January 26 - February 1, 2014: Issue 147

  Royal Motor Yacht Club – Broken Bay – the Boat House and Boatshed

Second Clubhouse with Boathouse - 1936 - from 'Pittwater Regatta, photo by Sam Hood, 26/12/1936 - Image No.:  hood_13593, courtesy State Library of NSW.

Above: 1935 built clubhouse photographed this week. 

 Royal Motor Yacht Club – Broken Bay – the Boat House

Behind the big clubhouse that now welcomes members and visitors to the Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay is part of the second clubhouse constructed on Horseshoe Bay for the club and at its base is a boatshed or boat house that has been open, even though modified, since December 1935. 

During the construction of the original building and items advertised for tender, what would be required first and foremost by members was storage for skiffs as much as being able to service larger cruisers when required. A fair contingent of founding RMYC Broekn Bay branch members travelled to Pittwater the estuary for 'the season' and needed at least basic facilities for their vessels, moored offshore, during their stay. This advertisement by the then architect illustrates this priority, especially among members whose fleet had vessels ample enough for then visiting and resident members to stay aboard overnight: 

Newport.-Construction of jetty and slips for motor yacht club. Mr. F. Winn, architect, 2 Hunter-street. TENDERS. (1927, August 24). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28053346

ROYAL M.Y.C. ROYAL M.Y.C. The Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales will open its programme for the summer with races at Pittwater on Saturday, October 22nd. The most important event will be a cruiser race from the club house of the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Rose Boy to the club grounds at Newport.  The championship of Broken Bay for class C (restricted design utility cruisers) and handicaps for classes A and B will also be decided. ROYAL M.Y.C. (1927, October 21). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16413084

The original RMYC Broken Bay clubhouse was officially opened on Saturday March 17th, 1928. 

The Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales is also making rapid progress with the construction of a fine clubhouse at Newport, and this, it is hoped will be finished in a few months time. The club has secured an excellent site, on which the building Is being erected, and it Is the intention of the flag officers and committee to open the season next summer at the new house. BUILDING ACTIVITIES. (1928, February 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16441796

NEW CLUB HOUSE. The Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of N.S.W. possesses one of the most up-to-date club houses in Australasia. Built on the foreshores of Oyster Cove, the premises were officially opened by Commodore- Stuart F. Doyle, who declared that Broken Bay was destined to become the home of yachting owing to the crowded nature of Port Jackson. The club house cost £3700, and the branch today is free of debt, but a call on 500. £1 debentures is to be made to tide tho organisation over the winter months. In the past shipping accommodation at Pittwater had been a problem. It will now be possible for members to make arrangements to have their boats shipped whenever they please. SPEED BOATS. (1928, March 21). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article127900635

Page from The Sydney Mail, Wednesday, March 21, 1928 - page 10. Courtesy RMYC - Broken Bay.

ROYAL MOTOR YACHTS. Though the racing season at Rose Bay has finished, the officials of the Royal Motor Yacht Club still have plenty to keep them busy. The Broken Bay branch has an interesting programme, and Acting Commodore H. J.  Fitzpatrick and Hon. Secretary Frank Barlow anticipate good racing between the cruisers and hydroplanes.

Since the new club-house, valued at £3000, was opened, the membership has been rapidly increased. The officials are anxiously waiting the return of the branch commodore, A. C. Cooke, from America, where he has been studying the latest in motor boat racing and yachting. Officials from the headquarters, including Commodore Stuart F. Doyle, Vice-Commodore Roy Walder, Hon. Secretary E. C. Griffith are expected at Broken Bay to-morrow. ROYAL MOTOR YACHTS. (1928, May 11). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103457768

ROYAL MOTOR YACHT CLUB REGATTA AT NEWPORT. FINISH OF THE "BANG AND GO" NOVELTY RACE. Won by Trixie, second from the left. ROYAL MOTOR YACHT CLUB REGATTA AT NEWPORT. (1929, January 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16520560

OPENING DAY. BROKEN BAY ROYAL M.Y.C. The Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales, opened its 1929/30 season at Newport, on Saturday afternoon, where there was a large attendance at the club-house,  Horseshoe Bay, Pittwater. Two races were decided but a strong wind made the sea choppy for them Catherine Ellen and Moonmist each won a first and a third place while Miss Newport claimed two second places, each race being closely contested. Open Handicap 4m -Catherine Ellen (A. B. Lambert) 1, Miss Newport (E. A. Figtree), 2: Moonmist (N Smith). 3' Blue Bird (O. Seidel). Figtree Cup 6m handicap for speed boats over .. miles an hour- Moonmist (N. Smith), OPENING DAY. (1929, October 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16592673

The above mentioned cruisers, particularly Moonmist, owned by a Pittwater resident N. Smith, member of a well known Australian family, and Miss Newport, owned by E A Figtree, a keen sportsman originally from Wollongong, continued to feature in races from 1926 on.

