Hong Kong Corinthian Yacht Club | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hong Kong Corinthian Yacht Club

Hong Kong Corinthian Yacht Club

Messrs. E.M. Hazeland and M. McIver started this club in 1904.  In 1905, they requested a site for a shed and landing stage "east of Ah King's slipway". (see Public Records Office )

eBook - read the original Twentieth century impressions of Hong-kong, Shanghai ... p 255

It merged with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in 1921.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, January 1, 1908


The term "Corinthian" in the name of a Yacht Club was used to indicate that the Members sailed their boats themselves, and did not employ "paid hands".  It followed that a "Corinthian" Yacht Club would in general be somewhat less grand, friendlier and more probably more sporting than other Yacht Clubs.

If Ah King is who I think he was, he was a noted builder of small yachts, the location should be in the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter and the lease on the yard was finally resumed by the Government around 2001.

The two starting cannons on the lawn and the large flagstaff with numerous hayyards tell us that this was a keen racing Club.

Andrew, there's a good section about yachting in HK on pages 254-256 of the publication Annelise mentions. Might be interesting for you if you haven't seen it before.

I was wondering about the location of the photo. Does anyone recognise the building on the hill in the background of the photo?

May I suggest that we use a standard:

eBook - read the original - Twentieth century impressions of Hong-kong, Shanghai, and other Treaty Ports of China. pages 254-256

rather than a simple link.  I think it stands out better?

I'm not sure what the advantage is? As long as I can see the name of the book and a link to the relevant page, that's enough information for me.

But separately it is worth promoting some of the books, old & new, that we use regularly. It deserves its own section in our 'Where to find HK History' ebook - I'll make that the theme for a post in the next week or two.

Hong Kong Electric bought the site for its new power station, immediately to the east of the Corinthian Yacht Club, in 1914.   Austin Coates quotes in "A Mountain of Light" the words of R.P.Dunlop:

....Accordingly, a site on Causeway Hill, about a mile from the station, was purchased, and on it thirteen houses in three terraced blocks were built.

Could the building on the hill be one of these houses?

Anon, thanks for the extra info. The building on the hill looks to be just a short distance behind the yacht club rather than a mile away, so it probably wasn't one of those houses. (I'm not sure where Causeway Hill is - any ideas?)

But the first sentence is a good clue. The power station was at North Point, north of Electric Street, east of Power Road. The Second road west from Power Road is called Boat Street. I wonder if that was named after the "Ah King's Slipway" mentioned above?

I'll guess the site of the yacht club was north of Electric Road, somewhere between Power Road and Boat Street.

The yacht club was roughly at the end of Boat Street, north of Electric Road which of course was the water front.  The club house, as pictured, is still there (or was up to 20 years ago). It was subsumed by the Government Supplies Department. I think it most likely that Boat Street got its name from the yacht club.

Ah King's Slipway was much further west, facing Causeway Bay. I think the entrance to the slipway was on Electric Road, south of the Watson Estate.

I'm afraid Causeway Hill is puzzling.

There is still an old building there. Here's a view, but from the opposite direction to the old photo, so it's hard to make a positive identification. Does it look like the old club building to you?

View Larger Map

I've made a separate Place for the Ah King Slipway, to gather any further information about that.

Thanks for your help.

That  building is the former headquarter and clubhouse of the RHKYC, officially opened on 21 March 1908.   It is a Grade II historic building.  The entire site at 12 Oil Street is on the land sale list if you want to buy it.

Did the HKCYC build first, and then the RHKYC plop down just next door?

Hi, the RHKYC moved from there in 1939 after reclamation made the site useless. According to the AMO, the club negotiated swapping the site for Kellet Island (previously a naval magazine depot according to the club's website):


"The premises at No. 12 Oil Street were built in 1908. Located within the former Government Supplies Department compound in North Point, they served as the headquarters and clubhouse of the former Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC, 前香港皇家遊艇會). The fund-raising campaign organized by the RHKYC to finance the construction proved successful as the members were enthusiastic about the clubhouse. The clubhouse was officially opened on 21 March 1908 by the then Governor, Sir Frederick Lugard.

With subsequent reclamation along the shore of North Point, the clubhouse lost its waterfront location, and had to move to a new base. After prolonged negotiations, the RHKYC was granted Kellet Island to build a new clubhouse. In 1939, the RHKYC moved to its present clubhouse at Kellet Island. After the Second World War, the premises at No. 12 Oil Street were used as a garage and government staff quarters for several decades until 1998. In more recent times, they have been used as a storehouse of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) until late 2007. Nowadays, the premises are vacant."

The building (which is government-owned) is excluded from the land sale. (map on last page of this exhaustive document: http://www.landsd.gov.hk/en/landsale/applist10/IL%208920.pdf


a confusing if detailed history of sailing/rowing clubs here: http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/default.aspx?c=131

Another view of the site taken in 2003: 


while this aerial one from 1973 shows how close the old power station was. The older part gives an idea where the original waterfront was, given the club house had a lawn etc:


In G R Sayer's book Hong kong 1862-1919 on Pg 109 " For the yachtsman there is the Corinthian and the Royal Hong Kong with premises on the Wanchai waterfront opposite to No. 2 Police Station and 'Ah King' in the flesh in close attendance".

If the location is correct, the hill I surmise would be Hospital Hill.


Agreed, I think it's the front of Hospital Hill too. There are more notes about its location on the place for the Corinthian Yacht Club. Apologies, I should have linked to it from this thread.

To answer an earlier question about where Causeway Hill is, it is where the Fontana Gardens development stands today, see: https://gwulo.com/node/29862

Mention is made of the formal opening of the Corinthian Yacht Club in the HK Telegraph 26 Jan 1906. Location given as "just west of No. 2 Police Station".

HK Telegraph 29 January 1906

The clubhouse is situated on a very convenient spot on Praya East between A King's slipway and No.2 Police Station.


In the original photo, the building on the left with the gabled roof is the No. 2 (Wanchai) Police Station at the junction of Wanchai Road and Praya East. The description given for the location of the Corinthian Yacht Club as "just west of No. 2 Police Station" is correct.  I guess Ah-King's slipway would be slightly to the west of the Yacht Club.

1905 No. 2 (Wanchai)  Police Station
1905 Wanchai (No. 2) Police Station, by Moddsey