MENU Member Login
On the waterfront in Downtown Toronto since 1894 From novice to old salt, there is a place for everyone at National Yacht Club.
Commodore's Comments: June 2012
June 26th, 2012 @ 07:54 AM EST by admin

Commodore’s Comments

This issue, I thought that I’d like to provide the story behind our wonderful workshop as it is important that we do not forget our colourful history.

Just after the Club was relocated to our present location ( early 90’s)  the need for a workshop was an idea in Al Ramsey’s head and he soon got to work on the project with the help of Bill Mills and a number of volunteers without any monetary commitment from the Club. Some of our newer members will not have witnessed the structure which was created with materials donated and scrounged. Looking somewhat quaint in nature from the outback, it served the membership until the building became unsafe and inhabited by raccoons and termites.

A charming picture of Al and Bill was rescued from an obscure storage location and it now hangs proudly at the entrance of the Chartroom.

The footprint was a little smaller the equipment was sparse but we made due. At times it was a chaotic mess but boats had to be modified and repaired in a hurry, we are sailors, and the season on the water is short. One brought down their supplies and fasteners, everyone respected other member’s personal items that may have been left there, and we all worked merrily away on our projects.

By 2007, the need for a brand new shop was now in the minds of many members and a committee was struck to create a new workshop. The volunteer appetite to build from scratch with member sweat equity was slim and a design process was soon on the way. Chairs George Warren and Red Warren guided the interested parties during the decision process. A member that has since moved on to another club visualized a colonial type of building because we wanted to improve our image in east end of the yard. At that same time we had embarked on the search for a storage building, and the Quonset hut became a reality. I was on the committee and worked on plans. Some were leaning towards a metal building for a workshop however others not being convinced moved the direction towards a prefab wooden structure with large windows to rest the eyes and provide ventilation, and here we are today with a wonderful shop to work in.

The Club financed the purchase of the structure and the Workshop Committee promised to pay back the expenditure. The shop key rental charge came from the original shop and the decision was to carry on with that practice to raise money. We were fortunate to inherit a number of tools and equipment and soon our inventory became impressive. I brought in tools from various film productions and things looked incredibly promising. Alas, it soon became apparent that the shop was now a feeding ground for members who looked for items that could help in a pinch as they needed a quick fix on their projects, and I do want to say pinch as we experienced an increased shrinkage of supplies. From the 80 clamps I donated we have only 10 left. Acetone, West system epoxy, rags and plastic containers are all much desired and have been removed without replacing the items. In addition folks mishandling the equipment is hard on the inventory and I have been trying for one and half years to obtain a replacement part for the circular saw fence. We may have to buy an entirely new part for approximately $350.00

I want to give credit to Brian McKay and John Waddell and various helpers who provided materials and worked to insulate the walls, install various electrical outlets and have through their efforts enabled Members to work on projects during the winter months. The ceiling insulation will be carried out in the near future at the point when the arranged finances are in place.

Finally, where did the tongue and cheek “safety/girls of fiberglass” poster go that Vicki Piersig created and was urged to print and hang for the amusement of many? That message was to remind us to think of safety as we go about our projects. It was a personal contribution. Please return the photograph or at least let us know what happened to it.

The good news of course is that Keith Morley took on the responsibility to chair the new shop committee, the Board of Directors has approved cancellation of the shop key fees and the Shop Fund has now been closed.  This now gives all members access and use of the shop. Well done, Keith!