News, Projects, Tips & In Memoriam

FYC Open House 2024

Members of the Public are invited to the Annual FYC Open House Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Click Here for more information.

FYC on the RADIO & YouTube!

Click Here to listen to a CBC Radio Morning Segment with reporter Kate Dubinsky about Fanshawe Yacht Club. Kate interviews Commodore Stacey and Past Commodore Bonita as they explain about sailing in London, the Open House and more.

Click Here to read the article online.  This article also includes a wonderful video interview shot that same day with Commodore Stacey, Past Commodore Bonita and Club Steward Bob by Kate Dubinsky.

Updated May 21, 2024

Commodore's Sail Past & Reception Kicks Off the Sailing Season!

Updated May 21, 2024

On Saturday, May 18, Members of Fanshawe Yacht Club formed a parade of sailboats to sail past and salute Commodore Stacey.  Several Honourary Members also joined the parade on the new barge surprising Commodore Stacey and First Gentleman John.  It was a perfect afternoon to kick off the sailing season with sun, warm temperatures and gentle breezes.

Once the boats were back on their moorings or on their trailers, the sailors headed up to Doug MacKenzie Hall to meet this year’s Executive and wish them well. Then everyone filed into the clubhouse enjoy the Commodore’s Reception.  This year’s theme was High Tea at FYC.  The Social Committee decorated the Hall beautifully with spring flowers.  Delicious little sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a variety of sweet treats were presented on fine china.  Tea was served in china cups and saucers…just as the Commodore wished. 

The Member of the Year Award for the previous year is traditionally presented at this event.  The Members of the Year for 2023 are Renata and Franz Lohmann (with a great shout out to their kids).  Beside Renata’s formal FYC Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Roles, this couple quietly take on jobs around the club to help ensure that all runs smoothly.  Congratulations and well-deserved Renata and Franz!

The Slideshow below features photos by A. Lesmeister and C. Hone.

Recent News: May 11, 2024

  1.  FYC Facilities are ready
  2.  New Work Barge
  3.  FYC Kitchen has a Dishwasher
  4. Kiwanis Club Youth Regatta Support
  5. Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Application

FYC Facilities are now ready for the 2024 sailing season:  All of the moorings have been set in the mooring field; the tires and carpet line the main dock the floating docks and sailing school docks are in at the south end of the club; the race markers are in around the Lake; and Doug MacKenzie Hall is clean, tidy and ready host our many members and lessees.  Many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with the Spring Work Parties. Extra shout outs to Bob M for fixing up more picnic tables and to the Lohmann family for helping to clear debris off the launch ramps several times after the lake levels rose! 

  • Now the Grounds and Facilities at Fanshawe Yacht Club are ready for our members and lessees to enjoy at upcoming events such as the Commodore’s Sail Past & Reception May 18, and for the Public to visit during Open House May 25 & 26. (see article below)

New Work Barge:

In 2023, the FYC Board of Directors approved the purchase of a new barge.  The previous steel-hulled pontoon barge, the “Elmer C Searle” was at the end of its life, having been first commissioned in 1986!

Jim MacKenzie volunteered to find a new barge and was successful.  The new barge is a converted aluminum-hulled pontoon boat. It will be used as a work platform for installation, and removal of the mooring field at the beginning and end of each sailing season.  It will also be used for periodic maintenance of the moorings (lift, inspect, repair mooring weights and/or chains & kellets if necessary).  Finally, the new barge will be used as the Race Committee boat for major regattas. 

Our thanks to Ken S. (former Y-Flyer sailor) for the generous donation of a trailer which Jim converted for the barge.

FYC Kitchen has a Dishwasher:  As part of FYC’s  Green  initiatives, a dishwasher has been installed in the kitchen in Doug MacKenzie Hall.  Thanks to Mike T for installing the dishwasher.

