New Era for Royal Harwich Yacht Club


We find out about the history of Royal Harwich Yacht Club


The Royal Harwich Yacht Club (RHYC) has a long and fascinating history; it was formed in 1843 under the name of Eastern Yacht Club by a group of yachtsmen at the Three Cups hotel in Harwich. Today it is an integral part of the local community, offering regattas and racing events, attracting children, adults and everyone in-between from far and wide. In 1845 the club was renamed Royal Harwich Yacht Club and an Admiralty Warrant was also awarded for giving its members significant privileges in the form of mooring rights, exemption from lightage fees and free pratique in various foreign ports. RHYC moved into new clubhouse next to the Navy Yard, which was ideally placed, offering views across Harwich Harbour.


After the landlord went bankrupt, in 1859 the club was forced to find alternative premises and for 60 years meetings and events were held in a range of local hotels until WWII broke out. Around this time many yacht owners still wanted moorings nearby and moved upriver to Pin Mill in Suffolk. This prompted the general Committee to make the decision that the RHYC clubhouse should be on an old house-boat, but these plans never made it to fruition.


In 1946 the club moved onto land alongside a boat yard with Nissen huts in Woolverstone. This allowed space for running small yacht and dinghy racing, though access was shared with the boat yard and was tricky at times. Forward on 22 years and the Nissen huts were demolished to make room for a new clubhouse which was opened by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson in 1969. Over time the building expanded; another ground floor room was added as well as an extended car park and more storage. RHYC grew as outbuildings were erected and a marina built on the foreshore.


In Spring 2013 the club moved into contemporary new premises, 170 years after it was first formed and opened again by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, 45 years after the last building was opened.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the RHYC you can contact the office on 01473 780319 or pop into the club at Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Woolverstone, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 1AT