A Short History of the Club
The Evans Bay Yacht and Motor Boat Club was founded in 1918 by a group of enthusiasts who recognised that the location was ideal for sailing and boating. At that time the shoreline was about where the road is now, and a small boat shed, about where the main entrance is, was used by the club. Three years later, in 1921, piles were driven into the sea for the first clubhouse in the area now covered by the dance floor of the downstairs hall area.
There are more historical photographs in the Library Photo Gallery section.
For five years, from 1949, the "clubhouse" was the customs and immigration point for the TEAL Sunderland flying boats which operated an air link to Australia. The "clubhouse" was gifted to EBYMBC when new premises were built adjacent to Hataitai Beach, the buildings now used by the Port Nicholson Sea Scouts and T.S. Amokura Sea Cadets.
Several reclamations have been undertaken over the years. The last of these on the north side was prior to 1953 when the "Black Shed" was built. Much of the fill came from the coal fired power station located where the fire station is today. This fill was in the form of "coke breeze", a light weight material that was easily compacted. The start box was subsequently built in the mid 60's. The reclamation on the south side was completed in the late 60's and has since been leased by the club for boat storage.
The slipway is the original one built to facilitate the maintenance of small defence launches during the second world war. It was built with a bearing capacity of 20 tons and was extensively used by the American forces. The slipway has had various upgrades over the years but the original principals are the same.
Much of the history of the club is reflected in the various cups and trophies competed for each year. As an example, after the first world war, the club used to help in taking war veterans who had lost limbs out on a "Limbies" picnic to Mahanga Bay. The grateful veterans presented the club with the "Limbies Cup". In 1925 the United States Pacific Fleet came on a goodwill visit and enjoyed the club dances so much they presented an "America Cup" for competition. There is also the Royal Visit cup dating from 1954.
Training has always been a priority within the club and many of the cups and trophies acknowledge this in their presentation documents. The present day Evans Bay Sailing Academy extends this profile from junior to youth and adult Learn To Sail and coaching clinics. During the early 60's a group of parents and club members developed a P Class building and refurbishment programme which introduced 100 new junior members into yachting and set the scene for the club to thrive through into the 1970's.
The social activity of the EBYMBC has always been supported by members and residents within the eastern and southern suburbs. Patrons used to walk from areas such as Newtown on a Saturday evening to attend the monthly dance. Entry was one shilling with supper provided and live band.