SUNSEEKERS BOATING CLUB
In the mid 80’s a group of Downriver boaters joined together to enjoy boat trips and rafting together in Crystal Bay. This group eventually would become the core of SunSeeker’s Boating Club’s founding members.
In the late 80’s as Crystal Bay became increasingly crowded. It became almost impossible for the group to find each other. Mike and Phillis Chamberlin came up with the idea to fly neon yellow "swirlys" from their antennas to make it easier to locate their friends. The neon color at this original signal became the clubs official color.
In the summer of 1990 these friends were chatting on the back of a raft of boats and someone said, "We should start a club". Because they all loved the sun, determining the name "SunSeeker’s" was not a difficult task.
The Club was originally established using the titles of President and Vice President for the officers. The original spelling of the club’s name was Sunseekers’s Boating Club. Because several other clubs in the area were using the same acronym (SBC), the membership voted to change the spelling to SunSeeker’s Boating Club and the acronym SSBC.
The yellow field for the SSBC burgee is the color of the "swirly" used to find fellow members in Crystal Bay. Three boats rafted together represented the boats of that first group at Crystal Bay, "Knighttime", "Dock of the Bay" and "Wheaty Too". The half circle above the three boats represents the sun.
SSBC’s first official meetings were held in member’s basements. These were 24 members at that time. The membership voted to allow their first officers, President Bill Knight and Vice President Don Wheatcraft, to remain in their positions for two consecutive terms to help establish the club, and also to award the 24 members the honor of the title of "Founding Members.
In 1991 SSBC held the first of what was to become an annual event. The Luau was held in Monroe at the Hot Hole, hosted by Dennis Niemiec. Even with rough seas and a rainy day more than 60 people attended! The Club newsletter soon followed and in 1993 the club’s website was launched as well as the debut of the first distinctive neon yellow SunSeeker burgee.
The membership had grown to double its original numbers so in 1995 the club’s meetings were moved to the basement of Drink’s Saloon in Gibraltar, Michigan. As the title of the club’s leader had been changed from President to Commodore, Commodore John Fenker accepted the invitation of West River Yacht and Country Club, and had the honor of first representing SSBC at a Commodore's Ball. In 1996 SunSeeker's held its first Commodore's Ball honoring Commodore Bill Knight at the Westfield Center in Trenton, Michigan. In 1999 SSBC Past Commodores were unanimously accepted into the International Order of the Blue Gavel and the Bridge Officers were invited to other club’s cocktail hours. Relationships between The SunSeeker’s and other club blossomed.
SunSeeker’s continued to increase in numbers and the search for a clubhouse to call their own was launched. In 2002 the current Clubhouse building in Gibraltar, Michigan was acquired. 2003 brought the proud moment when the membership was notified that SSBC had been accepted into AYC. In 2004 the clubhouse, after many hours of renovations by its members, was officially opened. Soon after, SBBC boasted a waiting list for new members after reaching the membership cap of 149. In 2005, their fifteenth anniversary year, SSBC was accepted into I-LYA.
In July of 2017 SunSeeker’s Boating Club hosted its first AYC Poker Run. This event, held at neighboring Humbug Marina, was a resounding success. The event attracted over 150 boats and over 600 guests from other AYC clubs and the greater Gibraltar community.
SunSeeker’s Boating Club continues to grow in number and in friendship and service to each other and to fellow boaters and their community. The vision of their club held by those that composed the club’s purpose many years ago is as appropriate now as it was then:
To bring together a group of like-minded enthusiasts to encourage safe boating practices among our members and set an example of safe boating to others.
To continue to bring together members and their families for special events in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
To encourage "friendship on the water" by associating with other clubs and helping other boaters when the need arises.
To comply with SunSeeker’s Bylaws, Club rules and the rules of other associated Clubs when in attendance there and with Coast Guard Laws and Regulations.