May 24, 2017
As always we welcome your input on any boating topic, rant, rave or praise. We promise to read them all at CYonboard@kerrwil.com.
Just replying to John Morris’ enquiry on powerboaters.
I’m a sailor and own multiple catamarans. I’m a member at EYC for over 29 years and a member of Water Rats sailing club for 5 years in the Outer harbor. I’ve represented Canada at the Pan Am games as an sailor athlete multiple times.
For the 2015 games here in Toronto, I decided to up the on water training by securing a trainer support power boat. This has been one of the best moves I made in enjoying all that Lake Ontario offers.
I purchase a used Boston Whaler 21 Outrage center console that was in outstanding condition (houseboat kept out of the water (fresh, not salt water) as my trainer / support boat. A good friend of mine, offered to be my support boat driver. All was moving to plan.
I questioned myself when I would use the boat after the Pan Am campaign but to my surprise, my wife loves to day trip with me out to Center Island with the Whaler. This is on the days we are not training for our next event such as when the wind is so light on Lake Ontario. There are many no wind days on the Lake in August.
Anyhow, we spend the day anchored off the island, reading, swimming and stopping off for lunch and drink at the Island Marina.
We just have a ball. I never would have guess my sailor wife would just take to the powerboat. It is her preference by far now.
On weekends that I’m not racing and training, I have offered to be a safety / support boat at various regattas and for various sailor friends of mine that need a hand. This gives me an opportunity to give back. When I retire, I plan to help at regattas that need support / safety boats. I will get lunch, possibly a dinner, meet great Race committee, watch the sailing and get out on the water.
What is funny, many sailing clubs do not allow centre console powerboats boats to join the clubs and have a dock. I currently have to seek annual Board approval to keep my boat the at EYC. Sailing clubs don’t want speed boats or fishing boats to mix with them.
Well I’m neither fisherman or speedboat. I found out that Mimico and a few other have the same policy. To keep my boat at EYC, I have to keep it on the trailer and not use a dock at any time. I’m ok with that as I prefer to leave it parked on the trailer vs getting bottom scum. I’m ok to get a bit wet launching my boat as well…that the beach sailor coming out of me.
Other senior members that own a 8M and have a similar Centre console powerboat, that want a dock, are rejected by the board. Explanation provided is the “Culture” of the clubis not powerboating.
Sounds funny and a bit discriminating to me but that is fine I guess.
I guess we should not jump to conclusions that Powerboats and Sailboats don’t mix. Club policy may not allow them to mix but that is another issue. I’m very active with sailing but find having a trainer / support boat very advantageous. Some sailing clubs get it, others don’t.
EYC Member – 29 years
Water Rats Member – 5 years
Hobie Tiger F18 – Canadian Champion 2016
Hobie 17 – Multiple North American Champion, 2nd Place US Sailing Alter Cup
Hobie 16 – Canadian Pan Am Athlete – 2015, 2011
Hobie 14 – Multiple North American Champion
I think the real situation is quite a bit more complicated than it first appears.
There is a strong sailing community in Halifax but occasionally we are shocked when a long-time sailor gives up sailing and moves into a power vessel.
I think as the sailing population ages we will see more conversions from sailing to power unless something unusual occurs to slow this change like large increases in the price of fuel, etc.
Also catamarans are starting to make inroads in the cruising markets. They offer many of the creature comforts that come with large power cruisers and do not heel when under sail. A good thing for aging knees and hips.
Several power cruising couples I know have told me they switched to power to reduce the workload of maintaining a boat.
Also, I believe that there may be two types of boaters, those that are all about the voyage and those that are all about the destination. If you are about the voyage you don’t mind mooching along at six or seven knots under sail. If you can’t wait to get there it is very likely that you prefer power vessels.
I enjoy both. I teach and examine for the RYA in both disciplines. One observation I would make based on my time with the coast guard and teaching is that many boaters both sail and power go out on the water ill prepared for their voyage. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone was born in a dory in Nova Scotia.
RYA Yachtmaster Oceans, Instructor Trainer & Examiner
Principal, In Slocums Wake Yacht Training Ltd.