The world’s oldest continually-running motor yacht club is opening its doors to the public.
The Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club, established 113 years ago, is this month hosting a community open day in Williamstown.
Commodore John Zammit said the club originated in the Port Phillip Club Hotel in Flinders Street in 1904 and moved to its present site at 260 Nelson Place in 1937.
“The club actually pre-dates the Royal Australian Navy,” he said. “The club still has a strong association with the navy. In fact, the patron is the current Chief of Navy [Vice Admiral Tim Barrett].
“During the war, a number of our boats were seconded to a the naval auxiliary and they patrolled the local wharves and the docks.”
The club was granted its royal warrant, allowing it to use the prefix ‘Royal’, in 1937 – “in view of the possible usefulness of the club from a national standpoint in time of emergency”.
Mr Zammit said the open day aimed to dispel the myth that boating was out of reach or for a different echelon of society.
“While we are primarily a boat club, there is a great family and social side to the RVMYC,” he said. “In fact, many of our members don’t even own boats and come along just to enjoy our location and facilities.”
The open day, with food trucks, boating exhibits, live music, and bar and bistro facilities, is on November 26 from 11.30am-3.30pm.