Club History

The Hamilton Bay Sailing Club was originally called “The Hamilton-Burlington ‘Y’ Sailing Club and was founded in 1969. The Club was initially planned to start as a Centennial Project in 1967. However, it wasn’t until 1969 when a Steering Committee was actually formed consisting of John Ryan, Bill Edwards and Al Cummings. It was this group that came up with the final concept of a sailing club that all could afford. Various clubs were contacted in the Toronto Area to see how they operated and The Hamilton-Burlington ‘Y’ Sailing Club was subsequently patterned after those clubs.

The Steering Committee solicited financial support from people who were interested in joining the Club. The Hamilton YMCA was contacted initially as a liaison, to assist with financial support as required and to provide meeting rooms. Al Knox, the Director of Camping at that time, became the Club’s first ‘Y’ liaison. In the early years all club members had to be members of the “YMCA” in Hamilton or Burlington.

On April 23, 1970 the Steering Committee and fourteen interested individuals met with the ‘Y’ to discuss the final concept and operation of the Club. The Club originally leased two Whitby Albacores from Grampion Marine Ltd. in Oakville at a cost of $400 per boat. These boats were launched by Club Members on May 30th, 1970 when the Club first “got on the water”. The boats were sailed to Hamilton to the Club’s new home – the B & M Marina – where the Club rented dockage. Two additional Whitby Albacores were purchased by the Club during the second year.

In 1975 the Club entered into a lease with the Hamilton Harbour Commission and moved its location to the east side of the Macassa Bay Inlet. A trailer and johny-on-the-spot were rented. Docks were built by Club Members.

On December 2nd, 1988 the Club became incorporated and was called the Hamilton Bay Sailing Club.

In 1992 the Hamilton Waterfront was developed and the Club entered into a lease with the City of Hamilton. We moved our location to the lower level of the Historic Gartshore Thompson Building. Our “new digs” are certainly a far cry from those early days.

The Hamilton Bay Sailing Club celebrated its colourful past on June 4th, 1994 with an Open House/Reunion at the Club’s beautiful new facility. The Club’s first Commodore, Norman Yeates, along with ten previous commodores and fellow members participated in celebrating the Club’s Silver Anniversary. Robert M. Morrow, Mayor of the City of Hamilton proclaimed the week of July 17-23, 1994 to be ‘HAMILTON BAY SAILING CLUB WEEK’.