Quiet HarbourBy Katherine Stone

The harbour is quiet after hallout

It’s always amazing to me how life has degrees of separation that are incredibly small, even when you spend your adult life in another country than the one you grew up in. I grew up sailing on Lake Erie and when my father’s health was on the decline it was decided that I would be appointed to sell his boat. As fate would have it, an older gentleman came to see the boat and decided on the spot to purchase it. Off it sailed, out of Lake Erie, through the canal and into Lake Ontario to reside happily at the Burlington Sailing & Boating Club. Little did I know that many years later, I would be doing their profile for Canadian Yachting.

Burlington, Ontario is at the southwestern end of Lake Ontario, just to the northeast of Hamilton and the Niagara Peninsula on the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment– smack in the middle of the Golden Horseshoe. The Hamilton Harbour is bounded on the west by a large sandbar that was deposited there in the last ice age. Ships and pleasure craft enter the harbour through a canal that bisects the sandbar.

Boats in the Parking LotBoats now occupy the parking lot for the winter until spring launch

The area attracted aboriginal people with its fertile soils, moderated winter temperatures due to the proximity of the lake and sheltering effect of the Niagara Escarpment. Then came a wave of white settlers arriving in the 1700s, followed by Loyalist settlers and immigrants from the British Isles and Europe. Homesteaders cleared the pine and oak timbers which became the area’s principal export. The production of wheat came next and then by the 1900s it had evolved into a prosperous farming community with mixed farms of fruit and vegetables. Canning, basket and ice harvesting factories flourished and produce was shipped out via the bustling docks in Port Nelson and Wellington Square, earning it the nickname of “The Garden of Canada”. Port Nelson and Wellington Square were later incorporated into the Village of Burlington in 1874. (Given its name by John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, after the town of Bridlington in England.) The small docks could no longer accommodate the larger steamships, making the commercial wharfs obsolete and railroads the new means of transport.

The original Burlington Yacht Club was located on a little sand spit (which now is the site of Spencer Smith Park). A powerful early spring easterly took out the beach and sent the members scrambling to haul boats to higher ground. A new location was found, boats were moored out front, but the clubhouse remained in the old location. What to do? Put it on a barge and use outboard motors to power it down the bay, of course! A new clubhouse was completed in the late 1940s, with the old one used for boat lockers. As what happens with many wooden structures, the new clubhouse burnt to the ground in the late 1950s, dispersing the members to surrounding clubs.

Committee BoatCommittee boat heading out for a weeknight race.

In 1974, 18 members of the old club realized that they needed to start a new club as boating should be the prime reason for a club’s existence. According to several accounts, “Burlington was the obvious choice for the new Club’s location since it had not had a yacht club since the Burlington Yacht Club ceased to exist many years before. We purposely decided that the name should be BS&BC, not BB&SC, because we wanted people to notice us, and if BS rather than BC was considered amusing (it amused us), then that would be great.” As happens with many boating clubs, their present location does not reside where they originally started, nor have they retained the same name.

 

 



Club Race Winners2019 Club race winners- Hugh Johnston, Peter Quinton (96 years old), Peter Quinton.

As the new BS&BC didn’t have a home yet, their first sailpast happened out on the lake, that same year, late in the season just east of the Skyway Bridge. Within weeks of the new club’s existence, members from the area started joining, including boaters that moored their vessels at LaSalle Park Pier (so named for the French explorer Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle who landed there in1669.) And so it was, that this is where they put down their footprint. Many thought the club wouldn’t make it and labeled them a “paper club” making them ineligible to compete in the CYRA (Canadian Yacht Racing Association) races on Lake Ontario. They worked hard to improve their racing skills and it didn’t take the CYRA long for them to realize that BS&BC was a bonafide club that would fly their colours around the lake.

From the very beginning, the city of Burlington has been a true partner in all their dealings and initiatives. Starting with permission to build their new clubhouse and dinghy storage and the use of LaSalle Park. The membership pitched in to fix up and repair the decaying pier, which became the first reciprocal mooring area for transients. From day one, there has never been a lack of volunteers to provide manpower and expertise to complete any task that a boating club needs to be successful.

To add to the fun and excitement of the new club, one of the founding members asked his high school class to help design a club burgee. The stylized logo, bringing into play the lake, bay and Skyway Bridge, put into play in 1975, still serves the club well.

