Jan 10, 2016

Jon RoyJust about anyone who has been involved with the Nova Scotia sailing scene in the last thirty or so years will have at least heard of John Roy and very many will have had dealings with his company Ocean Yachts Sales Ltd (OYS). Like many of us, John’s start in his career involved a little serendipity. Having recently graduated from Dalhousie University with an Economics degree, John wasn’t sure what sort of work he wanted, but he did know he wanted to go offshore racing. With this in mind he dropped by the OYS office looking for a crewing job on a yacht headed for the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit (SORC) which was then a very big deal. Almost in passing, he asked if they needed any help in the office. Sandy Stalker, an OYS partner at the time, got back to him a little later and said “you might be on”, meaning with the office, not on a boat. So as John says, he went looking for a boat and ended up with a job. A job that became his lifelong career and passion.


Whatever the many challenges of earning a living in the yacht business, John has always been sustained by a passion for sailing. He spoke to me with some emotion of his earliest memories of sailing with his father aboard the family’s wooden Tancook schooner. It was a proud day when, at just 7 or 8, is dad handed him the tiller, pointed to the box compass and said “she’s yours, steer that course”. John began sailing out of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) just at the time the club was moving from what is now the Halterm container pier in Halifax’s south end, to their present location on the North West Arm. For the first summer the adult members had not yet moved in and the junior sailors had the place to themselves, and according to John they had a blast. Junior racing was quickly followed by Lasers. As anyone who has ever sailed a Laser can attest you learn quickly, or get wet, a lot. John says he and his buddies were mad for Laser racing and would drive to Quebec for a weekend meet, or straight though to Florida for a regatta. John’s skills as a racing helmsman were no doubt born here, as anyone who sails knows, you really can’t learn how to sail unless you learn on a dinghy.


Melges 32Melges 32 Photo credit: : C. Laterneau


Success in sailboat racing has come in many forms. As a world class Etchells sailor, John and his crew, Rob Gale and Paul Gallant,came 9th at the 1998 Worlds and in J-24s he has two national championships. Offshore John has participated inmany Marblehead to Halifax races and is a two time class winner. His love of sailing and sailing fast, has not diminished over the years. It says a lot about John that his idea of fun today is racing his Melges 32 “Team Ocean” with a mixed crew of young and older racers. This year they won their class at “Chester Race Week”. Passing on his knowledge to the next generation is important and John has spent many years coaching and “teaching the teachers” as an Instructor Evaluator for the Canadian Yachting Association.


The recreational yacht business is different from many other service industries. In the first place you are dealing, not with something people actually need, but with their dreams. Currently Ocean Yacht Sales are dealers for Beneteau, Dufour, Fareast, Tartan and Hylas. John has brought on board a couple of keen (young) brokers Andre Simoes Re and Hugh Layton who add a youthful energy and perspective to the business.


John says there has been some growth in recent years in the small boat market, spurred in part by the availability of very inexpensive used boats. Hopefully this will bring some new blood into the sailing world.

Glen Cairns

 

Destinations

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Where do you find the best Ice Cream?

Cowichan BayBy Catherine Dook

Where do you find the best ice cream?

We had sailed around the Gulf Islands for a couple of weeks, dropping the hook wherever we wanted, and then lying there for days so relaxed as to be in an altered state of consciousness. John called it euphoria, but I called it a ‘coma.’ Whichever it was, we had a wonderful time.

Our two solar panels, shiny with the brilliant sunshine of July, kept our refrigerator running so well (at least during the day) that I was able to keep artisan bread dough chilled, half-a-dozen Mars Bars...

Read More about the Gulf Islands.....

 

 

Lifestyle

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Boat Reviews

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Scarab 255 Open

Scarab 255 OpenBy Andy Adams and John Armstrong

You can imagine,at the GroupeBeneteau dealer meeting in Michigan last fall where all the Four Winns, Scarab, Wellcraft, and Glastrondealers had come to see the latest new models, the docks were lined up with gleaming brand-new boats to show the dealers and media – and they certainly put on a show! But for me, the Scarab 255 Open was an immediate stand out. This is a boat that breaks new ground and brings fresh thinking and interpretation of the boating experience to a wide range of buyers.

We had a quick look around but the test drives would have to wait until the next day.

Read more about the Scarab 255 Open....

 

 

 

 

DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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