In the seventeenth century Findhorn was the principal seaport of Moray and vessels regularly sailed to and from all parts of the North Sea and as far as the Baltic Ports. Changes to the narrow and shallow entrance to the Bay created obstacles to navigation and as the size of trading vessels increased so the volume of trade to the village declined. During the nineteenth century fishing predominated.
The interest in pleasure sailing was probably kindled when the country was slowly recovering following the First World War. Records are vague but in the early 1920s there were at least five local yawls. Evidently they held their own competitive regatta each year and probably attracted larger crowds of spectators than major races today.
The first pleasure orientated boats to appear at Findhorn in any significant numbers were the Lymington scows, which were purchased in the south. They were sturdy centre-board dinghies, 11ft.3in. long, with a 60sq.ft. single lug sail rig. A class of these scows was soon established at Findhorn and it was the competitive element derived from regular Saturday sailing of these vessels that was perhaps responsible more than any other single factor for the formation of a yacht club.
In 1929 James Chadwick (the first Commodore) along with other dinghy sailors, founded the Findhorn Yacht Club. His home was used as the club meeting place and this fine building was eventually to end up as the impressive clubhouse we see today, 1930 saw the first of the Findhorn class boats, an 18.ft. boat built with local help, by James Chadwick for around £80. The actual prototype was constructed in the premises ( known in latter days as Frankie’s boat-shed) and a number of such boats were built and known as the Findhorn X class. This X class is reputed to be the forerunner to the 18.ft class. This fleet expanded to over 20 boats before the Second World War when pleasure sailing largely ceased. After the war the sailing slowly recovered and the club began to flourish with the membership expanding quite dramatically in the late fifties and sixties with a resultant increase in cruisers and dinghies. In 1971 the Findhorn Yacht Club was awarded the Royal title. Since then several facilities have been added to the club including a dinghy park and the requisition of the two piers in front of the club. A recent improvement has been the installation of a pontoon on the North Pier, thereby providing easy access to dinghies and cruisers, particularly for those with restricted physical capability. A second dinghy park closer the club was purchased in 2012.