Commodore’s Comments

By Ralph Drake

I hope everyone had a fruitful winter and that you are looking forward to starting a new sailing season. The target date for docks-in is April 11th Saturday April 25th at 9am, and docks-out will occur on October 17th. The extreme cold winter has caused a lot of ice to form on the Outer Harbour this year, but we remain optimistic that the winter will not delay getting the docks in the water and starting our events.

The OHCC facility improvement program continued throughout the off-season. All washroom fixtures and faucets have been replaced with ultra-low water consumption fittings. We have also installed an independent water supply and added a large sanitary waste holding tank c/w high level alarm. Our washrooms should be cleaner and more reliable with these modifications.

The new online registration system has been a great success. The OHCC Executive on-line registration sub-committee worked diligently throughout the fall/winter together with Jeggysoft Inc. (software partner) to develop custom software.

The results will be more efficient registration, less chance of member information error, less time required by Executive Directors & Treasurer to administer, and improved communication with members.

This year we will get our facility in shipshape condition through the member’s online registration program. Every member that accepted to volunteer must complete a minimum of 8 hours of volunteer work before docks-out. After docks-out (Oct 17, 2015), we will bill members for the uncompleted portion at a rate of $25 per hour, up to a $200 maximum. Chris Hutny and the volunteer supervisors will be available on the morning of docks-in to answer any questions.

The weekend of May 9th & 10th has been scheduled for facility repair and improvements and to reconfigure our yard for summer dry-sail lots. Many volunteers are needed to get the clubhouse, grounds and committee boats ready for the season. Work crews will start at 9am and continue to 3 pm each day. We hope that all work will be completed over this weekend, ensuring that all of us can fully enjoy the season of sailing. Please sign up at docks-in (April 12 25) to participate on May 9th or 10th. FYI – the TMCC (multi-hull) boats will also be launched on Saturday May 9th.

To volunteer for these work events, please sign up online at Log-in to your account, select the “Volunteer” tab, type the event name in the “Job Title or Keyword” box, and click the search button (bottom right of your screen).
– For the facility repairs on May 9th type, “ohcc facility repairs & improvements”
– For reconfiguring the yard on May 10th, type “reconfigure the ohcc yard for summer storage”
You can select other tasks from the “Volunteer” tab.

The Outer Harbour Sailing Federation will offer a Water Sport Day Camp for youth aged 7 to 18 years. Teaching sailing, windsurfing and rowing, it will run weekly during July and August.

Sailing Fanatics, through a partnership with OHCC, will also provide a unique method of coaching and training at our club. Available all season, from May to September, it will provide a complete adult sailing program from beginner to a high performance sailor. This learn-to-sail program will benefit the sport, community, OHCC and the north shore clubs.

OHCC has also partnered with Ontario Sailing, Fogh Marine and Sailing Fanatics to give the public an opportunity to experience sailing a dingy sailboat. The “Try Sailing For Free” event will be held at OHCC on June 21st, 2015 from 11am to 3pm. Go to or contact Tom Winskell if you would like to helm a boat or help with this event. Over 60 people were introduced to on-water sailing last year.

Tom Winskell has been appointed the new OHCC webmaster. Matthew Burpee will work with Tom on website improvements and will be responsible for the club’s social media sites. Special thanks to JJ Hall for maintaining our website for the last few years.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Docks-In on Saturday the 11th 25th of April at 9:00 am. The Wine and Cheese/Spring General Meeting event is scheduled on April 18th 25th at 7:00 pm. All prospective new members are welcome to attend.

We have put together a great program for the year 2015 and look forward to another enjoyable sailing season on the great waters of the Outer Harbour.

The 2015 Season by the Numbers
38 Club races on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
6 OHCC-hosted Canadian Albacore Association races
4 Regattas – OHCC, Albacore Open, RS Regatta, & 505/Contender
5 OHCC weekend sailing events – Ice Breaker Race, Bell Buoy Tune-Up Race, Back To School Regatta and Bart’s Bash
2 Seminars – OHCC motorboats demo and Assistant Race Officer course
2 Thursday On-the-Water coaching sessions

Contributions for the next issue are very welcome. The deadline is June 15, 2015. Please send articles and photos to

See more articles in the April 2015 Flotilla Newsletter or learn more about Flotilla. Sign up to the OHCC Mailing List for ongoing news, events and articles.

From the Yardmaster

By Peter Benison

Spring is in the air. (Editor’s Note: Although it may not look like it from the pictures below, taken recently by Ralph Drake!). With that comes Docks In.

Spring snow on boatsSnow on club deck

What better time to review what the Club’s expectations are for boat owners?

For insect control, it is mandatory that grass be cut short around your boat and that your craft is properly covered to prevent water collecting. (West Nile Virus was identified in Toronto last summer.) Boats must be seaworthy and insured. Extra insurance might be required for those who race.

Please make a trip to the club BEFORE docks in to put on your 2015 membership stickers. There are over 150 boats in the yard. If stickers aren’t in place (and tires on your dolly not properly inflated), it will take the volunteers a lot of extra time to determine where your boat belongs and move it. Better still, why not come down and move your own boat to its proper place during yard configuration?

Masts stored in the rack must have the spreaders removed, be securely tied in and be properly identified. (Even if you’ve marked your mast previously, permanent markers wear off and fade quickly.) Those masts not in compliance will be removed and stacked behind the clubhouse. All masts need to be removed this summer anyway as there is maintenance planned for the rack.

