Established in 1924, and incorporated in 1925, the Northern Yacht Club originally existed at the site currently known as Rollie’s wharf. The club in the 20’s and 30’s was more diversified than it is today, with activities such as canoeing, swimming and various other aquatic sports playing a larger role in the general activity of the club.
In 1948 it was decided that a move from that location would be in the best interest of the club. The biggest reason for the move was because of the coal piers that existed at the neighboring government wharf. The white sails on the sailboats would get pretty dirty from the coal dust which at that time was a thriving industry. In addition to the coal dust there was an ever increasing amount of ferry traffic which also led to the decision to move.
The first move saw the club relocate to the bottom of Peppett Street which at that time was owned by R.J. Logues. The yacht club existed at that location for the better part of two years with members sailing on weekends and evenings for the most part.
The next move saw the club at its current location on Seaview Drive neighbouring Munroe Park. This piece of land was purchased from Devco during the mid century mark. The group of sailors would get the bus from town up to the town line at Musgrave’s lane and walk the rest of the way to the club.
The initial building was small and was used for storing snipes and other boats. If someone needed the building for a party or a New Year’s dance for example, the group would have to take the boats out and put them back when they were done.
The initial wharves used by the sailors were actually large logs used by Devco to hold a large dredge in place. These logs were square and were approximately 60 feet long. These massive logs were laid out into the water creating the first wharves used by the sailors.
In the early days of the club, racing involved friendly meets with sailors from the Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club as well as the Bras d’Or Yacht Club in Baddeck. During the late seventies and early eighties, the club hosted 3 international sailing regattas. These included the Western Hemisphere Snipe championships in 1976, the World Snipe Championships in 1979 and the World Junior Snipe Championships in 1982. During the worlds in 1979, sailors from 16 countries as far away as India and Japan participated.
The club also hosted the Canadian 23 and Under Championships in 2001. Following the Canadian 23 and Under Regatta the club received the prestigious Nova Scotia Sporting Organization of the Year Award in 2001. The club intends to continue hosting larger regattas however the fire that destroyed the club on April 14, 2004 set any aspirations to host large provincial or national level regattas on hold for several years.
The new two story, state of the art clubhouse that replaced the one destroyed by the fire has a viewing deck from the second floor. The present facility also includes a junior sailing building complete with washrooms, showers and laundry facilities, storage area and boat pen, a conference room and a race viewing centre.
Since rebuilding, the yacht club has hosted a number of Sail Nova Scotia events, including an instructor development clinic, Sail East Regatta in 2010 , and development of an outstanding junior sailing program for the community.
During the summer of 2014, 2015, and 2016 NYC participated in Race The Cape playing host to keelboats from various ports in the Maritimes as well as the Eastern United States.
In addition to an annual weekend regatta, Club handicap races are held every Wednesday evening from late spring through to early autumn.