Next on the agenda was a member initiative to plan and build a marina to be surrounded by breakwater islands. Although the town was on board, the Harbour Commission felt that moorings were plenty adequate, and a marina was not needed. Oh, were they ever wrong! Several years later, the Commission granted permission for the current floating marina. The BS&BC, the Open Public LaSalle Park Marina and the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) are self-help, family-oriented, non-profit organizations that work side by side to provide quality low cost recreational boating activities to its members and the community. It is the only boating and water-access facility in this lush, tranquil park, on the tree-lined north shore of Burlington Bay.

Mooring Slips at BS&BC
Boats all nicely tucked into their mooring slips at BS&BC.

A large number of BS&BC members are also Charter and Senior members of LPMA. Established in 1981, the Marina operates as a joint venture with the city and the LPMA. The LPMA paid for, designed, installed, maintains and administrates the marina under a joint venture with the city of Burlington. BS&BC also has a joint venture with the city regarding their clubhouse and dry sail compound facilities, which include the sailing school building, which they own. Through all these amazing partnerships, no public monies went into the Marina and LPMA Board of Directors report directly to their membership and the city of Burlington.

The ClubhouseClubhouse from teh water side with a wonderful viewing porch

With twice weekly club races for both keelboats and dinghies, a well-organized cruising program, winter-time seminars, BBQs, safety training events, wine and cheese parties and other social events, the club has a loaded calendar. With an active sailing school program, started early in the club’s history for both children and adults, they have been able to recruit and maintain their membership. The youngsters sail in the Optimist, Echo and 420 dinghies starting with Beginner and then moving onto Advanced Sailing and a competitive Race Team. Although Adult courses are offered in both dinghies and keelboats, the use of Club-owned shark keelboats has been a huge success. Through their Shark Program, participants become Intermediate Members of BS&BC and enjoy the facilities and social gatherings. This program introduces their family to the lifelong sport of sailing by learning boat care, safety, anchoring, docking, manoeuvring under power and sail, and maintenance as key parts of the program. Members are responsible for preparing the boat for both launch and haulout. This is most certainly a valuable experience when considering boat ownership in the future.

The FireplaceThe fireplace area is warm and welcoming.

Another big component of the services offered by BS&BC in conjunction with LPMA and the local Rotary, is the Burlington Able Sail program. Using the Martin 16, billed as being “un-tippable” the Able Sail program runs all summer during the day for children and on Saturday afternoons in July for adults. The marina is fully wheelchair accessible and custom equipment is available to transfer participants from wheelchairs into the specifically adapted boats.

Sailing School Echoes

 

 

 

Sailing school Echoes ready to go.

The Burlington Sailing & Boating Club has stayed true to their mission: “Creating and promoting the sport and recreation of boating, including the racing, cruising, and pleasure sailing of sailboats and power boats, and developing seamanship, sportsmanship, and friendship among the members.” In partnership with the Marina, city of Burlington and the LPMA these organizations have truly worked together to create a community of boaters that enjoy the wonderful waters around them.

Burlington Sailing & Boating Club; 841 LaSalle Park Rd; Burlington, ON, L7T 4G9 905-681-6547 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 15:44

The formation of Glacial Lake Iroquois, at the end of the last ice age, was to have a lasting effect on the boating activity on Lake Ontario. Many years ago, as the lake eroded, it left geological...

Friday, 11 July 2014 11:10

Bernie Luttmer of Swan’s Yacht Sales, has finally had his brainchild come to life, and he tells me that he was just about ready to retire when the boat of his dreams came into production – the...

Monday, 04 November 2013 11:11

The power of one is a dominant proclamation that resonates within many small, casual, easy-going boating clubs throughout Canada. These boating fraternities were often started with the vision of one...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:41

Ever thought about joining a year-round boating club where you didn’t have to own a boat to be able to cruise or race with friends? How about placing yourself in an environment where learning is the...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 15:37

Third Oldest in North America, Located in Both Canada and the United States.  Every boat needs a port to call home and her owner benefits from a sense of camaraderie by sharing interests and his or...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 10:28