It should be noted that the maintenance of your own area is in addition to the volunteer hours required to keep the club running at minimal cost. Note: there is an “in lieu of” fee for those not able to fulfill the required volunteer hours. We are also considering student lawn cutters, for an extra charge, if you would like to have the grass cut in your own space; let me know in advance of the season.
All the volunteers appreciate your help on these small items to keep the yard ‘shipshape’. Let’s all have a great time at the club this summer!

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Membership Registration

By Katy Molyneux

We’re pleased to report that our online registration has been a great success with lots of positive feedback. Congratulations to all the club members who have registered – we’re moving forward!!

Alert! To delinquent members who have not completed their online membership renewal: please do so immediately, or contact me by email or phone stating your intent. Members who do not pay their fees promptly run the risk of eviction.

I may be contacted at or 416-487-9572.

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Giving Our Club a Welcoming Face

By Tom Winskell

I wanted to write an article to explain to everyone who reads Flotilla why our club website is so crucial. The club has grown and flourished for 40 years without a website. So, why are we putting any effort into social media and the web? Is it really necessary?

To start, not a reason but a coincidence. I was listening to BBC Radio 2 just the other day. They were discussing the question; ‘should an organization have a website?’ At OHCC, we’re past this debate. We’ve already designed and published a website. Now we have to ask what that website can do for the club or even what it might do for sailing in Canada.

Sailing is in decline in Canada and across the world. I think this should inform our thinking and give us perspective when we talk about any club issue. The decline of our sport is well documented by a number of blogs, websites, and associations: just spend some time on, a website devoted to the issues that surround the decline of sailing.

Ireland and the USA have taken initiatives to reverse this decline. Ontario Sailing is making huge efforts to do the same with their ‘Get Out On The Water’ initiative. National and Provincial leadership is important but means nothing unless we recognize the problem at a club level and follow their lead.

And why should you be part of the fight to combat the decline of sailing? There are many reasons. For me, it’s all about the reason I got hooked on sailing: the club atmosphere, the community, and the racing. That’s probably the main reasons why we all keep coming back for more. A club needs a continual supply of new members to develop into sailors that want to race against you! They provide you with a challenge on the start line, interesting conversation on the deck, and a community to be part of.

How does a website help? Why does a website help? A website is part of the face of our club. Our physical club is part of that face as well. Inside the club there are other elements that must work to encourage members into the club and crucially keep them coming back for more. One of these elements is the amazing Tuesday night feasts, a showcase of what OHCC is about.

The OHCC website is a showcase of our club as well. It’s the face that everyone sees first. Whether we like it or not, young and old, the internet is a central part in our lives. The internet informs our views, helps us make decisions, and allows us to communicate. In order to be able to show people what’s inside our club, we have to get them through the door. The website will bring people to our door and get them inside if we invest our time in making it great. We need to communicate our strengths, leave a lasting impression, keep it current, and make it a priority.

A website should not be a one-man job. I see the job of the webmaster as one of co-ordinating and managing. The content has to come from the experts, from those at the front line of what we do at the club. Without this content, without the details and photographs (people love photographs!) of the many events, gatherings, projects and initiatives, we fall short of showing potential members what OHCC is all about. My message is that the contributions that you as members make, and only you as members can make, will bring new members to our club and new people into sailing.

I’m asking that everyone looks for an opportunity to create and bring content to the website. If you are on a powerboat on a Tuesday night, take a camera. Race officers or participants in a regatta, can write short articles. Just want to contribute? Why not use your wealth of experience to write something for the website about what to wear when you go sailing, what it’s like to be a member at OHCC, or how racing works. These are the kind of things that make our website unique and leave a lasting impression.

I hope that I have stirred something in everyone. OHCC is a fantastic club with brilliant members. People deserve to know all about us and what we do! If you have any questions or want to talk about an idea then you can e-mail me at any time at

The April 2015 Flotilla Newsletter is also available as a PDF. Learn more about the Flotilla Newsletter.

OHSF Water Sport Camp

By Alan Hall

The Outer Harbour Sailing Federation (OHSF) offers rowing, sailing and windsurfing lessons for children aged 7-17 from June 29th to August 21st, 2015. OHCC invites you to review the different combinations of the three sports at Please tell your friends and neighbours that they can register online Bookings are going fast!

Federation clubs fund the program so that we can offer up to 50% of our daily capacity of 40 spots over 8 weeks at no charge to children in the City of Toronto. In addition to financial support, OHCC supplies Optis, use of its clubhouse and winter storage for the junior sailing fleet. OHCC members enhance this participation through individual donations and contribute many hours to maintenance of the sailing fleet, running the TryIT Open House on June 7th and participation in the management committee that oversees camp logistics, marketing, and management of instructors.

Free programming is available to families through our partners such as the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, Native Child Family Services, Pathways, and West Scarborough Community Centre. They send us groups of 20 kids per week for sailing, rowing and windsurfing in July and August. Our program makes it possible for children to safely experience amazing water sports on Lake Ontario.

We offer a unique full day program where kids can choose a single sport or combine sailing with rowing, windsurfing, or soccer in two half day combinations. Volunteers from our 8 Federation not-for-profit clubs organize the camp and provide full- and part-time summer jobs to 7 qualified instructors in the Port Lands. Last summer, we taught 382 lessons, teaching children to row, sail and windsurf. Of these lessons, 147 were provided free.

Please feel free to pass on the word about the program. We strive to provide a youth-focused program built on the community spirit of OHSF member clubs. Our objective is to provide Toronto’s youth with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge leading to a life-long enjoyment of our sports. Certified instructors teach skills while building teamwork, friendships, confidence and self-esteem.

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