NORTH CAPE YACHT CLUB
The Dragon Fleet from Toledo Yacht Club, tired of the long sail out and home to an area east of the shipping channel toward Little Cedar Point, decided to look for a better place for sailing. Some time in the late 1950s a group of men led by Walt Swindeman, Dick Krauss, John Holton, Jim Bernard, and John Turin came to the Lake Erie shore at the Eire Power Plant and walked to the tip of North Cape searching for a site. Somewhat later, serious discussion was held concerning development of an area on the Lost Peninsula.
In 1961, Toledo businessman/entrepreneur Virgil Gladieux, had been acquiring property in the North Shores/Toledo Beach area. He was now contemplating beginning development in the area of the mouth of the creek. This was then a duck march and the remnants of the old Toledo Beach Amusement Park - a beachfront dance hall and empty lagoons. He had visions of a marina. Bill Swalm, a local who ran a one man marine construction operation - a fish boat/tug and barge with a crane - knew of Mr. Gladieuxs considerations. He wanted to do the dredging and marina construction.
Be late 1961, the sailors, still led by Walt Swindeman and Dick Krauss, had met with Mr. Gladieux repeatedly and through a series of proposals and counterproposals had reached the point where it was apparent that something mutually satisfactory would work out and that it was necessary that the sailors have a more formal organization and some financial resources. At this time, Walt and Dick, both past commodores of TYC, came to a TYC Board of Trustees meeting to outline the possibilities and request that TYC sponsor the new venture as a sailing station and consider perhaps, moving the entire club there at some later date. The TYC Board was uninterested in any additional expense or liability and suggested that it might reconsider it at a later date if the new arrangements were successful.
Undeterred Walt Swindeman, as a driving force, led the sailing group to organize a new yacht club. The group negotiated with Mr. Gladieux for space in the to-be-developed Toledo Beach Marina and lagoon. A progress report placed the formation of the club and the election of interim officers on Dec. 5, 1961. The officers were: W.E. Swindeman Jr., Commodore; H.R. Krauss, Vice Commodore; James Bernard, Rear Commodore; A. Thompson, Secretary; and J. Holton, Treasurer.
By December 27, 1961 the new club was officially chartered as a non-profit organization. The arrangements for the channel, the common lagoon, the NCYC lagoon, rent, etc. had been worked out. The cost of dredging the common channel and the lagoon was to be divided between Mr. Gladieux & NCYC. Mr. Gladieux agreed to pay for both halves of this cost requiring that the Clubs share of the cost of $12,500 to be guaranteed individually by club members. This was the basis for the first lease, dated December 14, 1961 between Virgil and Beatrice Gladieux and Orrin C. Keller, Philip LeBoutillier Jr., James L. Bernard, W.E. Swindeman, & H. Richard Krauss, each of whom guaranteed $2,500 in the event the club should fail.
On January 9, 1962, the now properly incorporated North Cape Yacht Club accepted the lease from these members and NCYC was on its own. Within one year, NCYC had 216 members, a clubhouse with a bar, 75 docks and 15 dry storage spaces assigned, women members, discussion of a work/pay program, a net worth of $41,000 and plans to hold 5 regattas in 1963. Special note should be taken that the majority of labor to build the clubhouse and docks was provided by the membership.
By the end of 1963 season, the number of docks increased to 149. In 1964, Dick Krauss became the second commodore of NCYC after a two-year term. In 1971, bonds were sold to the membership to purchase the property for $125,000 on which the club still stands. A full time club manager was hires in 1973 and the entry road was moved from in front of the D-line docks over 24 feet to create a grassy area for those docks. In 1974, the clubhouse was expanded to include the "Best Heads in the Great Lakes" and a new spacious kitchen. In 1974, water levels were the highest in the history of the Club, bringing the water within a few feet of the front door leading to many a tales to be told in the years to come. It also moved the beach closer to the Club covering the shuffleboard court. The first winter storage venture of members was begun in 1976 with less than 20 boats. The garage was moved from the beach front to its present position in 1978. In 1979 major work was done to tie the two bulkheads of the A-line and C-line together to prevent them from collapsing into the cuts. The Commodores Memorial Seating Area was created in 1982 on the channel side of the clubhouse with funds donated in memory of P/C Stan Thal. The clubhouse was again expanded in 1984 to include a larger main room, a newly renovated bar area, and an observation area on the roof. The gazebo was added in memory of Charles Frantz with money donated by his fellow members and friends in 1987. The old concrete docks were slowly removed and replaced starting in 1989 and completed in 1991 with new wood docks. Sewers were constructed and connected in 1994. And in 1996 the last of the overhead electric cables were moved underground.
Membership continued to grow from the original 14 to the current number of 325 members limited by a membership vote in 1982. The total membership of NCYC is approximately 425 including Senior, Junior, Intermediate A, Intermediate B, Honorary, Emeritus, and Non-resident members. Spousal membership was instituted in 1987.
The original Dragon Fleet disappeared in the late 60s along with other one design fleets including Lightnings and Thistles. The shift was to larger cruising/racing sailboats. There were several attempts to restart one design fleets including the Snipe Fleet in the early 1980s. The J24 fleet got its foot hold in 1991 and was granted its charter in 1994. The Lightning fleet reactivated their charter in 1995.
The Club currently hosts multiple regattas such as ILCA Lightning North Americans, the Multiple Scierosis Race, Ladies Irene Race, Champagne Series, Hobie Regional, Dedication Day, Mid Channel, Fall Blowout with Thistle, Lighting, and Interlakes, and NCYC J-24 regatta in addition to numerous weekday races. Our members have also cruised and races throughout the Great Lakes and the oceans around the world. All this was made possible from the humble beginnings as a dream from a group of sailors looking for a place to sail in clean deep water.