Kiwanis Club Youth Regatta Support:  Late this winter, the Kiwanis Club donated some funds to support a Youth sailing event later this summer called an Un-Regatta. A non-traditional regatta, this event would find young sailors competing in fun events that are not the normal “around the buoys” races. Youth sailors from all around Ontario will be invited to this regatta.  Many thanks to the Kiwanis Club of London & Middlesex for their support.  See article below.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Application:  Finally, at the end of winter, FYC applied for a Capital Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  This grant will fund repairs on the North section of the Main Dock.  The main dock is a vital staple of FYC for all users of the club, and was first built along the shore in 1966.  Fingers crossed that FYC receives this grant!

Thrills & Skills Kiwanis Cup Youth "Un-Regatta"!

February 19, 2024

There’s a new youth regatta starting being launched this August, and it’s happening at Fanshawe Yacht Club. 

On Saturday, August 10, 2024, we’ll be hosting the Thrills and Skills, Kiwanis Cup Youth Un-Regatta.

This all started back in August, 2023, when FYC member Tim M approached the sailing school and said that the London Middlesex Kiwanis Club may have funds available to donate. He said that they especially like supporting events that involve children. He suggested that perhaps this could be an opportunity for the sailing school to get some outsider funding to support some of our programs.
After a couple of Sailing School meetings, and a meeting with Tim, we put together a list of some of our needs, and goals. This included, covering bus costs, new gangway for the school docks, a ceiling mounted projector, instructor training, and possibly starting a new youth regatta. We couldn’t decide which item was more important and which the Kiwanis would be interested in. So we decided to present them with our list of needs, and let them choose where they would like to direct their donation. That is assuming we even get their support.
The Kiwanis have a board meeting once a month, and they invited the Sailing School to make a presentation at one of their meetings. So, on Nov 2nd, I visited the Kiwanis Seniors Community Centre located at the corner of Riverside and Wharncliffe, to present a list of six proposals to the Kiwanis board of directors. During the presentation, the Kiwanis learned about the entire Fanshawe Yacht Club and how the sailing school was just one part of the club. Several slides showed the beautiful grounds and buildings like the Doug MacKenzie Hall and the Sailing School building. Of course there were a lot of photos of boats, big and small, on Fanshawe Lake.
The group seemed very impressed. And we found out later that there were several former sailors, who were part of the Kiwanis Board of Directors. So, we were pretty hopeful.  One month later, during their December meeting, the Kiwanis Board of Directors discussed our proposals, and voted to support the creation of a new youth regatta. During our proposal we had budgeted $1300 to start this regatta. They approved to provide a grant for the whole amount. However, they ask that we provide more details in the future.
Wow! That was great news for us, but it also meant that from this point on, the Sailing School would have to begin planning to run a regatta. The first step was putting together an idea of what this regatta could look like.
On Jan 10, we had a meeting with Cam L from Ontario Sailing. We told him about our idea of creating a regatta for younger kids, mostly in the CanSail 3-4 group. Essentially for kids who may be too intimidated to go to Cork, or other larger regattas. And we also wanted to incorporate an educational element.
Cam was impressed with our goals, but he suggested that we avoid trying to be like other regattas. That’s when he suggested the “un-regatta” format. This type of event meant that the focus could be more on fun, and team building. We had never heard of an un-regatta, so he sent us some links to some online videos. When we learned what they were all about, we were hooked.
An un-regatta does not have the usual windward, leeward race format. Instead, it consists of activities which force the sailors to put their sailing skills to use in unusual, sometimes silly races. For example, they may race backwards, sail through an obstacle course or play a form of frisbee golf on the water. There will also be land activities like knot tying races, and contests to see who can rig a boat the fastest. All the young sailors would be part of a team, so no one single sailor wins a race. Everything is a team effort.
On Jan 10, 2024, we pitched the idea to the president of the Kiwanis Club, Carol T, along with a few other board members. They loved the idea! On top of that, they also wanted to help us out with more fund raising, and to help by providing more volunteers.
On Feb 14, 2024, during one of monthly FYC social dinners, several Kiwanis members were invited, and at the Fireside Grill, they presented the Fanshawe Yacht Club with a cheque for $1300.00.
There’s no turning back now!
We’ve sent emails to various club and sailing schools in Southwestern Ontario. So far, we’ve heard back from five, who all said that they love the idea and hopefully we will be seeing some sailors from their clubs.
Gilles Sweet-Boulay
Sailing School Director (2024)
Fanshawe Yacht Club and Sailing School
*to contact the Sailing School, please use the Contact FYC form and select Sailing School as the message recipient
Photos below of the cheque presentation to FYC by Members of the Kiwanis Club at the Fireside Grill. (photos by J. Kabel or T. Mayo)

