Since its inception in 1940, the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club has had a wonderful history ... one filled with great memories and even some learning experiences. In 1940, a group of boaters, most of whom owned cabins on the newly formed lake, met to discuss forming a boating club. A fish fry was held at the old Gunter Home on Preston Island and 150 people came. There were four 25’ cruisers, four runabouts, and a few outboard fishing boats. Twenty three joined, paying dues of $5.00.
The leadership had their eye on our current site, but TVA wanted the Club to be across the river near the industrial area. A chance meeting with FDR at the dedication of Chickamauga Dam finally led to approval for a 3-year lease on the current site in 1947. Dock construction began on 420 feet of dock in 1948, costing $6000. By 1953, there was a road to the highway, an open-air pavilion, barbecue pit, shuffleboard courts, and two more additions to the docks. Still there were no slips, only the Party Dock. In November, 1955, TVA finally agreed to sell the land to LGYC for $5000.00 for approximately 7.5 acres.
In 1960, the first 18 slips were built. Forty-foot slips rented for $30-35 per month. A year later, two men's and ladies’ showers were added to the slips (on the dock with drainage directly into the lake). New floating docks were built in 1970 (minus the showers!) at a cost of $105,465.
LGYC had a fire on New Year’s Eve, 1969, that destroyed all but two of the boats at the club. The only vessels to survive were out of the water for maintenance. The Commodore and Tommy Gray were the only ones that did not lose their boats.
In 1984, the original clubhouse was expanded and the present lounge, ship’s store, and kitchen were added, along with the addition of more showers and more toilets in the bathrooms.
In 2009, all of A & B docks were destroyed when a powerful storm broke the docks loose, along with all the boats attached to them. The weather service described the event as a gravity wave which produced straight-line winds over 60 mph for what felt like hours. One member commented about the boats with lights flying past close to the docks during the storm ....... until they realized they were against the highway with cars driving past.
The 2009 damage led the construction of our current slips which are state of the art construction providing the club with significant improvement for our members. The new slips also allowed us to make better use of our harbor limits to accommodate additional large vessels.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the determined leaders and members who didn’t walk away after each fire or storm, but instead worked for the future of our Club so we could enjoy the facility we have today.
History of the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club in Photos