In 1977 under Cap Henkel the club applied for and received their non-profit status. At this time the membership grew and grew and they overwhelmed the clubhouse at the Little Bay Club. So they went looking for a more permanent home. Little did they know the can of worms they opened when they did this. In early 1978 the Navigation District offered to the club a lease for the Saltwater Pool and a portion of land around it. Evidently the beach and pool were not the beautiful recreation area we have today and the District was looking to improve it or have it improved by an organized group. One way being to allow the Sailing Club to build a clubhouse, dredge the pool and build docks. Well, it would appear that it was not a popular idea with the good citizens of Rockport and there proceeded an 18 month fracas with the Navigation District, Coast Guard, City Council, Sailing Club and concerned citizens all aligned on various sides of the issues. The proverbial mudslinging was incredible in the articles from the Pilot of the day. Needless to say you cant fight City Hall and the club evidently lost the war after winning a few battles.
They next tried to obtain a lease on a portion of bulkhead in Key Allegro with the permission to build a small clubhouse and office above it. That idea also provoked a ruckus with Key Allegro residents and the year ended without a permanent home once again. The club continued to meet as best it could in various locations until at the end of 1981 they were able to purchase the Rockport Fish House from the Rockport Yacht and Supply Company. This was to become their first permanent home. (See the framed picture of the Ice House on the wall at the entrance to the kitchen). The membership spent the next month and a half cleaning, painting and fixing up the Fish House and they were able to hold their March 1982 meeting in the new facility. They spent the summer furnishing it and some of the ladies came up with a very inventive way of obtaining items. They asked the members to donate their gold stamps to the club. Now being from Neuw Yark I remember S&H green stamps and I'm sure some of you do also so I can only assume gold stamps were the Southern equivalent. The ladies collected over 130 books of stamps and were able to buy teakettles, coffeepots, utensils and other items for the kitchen.
Also in 1982 they held what would be the precursor of the Nautical Flea Market. In April they had a Shipwreck Rummage Sale and Nautical Auction to raise funds for the club. The purpose for the fund raising was to purchase an A/C unit for the new clubhouse. You can imagine meeting in tin shack in the heat of our summers. As one old Salt said it was brutal.