Mr Smith at the controls on his cabin cruiser Moonmist, photo by Sam Hood; 28/1/1937, Image No.: hood_08367 Courtesy State Library of NSW.

Improvements of facilities for members were part of the early years of the branch and these included a range of events, especially at the beginning of the Depression in Australia. Then, as now, the Opening of the Boating Season in Spring was a premiere event where records, as was fashionable then, made lists of what the ladies wore:

MOONLIGHT FETE. PARTY AT TREGOYD. The grounds of Tregoyd, Raglan-street, Mosman, the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Walker, were brilliantly illuminated last night for the moonlight fete held in aid of the club house building fund of the Royal Motor Yacht Club (Broken Bay branch). The fete was opened by Mr. Stuart F. Doyle (commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Rose Bay), who was accompanied by Mrs. Doyle. They were received by Mr. Walker (commodore of the Broken Bay branch) and Mrs. Walker, Mr. H. J. Fitzpatrick (vice-commodore), Mrs. W. Hermon-Slade, Mr. S. Blundell (rear-commodore),Mrs. S. Blundell, and Mrs. A. C. Cooke.

During the evening a musical programme was given by the Mosman Band. A miniature golf course, a putting competition, weight-guessing, a mock trial, and sundry side-shows also provided entertainment. Refreshments were served on the tennis court by Mesdames A. Carrad, Turtle, Forsyth, and a number of helpers. Stalls were also conducted by Mr. E. Light and flag-officers of the club, Misses D. Fisher and Len Rowling, Mesdames C. Davies, Quartely, C. V. Witt, and Miss Isabel Fraser. There were about500 persons present. MOONLIGHT FETE. (1930, February 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16625726

R.M.Y.C. MEMBERS DANCE - Yachtsmen Celebrate at Broken Bay SEASON OPENED . THE club-house at Newport looked gay and festive on Saturday night, when a dance was held to celebrate the opening of the season by the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Broken Bay branch. Commodore Herman Slade was assisted by Mrs. Slade, who wore apricot satin and georgette, in entertaining Commodore and Mrs. Stuart Doyle, of the parent club, and Commodore and Mrs. Bacon, of the Newcastle branch. Also in the party were Mrs. P. A. Chaffey, in black net: Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Dottman, the latter In azure blue moire: Mr. John Oarlick and Mrs. Oarlick, the latter wearing black and gold; Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Koneneld, the latter to Jade lace: Mrs. E.  Buttenshaw, wearing dawn pink moire, made with cape effect; Miss Alice Buttenshaw, who chose Venetian flame georgette; Mr. and Mrs. V. Aveling, the latter in old rose lace: Miss B.Bradford, who chose salmon lace; Mrs.W. J. Richards, gowned In black satin and lace; Mr. and Mrs. C. Wiles, the latter In apricot lace; Mr. W. Daniels and Hit. Daniels, the latter wearing autumn toned georgette. Rear-Commodore A. D. Walker, of the Broken Bay Club, and Mrs. Walker also entertained a party. Mrs. Walker wore a charming frock of Jade georgette… R. M.Y.C. MEMBERS' DANCE. (1930, October 20). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article118768042

During the season a series of members races were conducted on Pittwater, the names of celebrated very fast craft appearing over and over, both in Pittwater Regattas, Sydney Harbour races and RMYC programmes:

BROKEN BAY BRANCH. The Broken Bay Branch of the RMYC conducted a programme of four races at Horseshoe Cove Newport on Saturday Results - first General Handicap 5 miles 2 laps-Lolita(Commodore A D Walker)1 Fortuna (Dr R V Storer) 2 Wyvern (J C Webster) 3 Won by 5s. Second General H n Heap-Wyvern (J C Webster) 1 Fortuna (Dr R V Storer) 2 Won by half a second Winner’s speed 30 mph. Rerun General Handicap from a previous meeting;-Lolita 1 Wyvern 2 Won by half a second. Gladstone Skiff Handicap for all comers five eighths of a mile -J Hastie 1 G Hanlon 2  M Erickson 3 T Smith 4 Won by half a length MOTOR BOATING. (1932, February 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16844312

