The Maritime & Classic Boating Museum of Florida was incorporated in 1993 and opened to the public in 1995, moving to its home in 2003. Easily accessed by land or sea, via the south fork of the St. Lucie River, MCBM with its own marina, was located in a small cottage on Kanner Highway, along with a boat restoration facility. The museum?s valuable artifacts, spanning the twentieth century, were maintained in a secure off-site warehouse, with selected artifacts exhibited in two galleries in the cottage.
In November 2009, MCBM temporarily relocated to the Frances Langford Pavilion in the Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach, where its permanent Ralph Evinrude Exhibit is now housed. This interim relocation will be used during the construction period of the new MCBM facilities, also in Indian Riverside Park, located between the Leach Mansion and the U. S. Sailing Center. MCBM's temporary home will provide enlarged facilities for exhibition galleries and other museum spaces which will permit an immediate expansion of programming for museum visitors.
The Maritime & Classic Boat Museum of Florida's Board of Trustees is prepared for the museum's bold, new growth. Three new buildings will be constructed to house MCBM's collection, exhibition galleries, and educational programs. The primary museum building, situated on a bluff overlooking the Indian River, will house three exhibition pavilions, a research library, classrooms, an auditorium, a museum store, and a cafe'. The second building will contain an antique boat building and restoration shop, exhibition space for finished boats, an antique engine repair shop, and a boat model building and conservation shop. The third building will house art studios and galleries for our maritime art program.
Endorsements: The Maritime & Classic Boat Museum enjoys the support of the Martin County School Board and Indian River State College through program development, and it is endorsed by the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie Power Squadron, and the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce.
Our Programs: Current programs include two small exhibition galleries in the cottage which contain artifacts that span the twentieth century and explore the history and use of boats: military, commercial, and recreational, as well as antique engines. MCBM offers docent tours daily, including Saturday and Sunday. The museum also has a small but content-rich library for researchers and the curious. Outreach programs include visits to classrooms and lectures at civic and community meetings and events and outreach exhibitions at secure satellite spaces.
MCBM's most active program is the preservation and restoration of antique boats. The Museum has restored five excellent examples of 1930's mahogany recreational boats and stores more than a dozen valuable antique boats to be restored.
MCBM maintains a large restoration facility and teaches visitors who have an interest. MCBM envisions the restoration program to expand to the point of becoming a service to the maritime museum field and to serve the educational needs of students interested in maritime fields of study.
Growing numbers of visitors to the present location, expanded attendance at MCBM's lectures and programs, and emerging collections, have strained the current facilities. MCBM has made enormous strides over the past twelve months in charting a course for the museum that leads to a new location with professional spaces for an expansive Maritime & Classic Boat Museum that will take its place as a significant cultural institution for the many current and potential audiences.