Lat: 42° 9.271 Long: 080° 4.295
The City of Erie is located within a beautiful, natural bay, created by the 17 mi/27 km Presque Isle peninsula. The peninsula itself is home to Presque Isle State Park, a haven of miles of sandy beaches and hikink trails. The peninsula creates a large bay that is home to a number of marinas and yacht clubs.
Originally part of the Iroquios Confederacy, the first European settlement was a French fort built in 1753. That settlement passed through British control to American hands as the new United States spread west.
During the War of 1812, Erie was an important harbor and Commodore Oliver Perry's ships Niagara and Lawrence were built here. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, Erie was an important manufacturing and transportation hub. The decline in manufacturing in the later 20th century saw a growth in service and tourism sectors.
The bay provides excellent sailing conditions regardless of lake conditions due to its complete protection by the peninsula.
On a personal note, Erie was the first foreign port I ever sailed into. Regardless of where I sailed thereafter, Erie would always hold a special place in my memory. Although it was a beautiful crossing, it was still my first - and Columbus had nothing on me when I hailed Erie harbor!
The approach to Erie harbor is from the northeast. If you are coming from the north or west, give the peninsula a wide berth as the waters shoal out quite a distance. Off the northeast coast of the peninsula, there are submerged stakes (charted). Presque Isle light (ISO WHITE) is located about 2 nm west of the tip of the peninsula and is visible offshore for 15 mi/13 nm. When you round the end of the peninsula, you will see the channel markers - "R2", a Fl RED light and "G1", a Fl GREEN light.
Follow the channel into the inner harbor. The city dock, Dobbin Landing, has a tall clock clock tower (Note: there is NO docking at Dobbin Landing). Perry's Landing, a 240 slip marina, has a prominent red tower and, further west, the Erie Yacht Club has a lighthouse. Altogether, across the waterfront, there are 7 marinas and yacht clubs with transient docking available.
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
John E. Lampe Marina (814) 455-7557
Lampe Marina is on your port side just before you enter the harbor channel. They have 250+ slips with a number available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (gasoline only) and a pump-out station. Water and power are available at dockside. Restrooms and showers are available. There are picnic areas with BBQ grills.
Wolverine Point Marina (814) 874-0698 VHF 16
Wolverine Point Marina is located west of the city dock. Pass the clock tower and enter into the basin by a narrow channel, passing under an overhead walkway. The marina is on the east wall of this basin. They have approximately 30 transient slips available. There is no fuel dock or pump-out station. There is water and power dockside. There are restrooms and showers and also laundry facilities. There is a ship's store on site and there is internet access.
Presque Isle Yacht Club (814) 455-7655
PIYC is located in the same basin as Wolverine Point Marina, in the southwest corner. They have several slips set aside for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock but there is a pump-out station. There is water and power available at dockside. There are restrooms and showers as well as laundry facilities. Internet access is available. On their grounds are picnic areas and BBQ grills.
Bay Harbor Marina (814) 456-9415
Further west along the waterfront, past the red brick waterworks buildings, is Bay Harbor Marina. There are 2 basins - naturally called East and West Basin. Combined, they have about 500 slips. Bay Harbor Marina has about 20 available for transients. There is no fuel dock but there is a pump-out station. There is a full-service repair and maintenance service in site. They can carry out work on engines, mechanical and electrical systems and fiberglass. There is water and power avaiable dockside. Restrooms, showers and laundry are available. There is a haul-out facility and internet access.
Commodore Perry Yacht Club (814) 454-9106
CPYC is located between the East and West basins of Bay Harbor Marina. They have a number of transient slips available on a reciprocal basis. There is a fuel dock (gasoline only) and pump-out station. Water and power are available at each slip. Th clubhouse has restrooms, showers and laundry. There is a swimming pool, picnic areas and BBQ grills.
CPYC was the first foreign yacht club I ever visited and the warm welcome there set my expectations for many years as I sailed and cruised along the American coastline. Expectations I might add that were always met!
Perry's Landing Marina (814) 455-1313
Perry's Landing Marina is easy to locate with its tall, red-topped tower. There is a videophone here to report in to US Customs. The marina has approximately 240 slips with about a dozen set aside for transients. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and pump-out station. The clubhouse has restrooms, showers and laundry. There is water and power available at dockside. There is a swimming pool and poolside cafe as well as beautiful decks that overlook the bay.