The first instance of the Boatshed and House, where members stored skiffs, being available for hire appears a few years after the first clubhouse opened:

BOATSHED, Skids, Winch. Buoy, use of Wharf, Horseshoe Cove, Newport, alongside Motor Boat Club. M. MacMAHON. 8a Castlereagh-street. Advertising. (1930, November 19). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28042823

FOR SALE. Twin 14 h.p. Medium Duty Niagara Engine, complete with clutch, propellor. Inspection at R.M.Y.C.. Newport. Tel Mona Vale 181. Advertising. (1932, December 3). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28030082

GENTLEMAN'S Magnificent twin-screw. Bridge deck Cruiser, 351t x 12ft. cabins fore and aft, bridge deck 10 x 10. galley and every conceivable extra. Just been reconditioned for season, 2 Lycoming 4-cylinder. 40 horse Marine Engines, self-starters, electric light, great sea boat. Inspection Boat-shed, Manager. R.M.Y.C., or write Box 3051NN. G.P.O. Advertising. (1933, October 14). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17015291

MOTOR YACHT CLUB. Broken Bay Season Opened. SYLPH III. WINS OCEAN RACE. With ideal weather and a record number of entries, the season opened most auspiciously for the Broken Bay branch of the Royal MotorYacht Squadron on Saturday. The regatta off Saltpan was one of the most successful ever held by either the parent body or the branch.

One of the best features of the day was the ocean race, which opened the regatta. Ten cruisers covered the course, from the starting line off the Rose Bay club-house to the finishing line off the Broken Bay club-house at Newport. Sylph III. (W. Lawson), which was second away, crossed the finishing line first to win the race. Miramar II., flagship of Commodore Stuart F. Doyle, the scratch boat, gave 95 minutes to the first boat, and finished eighth, recording the fastest time of 2 hours 6 minutes.

In naval circles an organisation such as the Royal  Motor  Yacht Club is regarded as possible of conversion into a valuable auxiliary service in time of war, and in this connection the craft are often referred to as the "mosquito fleet." On Saturday, however, a more imposing impression was created as the ceremonial procession of visiting cruisers swept past the flagship of Branch Commodore A. D.Walker, of Broken Bay. The fleet was led by Miramar II, and advanced in line astern from a point near the entrance to the bay, creating the impression of a line of destroyers. As Miramir II went past Lolita, the Broken Bay flagship, Commodore Stuart F. Doyle greeted Branch Commodore Walker with a salute of 11 guns, and received a similar courtesy from the after deck of Lolita. As each visiting ship passed flags were dipped in true naval style.

Pittwater Regatta, the Lolita - 26/12/1937 photo by Sam Hood. Image No.: hood_16608, courtesy State Library of NSW.

Two minor accidents occurred during the day. As the cruisers were lining up for the S. G. Littlejohn trophy handicap, one of them came into collision with the motor tender of Miramar II., doing considerable damage above the waterline. The craft underwent repairs immediately, however, and later in the day. with Commodore Doyle at the helm, proved  her seaworthiness by winning the general handicap, in which all types of craft competed. During the visitors' cruiser handicap, as the competing craft were bunched at one of the turning buoys, an explosion occurred on Opal, which was forced to retire from the race. It was subsequently stated that a cylinder head had blown off.

At the conclusion of the races late In the afternoon, members and their guests gathered in the club-house for the annual dinner of the branch, after which the presentation of prizes took place. Many valuable trophies were presented, including a plaque of life membership of the branch to Commodore Stuart F. Doyle. Branch Commodore Walker announced that he intended to present a trophy for an ocean race from Broken Bay to Toronto, head-quarters of the Newcastle branch. Branch Commodore Charles Bacon and Rear-Commodore Lance Lawson, of Newcastle, Vice-Commodore R. Smith, of the Australian Motor Yacht Squadron, and Mr. E. C. Griffith, president of the Australasian Power Boat Association, were among the guests. Results are published on our sporting rages. MOTOR YACHT CLUB. (1933, October 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1701395

