Russell Boating Club, Russell, Bay of Islands

Russell Boating Club

About Us

Our History - Fifty years for the club - one hundred years for the building

Opening in 1971, we are a small friendly boating club located on the water’s edge in Matauwhi Bay, Russell. The RBC building in Matauwhi Bay was built in 1921 making it over 100 years old. During its early years it was used as a boat building shed and fish processing factory before being taken over by the Russell Boating Club in 1974. A stroll around our clubrooms, where you can check out the memorabilia on the walls, will teach you much about the characters and stories from our past. This includes photographs, flags, trophies and more. You will quickly gather that although the history of the club is closely inter-twined with the history of the Tall Ships race, there is much more to us than that.

A document titled ‘Russell Boating Club - the first 20 years’ was compiled by Don Beattie in 1990. It gives a wonderful insight into the early years of the Matauwhi Bay building and the formation of the Russell Boating Club in 1971.

Open Mic Nights

On the first Sunday night of each month the Club runs an Open Mic Night. It’s a fantastic night with many local musicians performing. The music starts at 5:30pm and runs until 7:30pm. The nights are hosted by two of our committee members, Helen and Scotty  and to ensure they run smoothly we have put together a few simple rules


A full range of items from t-shirts, long sleeve polos, caps and the club burgee. Please ask at the bar to see the range.


Our Committee meet monthly. The latest meeting minutes and an archive of minutes from the last few years is available here. Meet our committee members here.

Club House

The Clubhouse is usually open each day for members use. Members are welcome to hang out, read a book, use the internet, and socialise. Toilets and a shower are available for members use only. 

Rent our Club Rooms

The Club is available to rent for private functions, including weddings, when these do not conflict with Club events. Please enquire via the contacts page on this website, at the bar during Club nights or email us


  • Showers – Gold coin. Change available from the bar
  • Slipway for hire. Contact our Slip-master, Barry or a committee member. Before using the slipway you are required to complete a slipway registration agreement. This agreement is available in two versions, PDF and MS Word

Slipway rates - from October 2022

  • Haulout and Return - $240 ($280 non-members)
  • Per day rate - $30 ($40 non-members)
  • Water charge - $20 (water blasting during the summer months, no charge for using bore water)
  • Free Wifi – Available Free in the clubrooms for members. Login (SSID) and Password available from the bar manager
  • Dart Board – Darts available from the bar
  • Pool Table – Cues, balls and rack available from the bar. Each game is $2
  • Books –lend, exchange or donate


The Club publishes a monthly newsletter called Mainsheet. To receive a copy, click on the Subscribe link on the home page. To provide content for the newsletter please contact our Mainsheet editor Mark Thomson. 

Past copies of the Mainsheet are available here:

Kitchen and Bar


From 9 December, 2022, our club Kitchen will be operated by Rata’s Kitchen, a well know name in the Russell Community. Delicious meals and shacks will be available for lunch and dinner, 5 days/week, Wednesday - Sunday.

Rata and her partner Thomas bring special expertise in Asian cuisine to tickle your taste buds. Check out the exciting new menu here. Opening hours will be from 12:00-15:00 for lunch and 17:00-20:30 for dinner.


From 9 December, 2022, our club bar will be open 5 days/week, Wednesday - Sunday from 17:00. View our new drinks menu here.

Bar Rules

By law, we can only serve alcohol to members of the Club, their guests and members of other clubs with reciprocal visiting rights. Only alcohol served by the bar can be consumed on the Club premises. Please be prepared to show you membership ID if requested by the bar staff or committee members. The Club reserves the right to refuse service.

Volunteering at Russell Boating Club

We are a volunteer club and most activities that you see around you happen because a fellow member volunteered their time and effort. There are many small, medium and large tasks that members can contribute to help keep our club shipshape and on course. Why not join a sub committee to help develop special events like Short Ships, The Cricket Match or the Children’s Christmas Party

Club Rules

Our club operates under these rules as part of its requirements as an incorporated society.
Russell Boating Club Rules - 18 August 2018

All rules changes, financial reporting, committee/officers (Particulars of Officers/Trustees), Voluntary Organisation Details, etc, etc are available on the Government Business Register site. Enter “Russell Boating Club” or the Societies No 224335 in the search box.

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