The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in January. © 1018 Nick Skeens

The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (RCYC) is one of the most famous yacht clubs in Britain.

It has a very strong youth section, called the Corinthian Otters, which has, together with the older members, produced National and International sailing champions.

The club has a fine class of one-design Bermudan Sloops, called the Royal Corinthian One Designs.


History & design

The club was founded in Erith, on the Thames, in 1872.

It received its royal title in 1892, the year in which it began operating from a room in the Ye Olde White Harte Hotel.

It later moved into what is now called The Old Clubhouse, which can be seen on the left of the picture and which previously had been used for boatbuilding and which is now a private residence.

To the shock and awe of local people, the ‘new’ building (pictured) went up in the first six months of 1931. This was six months after the designs were approved by the Burnham on Crouch Urban District Council when  local sailmaker JG Cranfield was Chairman. It cost around £12,500 to build.

Made of  ferro-concrete on a steel frame, with voids filled in with stucco-faced cavity brickwork, it has the appearance of the bridge of a modern ship breaking through the seawall. Some have described its styling as ‘art deco’, although it is more accurately described as being designed in the International Style.

It was designed by Joseph Emberton, described as ‘a lone wolf in architecture, and a difficult man to work with’. He is famous for the Empire Hall at Olympia, Simpsons in Piccadilly and the HMV building in Oxford Street.

The Royal Corinthian has received numerous design accolades and bears a medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects on its northern wall.


Click here to visit the club’s website.