The Marco Island Yacht Club was originally organized in 1968 by Marco Island Development Corporation and in 1972 it reorganized with Harlan Splawn as its first Commodore. With many of the original members from 1968, the Club applied for a certificate of incorporation and became a non‑profit corporation under the laws of Florida in 1974.
In August of 1977 Deltona canceled Marco Island Yacht Club’s lease on their clubhouse. On January 1, 1978 the newly named Marco Bay Yacht Club opened its doors at O’Shea’s Wharf. The membership provided financial support for a $125,000.00 renovation and addition to O’Shea’s then existing building. The club grew from about 240 to nearly 300 members. It was the only private club on Marco Island.
In mid-year 1981 the relationship with O’Shea’s was severed and the club moved back to what was then known as the Marco Island Tennis and Sailing Club. MBYC maintained its separate identity. This lasted until 1984 when the Marco Bay Yacht Club again decided to become an independent private club. As a result of location problems, the club had dwindled to about 60 members.
Using a variety of facilities on the Island, Commodore William Key and Fred McCleary began a vigorous program of membership rebuilding by way of an active social and boating event calendar. In 1986 the club extended full membership to women, including the right to vote and hold office. Mary McCleary was appointed a director and elected Rear Commodore. This link is to the MBYC website in ~1996 when the club uniform was a red jacket and white pants.
In this year the First Mates program was reactivated. This group actively schedules luncheons and various other activities outside of boating for first mates and their spouses.
The Marco Bay Yacht Club holds many additional boating and social events. There are extended cruises to distant ports that last from several days to several weeks. We have taken month long cruises to destinations as far away as the Bahamas.
It is the club’s objective to encourage safe boating, the sport of yachting, and to promote the skills of seamanship and navigation. To this end, the club has made substantial charitable contributions to the Marco Island Squadron of the United States Power Squadrons, the Marco Island Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol and to Flotilla 95 of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. More recently, the club has made gifts to “Standing Watch” which is a relatively new Southwest Florida boating rights advocate. In addition, the club received a grant from the “Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety” which was used to donate a collection of boating and navigational material, including books, charts and video tapes to the Marco Island branch of the Collier County Public Library.
The Marco Bay Yacht Club membership is now limited to 330 people and the club is conducted as set forth in the MBYC Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Protocol.