About us

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

Structure

The Board of Governors owns the governance policy of the Board. The Board emphasises strategic leadership rather than administrative detail, and has a clear distinction of Board and staff roles. The Board members are volunteers and active Club members.

The board comprises of the three flag officers – Commodore (Chair), Vice Commodore (Sailing), and Rear Commodore (Social) – and four board members, each with a portfolio in Financial Advisory, Health and Safety, Asset Management, and Communications and Sponsoring.

See our Health and Safety Policy here: RPNYC Health and Safety Policy Statement

The Sailing Committee is a standing committee which develops and recommends the strategic direction of on-water activities for the Club. It manages all matters relating to sailing, racing and cruising. The Vice Commodore is chair of the Sailing Committee.

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

Wellington Ocean Sports Centre 

WOSC provides and promotes safe water sport education to Wellington and the region. It provides courses from complete beginner to racing competitively and enjoying cruising. Learn, develop and up skill in any area of yacht sailing sailing with our Learn to sail, Racing Crew, and Cruising Courses as well as other water sport activities.

WOSC has programmes for both school groups during term and through the school holidays. Courses are casual and structured, involving sailing, kayaking and stand up paddle boards.

We are also the Wellington provider of the RYA and Coastguard Boating Education courses, including RYA Power Boat, Boatmaster, VHF operator, coastal medic, and advanced sea survival.

Wellington Youth Sailing Trust

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

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

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 – 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 cocktails.

Yachting New Zealand

Yachting New Zealand is the national governing 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 Association

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. 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.

Yesterday

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club was established in 1883, with Governor General Sir William Jervois as Commodore. The Club received its Royal Charter in October 1921.

In 1904 the marina at Clyde Quay opened, and is the first marina facility in New Zealand purpose-built for the use of private vessels.

Over the years, membership and culture 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 upstairs at the Clubhouse – Coene’s Bar & Eatery, which is owned by the Wellington Hospitality Group

During its long history the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club raised many nationally and internationally successful sailors, the most recent being Josh Junior and Matt Hibbard who won the America’s Cup in 2017 with 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

Today

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club is the largest Keelboat Sailing Club in Wellington, and the most active. The race calendar is year-round and accommodates beginners, experienced racers, two-handed, and offshore fanatics alike. The race courses are laid so all the different boat sizes, shapes, and types can enjoy them.

Port Nic has over 500 members, with approximately a third being very active sailors, one third not so active (social!), and the remaining third 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, comprised of volunteers who are active or social members of the Club. In addition, three part-time resources are managing the facilities, day-to-day administration, programmes, and equipment-hire 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 Wellingtonians and visitors alike to have fun on the water, while at the same time providing a platform for young and accomplished sailors to grow into world class competitors.

Tomorrow

The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club will keep doing what it does best – providing relevant and affordable training and opportunities for boat owners, sailing enthusiasts, and water sport fans to go out and enjoy the harbour, and providing relevant affordable

We want to build the Club as a networking and meeting hub for the public and businesses, and maximise the use of our various assets by making our facilities available to our Corporate members and sponsors.

We want to grow our annual Port Nicholson Regatta event into a full Race Week 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 partner Wellington Hospitality Group, sponsors, and the public to keep this well-known Wellington landmark thriving at this exceptional location.

Become part of our future:

We would love to hear from you and welcome you to our Club.