DETROIT BEACH BOAT CLUB
Detroit Beach Boat club was founded in 1939 when 32 men met to form what is now the charter membership. The group had from a handful of boaters who all lived with in the Detroit Beach Association. Even today a charter member is still an activemember of the club.
A single dock, which was home to a dozen boats, extended into Sandy Creek and the open waters of Lake Erie. A Small garage size building was the gathering place, large enough to house the feelings of comradeship that extended to the surrounding boating clubs.
Early years saw little growth asthe club along with most other organizations of the time was hindered by the War efforts. Materials, fuel, and even manpower were needed for the more important matters. Throughout these early years the club became more family oriented. As fuel became more plentiful, what had been a fisherman's club evolved into a family club that included cruising on the lake and visits to neighboring clubs.
With less than 100 members, all limited to Detroit Beach residents,DBBC remained a quiet club, comprised mostly of small fishing boats and a few larger cruisers. The members were content to enjoy the honor bar system in the club or gather on the shore under the large elm tree that grew on the dike.
1949 saw the club's first regatta in which buzzing little hydroplanes flew on the lagoon waters. The members and visitors enjoyed the races and they came to be a part of the annual regatta. This event grew larger, but interests in these little boats were no longer the highlight of the day and the races were discontinued in 1961. With this the club added a water ski exhibition for a short time. In time logistic problems associated with huge crowds proved
Hard to handle and the club switched to it'sHomecoming Steak Roast format still used today limiting attendance to I-LYA and AYC members and guests. A Luau was added, celebrated in early June, which now includes the Breast Bay Cup, a sailing event that is part of Lake Erie Race Week. In 1998 DBBC was proud to host the first AYC Sail Regatta along with these events.
In 1965 membership began to expand and an addition to the building on the east and west ends was built. 1968 saw a unique construction project in which the center building was encased in a new two-story structure. The old section remained in use during this and was not torn down until the new shell was completed.
During the following years the channel from Lake Erie had eroded and the Club was forced to build a rock surge wall to protect the docks, which had undergone improvements each year.
1970 saw the DBBC burgee and its members appearing at more and more distant events. It was not unusual to see visiting boats outnumbering home vessels on a summer weekend. We were a club on the move.
Record high lake levels and high winds in April 1973 brought surging waters over the dike wall flooding the club building and grounds. A few members in hip boots, with no power gather with candle light around the bar to survey the damage. Once again they pulled together and made repairs. Improvements came yearly and it was not long before DBBC earned a reputation as a friendly port around the lake.
A breakthrough in 1975 came as membership was opened tonon-property owners. The club began to fill with more new faces weekly. All of this along with improvements to the docks and clubhouse saw the club growing rapidly.
The MichiganDNR evaluated the harbor in 1983 and a much needed dredging was undertaken. The Channel had become non navigable. This channel is shared with Sterling State Park, which is the most active State Park in Michigan.
A new second floor deck and bar facility was added lakeside in 1984. A large pavilion on the east side along with a playground, expanded parking lots and a new dike came in 1989.
Improvements continue as a new lease with Detroit Beach Association was obtained in 1997. Renovations to the existing structures and docks will be taking place in the up and coming year.
Detroit Beach Boat Club is proud to be homeport to several leaders.AYC Past Commodore's include Walt Firman 1954, Byron Kosino 1977, Al Sander 1984, and Alien Ashley 1994. We
Have also seenI-LYA Past Commodore's Byron Kosino in 1985 and Alien Ashley in 1999.
The future ofDBBC is a bright one and our opportunities are limitless. There is no doubt why DBBC is "The Friendliest Club on Lake Erie".