Established in 1912, the Prince Rupert Rowing & Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in Canada and is situated in B.C.’s most northerly port.
Located on the same site as today, the Yacht Club was incorporated under the Societies Act in 1912 by a group of pioneer Prince Rupert businessmen. The First Commodore of the Association was Alex McRae. The Club has been in continuous operation since its inception, and is proud to be among the oldest in B.C.
While most of the vessels in the Club are propelled by internal combustion engines, it retains the “Rowing & Yacht” part of its name to acknowledge its heritage. Back in the early 20th century, activities on the water were confined to small boat rowing and sailing. Internal combustion engines were not readily available in 1910, so manpower and the wind were the major propellants for marine transportation.
Shortly after incorporation, the Yacht Club was able to purchase the Skeena riverboat “Hazelton,” a Sternwheeler that was declared surplus after the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was completed.
Her engines and paddlewheel were removed, and the ship was anchored offshore at the present-day site of the gangway and floats. Boats were taken from the water and launched from her stern. All boats were stowed high and dry on the Hazelton’s main deck.
The Constitution of the Club was a very strict one. Today, evidence can be found that much was done under “gentlemen’s agreements.” An interesting point to note is that military personnel were made honourary members.
The end of the Second World War marked the gradual transition of the Yacht Club into what you see today. Expenditures in recent years have expanded and improved the docking facility and future improvements, including a new clubhouse, are in the works.