Bookings ahoy for new look yacht club

The new Queen Charlotte Yacht Club building is already being booked. Photo: Matt Brown.

There are few walls and no roof yet, but $1.3 million yacht club has already secured bookings through to 2023.

Members of the historic Queen Charlotte Yacht Club (QCYC) in Picton have plenty to smile about as a replacement club takes shape near Shelly Beach.

And with the official opening planned for February next year, the club is also being looked at as a possible wedding venue.

Yachting New Zealand regional development officer Ian Gardiner says the new club is attracting a lot of interest nationally.

“Quite a number of people have asked about it as a wedding it’s starting to be looked at as a great national venue, with uninterrupted views across the water of course.

“The first event is scheduled in for the first week of February next year where a Zephyr Class national event will see 80 plus vessels.

“It’s within easy reach of Auckland and Dunedin,” he says.

The former army building, which came from the Delta Camp in the Wairau Valley, had been deemed unfit for purpose for years and has been demolished.

The purpose-built club will replace the 74-year-old clubhouse which was at the mercy of incoming high tides and prone to flooding in storms.

“It’d had it really,” says Ian.

“The windows didn’t open and there was a 300mm bubble in the middle of the floor where the sea had pushed the floor up.”

The new 665 metres square building will be a multi-purpose facility for the community as well as being used for Yacht Club functions.

It will feature a second mezzanine floor with changing rooms and storage underneath.

There has been a QCYC located in the Picton harbour area since the 1930s.

Members have worked with Marlborough District Council staff to open-up the Shelley Beach Public Reserve for the benefit of visitors, stakeholders and the community.

“It will make the area safer and more enjoyable,” says Ian.

Complete with a kitchen and bar, the club will also be used for community group functions.

It’s hoped the improvements will get more people involved with the club.

The seven-metre-high cedar wood and colour steel build spans over the water, with part of the club built on piles.

Members hope marine life will use the piles as a new habitat.

“It’s a win, win,” says Ian.

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