The Derwent Sailing Squadron (DSS), under the name of the Domain Sailing Squadron, was formed in February 1906 by a small group of yachtsmen who wanted to sail boats that were smaller and more affordable than those in vogue at the time. Not long after, the name was changed to the Derwent Sailing Squadron.

The original meetings of the DSS were held in an old whaling vessel, the Derwent Hunter. After being destroyed by fire in 1907, it was to be nearly 50 years before the Squadron was to find another permanent home. Meetings were held in a variety of taverns around Hobart before eventually settling in the old RSL building in Hobart’s Macquarie St.

In 1953 the DSS moved to its present location, after leasing Cheverton’s Jetty from the Cheverton family. Soon after, the club purchased the jetty outright from the Chevertons, as well as leasing the surrounding foreshore land from the Hobart City Council. In 1965, the newly built clubhouse was officially opened by His Excellency the Governor Lieutenant General Sir Charles Gairdner. 1965 was a notable year in the club’s history, as only a month later the new slipway, jetty, haul out, yacht storage and launching ramp were also officially opened.

The Graham Blackwood Marina of 102 berths was opened in 1985, with a further 28 berths being added in 1987. In 2016 the Roy Barkas Marina Extension was opened with 136 state of the art floating berths.

Since the turn of the century, the DSS has completed a number of major projects, including building a floating jetty for Sailability, replacing one of its existing jetties, constructing a new trailer boat launching ramp, and  completing major bar and clubhouse refurbishments. The club has continually looked to the future, with a general committee and staff dedicated to improving the on-water and clubhouse experience for current members and future generations.

Marina Amenity Block opened consisting of 5 bathrooms including 2 with all ability facilities. Laundry facility also installed.


Fuel facilities installed


Official Opening of the Roy Barkas Marina Extension consisting of 138 floating berths with an investment of $6.9m.


Bar extensions and clubhouse refurbishment completed $200,000.


A newly reconstructed launching ramp was completed $70,000.


A new jetty replaced the existing structure $200,000.


Floating jetty for Sailability and members was completed.


New dinghy storage facilities next to the slipway constructed.


The Squadron flagpole and anchor were repositioned and the carpark landscaped and sealed.


The Graham Blackwood marina was extended to now include 130 berths.


The Graham Blackwood marina was officially opened with 104 fixed pile berths.


The kitchen was updated and extended.


The Clubhouse extended to cope with increased membership.


A new floating launching ramp was installed off the lawn for junior sailors.

  • A.V. Jennings Industries built the clubhouse for $19,208.
  • The Clubhouse was officially opened by His Excellency the Governor Lieutenant General Sir Charles Gairdner.
  • The original slipway, jetty, haul out, yacht storage and launching ramp officially opened at a cost of $25,000.
  • The Hobart City Council completed reclaiming the foreshore and a portion of the reclaimed land was leased to the Squadron.
  • The Squadron receives a liquor licence after an appeal to the Supreme Court was successful. It was thought that the Squadron’s acceptance of full female members was a contributing factor in the appeal being successful.
  • Plans for a new clubhouse were approved by Council.

The Squadron buys Cheverton’s jetty for 11,750 pounds.


The Squadron moved into a new clubhouse on Cheverton’s jetty which was leased from the Cheverton family.

  • The Derwent Hunter was destroyed in a fire. As a result the DSS did not have a permanent home for another fifty years. The club met in the Temple Chambers (Hobart RSL), Synod Hall, Town Hall, Derwent Rowing Club and the Ocean Child Hotel.
  • The Domain Sailing Squadron was renamed Derwent Sailing Squadron following the Derwent Sailing Club receiving Royal Charter and renaming itself the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

The Domain Sailing Squadron formed and the hulk of the Derwent Hunter, located near the current Tas Port slipway,  was used as the clubrooms.




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