With 300 miles of inland waterways and more yacht services than anywhere else in the world, Fort Lauderdale well deserves its name as “the boating capital of the world.” Along Florida’s Gold Coast, Fort Lauderdale enchanting waterways won the city its description as the “Venice in America.” The culture revolves around boating. The city’s marina’s and yacht clubs are an integral part of the community. With near perfect year round weather and an environment suited for crafts in all shapes and sizes, most people are involved in boating in one form or another.
Here’s a list of some of the city’s notable marinas and yacht clubs, which serve not only as boating centers but also as social centers for networking and gathering together people of similar tastes, interests and backgrounds.
One of the oldest clubs in South Florida, this exclusive private club founded in 1938 serves a long tradition as a gathering place for Fort Lauderdale families and a prominent role in the local boating community. In addition to a world-class sailing program, yachting docks and year round regattas, the club also offers its members tennis and a full-service clubhouse.
Founded in 1947, this private club serves the families in the local community with social activities, as well as regattas and sailing lessons. It’s a full service club with boating, sailing and yachting as the primary focus. The club is known for its Friday night boating ritual where participants travel to various locations for docktails, as well as its Saturday night dining gatherings.
Founded in 1957, it’s one of Broward County’s oldest sailing clubs holding races on the ocean and lake in Hollywood, as well as the notable annual Gulfstream Sailing Club Regatta. Every Sunday afternoon the club holds a popular open sail. The club is run by a group of member volunteers committed to preserving Fort Lauderdale yachting.
Founded in 1971, for over 40 years this club has served as a stronghold in the active South Florida boating community. With more than 20 formal buoy races each year, five or more coastal races scheduled throughout the year, and the very popular Wednesday Night Beer Can races, it’s a favored club among serious boaters and their families. Members have dominated regional regattas winning races throughout Florida and the Bahamas. They take racing very seriously here.
Founded in 1988, this very popular and active sailing club with 200 plus members is run by a group of dedicated volunteers and a cornerstone in the city’s single scene. If you ever doubted that Lauderdale was about and for boaters, let this club be a testament to the city’s committed die hard boating culture. It’s a fun, active community of single sailing enthusiasts that welcomes everyone from the beginner to the pro. It’s a place to gather new friends and crew for your boat. Most of the club’s captains sail out of Port Everglades and Hillsboro.
Home to the International Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, this full service resort and marina is a favorite spot among international boaters and serves as a central point for yachters around the world. With 250 slips capable of handling vessels up to 300 feet along its 3,000 foot parallel dock and more than 5,000 feet of floating docks, its marina surpasses the capabilities and service of most. A world-class boating center that offers boaters high-speed fueling, free WIFI, in slip sanitary pump out, marine store, dive store and much more. It’s a full service tropical beach resort where boaters can come and star for a few days in a luxury resort setting before continuing on their sea journey.
With 168 slips, a Captain’s Lounge and premier location along Fort Lauderdale’s New River, this marina offers its captains and crew full service amenities. Rich in legacy, this marina has a long notable history behind it as a cornerstone in defining Fort Lauderdale’s culture. In the 1970s through the 80s, it was a playground for the rich and famous with Alfred Bloomingdale and Bill McComas heading a private club with a roster of 6,000 names whose membership included Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Burt Reynolds, Paul Newman, Kenny Rogers and Evel Kneival. Today it is still a treasured spot for serious boaters offering members excellent restaurant, pool, tennis court, sauna, fitness center and much more.
As the world’s largest owner operated marina, this world-class marina serves as both a prestigious yacht club and luxury resort. The marina offers 22 private slips and 2,500 feet of parallel dockage accommodating yachts up to 200 feet. Sunrise is one of the few marinas that offers the amenities and level of service the mega yacht community has come to expect. Located along the Intracoastal Waterway of Sunrise Boulevard, the marina includes an 850,000 square foot development, full service mega-yacht marina, 352 rental apartments, 16 guest suites, and amenities such as a full service concierge, controlled access garage, 24-hour valet, club room, business center, fitness center, spa, tennis courts, pools and much more. Sunrise offers exceptional service that truly the needs of the mega-yacht community.
Michelle Farber Ross