Erie Yacht Club (814) 453-4931 VHF 9
EYC is the western-most docking facility in the bay. The club's breakwater is marked with a Fl light and a F RED and F GREEN light at the entranceway.
Note: There are a number of charted obstructions to the immediate northwest of the entrance.
EYC has nearly 400 slips and has slips available for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pump-out station. Water and power are avaiable at the slips. Restrooms, showers and laundry are available at the clubhouse. There are picnic areas, a childrens' playground and BBQ grills. Internet access is available.
Presque Isle State Park (814) 833-7224
The state park is located on the north side of the bay, directly across from the Bay Harbor Marina and CPYC. Be careful entering as the water on either side of the channel shoals significantly.
The entrance channel is marked with a pair of outer lights: "1" Fl GREEN and "2: Fl RED. The inner lights are "3" Fl GREEN and "4" Fl RED. There is a foul area (charted) immediately west of the approach to the entranceway.
Once through the channel entrance, turn hard to port and follow the markers to the marina. There is a videophone located here so you can report in to U.S. Customs. There are transient slips available on a 'first-come, first-served' basis. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pump-out station. Water and power are available at the docks. There are restrooms and showers available. Amenities would include all that this beautiful state park has to offer such as beaches, walking trails and picnic areas.
Presque Isle State Park offers a very good anchorage in its marina cove. It is completely surrounded by natural wetlands and provides a striking contrast to the urban marinas across the bay. If peace and quiet are what you are seeking and you don't need the hook-ups, this will definitely satisfy your needs.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
Anchor Marine Ltd
Anchor Marine is a full-service marine shop. They can provide complete engine repair and maintenance as well as maintenance on electrical systems, fiberglass and hull repairs, woodworking and canvas repairs. They have a haul-out facility. They carry a full inventory of parts. Their testamonials point to a real emphasis on customer service.
Bay Shore Marine is a full-service marine shop. They can carry out a wide range of engine repairs as well as electrical and firberglass repairs. They have a haul-out facility.
Bay Shore Marina (See above)
Perry's Landing (See above)
As Erie is a good-sized city, provisioning is no problem. There are a number of supermarkets and grocery stores in the area south of the harbor. Although you could walk to them, you might want to take a taxi, considering carrying everything back.
There are a number of banks with ATM's in the same area south of the harbor
UPMC Hamot (814-877-6000) is a major hospital and medical center located immediately south of the harbor.
Bayside Pharmacy (814-877-6767) is affiliated with the hospital and located a few blocks from the harbor. Several other pharmacies are located within the central area of Erie.
PLACES TO EAT
The City of Erie, like many larger urban areas, has lots of restaurant options that cater to every taste. However, there are some to note.
The yacht clubs and some of the marinas mentioned above have dining and pub facilities.
Smugglers Wharf is a popular, casual bar/restaurant located at the city docks. The menu is seafood-oriented and the view of the harbor is great.
Rumrunners Cove, on the city dock, has a menu that is big on seafood and southern desserts, especially thick key-lime pie. Its a casual place with a great view of the bay.
Sloppy Duck Saloon is located further west along the harbor front. It is a casual bar/restaurant overlooking the bay.
Molly Brannigan's is an Irish pub located in downtown Erie. Contructed in Ireland and then brought to Erie to be reassembled, you will feel the difference when you enter. Molly Brannigan's strives for an authentic Irish pub experience with great food, guiness and whiskys - I think they have succeeded.
The Pufferbelly Restaurant offers a fine dining experience in a beautifully renovated 1908 firehall.
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
The City of Erie offers a mix of city amenities and attractions while at the same time offering the peace and tranquility of a beautiful state park with beaches, anchorages and quiet trails.
A few miles from the city downtown is Millcreek Mall, considered the 3rd largest shopping mall in the United States. With about 175 stores and no sales tax on clothing. its a shopper's mecca.
Downtown, you will find the Erie Art Museum and the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra. The Warner Theatre is a venue for many live performances. The Erie Playhouse is one of the oldest community theatres in the United States. On the waterfront, is the Erie Maritime Museum which is also home to Oliver Perry's flagship, the brig Niagara. This is a ship most sailors would appreciate exploring.
Take a look at this City of Erie tourism site to get ideas on getting the most of your visit.
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