About us

About us

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, established in 1883, is located at 103 Oriental Parade. The clubhouse overlooks the marina with its iconic sheds, many of which are occupied by our members.



The Board of Governors owns the governance policy of the Board. The Board emphasises strategic leadership rather than administrative detail, has a clear distinction of Board and staff roles. The board members are volunteers and active or social members of Port Nic, as it is commonly referred to.

The board compromises of the three flag officers: Commodore (Chair), Vice Commodore (Sailing) and Rear Commodore (Social) as well as four board members with their focus on Financial Advisory, Health and Safety, Asset Management, Communications and Sponsoring respectively.

The Sailing Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Governors with the purpose to develop and recommend the strategic direction of sailing and on-water activities and manage all matters relating to sailing, racing and cruising. The Vice Commodore is a member of the Sailing Committee.

The Club day-to-day’s activities are managed by our onsite part-time Club Manager, with  support provided by a part-time administrator.

Wellington Ocean Sports Centre 

WOSC is a not-for-loss organisation dedicated to promote safe water sport in Wellington and the regions. It provides courses and equipment hire from stand up paddle boarding over kayaking and keelboat sailing using its qualified instructors to deliver these courses.

The Wellington Ocean Sport Centre caters for everyone – any age group, and from anyone wanting to ‘give it a go’ to casual and experienced participants – and organises corporate team building events as well as school safe boating programmes. Around 1000 – 1500 people per year make use of these great facilities.

Wellington Youth Sailing Trust

The trust was formed in 2001 with the purpose to promote and foster the development of youth sailing skills, to provide training facilities and practical yachting experience. It also promotes and organises youth yachting competitions and provides awards, scholarship or other monetary assistance to young, skilled sailors.

Each season, the scheme hosts the CentrePort International Youth Match Racing Championship.

Partners, Clubs and associations

Partners, Clubs and associations

Coene’s Bar & Eatery – Wellington Hospitality Group

The Wellington Hospitality Group (WHG) are an important and passionate supporter of RPNYC. Their events company, Black and Gold, manage the members bar in our Wardroom and are supporting Port Nic by providing experience, enthusiasm and assistance for your corporate and our social events. They are also generous sponsors of our Interclub series.

WHG have also revamped and reopened the restaurant area at street level in 2015 – named after the Commander of the US forces based at Clyde Quay during WWII. This is a great addition to the area and Coene’s is a new hot spot for waterfront casual dining and is becoming increasingly popular due to its excellent food and hip cocktails.

Yachting New Zealand

Yachting New Zealand is the National Sports Body in New Zealand for the sport of sailing at all levels. It is a non-profit organization of approximately 20 employees around the country and 250+ member clubs, classes and organisations: “Helping New Zealanders access, enjoy and succeed on the water for life”.

Wellington Yachting Organisation

The WYA is the co-coordinating body for yachting in the Wellington region. It is made up of two delegates from each regional yacht club and appoints a member to the Council of Yachting New Zealand.

RPNYC Charitable Foundation

This fund is the result of a generous bequest from the late RPNYC life member, Alan Martin and the purpose of the Foundation is to foster, promote and advance the skills, development, education and safe enjoyment of sailing, boating and general water skills in the Wellington region. This will be carried out through the auspices of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. Being a registered charity all donations and bequests to the fund are tax deductible and will be warmly received. Please contact the club office to find out more information.



The roots of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club go back to the 1840’s and was established in 1883, at its helm Governor General Sir William Jervois as Commodore.

In 1904 the marina at Clyde Quay opened, being the first facility in New Zealand for this purpose. The Club received its Royal Charter in October 1921.

Over the years, ab’s and down’s in membership and events were influenced by local and international events, such as the depression of the early 1930’s and World War II. At that time, more than 100 members were in the forces, and many have lost their lives in duty. The war also impacted the club house, which has been turned over to the American forces in 1942. You can read some of this history in the restaurant housed upstairs in the club premises – Coene’s Bar & Eatery, which is owned by the Wellington Hospitality Group

During its long history, the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club brought many national and internally successful sailors out; most recent being Josh Junior and Matt Hibbard winning the America’s Cup in 2017 with the Emirates Team New Zealand. Both were graduates of the Youth Sailing Scheme, established in 1992 to enable great young sailors to develop their passion, teamwork, and strong sailing skills.

Read more about our history here: https://rpnyc.org.nz/about-us/club-history



The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club is the largest Keelboat Sailing Club in Wellington, and the most active. Races are being organised all year round and accommodate beginners, well-versed racers, two-handed and Offshore fanatics alike and the race courses are laid so all the different boat sizes, shapes and types can enjoy them.

Port Nic counts between 520 and 550 members, with approximately one third being very active sailors, one third not so active (social!) and the remaining ones’ supporters, honorary members and sponsors.

Despite owning a number of valuable assets such as the prime positioned club facilities and support boats, the club relies mostly on volunteers for its existence. It is managed by the Board of Governors, compromised of volunteers which are active or social members of the Club. In addition, three part-time resources are managing the facilities, day-to-day administration and the courses as well as hiring out of equipment at the Wellington Ocean Sport Centre.

Port Nic has been successful due not only to the countless hours of volunteer work put in but also the financially beneficial relationship we have forged with the Wellington Hospitality Group through Black and Gold. We also receive some generous grant funding to help with the upkeep of our assets.

In addition to providing the facilities and structure to the many boat owners and crews to enjoy sailing and social events, the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht club is also enabling any Wellingtonian and visitors alike to have fun on water while at the same time provides a platform for the young, accomplished sailors to grow into world class competitors.



The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club wants to keep doing what it does best:

  • to provide a platform for boat owners, sailing enthusiasts and water sport fans to go out on the harbour and enjoy it.
    • Keep membership affordable
    • Increase number of members
    • Attract sponsors and build long-term relationships
    • Attract boats from other yacht clubs to sailing events
    • Attract crew from other yacht clubs to social events
    • Provide affordable and relevant courses via WOSC

We also want to

  • Become a networking and meeting hub for the public and businesses, and maximise the use of our various assets
    • Organise public events, both formal and informal
    • Make our facilities available to our Corporate members and sponsors
  • Grow our yearly Regatta event into a full Race week happening with the Wellington public involved

It is necessary for us to operate in a financially viable way and we rely on support from our members, grant providers, our partners Wellington Hospitality Group, sponsors and the public to keep this well-known Wellington Landmark at this exceptional location thriving.

Become a part of our future and

  • Join us as a general or active member > Membership
  • Get your business to sign up for our Corporate membership > Corporate Membership
  • Support our events or make use of another way to sponsor us > Sponsoring

We would love to hear from you and welcome you to Port Nic.