The American Sternwheel Association, Inc.
Helping to keep alive that precious bit of Americana, the Paddlewheel Riverboat.
The American Sternwheel Association, Inc. (ASA) was founded in January 1976 as a non-profit organization by a small group of enthusiastic sternwheel boat owners. The first meeting was held at the Hotel Lafayette in Marietta, Ohio, which has since become the headquarters for the organization.
Membership has increased on a steady basis, The roster now includes members from all over the United States, Canada, Western Europe and Australia. Members do not need to own a paddlewheel boat however, over a hundred members do.
The ASA is an educational and social organization dedicated to the proliferation of paddlewheel vessels. To accomplish this goal, the ASA attempts to inform the public about advantages, typical uses, uniqueness and other reasons for owning a paddlewheel boat. Members supply technical and other assistance to anyone wishing to buy or build a vessel. The ASA also publishes a magazine, The Sternwheeler, and a newsletter. The magazine contains articles on river events, boats under construction, history and other subjects pertinent to paddlewheel boating. The newsletter keeps members informed of current activities. Most member captains attend regattas to show their boats, participate in races and other competitions and to answer questions.
Although the ASA does not conduct races and regattas, the association serves as a contact between regatta organizers and boat owners. Members' boats take part in many festivals each year including the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival in Marietta, Ohio on the weekend after Labor Day. The Ohio River Festival is the largest gathering of paddlewheel vessels anywhere in the world. The following weekend there is a wonderful festival in Wheeling, West Virginia.
ASA meetings are held every other month: in January, March, May, July, September and November. The meetings are normally held at the Hotel Lafayette on the second Saturday. The May and July meetings may be held in other cities or locations by invitation.
The schedule of a typical ASA weekend starts at 1:00 PM on Saturday with socializing. The Board of Trustees meets at 2 PM and the general membership meeting is at 3:00 PM. Often, in the evening, there is a program. Socializing sometimes lasts well into Sunday.
Dues are $20.00 per year for the first member of a family and includes an annual issue of the ASA magazine, The Sternwheeler, and 5 issues of the ASA Newsletter. To see a sample of each, Click here.
Additional family members may join the ASA for $5.00 each per year. This includes all privileges of membership except the publications.
If you enjoy history, river boating, river festivals and the company of some great people, you'll enjoy them all as a member of the American Sternwheel Association.