Milwaukee Opens Sailing Facility

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC), perched on the shores of Lake Michigan, is celebrating the completion of a new 6,000 ft2 building that includes everything from expanded classroom facilities to indoor plumbing. Nice!

Founded in 1979, MCSC offers sailing classes for adults and sailing programs for at-risk kids. It maintains a fleet of about 75 boats, comprised of everything from Ensigns and J/24s to JY Club Trainers.

According to MCSC executive director Peter Rieck, the center outgrew its original 800 ft2 space long ago and has been working on the new building since around 2003. Donors include Harken USA, based in nearby Pewaukee, Wisconsin, which helped get the project off the ground with some early seed money, and then came through with additional funds to help with actual construction.

“We just didn’t have the space to do all we wanted to do,” Rieck said. “We were making it work, but it was a bit much.” He said he remembers one day, in particular, when a series of thunderstorms came through trapping about 70 students in the old single-classroom building for about three hours. And remember—no indoor plumbing. (In the interest of full disclosure, I kept a Lightning at the center for years when I lived in Milwaukee, and remember that old Porta Potti well!)

MCSC is still raising funds for a new workshop to help it maintain its fleet. For more on the center, visit

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