Our History

A Part of the Saint John Community Since 1894

history_since_1894_1 (1)The Royal Kennebeccasis Yacht Club derives its origin from the Saint John Yacht Club which was founded during two meetings of yachting enthusiasts in May of 1894. Frank Whelpley, Albert McArthur, Howard Holder and Fred Heans believed that the sport of sailing could be better encouraged in Saint John through the organized structure of a formally established Club. The Squadron of the new Club consisted of only six yachts. Initial dues were one dollar per year and one dollar for the entrance fee. During the first sailing season in 1894, the club's anchorage was at Indiantown. Indiantown, however did not provide sufficient room for expansion, and after debate it was decided that the new anchorage would be located in Millidgeville. The first Clubhouse was constructed in 1895.

The Club membership decided at a general meeting on April 5,1898 to adopt the name of the river on which its races were sailed. The organization was to be called the "Kennebecasis Yacht Club". The membership also consented to the application for the Royal Warrant which would permit the Club to use the prefix "Royal" in its name. Only three other yacht clubs in North America enjoyed this privilege in 1898. Notification that Queen Victoria had granted the Royal Warrant was received and the Club officially became the "Royal Kennebecasis Yacht Club" on July 5,1898. It is interesting to note that because of a spelling error in the Royal Warrant "Kennebeccasis" was spelled with two c's, and thus the spelling of the Club's name is slightly different from that of the river. The R.K.Y.C. executive also applied for the Admiralty Warrant on behalf of its membership. It was granted on February 12,1899. Each yacht of the R.K.Y.C. Squadron which was granted an Admiralty Warrant had the right to fly the Blue Ensign of Her Majesty's Fleet, often called the "Blue Duster". Possession of an Admiralty Warrant was a considerable distinction for any yacht belonging to a Royal Yacht Club.

The second Clubhouse, which houses the present club, was opened in August of 1901. It was built by contractor John Duffy at a cost of three thousand dollars. In its day, it was an ambitious project. Today, this grand structure dominates the Millidgeville skyline. The Clubhouse tower stands seventy feet above ground level and has a commanding view of Brothers Cove. Its unique architecture serves as a focal point for the community. The Clubhouse is an integral part of the identity of the Royal Kennebeccasis Yacht Club and its light is recognized as a beacon of hospitality by those who visit Saint John.

Our Burgee

history_our_burgeeThe RKYC Burgee dates back to the Club’s formation in 1898. It is described as a pennant with three horizontal stripes of equal width, colours red, blue, red each tapering to a point. In the upper canton of the hoist a Royal Crown, yellow, with a red cap and on the blue stripe a St. Andrew’s cross. The Club burgee may be displayed only when a yacht is under the direct command of a Club member. The Club burgee shall be displayed at the bow staff of single-masted power yachts, at the foremost truck of schooners and multi-masted power yachts and at the mainmast truck of other rigs. See the office for purchase of the Club burgee.

Flag officers, post captains and fleet captain flags shall be displayed day and night at the mizzen truck of yawls, ketches and similarly-rigged power yachts and at the main truck of cutters, sloops, schooners and single-masted power yachts. When a flag officer uses a member’s yacht for official business, his flag shall replace the Club burgee.


history_trophies_thThe RKYC has a long and distinguished history of racing within the club, and in the national and international race scene. In our trophy cabinets lie the stories of the friendly rivalries and fierce competition enjoyed by members from the earliest days of our club to the present.

To make this history accessible to all, we have compiled a list of the trophies and their winners over the years. Some cups have been retired for many decades, many are records of competitions begun long ago and still fought today. All reflect the skills, sportsmanship and dedication of skippers and crews through the years.

  • Alpine Trophy Wednesday Evening Series Class "B"
  • Baxter Dairies Trophy, Rothesay Race, Class "B"
  • Class "A" Endurance Race (Fundy Fencing)
  • Fairweather Insurance Ltd, 1st Place Grand Bay Race, Class "B"
  • Grand Marnier Trophy – Endurance Race "First to Finish" Class "B"
  • H.H. Hickman Trophy - First to Finish, Endurance Race
  • Hamilton Trophy RKYC Grand Bay Race Class "A"
  • Mitchell & McConnell Trophy, Wednesday Series
  • Presented by E. LeRoi Willis to the RKYC 1898
  • Presented to the RKYC by D. A. Pugsley, Belle View, Rothesay, NB 1898
  • RKYC Class "A" Seasons Championship
  • RKYC Commodore Gregory Cup 1913, Grand Bay Cruising
  • RKYC Cruising Class Seasons Points
  • RKYC for Competition in "C" Class
  • RKYC R.G. Dykeman Trophy Class B Settlers week race – September Series
  • RKYC Regatta – North Sails Trophy Racing Class
  • RKYC Saint John Port Corporation Marco Polo Race Cruising Class
  • RKYC Saint John to Digby Cruising Class
  • RKYC September Series, Cruising Class
  • RKYC Speedboat Championship
  • RKYC Yachts Barnes Sheild presented by Commodore Jas. W. Barnes
  • Rothesay Race
  • Saint John to Digby Yacht Race Trophy
  • September Series, Racing Class, "Boat for Boat"
  • The Barbour Trophy presented to the RKYC 1938
  • The Port of Saint John Trophy 1978 Harbour Race "Boat for Boat"