The Vero Beach Yacht Club is a proud member of the exclusive Florida Council of Yacht Clubs! This section is devoted to the great work the FCYC performs on behalf of exceptional yacht clubs in The State of Florida.
Who We Are & What We Do
The Florida Council of Yacht Clubs (FCYC) is an organization of 37 private, 501C7 not-for-profit yacht clubs located throughout the state of Florida. Vero Beach Yacht Club is honored to belong to this group of Florida’s most exclusive yacht clubs.
The member-owned clubs in the Council represent approximately 36,000 voters who count on the FCYC to represent them in legislative matters that pertain to the boating public. The Council employs a legislative representative in Tallahassee to speak on behalf of the member clubs and has done so since 1960.
FCYC's Mission Statement
Our Statement shall be to encourage the sport of yachting, to promote the sciences of seamanship and navigation and to promote the entertainment of the members of member clubs. The Council is dedicated to promoting fair boating laws and safer waterways for the boating public. The Council will strive to support appropriate legislation while providing beneficial and timely information to member clubs.
The Council Objectives are:
- To insure that member clubs take an active role in the support of the Council’s Mission Statement
- Encourage reciprocity among all Council member clubs
- Insure that the tradition of gracious hospitality is maintained for the General Membership and Executive Committee meetings
- Strive to improve fair boating laws and safer waterways through the support of appropriate legislation, both National and State
- Maintain an active partnership with Homeland Security, Federal and State wildlife conservation agencies and other boating advisory organizations
- Provide beneficial and timely information which enhances the efficient operation of member clubs
Council and Member Club Cruise Activities
Member clubs sponsor organized cruises for their members throughout Florida, the Southeast, and the Bahamas. When cruising Florida, FCYC clubs are welcomed by their fellow clubs with free dockage for the first night’s stay and full reciprocity to all club amenities. Member clubs must keep a minimum of three slips available for transient FCYC members. Visiting members must pay for dock electric and sales tax on the complimentary night’s dockage. You must present a current VBYC membership card to receive reciprocity. VBYC members are welcome to enjoy these amenities as well as full dining and entertainment privileges whether arriving by boat or car. Simply call ahead for reservations. Charges for services are made to your VBYC club account by the host club and billed monthly by VBYC along with any VBYC club charges. FCYC clubs must be outside of a 30-mile radius from VBYC to receive reciprocity.
Boating Awards are provided each year by the Council to encourage cruising to other member clubs. There are two “Yachtsman of the Year” awards for each coast and a “Founders” award available to more boaters, including those with smaller vessels. The “Yachtsman of the Year” is awarded to the boat owner who visits the most FCYC clubs in a calendar year and a second is awarded to the boat owner who cruises the most miles between the FCYC clubs visited in a calendar year. The “Founders” award is presented to any boat owner who visits 13 or more FCYC clubs in a calendar year. Competing boat owners must complete an FCYC current Cruising Log available from the FCYC website or a club’s Fleet Captain. The Dockmaster of the club visited, or his representative must sign each Cruising Log entry. Repeat club visits do not count for any of the three awards, officially calculated distances must be obtained from the “Dock-To-Dock Distances Between FCYC Clubs” chart effective 1/15 and available on the FCYC website. A visit to a club may be of any duration providing dock lines, an anchor or a mooring are actually used. Entries are submitted by the Club Fleet Captain to the Coast Fleet Captain by February 1st of the following year. Awards are presented at the FCYC “Change of Watch” March meeting. No boat owner may receive both “Yachtsman of the Year” awards or both a “Yachtsman of the Year” award and a “Founders” award.
In addition to cruising privileges amongst the clubs, the Council organizes a Commodore’s Cruise each year to destinations throughout the World aboard large commercial cruise ships. These cruises, at greatly reduced rates based on the buying power of the 36 member clubs, provide special amenities and the opportunity to cruise with fellow club and Council members.
In addition to being represented in the Florida Legislature, the Council is an active member in water-oriented organizations such as the National Boating Federation, Florida Boating Advisory Committee, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, Manatee Forums and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A close liaison is maintained with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers to keep the Council member clubs informed about boating safety and marine operations throughout the State.
Club members, whether boaters or not, are strongly encouraged to have a current edition of the “Guide to the Clubs by Land and Water” (”Guide”) so they are aware of availability and requirements when visiting other clubs as well as directions to the clubs by land and water. The “Guide” is available on the FCYC website. VBYC membership in the FCYC is a very valuable feature of belonging to VBYC, particularly if you are a boater. In essence you have joined one exclusive club, but may enjoy the privileges and reciprocity provided by 36 other clubs when you travel throughout Florida. This would include access to golf courses, tennis courts, pools and fitness centers. In addition to the “Guide”, be sure you have a copy of the FCYC Tri-fold Brochure, which includes a map of club locations and a listing of the member clubs for ready reference. You will also want our handy wallet card listing all FCYC clubs and their phone numbers. In addition to reciprocity with other FCYC Florida clubs, our members are typically welcome at many other private yacht clubs throughout the U.S. and the World. You may be asked to have our General Manager provide a Letter of Introduction beforehand attesting to your current status with VBYC in addition to presenting your VBYC membership card upon arrival.