MOTOR BOATING. BROKEN BAY ROYAL M.Y.C. Broken Bay Royal Motor Yacht Club: Ladies' race and Q. R. Paull trophy, Horseshoe Cove, Newport. TO-DAY'S SPORTING FIXTURES. (1934, January 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17039714

Soon after this ...disaster, a fire destroyed the first clubhouse and boathouse-shed, taking with it most of the early records, including those who had a business out of the boatshed, with it:

YACHT CLUBHOUSE BURNT  Seven Skiffs Destroyed SYDNEY May 26. The Royal Motor Yacht Club's clubhouse at Newport, Pittwater, was destroyed by fire early this morning. It Was valued at more than £3000. Mrs. Gordon Irvine, the wife of the caretaker, was awakened about 3 0’clock by a crackling sound, which Proceeded from another room. A sheet of flame swept Into the room when the door was opened, and Mr. and Mrs. Irving, their child, and W. Holding, a brother-in-law, who was sleeping in an adjoining room, made their escape through windows in their night attire. About seven small skiffs were destroyed and several valuable launches were scorched. YACHT CLUBHOUSE BURNT. (1935, May 27). The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36758832

NEW CLUBHOUSE  TO BE BUILT WHEN the premises of the Broken Bay' branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales was destroyed by fire last month, many valuable records and trophies were destroyed. In addition, valuable dinghies and small powered craft were lost. The club has been hampered in its social activities, but Commodore A.D. Walker explains that no time will be lost in having the club-house re-erected on the original site at Horseshoe Cove(Newport). A more modern building will be constructed, and it is hoped that it will be completed In time for the opening of the season next October. Outboard Marathon The Next Big Motor Boat Event. (1935, June 20). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 24. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135519902

The club members continued their annual programme while the new clubhouse and boathouse were being built since they clearly preferred being on the water, rather then beside it, anyway:

ANOTHER important function listed for Saturday will be the opening races of the season under the control of the Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, where the Commodore, Mr. A. D. Walker, will celebrate his fourth year of office. The official opening regatta will not be held until the second week in December, when it is hoped that the new club-house at Horseshoe Cove, Newport, will be completed. The original structure was destroyed by fire several months ago. There will be additions to the fleet. Those who have secured new boats are Messrs. H. S. Phillips, Paul, and T. Felstead. MOTOR BOATING IS POPULAR ALL OVER NEW SOUTH WALES. (1935, October 10). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135515838

Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of New South Wales will decide four events at Horseshoe Cove, Newport, on Saturday. There will be a general handicap for the Wickham trophy; a speedboat handicap for the Moonmist trophy, a motor tender race, and a general handicap for all boats. MOTOR BOATING. (1935, October 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27994514

MANY NEW CRUISERS NEARING COMPLETION. SATURDAY is important for motor boat enthusiasts in N.S. Wales, as the Displacement championship of the State for the Stuart P. Doyle Gold Cup will be decided.The St. George Club's course at San Souci will be utilised, and the race will be conducted under entirely new conditions by the Australasian Power Boat Association. Last year's winner, 'St. Emelion II,' and the original victor in1933, 'St. Emelion I,' will be ineligible as they do not possess seating accommodation for Ave passengers. In fact they are regarded as freaks. The new rules also bar boats like 'Cettien,' the hydroplane, 'Fast Life,' and 'Eagle.'

THE race looks like being confined to runabouts, and the probable competitors will be 'Greyhound,''Ronald' and'Suzanne,' from the Royal Motor Yacht Club, while St. George will have a formidable fleet in Jack Eisen's new boat, 'Jolly Roger,' which will have her maiden race; 'Miss Victory' (R.Cain), 'Yvonne' (A. Birdsall), and 'Elsie II' (A. Cain).Remarkable progress continues tobe made in connection with motorboating in New. South Wales. Thefleets of the various clubs continue to strengthen, and another outstanding feature has been the. advance in membership of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, and its three Branches at Lake Macquarie, Broken Bay, and Port Hacking. Within the next few-weeks - there will be further additions to the fleet. New boats are being, built at all the leading centres, and many influential yachtsmen hope to take delivery of their modern craft before the advent of the New Year. 

