Great Kills Yacht Club – Staten Island

After our tour of New York City, we arrived for the evening at Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island. We choose this spot because it was out of the way and away from the city, which means it also doesn’t cost as much as marinas that are closer to the city since we plan to stay here for several days. It lies in this great man made basin that is well protected from the outer New York harbor.

Because we are members of the America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association (AGLCA), we get a discount to stay here in this marina and the AGLCA have harbor hosts scattered in multiple locations along the great loop route. Harbor Hosts are volunteers who want to help or welcome other loopers. Sometimes they will tell you about local attractions, let you borrow their car, or just generally be helpful to other loopers in that particular location. John is a member of the Great Kills Yacht Club and a harbor host for AGLCA. He was at the dock to welcome us as we came in and got us all tied up.

As I mentioned previously, it was our anniversary the day we arrived so we got showered and headed to a nice restaurant in town and had a great anniversary meal. On our way back from dinner, we stopped at the yacht club building and had a drink in their bar inside. There were a few yacht club members there and John was there as well. As soon as we walked in, John and the other greeted us right away and then asked us a bunch of questions. They were curious where we were from, where are we going, etc. to the boat, the moon was coming up and it looked just amazing. The myth that New Yorkers are abrupt and cool could not be farther from the truth. We have found everyone to be warm and welcoming and instant friends.

Here are some lovely views from our boat at the end of the dock at Great Kills Yacht Club

For my yacht club friends, let me tell you a little bit about Great Kills Yacht Club that we learned while we were here. They have about 150 members and the entire yacht club/marina is member owned and operated meaning that the membership maintains the docks, electric, and boat haul outs and operating the travel lift. They rely on the various skills that each member might have in their background, plumbers, electricians, welders, etc. There is a waiting list to become a member of the yacht club and the current waiting list is 292 people long. People waits decades to be able to make it to the top of the list. Basically someone has to die for a new member to join their ranks. Because everyone pitches in and all members are responsible for the club/marina the cost for a slip for the season is about $700. That my friends is very cheap. They also pay a whopping total of $15 to have their boat hauled out with the travel lift.

Some of the history of Great Kills includes a time during prohibition in the 1920’s. Wealthy people from NYC would come to Great Kills on Staten Island to drink illegal alcohol at the yacht club. This provided to be a very lucrative business for the yacht club. After prohibition ended, the revenue stream for illegal alcohol dried up and people went elsewhere to get the drinks. So, the yacht club opened a brothel on the third floor of the club house to continue a revenue stream and continue to attract clients.

On another note, one night when we were hanging at the yacht club, they were having a member meeting. We found out that they are very traditional with regard to their membership and meetings. Women not only were not allowed to be officers of the yacht club, they also were not allowed to even attend membership meetings. Men only! Yes, I know….it is 2021!

Here’s a view of the clubhouse:

The rest of our time at Great Kills was spent in preparation for our friend Tim to join us, provisioning food, and preparing some meals as we prepare to head offshore in the Atlantic for an overnight passage to Cape May, NJ.

We found this great little Italian grocery/deli with wonderful Italian meats, cheeses, bread, etc. Frank and Sal’s –

We also walked about 1.7 miles to the nearest large grocery store to stock up on several things that we needed. We took an Uber back so we didn’t have to carry our heavy grocery the 1.7 miles back.

Then I took sometime to make a pot roast with carrots and potatoes and made some ginger snap cookies. I spent an entire day cooking so we will have some ready prepared food for our overnight passage to Cape May.

Tim arrived to the boat on the morning of Tuesday September 28th. We spent the day helping to get Tim settled and giving him a run down of where things are on the boat and what he would need to know about the electronics and navigation for our trip south. We have been carefully watching the weather to determine the timing of our departure from Great Kills since we will need at least about a 48 hour window of good weather and the wind from at least any direction but south.

While we wait for weather we had a great dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant. Fiore Di Mare….delicious

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