To further identify themselves as a member of an FCYC club, VBYC members may wear the insignia emblem of the FCYC on the left sleeve of a navy blue blazer, 5” above the cuff. Members are also accustomed to wearing the FCYC “13” emblem pin on their lapel or collar. Both of these adornments are available from the Ships' Store.
The Council annually elects their Flag Officers, who have been presented by the Council’s Nominating Committee, from the member clubs. They consist of Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore, Secretary and Treasurer. The Board of Directors numbers the same as the number of member clubs plus the Flag Officers. A quorum consists of three Flag Officers and 51% of the Directors. Motions are decided by a majority vote except for the admission of new clubs or the expulsion of a club, each which requires a two thirds majority for passage. For each club, the Commodore appoints an Alternate Director as well as a Director for these positions, using great care in the selection of quality individuals who will represent the club. Directors may serve in their position for many years.
Council General Meetings are held on the second Saturday of January, March, May, July, September and November at 1:00 pm. Host clubs are selected on a rotating basis and hold formal attire Dinner Dances on the evening of the meeting. All VBYC Members are invited to attend these meetings by notifying their Director to the Council. At each meeting there is an award presented to the club from which the greatest number of members have attended. Registration for all attendees is handled by VBYC’s General Manager. Special meetings may be called by the Commodore on his initative or by the written request of three Directors. Following the General Meetings, the Director reports meeting highlights to the VBYC Board of Directors at their next scheduled meeting. He also writes a column for the Siren newsletter for the benefit of the members.
Each year East Coast and West Coast Fleet Captains are appointed to formulate and promote boating activities among the clubs of the Council. It has been customary for each Fleet Captain to host a weekend rendezvous at one of their coast’s clubs, inviting members from all clubs to enjoy dining experiences and competitive games. Club members may attend by boat or car.
Additionally, a Legislative Committee is appointed to follow all legislation pertaining to boating on the national, state and local levels. The Committee then recommends to the Board of Directors appropriate action to be taken in regard to such legislation.
History of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs
In August 1960 the St. Petersburg Yacht Club invited representatives from Florida’s leading West Coast Yacht Clubs to a meeting to discuss the formation of a representative body to encourage the sport of yachting and general club activities, to promote safety afloat, to encourage reciprocity between qualified yacht clubs and to promote beneficial legislation. The Council’s Articles of Incorporation were filed with Florida’s Secretary of State on July 26, 1961 and revised in 1989.
The 13 original chartered clubs were:
- Bird Key Yacht Club, Sarasota
- Bradenton Yacht Club, Palmetto
- Clearwater Yacht Club, Clearwater
- Davis Island Yacht Club, Tampa
- The Field Club, Sarasota
- Naples Yacht Club, Naples
- Pass-A-Grille Yacht Club, St. Petersburg Beach
- Royal Palm Yacht Club, Fort Myers
- St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg
- Sarasota Yacht Club, Sarasota
- Tampa Yacht & Country Club, Tampa
- Tarpon Springs Yacht Club, Tarpon Springs
- Venice Yacht Club, Venice
There have been five (5) clubs admitted to the Council that are no longer members as of the dates noted:
- Isla Del Sol Yacht Club, St. Petersburg (1998)
- St. Augustine Yacht Club, St. Augustine (2003)
- Pass-A-Grille Yacht Club, St. Petersburg (2008)
- Treasure Island Tennis & Yacht Club, Treasure Island (2009)
- Royal Palm Yacht Club, Ft. Myers (2014)
Many other Florida yacht clubs have applied for membership in the Council but were denied for being unable to meet the requirements of the Council’s By-Laws. The Nominating Committee is always receptive to reviewing applications for membership from other clubs. A new club, when they become a member, must contribute $10 per regular member as an Initiation Fee with a $5,000 minimum. Currently, the yearly dues payable by each club is $800.
Vero Beach Yacht Club Joins the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs
On December 2, 1983, Rear Commodore, William Q. Hays sent a letter to then Commodore George Phreaner, explaining the requirements for VBYC to join the Council. The Club would have to pay an Initiation Fee of $3.00 per “family unit” for the 293 “family units” and $150 for the Club’s dues. Rear Commodore Hays conducted a “straw vote” of the Members using the Siren and of the 152 replies, 150 were in favor of joining. On December 5, 1983, eight members of the Board met and voted on applying for membership in the Council. A majority of six voted in favor. Rear Commodore Hays then made an application for membership.
On September 14, 1984, an article appeared in the Vero Beach Press Journal announcing that the Club had been officially installed as a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs in a ceremony on September 8, 1984, at Tampa Yacht and Country Club.
"Over 600 members were in attendance when Commodore Harry G. Hilliard of the Florida Council presented a plaque to Vero Beach Commodore John Stringer Commemorating the event."