The RMYC: a colourful and exciting history
The Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay is not only a club of distinction, but a club with a history of growth and significance in Pittwater. A history of which all members are proud.
Originally a branch of the Motor Yacht Club of NSW, Rose Bay (as it was then known), the site of our first clubhouse was purchased early 1927 in Horseshoe Cove, Newport (still the existing site).
The first clubhouse and wharf
While the first clubhouse was being built, a great distinction was conferred upon the Motor Yacht Club of NSW (Rose Bay) and subsequently the Broken Bay branch. His Majesty King George V conferred the right to use the prefix “Royal”. The official opening of our first clubhouse, boat shed, wharf and slipway took place on 17th March 1928.
The original clubhouse was built close to the seawall and was enjoyed for many years by members and the local boating fraternity. However, a fire brought forth new ideas and planning. In their re-thinking, club executives decided the second clubhouse should be built further back, thus allowing cars to be parked between the seawall and the building alignment. In 1939 the land on the eastern side was bought for $200, thereby increasing the overall waterfrontage to approximately 500 feet.
In 1942 with Australia heavily involved in the Pacific War, pleasure boating was curtailed because of petrol rationing. Many of the sizeable cruisers were confiscated for the Navy and saw service with the Naval Auxiliary Patrol. In 1947/48, the RMYC Broken Bay, like so many other organisations was “taking stock” after the War years. Progress was paramount and the club was on the move again. Building and improvements continued gradually. On 15th March 1959, the swimming pool was opened and membership had grown to 354 active members. The club was fast becoming known as the “family club” where members could relax, swim and boat with family and friends. The RMYC Broken Bay was now one of the outstanding landmarks on Pittwater. A new lounge deck and bar was constructed and opened in 1964, which extended the clubhouse further.
1966 was perhaps the beginning of many mammoth constructions. Commodore Alan Leslie (Life Member 1970) could see only future growth and development for the club and many successful projects were undertaken during his four years of leadership. The building of a new clubhouse started in April 1966 and was built around the old clubhouse, thus preserving the past with its fond memories.The official opening took place on 17th August 1968 and was performed by Lady Cutler, the wife of Patron and NSW State Governor, Sir Roden Cutler.
The official opening in March 1928.
Boating activity was steadily increasing in New South Wales, particularly in Sydney. The demand for cruisers, runabouts and sailboats was astronomical, as was the demand for marina berths, dry storage and moorings. The southern marina with 91 berths was built in 1966. In July 1978, the first pile was driven for the western marina with 103 berths. Through the mid to late 1980’s, additional parking was created and the entrance road re-routed to allow construction of the Garden Forecourt and BBQ area. The 1990’s saw many improvements to club facilities. A club Divisional boat was purchased, the club lounge balcony with its magnificient views was built and the Garden Forecourt was refurbished with a new BBQ and retractable awning. The fuel wharf adjoining the car park was rebuilt, along with the installation of attractive planter boxes, stainless steel handrails, game fishing weigh station, stainless steel flag pole and relocating the Starters’ Tower.
The RMYC clubhouse in 1934
On the 8th October 2000, a fire caused extensive water and smoke damage throughout the clubhouse. A $1 million refurbishment program saw a new lounge bar with other areas of the club being replaced as original. In 2001, the new Garden Bar and Brasserie was opened, complementing the modern, all-weather design of the Garden Forecourt. With a major marina reconstruction being opened in 2004, the club now provides 218 marina pens and 48 swing moorings.
Since its inception in 1928, the Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay has had a colourful and exciting history. There is no doubt it will continue to grow and prosper as the best boating club in NSW situated on one of Australia’s most beautiful waterways.