A sense of community develops from the institutions that endure decade after decade. From 1955, the Key Biscayne Yacht Club will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary. Founded in 1955, to celebrate boating and create a watering hole for Biscayne Bay enthusiasts, it has grown from its original outpost to a recently renovated 40,000 square foot building. clubhouse.
Over the years, generations of families have come together at the Club to fraternize. It is the only yacht club on the island, and its “water-minded” members enjoy sharing their love of sailing, power boating, fishing and diving.
The private club, with its sumptuous decor, restaurants and clubhouse, offers a unique family-style place to share time together.
Located on the waterfront at 180 Harbor Drive, the club has a spacious lobby with maritime decor. Raised 14 feet above sea level, the club offers breathtaking views of the water. With a dining room, clay tennis courts, a swimming pool, a gift shop, a lounge and an outdoor covered veranda, the club offers many facilities to its more than 1,000 members.
Only 182 members are “full members” with the right to vote on club business. The membership process includes an application process, requiring sponsors (three members) and family photographs.
Membership levels include associate, junior, non-resident and regular members. Legacy and junior memberships allow reduced rates for ages 21 to 35. Regular members hold a financial interest in the property and assets of the club. A regular member must have been an associate member for at least two years.
The Club Board of Governors oversees the operations of the club. The members of the pavilion include the commodore, vice-comodore, counter-comodore, treasurer and secretary. The position of Commodore is held for a period of one year.
“We opened our newly renovated club during the pandemic and the members really felt safe. It’s like a home, a local place, ”said Commodore Luiz“ Lucho ”de la Cruz.
de la Cruz, a resident of Key Biscayne, has spent his entire 45 years on the island around the Club. He has many childhood memories of his family enjoying time together at the club. Today, it is found almost every evening.
“My first date with my wife, Gloriosa, was at the yacht club,” said de la Cruz. “My children were born while we were members and grew up attending the club. They are both junior members now and hopefully they will become regular members someday.
With a three-year waiting list, registration fees are due upon entry and there is a special reduced rate for inherited members. More than 120 families are currently on the waiting list, and only three or four families enter per month.
With the number one sailing program in the country for children, the yacht club offers courses in which young people learn to sail and compete – against other club members and against other yacht clubs. KBYC plans to build a sailing center on its premises in the near future.
The club organizes numerous sailing regattas around the island, including their famous Southeast Dinghy Race for children. Offering Hobe Cats on site, KBYC offers sailors, beginners or experienced, an ideal place to learn as Biscayne Bay is protected from the open seas.
The club is known for its fantastic membership gatherings, theme nights, waterfront dock parties and fishing tournaments. Most parties are hosted by the Seabelle – ladies handpicked by the commodore to help with the planning.
Three separate dining rooms in KBYC offer an assortment of foods inspired by Latin, Asian and Caribbean flavors.
The Chart Room offers a range of casual to upscale fare, including a Mahi Mahi sandwich, pizza, crispy calamari, conch chowder, and crispy duck confit. Food can be enjoyed on the expansive outdoor verandas with sunset views. The Burgee Bar, connected to the Chart Room, is a boater’s paradise, with hardwood floors and burgee flags that create a nautical environment.
The second floor offers’ The Commodore’s Lounge and another restaurant with a more sophisticated menu.
Members sitting by the pool can enjoy everything from a juicy burger to a fish sandwich or a salad at the Gazebo. Wine can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle and be shared on one of the upstairs or downstairs verandas.
Overall, the clubhouse provides a sense of serene community – a cozy place where like-minded neighbors and friends experience a sense of camaraderie.
For more information visit kbyc.org or dial (305) 361-9171.