In 1965, West River Yacht and Cruising Club was formed as West River Yacht and Country Club on Grosse lle. The organization operated a nine hole golf course and marina facility built on the former Knudsen summer residence, located on West River Road across from Detroit Edison on the Trenton Channel.
In 1970, application to join the Inter-Lakes Yachting Association (I-LYA) was made and we received interim membership with full membership status finally granted in 1973. Around 1974, there was a disagreement between responsible parties resulting in the loss of this facility as our home & Grosse lle Township took over management of the property and opened the facility now known as Waters Edge Country Club.
WRYCC entered a period of time where the membership was met with both struggle and challenge. Over the next several years, the membership began to dwindle to lower than average numbers, and then finally rebounded to our current levels. Club membership current averages around 100 members. Through it all, several of our long-term members kept hopes high and expectations reasonable to be a viable entity with our fellow yacht clubs. Although no longer officially connected with the Township property, WRYCC continued to function as a viable yacht club, holding monthly meetings at various locations in the downriver area and our membership within I-LYA remained intact due in large part to the efforts of lifetime member Paul Migda, P/C Bob Lang, P/C Bob Campbell and P/C Dick Kott, to mention a few. The name was changed at this time to West River Yacht and Cruising Club to better reflect the clubs central purpose.
In 2001, we were presented with the opportunity of returning to our roots, which in 2002, the membership overwhelmingly voted to do. Grosse Ile Township named WRYCC as the official yacht club for the facility knowns as Water’s Edge Municipal Marina. In 2003, we were granted full membership into the Associated Yacht Clubs (AYC), a group of about 32 yacht clubs sharing the western end of Lake Erie and the Detroit River, all members of our parent I-LYA organization.
In 2020, we officially call Smokies on the Water our home.
Over the years, we have continued to be a moving, growing and exciting club with many activities and outings available for our members to enjoy, along with an increasing interaction with our fellow yacht clubs.
Club activities include a very active presence at the I-LYA Powerboat Regatta, several rendezvous to various ports in Lakes Erie, St. Clair and Huron and usually at least two social events each month during the non-boating season. The highlight of the years activities is when the club honors the Commodore at what is considered by most to be the premier Commodores Ball in the area. With eleven (11) membership meetings during the year and a full calendar of social and boating activities (the majority of which involve eating and drinking), new members are quickly assimilated into this friendly boating organization.
WRYCC has the best of both worlds to offer its members. While we enjoy all the amenities of a Clubhouse, we are not required to offset the cost in maintaining it. There is no monthly minimum which must be spent nor are any work hours made mandatory to the membership. In addition to these two perks, each full member is entitled to a ticket to our Commodores Ball.
WRYCC offers dual, single and social membership status. Welcome to our family! We are honored that you chose us to enhance your boating experience and remember, The best is yet to come!