Indianapolis Yacht Club offers a haven for the maritime-minded
By James Feichtner
Here in the land-locked state of Indiana, one wouldn’t typically expect to find many yachts sailing on large bodies of water. But while the presence of these large vessels may be absent in our locale, those who fancy the boating pastime need to look no further than the Indianapolis Yacht Club.
Located on Geist Reservoir in McCordsville, the IYC is an upscale facility that accommodates boaters of all breeds. Originally, the club was started in the 1950s by a small group of boating enthusiasts located north of Noblesville.
“The club started back in 1956,” Frank O’Connell, IYC board chairman, said. “They originally started on Morse Reservoir. The reason they had to move over here was they started developing Cambridge. They didn’t have water access. They had docks over there, but the property in front of them was owned by somebody else. So when they started developing the developer said, “Hey we got this piece of land over here [at Geist].” So it was around ‘96, ‘97 when they got this piece of property here and built it and opened this in ‘98.”
Since then, the club has been enjoying its pristine location overlooking Geist Reservoir. The three-story-building offers plenty of space. Outside is an outdoor, heated swimming pool with inside access to the member lounge featuring a fireplace to relax around as well as billiards, a foosball table, several televisions and a grill area for the summer.
Over the past few years the club has seen substantial growth in its membership base, growing from its original 75 members to nearly 300.
“The club actually expanded probably five years ago, membership wise, because they closed one of the pools here locally and so these members were looking for a place to come that offered something more than they had been getting locally,” O’Connell said.
The dock’s recent renovations allowed for larger vessels with room to accommodates more than 100 boats including space for wave runners.
“We expanded the docks three years ago,” O’Connell said. “They’re all spaced now so they can have their own lifts so [members]don’t have to keep [their boats]in the water. With the membership you get the slip. We offer electricity and water for each slip. It accommodates boats up to 34-36 feet because we expanded, so we’re not limited there anymore. We don’t have a problem filling it. We’ve got a waiting list now for members for next year. It’s worked out really well.”
While it dubs the name Indianapolis Yacht Club, the boats docked at IYC are typically no bigger than 26 feet.
“Most of the boats out here; they’re probably in the 20 to 26 foot range,” O’Connell said. “There are no “yachts” here. That’s a misnomer on the name.”
The club isn’t just about the boaters as it also has a social aspect to it. In fact, if it’s near 300 members, only about 100 are boat owners. With an occupational capacity of up to 350 people, the building allows ample space to host or rent out the room for special events.
“A lot of our revenues are generated from events; weddings, graduations, birthday parties; that type of thing,” O’Connell said. “We’ve been really fortunate with the amount of bookings that we’ve had for weddings and those type of things. Basically our summers are all booked. June is just totally booked. We feel we’ve got the premiere location on the lake. The view we offer out here for people; they just absolutely love it when they come in here. It’s really tough to beat.”
Special members’ only events are also held at the club such as Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dance, Mother’s Day Brunch, Easter Egg Hunt, Fishing Contest, Father’s Day Picnic, Fourth of July Fireworks, Labor Day Picnic, Halloween Costume Party, Breakfast with Santa, New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance and Weekly Member/Guest Dinners.
For more information on the Indianapolis Yacht Club, visit http://indianapolisyachtclub.org/ or contact club manager Pattie Mayo at 335-2588.
Started: 1956 on Morse Reservoir.
Moved to Geist: 1972
Relocated to current location: 1998
Current members: Approximately 300
Number of Boating slips: 104
Grand hall capacity: Up to 200 guests for events
Board room capacity: Up to 20 guests for events