Sept 27, 2018

Baddeck YCEver since Alexander Graham Bell chose Baddeck for his summer home the town has been a popular destination for boaters and tourists. In addition to his many ventures and experiments at his Bell Laboratories, Bell also commissioned the 52’ yawl Elsie and gave her to his daughter Elsie Bell Grosvenor. Elsie’s husband was Gilbert Grosvenor whose family were publishers of the National Geographic magazine. Through many articles in the magazine over the years the Bras d’Or Lakes and the town of Baddeck became world famous.

Bras Dor BaddeckFor almost a century, the Bras d'Or Yacht club has stood on the Baddeck shoreline greeting all who enter the harbour. The clubhouse - with its slipway, flagstaff and viewing verandas, are so much a part of the waterfront of Baddeck, that it is hard to image the community without it. But in fact, for the first decade of its existence, the Bras d'Or Yacht Club had no such home base. Meetings were held at Gertrude Hall, the courthouse and in member's main street offices. Minute books from the earliest club days, detail searches for the most basic of yacht club needs - a patch of water frontage to launch boats and a location where sailing trophies could be presented and displayed.

RacingToday, the clubhouse is a vital part of the village's tourism infrastructure. It is a community meeting place. It has played host to birthday parties, kids Halloween dress-up contests, wedding celebrations, regatta festivities and provides a homey gathering place for sailors and friends.
The Bras d’Or Yacht Club’s upper lounge provides a warm, welcoming atmosphere where you can relax, socialize and absorb the breathtaking views of the Bras d’Or Lake. There is a full-service bar is open year-round, seven days a week which welcomes members and non-members alike. 

Extending the length of the upper lounge the balcony offers comfortable deck furniture, and a wonderful place to view yachts sailing on the lake, or the day’s sunset. The lower hall provides an ideal setting for hosting a variety of private functions, accommodating up to 100 guests. Bar services, kitchen facilities, sound equipment, and restrooms are available. The facilities of the lower hall can be extended outside on the club wharf with the use of commercial tenting. 

Bras Dor BaddeckA large wharf at the face of the clubhouse can accommodate boats for temporary docking, and dinghy traffic to and from the yacht club moorings. Adjacent to the club wharf is the launch ramp which can accommodate just about any sized boat, launched from a personal trailer or by commercial lift.

Like many of the Yacht Clubs in the Maritimes this club owes its success to the dedication and hard work of volunteers. Peter Paterson recounts the story of how the present club house came to be.

Bras Dor SailsIt might be argued whether the first clubhouse was Gertrude Hall the Court House or the office of Dr. MacIver. While it is known that the first meeting took place in the Court House, the motion to declare the first Commodore, C.T. Carruth was held in Gertrude Hall. The idea to build a formal Clubhouse was adopted by the membership in 1912. 

The newly completed building built to plans drawn by a Washington architect; hosted its first meeting on July 3rd, 1913. Pre-build estimates were in the $400-dollar range. This money was donated by the membership. Over the years several significant additions and renovations have taken place, but the original design is still clearly evident particularly within the southern facade. No longer the modest wood floored one room (plus RC loft) building delivered in 1913, the club has expanded to include over three levels including the junior annex. 

The current facilities consist of two buildings located on the Baddeck waterfront. The smaller of the two building is referred to as the "Junior Club". The Junior Club was formerly a portable classroom and has been annexed to the clubhouse with a recent addition that houses barrier free washrooms and a breezeway. The junior club has been extensively renovated and is in good condition. 

Bras Dor Aerial

Half of the building, facing the beach, is dedicated to youth training. This area has been fitted with new windows and doors, including a new roll-up door to facilitate entry and removal of sail training vessels, and serves as both a classroom and fleet maintenance area. The other half of the building houses washrooms and laundry facilities. 

The senior club is two story, slab on grade with a loft. In addition to the large multifunction room, the ground floor also houses the kitchen, furnace room, washrooms and business office. The multifunction area is used primarily as a dance or meeting space and opens directly onto our licensed private waterfront concourse. 

The upstairs portion of the senior clubhouse houses an additional washroom plus a lounge and bar with a breathtaking vista of Great Bras d’Or. The lounge area opens directly onto a large licensed balcony overhanging the concourse. A display case accommodating a wealth of nautical memorabilia chronicling our one-hundred-year history enhances the "clubhouse" feeling. 

