New boathouse is ‘win for everyone involved’

Dedication ceremony set for new home of the Sandusky Bay Rowing Association.
Andy Ouriel
Sep 12, 2013


Sandusky Bay Rowing Association members undoubtedly enjoy the water.

But this local batch of rhythmic rowers surely love the club’s newest land addition as well.

Construction recently wrapped up on the boating club’s new 80-by-24 foot blue pole barn on River Avenue by Pipe Creek.

Pipe Creek clean-up set for Saturday

The $32,000 structure, funded through private donations, can store several row boats, oars, a rowing machine and various tools.

“It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a storage facility for our boats that we desperately needed,” club treasurer Alex Etchill said. “It’s also a place where we can meet before we row. It’s a place we can call home.”

A boathouse resulted from a 7-0 July vote by Sandusky city commissioners allowing club members to lease space.

The one-year agreement, good through July 2014, requires members to pay $1 annually for space. Construction started shortly after both sides struck a deal.

Want to go?
• WHAT: Boathouse dedication ceremony hosted by Sandusky Bay Rowing Association members.
• WHERE: On River Avenue by Pipe Creek
• WHEN: 1 p.m. Sept. 22
• CONTACT: Email   or call 419-271-5199 to RSVP.

Local officials provided space to help revitalize a dilapidated, often neglected area.

“This venture is going to bring more people in the area to help make that area clean,” city commissioner Keith Grohe said. “They’ll have some ownership in the area, and it’s a win for everyone involved.”

The rowing association, ballooning to 50 members since debuting in 2011, previously used East Sandusky Bay MetroPark — off Cleveland Road, near Griffing-Sandusky Airport — as a launching point.

But the area presented problems, such as members storing boats in an older, flat shed where rotting could occur.

Members seemed excited just thinking about what they’ll likely do in the boathouse.

“Now we can work on the boats in the winter, fixing and repairing them,” club vice president Kasie Spence said. “We can now keep our equipment in a safe, secure facility.”

In the near future, members also want to:

• Install electricity and plumbing at the boathouse.

• Build a dock so members can more easily launch their row boats into the water.

• Invite local high school students to participate in practice sessions.

“It’s a great sport,” Etchill said.


The Bizness

Does anyone know if the broken glass bottles is still a problem down there? I went kayaking in the spring when the water level was low, and could barely walk without getting a shard of broken glass through my sandals.


Will probably be glass there for a long time. Apparently the stuff they used for fill there came from a dump. Doh! Most of the pieces are eroded a bit and not very sharp. Still gotta be careful. Well worth the trouble, though. It's a wonderful place. Would be better if the "big boats" were more considerate in sharing the water.


This is fantastic.

T. A. Schwanger


Concerns regarding this project were addressed.

The Friends of Pipe Creek Watershed and Save Our Shoreline Parks have adopted this area for yearly cleanups.

The Sandusky Bay Rowing Association will be joining this weekends cleanup effort.

Hopefully FPWS and SBRA can team up to create a plan they can take to the City for improvements at the actual launch site.

With the Pipe Creek Wildlife Area as backdrop for this project, this type passive water use fits with protecting the sites valuable natural setting.


Hunting, trapping and fishing are not passive use, and neither is rowing. This is an excellent use of this place that has minimal impact on the present recreational uses, and on the passive use values of this site as well.