The beginnings of the RPNYC

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club as it is today

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club as it is today

The Oriental Bay Residents' Association has often held our public meetings in the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club premises. So we thought our members would interested to hear some history of the yacht club — America's Cup year seemed just the right time do so. Here is the first section abbreviated from the yacht club's website.

In 1883 a group of Wellington sailors called a meeting in the Pier Hotel to discuss the formation of a yacht club. The result was the Port Nicholson Yacht Club. Subsequent meetings determined the Club's flag and rules.

The first general meeting was held at the Pier Hotel on 3 October 1883 when the Governor of the day Sir William Jervois, consented to take the office of Commodore. The membership had reached 80 and at the conclusion of the meeting the chairman suggested that the newly formed club occupy the shed which had been arranged at Pipitea Point as its clubroom. Sir William retained the office of Commodore until 1887, then W H Levin was elected to the position. In 1896, through the efforts of the Governor, the Earl of Glasgow, the Club obtained the Admiralty Warrant to fly the Blue Ensign.

The effect of the reclamation made the mooring sites more exposed so in 1902 a contract was let to build the boat harbour at Clyde Quay. The first yachts moved in in 1905 and the Clyde Quay boat harbour became the city's yachting centre.

There were between 30 and 40 yachts and sailing boats associated with the Club in its early years ... Most of them were moored in an area between Pipitea Point and the Railway Wharf (now Waterloo Quay). Others moored in what was known as the Te Aro Bight (corresponding to the Victoria street of today).

The early 1900s saw many new boats brought to Wellington, mostly from Auckland.

This seemed a natural place to pause in this account of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. We will continue the RPNYC's history in a subsequent story.

— Bay View newsletter 70, November 2017