The Atlantic Yacht Club was founded in 1866 by members of the Brooklyn Yacht Club committed to promoting yachting in New York Harbor at a time when sailing was increasingly migrating to locations futher afield. The Club's original facilities were located at the foot of Court Street on Gowanus Bay, where the Club would remain until 1881, when the Club opened its new facilities in rural Bay Ridge. In 1898, the Club moved again, this time to Sea Gate on Gravesend Bay where it moved into a new facility designed by McKim Mead & White. (The old club house was also relocated to the Club's Sea Gate property.)
Following the Club's heyday in the late 19thh and early 20th centuries, the Atlantic Yacht Club, like many Brooklyn institutions, fell upon hard times in the second half of the 20th century. The long years of the Depression, the loss of the club house to a terrible fire in 1934, World War II, and finally the post-war middle-class exodus from Brooklyn were hard on the Club. In recent years, however, the City and New York Harbor have bounced back. After years of comparative inactivity, the Club has returned to its original mission of promoting recreational sailing in New York Harbor.
Today, the Club sponsors the Gowanus Bay Sailing Association, an organization dedicated to introducing sailing to the communities of South Brooklyn. Together with the Gowanus Bay Sailing Association, the Atlantic Yacht Club is currently soliciting participants for its sailing program for a new generation of Brooklyn sailors, buildiing upon the maritime traditions of earlier generations of Brooklyn sailors and residents.