The Wicomico Yacht Club has a very interesting history. Like many other good things, the club was formed more by happenstance. The story goes that in 1958 an informal boating group wanted to participate in the Crisfield Crab Derby, but in order to do so they had to be a member of an established yacht club. Thus, the Wicomico Yacht Club was born. In the fall of 1959, the charter and bylaws were drawn and the 26 acres on which the club now stands were purchased.
An existing farmhouse on the property served as the first clubhouse and in November of 1961 the first Commodore’s Ball was held. Two years later the old farmhouse was torn down and replaced. During that time the Wicomico Yacht Club was responsible for getting channel lights and three day beacons installed on the river. Prior to that the river was dark and unmarked.
In 1964, 16 covered slips were built with 12 more added in 1967. Construction on a new clubhouse began in 1976, which was completed in the spring of 1977. The clubhouse was expanded in 1995, providing dining space for 80 people, with seating for 14 at the bar. A few years later a swimming pool was added to the facilities, but big changes were ahead.
In December of 2016 a massive kitchen fire destroyed the clubhouse. Thanks to the hard work of many members, the new clubhouse was completed in May 2018. Today the club has over 350 members, including 240 associate members. There are now 70 boat slips available to members, all of which offer electricity and a club owned sewage pumping facility. Fuel – both gasoline and diesel – is available to the public at the dock during normal boating season. It is the only such facility on the Wicomico River.
The Wicomico Yacht Club is unique in that its members come from a variety of backgrounds. As Dean Murray, the present commodore of the club explains, “I tell folks we are a redneck yacht club. The club provides a meeting place for folks to drop in, visit with friends and have an excellent meal at a very attractive price. Chef and Kitchen Manager Ben Hawkins is a local guy who continually surprises us with his culinary talents and our members are quick to sing his praises.”
The dining room and bar are open on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. The club also has a Tiki Bar, Dock Tales, located along the Wicomico Creek and it is a very popular destination during the warm summer evenings and on weekends. At Dock Tales members and their guests can enjoy a full bar and a relaxing meal as they watch sunsets over the Wicomico River.
Aside from boating activities the Wicomico Yacht Club hosts many social events throughout the year. Their Annual Oyster Roast is held in the spring, a two-day fishing contest is held in the early summer and an Annual Crab Feast follows a short time later. During the summer a major boat-docking competition brings hundreds of visitors to the club grounds. The Saturday after Thanksgiving features the Annual Boat Parade. This is an important time for club members. Members decorate their crafts and the boats bring toys for the Marines Toys for Tots program while hundreds of folks line the sides of the Wicomico River to witness the beautifully decorated boats as they pass by. The club also contributes to WBOC’s Bless our Children campaign and to other charities. Activities continue into the colder months. The Annual Commodore Ball is held at the clubhouse and turkey shoots begin in late January. Another fun event is the Annual Superbowl Party, where guests enjoy a lavish buffet.
The Wicomico Yacht Club is not a “stuffy” organization as yacht clubs are often portrayed on TV. In many ways, the club is not that different from fraternal groups in the area. The Wicomico Yacht Club offers its members a great place to visit with friends and make new ones, a relaxed atmosphere, fine dining at a very affordable price and a busy social calendar. To top it off, the grounds are right on the banks of the beautiful Wicomico Creek and it doesn’t get much better than that! To learn more about the club or how to become a member, visit www.wicomicoyachtclub.com.