A close call in 1966 prompted the beginning of the Manawatu Marine Boating Club. Stan Nolan nearly lost his life when he hit a log at sea while boating and as a consequence, called a meeting of interested people to form a club to establish a shore-based marine radio at Foxton Beach. The club was formed with eighty people and a radio base was installed at Donna Raikes’ Store at Foxton Beach.
Work quickly got underway to build a launching ramp for boats at the current Hartley Street site. Twelve months later a small club facility consisting of two rooms was moved to this location. A tractor was acquired, and over the next two years, the ramp was widened, and the wharf installed. Club membership grew steadily during the next ten years, so, using donated materials, club members volunteered their time and labour to build larger clubrooms and further expand the ramp and wharf.
The number of members continued to increase, and a still larger building was required. A tilt slab base was built on the site and the original building lifted on top of this structure. This increased floor and outside deck areas, providing a wonderful facility for members and visitors.
The merge of the local Sailing Club with the MMBC, and a close relationship with the Coastguard has made the Club stronger, and today the club caters for the boating fraternity in Manawatu and Horowhenua.