The floor loft area is reserved for race management space as it has been from the beginning. Much of the current condition of our Clubhouse facilities is due to a generous donation towards the Junior Club in honor of departed member Harry Sullivan. The junior Clubhouse project included a large beachfront deck, updated wiring and the replacement of most of the doors and windows. Some work remains to be completed on this building, particularly relating to the north end which houses the showers and laundry. 

The senior Clubhouse condition is largely the result of a major restoration project in honor of the club’s 2004 centenary. This project received a supporting grant from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation on New Year’s Eve 2003 and began in earnest in March 2004, just four months before anniversary celebration plans. 

Preliminary work revealed structural deficiencies so extreme as to threaten the integrity of the entire structure. Work was halted, and engineers were contracted to provide an analysis and recommendation. It was suggested that the club faced two alternatives; to install structural steel supports under the second and third floors braced to ground level and replace the entire roof framing or to level the building and start again. Continued occupancy of the existing building was not an option. Not willing to allow this important heritage building to come to its demise a team of over thirty-five volunteers and a fleet of donated equipment assembled to face this challenge on April10, 2004. 

By evening the next day, the roof had been removed, new trusses had been installed in its place, and the last roof shingle had been tarred in place. Volunteers had carted away the debris, raked the yard with magnets to corral old nails, and washed the dishes from two days of feeding a hungry crew. A new club spirit was in evidence and a can-do attitude prevailed. 

Today structural steel has replaced decayed and rotting posts. New beams support both the second floor and the loft and new wiring provides a safe path for all electrical circuits in the building. The truss work allowed for a dramatic new ceiling and the familiar slant to the floor is no more. New washrooms service not only the membership but the public waterfront as well. Space was provided to accommodate a future addition to the kitchen and a business office sits where the "old" lady’s washroom once was. 

A long way from its beginnings but true to its spirit, the BYC clubhouse sits ready to continue its role welcoming visiting sailors and providing a comfortable meeting place for our members. 

Peter Patterson
Property Chairman 2004
Past Commodore 2005 – 2008
Thank you to Shawn Dunlop for some great sailing photos
www.brasdoryachtclub.ca

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...
Building on our last two editions (Sealants, and Fibreglass, respectively), Gelcoat is the next ...
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major ...
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? ...
Last edition we talked about sealants to perform tasks like bedding and sealing. Other tasks like ...
Over the winter, a many-thousand pound fiberglass, wood or metal shell is held in position by only ...
Since the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over ...
This bag does more than hold your anchor and rode in one tidy little pile. After you’ve anchored ...
Purchase your copy of the BRAND NEW Ports Georgian Bay 2020 Edition at the Toronto International ...
The boat was put on the hard for this winter and were going to follow along with Graham as he ...

Shrink Wrap2020 is a year of change – self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine, and working remotely have become the norm. For many, this has been a bitter pill to swallow. Another bitter pill for boaters is the delay of the season. Provincial laws differ – so terms like ‘essential’ aren’t translating widely across the marine world.

In BC, marinas remain open and fuel is available, sometimes with conditions. In Ontario, marinas, boat launches, yacht clubs and the professionals that service the marine industry aren’t considered essential, unless the service and location allows a person to access their permanent residence only accessible by boat.

Read more about Boating in 2020........................

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. Our Virtual Show will continue to grow so visit frequently and check it out. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

Destinations

  • Prev
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
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 ...

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 2020 PORTS Georgian Bay, North Channel & Lake Huron Guide is available for purchase at ...
Professional boatbuilders don't want to have to redo a job any more than a DIYer. Many choose Life ...
Since its introduction last year, the JBL by Harman Marine BassPro 10" Powered Subwoofer (JBLMBP10) ...
After decades of perusing charts and guidebooks as part of planning a cruise, it was a totally ...
Ever since I was a youngster Jeeps of all kinds have fascinated me. It wasn’t until the mid 70s ...
New from Plastimo, this bi-colour backpack in Tarpaulin 500D will keep contents dry from ship to ...
Being a boater can come with certain space restraints for additional items that may make your ...
Whether you are interested in monitoring your vessel’s systems while underway or remotely from your ...
No wires to install down your mast. Transmit to smartphone/tablet. Works with lots of great ...
Vesper Cortex, the advanced multi-station VHF, AIS, monitor with intuitive touchscreen operation is ...