Charles E. (Mac) McCurdy and his wife Toni founded the Des Moines Yacht Club in 1957 as the Vagabond Outboard Boating Club with eight charter members. Waterfront property, approximately 50′ X 350′ was purchased late that year providing the membership with a clubhouse, caretaker’s cottage and existing buildings. The efforts of the membership the next several years brought about many improvements including a launching ramp with a dredged channel, parking facilities and a remodeled clubhouse.
The membership, recognizing the material gains and broadened interest in the boating fraternity, changed the name to the Vagabond Yacht club in 1963. In 1970, the Des Moines Marina was constructed encompassing the club waterfront within its breakwater. Wishing to be defined geographically and oriented with the marina, the membership once again elected to change the club name to, “The Des Moines Yacht Club”.
With the construction of the marina, the members fell heir to 350’ of fill, approximately doubling our property and, in turn, increasing the value of the investment. The clubhouse was doubled in size in 1975 to accommodate the rapidly expanding membership, which had grown to over 200 members. In 1977, more pilings were installed in the marina area, allowing the club to substantially increase the club dock area. At that time, improvements were also made to the dock power, water and lighting systems.
In the spring of 1978, it once again was becoming apparent that due to increases in membership, we were outgrowing our clubhouse facility. A building committee was formed for the purpose of determining whether we should remodel and expand our present facility, or build a completely new clubhouse. In July of 1979, approval was given for construction of a completely new clubhouse. Also, the club membership was limited to 300 active members. The beautiful new facility was completed and dedicated in the spring of 1980.
….and we continue making more history and great memories every day.