Graham Kilmer

Yacht Club Replacing Docks in McKinley Marina

Milwaukee Yacht Club planning $4.5 million replacement, redesign of docks.

By - Jun 22nd, 2022 10:12 am


The Milwaukee Yacht Club is planning to revamp its docks in the McKinley Marina.

The club, which has operated in Milwaukee since 1871, is planning a $4.5 million project to replace its docks, which include approximately 100 boat slips.

The docks were last replaced in the 1970’s, and aren’t quite big enough for modern boat widths, according to Brian Cota, commodore of the yacht club. “For lack of a better term, they are ancient,” Cota said, at a meeting of the county board’s Parks, Energy and Environment Committee.

The yacht club leases its space from Milwaukee County. In 2018, the club renewed its lease for another 25 years for $68,000 a year, or $1.7 million over the life of the lease.

The yacht clubs docks, which account for approximately 15% of the boat slips in the marina, are currently fixed docks. The lake’s natural seiche, whereby the water periodically rises and subsides, causes the docks to be at various times swamped by the lake or dangerously elevated above the water surface.

The docks, along with the electrical and plumbing run along them, are in constant need of repairs, Cota said.

The new docks will be floating, which puts them in line with most modern marinas, Cota said. They will be constructed by Summerset Marine based out of the Eagle, Wis. and the decking will be high density polyethylene made from recycled plastic and manufactured by N.E.W Plastics Corp. of Luxemburg, Wis.

The system of docks are also being redesigned by MSA Engineering, to provide for wider fairways, better traffic in the marina and an improved view of the Milwaukee skyline.

Cota said that Milwaukee County has been investing in McKinley Marina lately and said, “This is our proposal to step up and be on par with what the county is doing.”

The county recently completed a $2.1 million renovation of the North Point parking lot in the marina, which included the installation of green infrastructure capable of capturing more than 200,000 gallons of stormwater, according to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District, which put $150,000 toward the construction of the infrastructure.

The marina will also see new life breathed into it this summer with The Bartolotta Restaurants reopening the roundhouse as a concession stand serving light snacks, drinks and some boating items.

Beyond the role it plays for its members, the Milwaukee Yacht Club also promotes boating education and is the host site for the UW-Milwaukee and Marquette Sailing teams.

Categories: MKE County, Weekly

One thought on “Yacht Club Replacing Docks in McKinley Marina”

  1. NickR says:

    Only $68,000 a year in rent for that massive parcel of lakefront real estate?

    What a steal!

    Are the taxpayers getting screwed? Our county parks could sure use more funds.

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