History

Bobbie C. DavisBobbie C. Davis—The Man
(1909-1994)

Why We Named Our Crewe after Bobbie C. Davis

Bobbie C. Davis was one of six founding members of the Tampa Sailing Squadron. Formed in 1933, the group met at various company board rooms until they were able to obtain space in the caretaker’s cottage behind the Davis Islands Tennis Courts.

Davis was a pioneer of yacht racing on Tampa Bay. In his early years, he sailed the “Tampa Bay 16 Footer,” a one-design class boat with only one requirement: it had to be 16′ long. In 1930, Bobbie built the “Duchess,” an over 30′ sloop with a bowsprit. Later, in the early 50s, he built “Chop Chop,” a 28′ wooden double planked Herreshoff ketch, whose plans he obtained from Popular Mechanics magazine. At the time of his death in 1994, he was in the process of building a 32′ Tavana class sloop. Bobbie raced in many offshore regattas, including the world renown St. Petersburg to Havana race.

In 1941, with the onset of World War II, the Tampa Sailing Squadron, located at Marjory Park, ceased operations, and sublet its building and land to the U.S. Coast Guard for the duration of the war. Many members went to sea in the U.S. Navy. Bobbie C. Davis was commissioned in the Navy and served as skipper of a submarine chaser in the Caribbean and later as a division leader of two submarine chasers in the Indian Ocean. After the war, Bobbie returned to Tampa and served as a first Executive Officer of the Naval Reserve Station located at Hooker’s Point.

In civilian life, Bobbie assumed a major role in business and maritime affairs. Besides his work as a mortgage broker and realtor, he served as Director of the Merchants Association of Greater Tampa, was a member of the Propeller Club, and a member of Greater Tampa’s Chamber of Commerce of 100. He also served as Chairman on the Marine Facilities and Pleasure Craft Committee and on the Port Development Committee.

He served the sailing/racing community as Florida Ocean Racing Association Commodore for two years and Secretary/Treasurer for two years. His service as Commodore of Flag Officer at Davis Islands Yacht Club spanned 22 years of office.

Bobbie passed away on 23 December 1994. His beloved wife, Dale, followed him in death on 20 May 1999. Their ashes were committed to sea on 11 July 1999 at 27 degrees, 53.52 minutes North and 082 degrees, 27.12 minutes West due South of Davis Island Yacht Club and due East of their home in South Tampa. They are survived by their two sons, Jim and Marshall.

The spirit of Bobbie C. Davis lives in the Crewe of Bobbie C. Davis. We are proud and honored to be named after a great man, one who contributed to making Tampa a wonderful place to call “home.”