Who doesn’t love the folklore and myth of sea monsters? Some say it’s the fodder for ancient sailing logs and others fill story books with these mysterious creatures. Ogopogo, also...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Once again, Cruisers Yachts is leading the market for day boats with their new 42 GLS model that ...
Optimized sailing performance and comfortable living – a sweet ride. The expression that came to ...
This is such an exciting time in boating! While we feel very sorry for people whose health and ...
For many, the 2020 sailing year will be one to go down into the books as “different”. With delayed ...
What perfect timing! Beneteau is has just announced their new Antares 11 model for North America ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full-service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
The Oceanis Yacht 54, younger sister of the Oceanis 62, embodies the innovation that has always ...
Beneteau announces the launch of the latest addition to the Antares range! With a length overall of ...
I had been looking forward to a sea trial aboard the Greenline 33 because I was hoping it would ...
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...

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. 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....................

 

Cruisers Yachts 42 GLSBy Andy Adams

Once again, Cruisers Yachts is leading the market for day boats with their new 42 GLS model that premiered at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show at the end of October. The concept of a large day boat is now a very well-established trend made possible by the amazing new power and efficiency of the latest four stroke outboards.

Buyers are looking for a different boating experience and we think that the 42 GLS nails it. Fast, handsome and versatile, the 42 GLS is designed for fun and adventure.

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...
Ontario’s best-kept secret, the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic site holds the key to ...
Located on the sunny south shore of the harbour, the Marina is on pilings over the water, offering ...
The approach to the Chemainus Municipal Dock from Stuart Channel is straightforward and is ...
I leaned my head back into the water and floated easily. Having spent my childhood playing in ...
History: right after gym and just before chemistry class. Fifty minutes of naming the prime ...
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 ...

 

Bahamas - There and Back Again IIIn Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were once again joined by friends.

This time it was Noel and Tracey Dinan, whose new shallow-draft Allures 49.5 was in build at the time, we headed north from the Exumas across the expanse of the Great Bahama Bank, dodging coral patches as we sailed to Eleuthera then Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco. Another commercial centre in the islands, we cleared out of the Bahamas here after provisioning for our offshore passage up to the Chesapeake Bay on the US mainland and out of the Hurricane Zone until mid-November...

Read More

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Styles, shapes, pitch and diameter of props are widely discussed on online boating forums, YouTube ...
There’s nothing worse than wondering how much fuel you have on board. You’re left wondering how ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
“They don’t make ‘em like they used to”, is a phrase that many of us are familiar with. Most of the ...
I’m on many different types of boats, with many configurations. Some have a single ...
I often get asked if regular care and maintenance is necessary for inflatable PFDs. Here is a ...
Labour Day weekend tends to be the ‘last hurrah’ on many fronts: the last long weekend of the ...
One of the Great Lakes’ best known tall ships, sail training vessel TS Playfair, will soon be ...
My Dad is not a mechanical guy. He is educated and well-read, and handy around the house – but not ...
I was cleaning up my workbench the other day. My eyes then scanned across my workbench and fell on ...

WinterizationBy Andrew McDonald, Lakeside Marine Services

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to”, is a phrase that many of us are familiar with. Most of the time it is in reference to a bygone era of better, and it’s used to lament the sorry state of what we have today. It is a phrase that can be applied to many areas of our lives: architecture, art, furniture, tools. Boats? I would argue that they don’t make them like they used to. But, is that lamentable, or is it progress?

Progress, I think. With this concept in mind, as we enter another season of putting boats to bed for the winter, why do we winterize as we always have?

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
On Monday, Volvo Penta announced the availability of their fully integrated assisted docking system ...
Perhaps the ultimate audio solution for boat owners, the JBL by Harman BassPro Go from Prospec ...
It only takes one foggy, disorienting day on the water to make a boat owner understand the value of ...
It’s a voyage everyone wants to undertake, but few get to make. The Whales of Lake Erie is the ...
Over the years I have had a real soft spot for the Jeep Wrangler line of models. Recently I had the ...
Wait no longer, the 2021 Rideau Canal & Lower Ottawa River PORTS Guide has returned! Purchase ...
The Tundra 65 is Yeti's most versatile cooler, just as adept at keeping catches cold as it is ...
Fireball self Extinguisher. It's a revolutionary self-detonating device designed to extinguish a ...
The problem with driving any full-size Pickup Truck or Sport Utility Vehicle is that when you are ...
Wait no longer - the 2021 Rideau Canal & Lower Ottawa River PORTS Guide will be available for ...