Chicago’s Almost Secret Harbor Treasure
Located in a lagoon along the east side of South Lake Shore Drive, this small, picturesque sailboat harbor is in the the southeast corner of the Jackson Park complex. The harbor, along with the Museum of Science and Industry and the wooded island Japanese gardens donated by the Emperor of Japan, are legacy landmarks of the 1893 Chicago World Fair. Also in this complex to the west of the drive are an 18 hole golf course and the site currently being developed for the Obama Presidential Center.
From the harbor you can ride your bike (or a rented Divvy bike) north along the bike path all the way downtown. By car, a short drive through the park or along the drive brings you to the University of Chicago and the restaurants and shops of Hyde Park.
The harbor’s lagoon was dredged in 1892 to hold replicas of Columbus’ three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, it was converted afterwards into a center for recreational boating. Three years later the Jackson Park Yacht Club was constructed and ever since, has been a central figure in the harbor’s sailing and racing scene.
Intimacy, Accessibility and Value
The harbor is a jewel. surely one of the best kept secrets in Chicago. Accessibility and convenience are better than at the larger Chicago harbors. Docks are much shorter, and parking is adjacent and free. You save both time and footsteps. Most surprising to sailors unfamiliar with the harbor is that the harbor and yacht club, among the oldest in Chicago, are closely intertwined, physically and socially. The yacht club is close to the docks, and with sailing and racing instruction, weekend brunches and Friday night movies on the water, has become the center of sailing life at the harbor.
The harbor and yacht club (JPYC as it is widely called), are surely one of the best kept sailing secrets in Chicago, but most surprising of all is their afford ability. Downtown clubs charge thousands of dollars just for the initiation fee, but with members from all over the Chicago area, JPYC charges none at all and membership is nominal.
The combination of a quiet, stunning harbor fifteen minutes from downtown and affordable yacht club membership is so attractive that sailors might think it just a dream. It’s a dream we make reality for our leaseshare sailors, because we have put a boat in the harbor and developed a fractional lease package to take advantage of the situation.
Check out our Catalina 27, Dame. She is your ticket to a full summer of sailing fun. For less than a boat owner pays just for the slip at a closer-in harbor, you can lease your boat with 35 foot slip and nearby parking, and then pay for yacht club membership with change left over. You don’t have to buy the boat, pay taxes on it, maintain it, or pay for storage, insurance and fuel. All you have to do is have fun sailing her with friends and family, and enjoy afternoons on the dock and life at the yacht club.