Club Náutico de Ponce
|Club Náutico de Ponce|
|Name||Club Náutico de Ponce|
|Latitude||N 17° 57' 49"|
|Longitude||W 66° 37' 5"|
The Club Náutico de Ponce (Ponce Yacht and Fishing Club) is a sports complex located in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The club is located on Isla de Gatas (Cats Island), near the La Guancha recreational and cultural area, and next to the Port of Ponce.
The complex consists of two restaurants, a private beach, a gym, a running track, two pools, various basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and a marina. The club also runs a sailing school for children. Founded in 1941 by a group of nautical enthusiasts from Ponce to promote water and fishing sports, the marina is one of Puerto Rico's oldest.
The idea of building a Club in Isla de Gatas began in 1935 by seven men, among them Pedro Serralles. At that time the island had an area of approximately 1-acre (0.40 ha) and people had to take a small boat to reach it. The clubhouse was finished in 1938, and over the years the original 1 acre was expanded to 13 acres (5.3 ha), in part due to club member Tito Castro. Mr. Castro owned a construction company and the surplus rocks that were removed from various road and construction projects that he contracted for were deposited around Isla de Gatas and eventually filled the shallow surrounding it. Isla de Gatas is connected to the mainland by a dike at Punta Carenero.
In later years the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers built a breakwater protecting the area. This, and the Tito Castro land reclamations, made it possible to build a road that joined the island to the mainland.
During World War II the Club was used by the U.S. Navy who had five PT Boats stationed there. Since 1946 membership has grown from 100 people to over 900 families in 2006. The original two-story clubhouse is now a restaurant.
See also 
- Mundo Boricua Retrieved November 27. 2009.
- "Yacht Club of the Month: Ponce Yacht and Fishing Club". All at Sea. September 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- Hurricane Havens for the North Atlantic Ocean. United States Navy. Retrieved 30 April 2011.