The Galatea

The Galatea's owner, Capt. Henn with his wife and crew

The Galatea's owner, Capt. Henn with his wife and crew










The Northern Yacht Club can trace its roots back to 1824 when it began as a representation of Scottish and Irish fleets. A royal charter was granted in 1830 and it is believed the ‘Northern’ was the first yacht club to receive it. The Clyde Model Yacht Club was inaugurated in 1856, receiving its royal charter in 1863, and the two clubs dominated the Scottish yachting scene at that time. In 1886 the Royal Northern yacht Galatea challenged for the Americas Cup and the following year it was the turn of Thistle from the Royal Clyde.


The transatlantic record was set by Atlantic, skippered by the legendary Charlie Barr, in 1905 and stood for almost a hundred years. The original yacht was eventually broken up in the early eighties but a replica was commissioned, and launched in 2010, by Club member Ed Kastelein.

On a smaller scale, the Gareloch Class was established in 1924. 16 of these elegant little keelboats of McGuer design, were built and most are still regularly racing.

The Royal Northern was originally based in Rothesay but moved to the current clubhouse in Rhu in 1937. The Royal Clyde vacated its premises at Hunters Quay in the fifties and also moved to Rhu before the two clubs merged in 1978 to form the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club.

Over the years a great variety of yacht classes have been sailed including various metre classes and several one designs including Dragons, Pipers and Flying Fifteens. The Gareloch Class and some notable individual members still lavish great care on some outstanding traditional craft but today’s busy schedules favour modern, lower maintenance, yachts and the success of the Sonar Class since its introduction in 2005 perhaps best demonstrates.

The Club has maintained its tradition of strong competition and success on the water. With a UK Olympic Games coming up it is worth noting that the first London Olympics were held in 1908 and the yachting medal was won by Hera of RCYC. We have a number of very successful young members and we are delighted that Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell have been selected to represent Britain’s men’s 470 team.

The Thistle Half Model


The clubhouse contains a wealth of paintings, photographs, models and written works that document the full history and heritage of the club and visitors are welcome to come and view these.