If you live in London, Ontario, you have two predominant options for where to keep your sailboat: at one of the Great Lakes, or at London's Fanshawe Yacht Club (FYC).
In this part of Canada, we have approximately 20 to 22 weeks a year for sailing (May through September). Driving to one of the Great Lakes will take you at least an hour, which rules out any sailing on weekday evenings. This will leave you with 20 to 22 weekends for sailing.
Of those weekends, you will lose half because of too much wind or not enough wind. Now you are down to either 10 or 11 weekends, and you will quite possibly lose another three to four to other commitments. This sailing stuff may start to sound like a hassle for only six to eight weekends of good sailing a year.
I have a friend who owns a 35 foot sailboat at a yacht club on Lake Huron. One year, after attempting to get out on the water on four separate weekends, we only ever enjoyed one good sail. On the first attempt, there was no wind - we motored out and floated for a while. On two of the other attempts, we could not get the boat out of the harbour due to the strong wind and waves.
Fanshawe Yacht Club on London's Fanshawe Lake IS close enough for evening sailing. Now you have a full 20 to 22 weeks to sail again. The largest waves you will see, if the wind is strong from the north, are no more than two feet high. This means you have the option sail in strong conditions, provided you are skilled enough.
The environment at FYC is friendly and welcoming. Our members are always willing to lend a hand, or their expertise, to help you help have the best sailing experience. We even have a certified Sailing School where adults and youth can learn the sport.
The club grounds at FYC are exceptional. It's a excellent place for family outings. Have you ever seen the crowds in Springbank Park on summer weekends? How about a quiet place for family picnics and sailing without much hassle - that's typical for FYC every day.
Sure, our club has some negative points. Some years, depending on the combination of rain and long, hot, summer weather, the water quality could be better, but most years, it's not a problem.
Yes, we ask our members to volunteer some time towards club work, such as helping to open the club in the spring, or close for the season in the fall. However, these events rarely feel like work as they have also become social gatherings, where you can get to know fellow sailors and exchange sailing stories. Volunteering is also one of the ways we keep our membership fees low.
Whether you're a racer, cruiser, or just getting into sailing, consider Fanshawe Yacht Club as your home port.