To encourage and support a wide range of boating activities, and to provide and maintain a suitable clubhouse and associated facilities for the recreational and social use of its members.
The St. Augustine Boating Club was founded in 1948. The club is the oldest continuously active club in St. Augustine and St. Johns County.
The St. Augustine boating club was a dream of three men—Elmo Lopez, Carl Hohne and Jimmy Hughes. The first club members met at the Cordova Hardware Company and the annual dues for membership was 25 cents.
The club’s first order of business was to secure property for a club house, so the three gentlemen met with Mr. Francis Usina who owned an enormous amount of property on North Beach. He gave the club a small piece of property on the Intracoastal Waterway for one dollar with the stipulation the club always remained a club.
Mr. Jimmy Hughes donated an old building located next to his store. The members of the club salvaged the building and used the material to build the new clubhouse. Several years later the club purchased additional property adjacent to the clubhouse. In 1975 the club expanded and renovated the club to what it is today.
The club was originally founded as a social organization. There were many boaters in St. Augustine, which gave the club a large group to draw from for members. During the early years, the club hosted family boat cruises, cookouts, picnics and a Halloween Dance as well as a Christmas Party/Dance for the entire family. The women formed a Women’s Auxiliary to support the club’s social activities. They would decorate and cook for functions and cook for all the club’s functions. Young women learned to cook at the club and many wonderful meals were to be eaten. Minorcan dishes were the best of the best!
The club holds an Annual Fish Fry with Clam Chowder on Palm Sunday to benefit the club.
The club supported boat racing for many years. Racers would travel the state racing at various other clubs. In 1975 the club sponsored a National race that had been cancelled in New York. This was a 100-mile Marathon race from Jacksonville to Daytona and back to Jacksonville. The club received national recognition and was heavily-supported by the City of St. Augustine as well surrounding cities.
Beginning in the middle to late nineties the advent of fundraising through fishing tournaments arose and continues today. The club holds a total of five tournaments annually. Each of these tournaments is for charity and raises thousands of dollars each year. The tournaments benefit local charities. The St. Augustine Boating Club tournaments have raised several thousand dollars. In addition, the club has given donations to Fishing for Dreams, Relief of the Katrina Victims, and sent items to troops in Iraq, to name a few.
All of this continues today!
Did you know
Frank Usina gave the club the property for a dollar as song as the club remained a club.
did you know
The club was renovated in 1975 to what it is today.
did you know
The St. Augustine Boating Club was established in 1948.
did you know
The Club helps raise over $65,000 each year for local charities.
Our mission as a club is to provide a facility that supports the community, yet maintains its integrity as a boating club facility that supports economic, fishing and boating interests.
The club grounds are not for sale. The club has been an organization that is community-based for community needs. It is unique in the North Beach area and is open to the public for rentals (weddings, celebrations, parties, non-profit events, charity fundraisers, and city/state/county events).