BUSY TIMES AHEAD HERE will be plenty of fixtures to keep enthusiasts busy next month. The Broken Bay branch of the R.M.Y.C. intends to celebrate the opening of its new club house at Newport on December 7, and there will be an ocean race from Sydney on that occasion. The revival of the Port Hacking Regatta on December 26, will be another Interesting event, and this will be followed by the Pittwater Regatta on December 28, Mr. Claude Daly is president of the Port Hacking festivities, and Mr. .Stuart F. Doyle, for the third consecutive year, will be in charge of affairs at Pittwater. FIRST TITLE RACE OF THE SEASON ON SATURDAY. (1935, November 21). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135512353

And in December, with one of the first Ocean Races for cruisers completed, details of the new club's opening, and it's boathouse, are reported:

THE new club-house of the Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of N.S.W, is one of the most modern club-houses In the State. The basement provides an excellent boathouse, fitted with appliances for lifting the boats In and out of the water. The new club-house is the result of the activities of the commodore, A. D. Walker, who is superintending its erection in association with vice-commodore R. D. Read, and hon. secretary W. J. Carrad. Noticed among the guests on the opening day were commodore C. F. White, of the R.M.Y.C., commodore Charles Bacon, of the Newcastle branch of the R.M.Y.C. and commodore Claude Daly, of the Port Hacking branch of the R.M.Y.C. SPEED BOAT CLASS WANTED IN SYDNEY. (1935, December 19). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135509618

Nowadays everyone enjoys their boats all year round - a small glimpse into planned events when a season did close as part of annual enjoyment on Pittwater:

BROKEN BAY'S CLOSING DAYS NEXT Saturday will be a big day at Horseshoe Cove, Newport, where the Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club will celebrate its closing day. There are five races on the programme, including the championship of the club held by R. Penniman's 'Wingo'; the Moonmist trophy handicap for cruiser, speedboat handicap, for Awatea trophy, ladies' race and a visitors' general handicap. Unfortunately, this event will clash with the parent club's programme at Rose Bay. The St. George Club will cater for speedboats and cruisers at Sans Souci, while the A.M.Y.S. will race at Middle Harbor. THE Broken Bay branch has decided with the co-operation of boat owners to invite non-boat-owning members to hold an outing on Sunday, June 9. Boats will leave the clubhouse at 10.30 a.m. and lunch will be taken ashore. A return will be made to the clubhouse at .Newport at 5.30. The move should be a, good one to popularize the own-a.-boat movement.  Why Motor Boating Never Loses Its Popularity. (1935, May 16).Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 18. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135518355

MOTOR BOATING. Stuart Doyle Gold Cup. Another championship the speedboat Stale title for the Stuart Doyle Gold Cup will be contested to day on the course of the Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Horseshoe Cove, Newport Five boats Sinabada II (A D Walker)VA Ingo (R S Penniman) Opus (H S Phillips)Wyverna (J C Webster) and Gar Wood (Noel P Hunt) have entered and will contest three heats of 10 miles each. This championship will be run under the rules of the Australian Power Boat Association The Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club will also decide members races. MOTOR BOATING. (1938, December 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17556648

The Boathouse and Boatshed of RMYC Broken Bay fortunately has been recorded by aquatics fan Sam Hood and this, along with RMYC records, allows us to glimpse in. 

As WWII suspended the use of cruisers for personal use on Pittwater, all soon to be moved up the Hawkesbury or put to war work, there is evidence that vessels were beginning to be sold through the club, a service that still occurs today:

LAUNCH, 271t. raised deck, smartly fitted, maple cabin, cushions, curtains, cabinets, £250, or offer._J. MILES, Newport. RAISED-DECK Cruiser, 33ft by 121t. New Lycoming straight eight. All conveniences. Sleep six. Apply XW9181. R.M.Y.C, Newport. Advertising. (1940, March 16). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17671029

Current Proprietors are Newport Marine Services at www.newportmarineservices.com.au

 Above; The Original clubhouse - Stuart F Doyle and other officials in launch, Photo by Sam Hood, circa 1930, Image No.: hood_06545, Courtesy State Library of NSW.

 The sign at side of this NSW State Library dated 26/12/1936 picture reads 'Royal Motor Yacht Club' - Boathouse (storage) cna be seen underneath - Pittwater Regatta, photo by Sam Hood, Image No.: hood_13591, courtesy State Library of NSW.

Royal Motor Yacht Club - Broken Bay  Boat House threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2014.