winter storage of boats.

In 1998 the construction of a new fence began along with efforts to beautify the property in an effort to keep up with the many new developments that are occurring along the Erie waterfront.

In 1999 the club purchased two 40 ft. barges and a Bucyrus Erie Crane with a clam shell bucket. The barges were coupled together to provide a 18 ft. by 40 ft. barge with the crane mounted on it. This will provide the club with the ability to dredge the club basin and and with the expansion of the club.

In 2000 the club members approved an extensive expansion plan including all-new floating docks, a new knee wall and other amenities.

Within 10 years the expansion plan was complete. Today, the club is a state-of-the-art facility and a joy for all its members.

If you have not seen our facilities, please feel free to visit us by either car or boat.



BREAKWALL AND EXPANSION SECTION From the web site (as of 11/29/18)


Update - December 2010. The expansion is finished including the knee wall at the club's entrance to the bay.


It's October 2007 and we enjoyed the new Z Dock, floating docks all season. During the past few weeks crews have been working diligently on N Dock, the eastern set of floating docks. Those are on schedule to be in service for the 2008 season.

Sailors! The club is investing in its mast lift. Recently, a committee met and decided on changes that are currently being completed.

If you are considering moving from your current marina to a beautiful yacht club with new facilities, now's the time to join the club!

Click to jump down to the original schedule.

Recent photo of the western side of Z dock from shore.

This is what the basin looks like today between the new Z dock and the gas dock. The lift well is to the left of this photograph.

Below is a photo from the lift well prior to the installation of Z dock. Notice the outer sea wall is being worked on.


The photo above was taken from the lift well facing north. The crane in the distance is perched on the new breakwall. This photo was taken July 25, 2003

Approved by membership on 3/21/00 -- army corp and dep approved plans on 10/10/00

Year 1 complete 130 feet of wall by 12/311/01
Year 2 complete 260 feet of wall
Year 5 complete wall and start utilities
Year 8 complete finger piers  12/31/08