Main Dock & Shoreline Project – An Ongoing Analysis for the Future

Updated Feb. 18, 2024

The FYC Main Dock, which follows the shoreline along the protected harbour for 152.4m (500′), was constructed in 1966.  It forms the edge of the harbour where many of the club’s larger sailboats are moored. It has a 1.8m wide (6′) wide asphalt surface with a steel sheet pile wall down into the water. It is key to helping prevent shoreline erosion.

The main dock lines the woods along the protected harbour and is where sailors tow their boats in from their moorings in the harbour or dock their boats during sailing events such as regattas or fun days for visitors.  During the sailing season, car tires and carpet remnants are hung along the wall to protect boats as they dock.  Most importantly, it provides a level place for our members and many visitors to safely traverse the shoreline from the launch ramp at the south end to the stairs up to the Doug MacKenzie Hall clubhouse at the north end.

Over the years, the dock has required some repairs. The information below catalogues the current and ongoing repairs needed in order for the main dock to exist for sailors for another 50 years! 

Further Update: February 2024

A committee was struck the Fall of 2023 to further advance the dock wall project for which various preparations had been made in prior years. FYC members guiding the project are Andy T, Rick G, John K, and Peter W.
In the Fall of 2023 FYC hired engineering consultant Spriet Associates through a competitive process  to undertake surveys, geotechnical investigations, design, and tendering of the previously recommended wall repairs.  The project focus is on repairing the wall at the foot of the stairs at the north end of the dock, close by the dragon boat docks, and at the south end of the wall between the launch ramp and a previously repaired section. The project addresses the priority areas for repair noted in the various reports to the membership in prior years. In addition the project investigated repairs to the launch ramp to even the grades, improve the range of ramp use for depths, provide a safer outboard edge, and provide a level area for person transfers to kayaks for AIM (Abilities in Motion).
Request for bids for construction were released in February 2024 and when received later in the month will assist FYC in making an application to the Ontario Trillium Fund (OTF) Capital Program for a financial grant  to undertake the project. It is hoped bids are favourable for all the work to be done under the grant if approved beginning as early as October 2024. If the grant is limited, work will focus on priorities and the most feasible aspects of the overall project that could be undertaken.

Click the links below to learn more about this project or members can contact Rick G for more info on his committee’s findings and recommendations.


"Sail Nova Scotia Prepping for SailGP" - Article from Sailing in Canada Magazine

February 15, 2024

Sailing in Canada magazine has just published an article on the preparations in Nova Scotia for the 2024 Halifax SailGP.  Click Here to read the article about the first of its kind high speed, action-packed sailing Grand Prix in Canada.

Canada SailGP Team helmed by Phil Robertson leads from ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team helmed by interim driver Nathan Outteridge and Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Giles Scott and the rest of the fleet on Race Day 1 of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 13th January 2024. Photo: Simon Bruty for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP.

Green Boating in 2024

The Green Boating Guide is an excellent resource for those on, in, or around water to understand how your actions can affect our water systems now, and in the future.

For more links to further reading, guides, education, online magazines and other excellent resources for sailors and boaters, please check out the External Links tab at the bottom of the FYC website

Trailer Towing Tips

April 24, 2023

Check out the videos in the links below which demonstrate trailer towing tips to help keep you, your family, whatever you are towing, and others on the road safe!

Dangers of Improper Tongue Weight!

Tongue Weight Safety Demonstration

Towing Mistakes

The Tongue Weight of a Trailer Should be What Percent of the Total ...


If you have any further Tips for us, please Contact the Website Coordinator using the drop down arrow on our contact form.