The Manitowoc Yacht Club was founded by people from the Manitowoc area that possessed and still possesses attributes of integrity, friendliness and hard contributory work ethics. New and old members still contribute numerous unselfish hours each year to maintain its upkeep, growth and community success.
The Club originated as an Unchartered Club in 1896 according to the Wright Directory. It was listed as a Manitowoc Yacht Club of a Miscellaneous Headed Society led by Dr. G. W. Patchen, Commodore; Henry Esch, Vice Commodore; Ed Hubbard, Secretary; and A. B. Schuette, Treasurer. Meetings were held at homes or places of business.
The Club under Commodore Hans Ertz gained Incorporation Rights under Wisconsin Charter Provisions in the year 1934.In 1946 it joined the Lake Michigan Yachting Association and today is the fifth oldest Club in that association.
The first official clubhouse was constructed in 1935 at the end of Commercial Street (now Maritime Drive) on the lakeshore. The severe winter of 1952 caused ice to severely damage the building. A home on the corner of North and Commercial Streets became a temporary site until January 1953. Land was leased in 1953 at the east end of Buffalo Street from the George Schoblaska Estate. The new club site now occupied a 24' x 36' structure. In 1962 an addition added another 670 square feet.
In 1969, a 25 year lease was negotiated with the City of Manitowoc at the east end of Huron Street at Lake Michigan, and the building was moved to that site where it still exists today. In 1975, a 50-year lease was acquired from the City. Additions in 1975 and 1994 brought the club to its present size. The original Pilot House outside the Club was donated by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company from the steamer William H. Wolf. The anchor on the grounds was donated by McMullen and Pitz Company.
The club is currently a member of the U.S. Sailing Association and in the past conducted Sailing Regattas. The Club also raises funds to help teach Sailing and Safety Instructions in conjunction with the Manitowoc-Two Rivers Area YMCA.