Feb 14, 2019

Viking FleetI have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting older, less active, and quickly disappearing – a trend that can’t be reversed. As well, I hear a theory that young people are not buying boats.

I am here to say, as a Viking sailor, that I don’t believe the hype.

I believe there is a different way to approach attracting members to a sailing club; the future of clubs lies with incredible vintage boats out there that have a whole second life waiting to unfold. The Viking28 is such a vintage boat: manufactured in the hundreds during the 1970’s, easily purchased today, and a great performing boat under sail. This is the boat of our One-Design Fleet.


Viking FleetThe Viking28 Fleet at Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club has been the embodiment of this approach. We have built up a fleet of seven Viking28’s (soon to be eight) that race regularly, with trophies organized for the top boats, and a schedule that includes the ABYC OPEN in the spring, the QCYC OPEN in the fall, and a variety of regattas between. The fleet has brought in at least ten new senior members to our club in the past two years and has been effective at bringing Viking owners from other clubs to get involved with our events. The fleet is awash with crew who are consistent, keen and excited. The fleet presents great sailing, camaraderie, and it is all happening in boats that are worth little to nothing where every dollar invested goes to greater performance.

The fleet has become a focal point within the club, attracting skilled sailors and changing the idea of what a one-design fleet can be. People ask: how is it that we are doing this?

The Viking28 fleet at ABYC started with simple deceit. Two friends owned the ever-venerable Viking Blythe Spirit. Knowing of another Viking available for the taking, they conspired with another buddy: he would purchase a third Viking, the robust Firefly, after roping Greg, the writer, into adopting the second Viking Tecumseh. It took some misrepresentation for their plan of subversion to go off smoothly. Immediately, we had a fleet nucleus of owners who were good friends with competitive spirit.


Viking FleetThis playful jousting proved to be attractive, as there are many sailors out there who want to have a keel boat suitable for loafing, but also something they can use to show their racing skills. Perhaps taking a second mortgage for a boat is not an option; maybe a race boat should have some scars and a few stories to tell. This is our mantra. As a result, in the past 16 months, the fleet has grown by another 4 boats – but this was not by chance. To make growth happen, the fleet core has gone to lengths to get new members, including delivering a Viking from Hamilton to Toronto, sharing sails, and purchasing a boat when we weren’t sure there would be an owner to take over – above all, the enthusiasm for these boats has consistently won people over - and so the fleet grows.

Mike Greg and TeecumsehThis really, is not a new formula: when sailing during my twenties on the east coast of the US, I saw club after club, fleet after fleet employing these methods. Be it Thistles, Lightnings, or Stars, these fleets focussed on low capital cost, good sportsmanship and having boats immediately available for like-minded sailors. Our fleet is constantly looking for ways to overcome the mental and financial hurdles of joining our fleet. In the end, we don’t try to sell potential members ‘boat ownership at a club’, we show the excitement of racing eccentric old yachts with friends, while being the stewards of an ethos that has drifted through the doors of our sailing clubs for decades.

I suspect this was the mindset in the past, when sailors raced Tumlarens in the ‘40s, or Dragons in the ‘60s: fixing boats, racing boats, building your fleet.

I am quite certain it is the future.

- Greg Reuter

Greg Reuter is a Viking28 sailor, ABYC club member, and President of World Viking28 Class Association. We are always looking to expand our Fleet! For more information, find us on Facebook at Viking28 Sailboats.

Related Articles
Regatta
  • 11 June 2019
  • By Ethan

JFest 2019 at RCYC

In 2016 Roger Van Vlack and Colin Andrews of Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club had the idea of creating a JFEST Great Lakes Regatta back in 2016 that would be hosted by different Clubs each year.

Lifestyle

  • Prev
I've been cleaning dresser drawers for space and came across this 1979 LYRA t-shirt. This was my ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from one of our CY team members who writes “This is my son and his best ...
This boat carries the distinction as the last boat to leave the C&C Custom shop in Oakville ...
We crossed Lake Ontario from Oswego with a minimum of fuss and did a little happy dance when we ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from Mark and Lisa Harris who winter in Vancouver, Washington and spend ...
I am new to boating. Bought a 2019 Ranger Tug in April followed by taking a short boating course ...
Arie and Maribeth sent us this photo from their honeymoon departing Killarney…I think they were in ...
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told my children to wash their hands. I remind them ...
The new editions of PORTS Cruising Guides, from the publishers of Canadian Yachting will be ...
As the seasons change and we move from warm summer into cooler fall, many fanatic boaters ...
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...

CompassBy Katherine Stone

Not a hard re-installation - just line up the holes and replace the screws.

I remember vividly my first experience using a chart plotter and navigation system. Deciding that we should try the cruising lifestyle, we purchased an older boat and set out from Hindson’s Marina in Penetanguishene at dawn to sail across Nottawasaga Bay to Thornbury, Ontario for the Canada Day long weekend. It was a beautiful start to the day when we left and motored out of Penetanguishene Bay and rounded the corner, heading toward Christian Island, right into pitch black clouds. 

Read more about Your Compass........................

 

  

J99By Katherine Stone

All set to pull out the Code 0 before dousing the jib.

It was a very cold and wet beginning to the summer and we never thought it would arrive in Southern Ontario. Doing a 100 miler race on Lake Ontario (billed as the COOLEST race on the lake) with my 8 layers of thermal clothing, woolen ski toque and ski mittens, along with a neck warmer kept me on the edge all night, just out of frostbite reach. I shouldn’t have complained, as we also had wind!

July and August arrived, and it has certainly warmed up, in fact, its too warm, AND we don’t have wind. We are now counting 5 Wednesday nights in a row without wind to race. 

Read more about the J99 Offshore Shorthand Speeder.....................

 

Wellcraft 242 FishermanBy Andy Adams

Boat buyers are gravitating to the latest centre console boats for a wide range of reasons but for the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman, you can sum it up by saying it’s about features, style and value.

This great-looking boat is just as capable on a family picnic cruise as it is doing serious blue water fishing. A wide range of options let the buyer tailor the boat for their specific interests, but it’s all there to choose from. Our test boat was well-equipped for that comfortable cruise with easy access via the swim platform and through the transom gate into the cockpit.

Read More about the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman..................

Destinations

  • Prev
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston......................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
The new edition of PORTS Cruising Guides: Georgian Bay, Lake Huron & the North Channel from the ...
Canadian Yachting’s Chartering Handbook, full of information and advice for heading off to a ...
Navigating the process of yacht care and maintenance just got a whole lot easier, following the ...
I will be honest, I am generally not a big fan of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV). My wife and I own ...
The FX model is Yamaha's top-of-the-line three seater WaveRunner and a totally new model for 2019. ...
In the April 2015 edition of CY magazine, I published an article on anchors and anchoring – Staying ...
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...