Richmond Yacht Club's 75 years on the seawall
For many, especially those that enjoy yacht racing, Westhaven's yacht clubs are the heart of the marina community. In honour of the Richmondy Yacht Club's 75th birthday, Fleur Cox writes about how the club came to be located on the Westhaven Seawall.
With a history dating back to 1905, Richmond Yacht Club has a long history in the Auckland boating community. The original club house still stands today around the corner from Westhaven at Sloane’s Beach in Herne Bay.
In the late 1930s, with funding finally approved for development of a suitable boat harbour for Auckland’s growing pleasure boat fleet, Richmond started looking towards a new location closer to the action.
The club met with the Harbour Board to discuss the layout of the proposed breakwater wall on which they might be given a site for Richmond’s clubrooms. St. Mary’s Bay had long been a haven for pleasure boats. A natural reef and sandspit reached out from the foot of Curran St affording reasonable shelter to moored boats.
Following a very familiar pattern, the members and their families were instrumental in building and creating the nucleus of the present building. In September 1940 the new clubhouse, built at a cost of just under £5000 was opened. It was described in a Powerboat article at the time as ‘yachtsman’s paradise’.
“Attractive as is the exterior, the “boatie” who steps inside finds all that delights the heart of the lover of the sea… A nautical effect has been given to the building by the adoption of the “porthole” window on a large scale – to remind members no doubt, that they are attached to the sea…. What a yachtsman’s paradise!”
Now days, as a family friendly club Richmond welcomes new members to be part of its community.