Water sports such as swimming, lifesaving, rowing, sailing and surfing have traditionally played a significant part in the Hutchins educational program.
The history of rowing at Hutchins began in when the School took part in the Representative Schools Race at the Derwent Rowing Club’s annual regatta. Hutchins competed against Christ College, Officer College, Grammar School and City School with Hutchins winning the first ever race they entered. Following the purchase of the School’s first rowing shell in , the School rowing club was founded in , with the School boat shed opening four years later. A new boat house on the Sandy Bay foreshore was inaugurated in , with Hutchins crews winning every available school-boy trophy in the seasons immediately following.
Hutchins has had its own sailing program since the mid-1940s, with Hutchins sailors frequently representing both State and country in all forms of the sport. The purchase of the sloop Aurora in the early 1990s allowed for the setting up of sail training and boat navigation courses, offered through the Centre for Excellence. The Sailing Academy, opened in under Headmaster Warwick Dean, provides a training venue for introducing boys from Years 3–12 to a maritime curriculum and opportunities to refine their water-based studies, knowledge and expertise.
Swimming and lifesaving have been on the calendar of competitive sports since early in the School’s history. Competitive swimming in the early years took place at the Sandy Bay Baths, the site of the current rowing shed. An outdoor swimming pool built at the Sandy Bay campus in was later decommissioned. Surfing was added to the School’s co-curricular program in with many boys braving the water at Clifton Beach in the warmer months.