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Heritage Harbour Classic 2

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Last Sunday was the second annual Heritage Harbour Classic sailing race – 8 boats from our harbour took part, and the light winds proved to be quite a challenge!  Half the fleet made two rounds of the course, with ERN taking the honours, followed by last year’s winner, Winsome III, with Button Swan hot on her tail!  Ragna also made it round twice.

02-HHC Boats

The fleet was increased from last year’s 5 participants, and it was great to have a mix of boats – Oarlock & Sail’s two 12’ers, Ragna and Button Swan, the mid-size boats Odin, Sylvester, and Adios, a lovely Nordic Folkboat new to Heritage Harbour this summer.  The big boats were ERN, Winsome III, and Moonbeam.


Off the start, Ragna took an early lead, but once Button Swan got underway in the light air, the race was on!

After a 5 minute head start, the 3 midsize boats took chase.

And after another 20 minutes or so, the big boats were set loose.


The light wind proved ideal for Button Swan, who was first around the opening lap of the course, and was far in the lead as she rounded the red buoy!  However, the breeze picked up slightly for the next lap, and ERN and Winsome III took advantage of that, overtaking the little boat handily on the upwind leg, despite her best attempts at fighting them off.


The home stretch was easily won by ERN, but it was a close race between 2nd and 3rd place, as the wind died off again, letting Button Swan get very close to catching Winsome III as they crossed the line.

It was great fun to be out on the water with this bunch of boats, meeting the challenge of light wind and strong current, spurring each other on in friendly competition!

The BBQ on the dock afterward was much enjoyed by the sailors, spectators, and friends from the Maritime Museum, False Creek Ferries, and the False Creek e-Tours!  Thanks to Bourton and his lovely tug boat Ella McKenzie for keeping the racers company on the water, and giving some spectators a close-up view of the event – and apparently, the snacks and refreshments were a big hit.  Thanks also to Joost, Bourton, Valerie, and others who provided photos – much appreciated.  And HUGE thanks to Sheila and Bruce for organizing the event and providing and cooking the salmon and veggie burgers and toppings!  The day was a great success, and a whole lot of fun!



OLAS sailing trio

On Saturday, we had a great time out on English Bay, with two of Oarlock and Sail’s boats, Button Swan and Ragna, and with Arnt on his boat, Odin.  The wind was sweet and steady, the sun nice and warm, and it made for a wonderful time!

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Thanks to Tom for the shots of Button Swan under sail:

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It was such great fun on such gorgeous boats!

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2018 Granville Island Wooden Boat Festival

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We enjoyed a great weekend at the festival this year – not so lovely weather-wise some of the time, but we had a lot of visitors at our tent, and many admirers of our gorgeous new boat!


On Saturday, we hosted the return of the Dinghy Rowing Races – due to the weather, the turnout was less than we had hoped, but the hot action of the 4 boats, and the enthusiastic crowd of spectators made up for it!  Special thanks to Gerry Stensgaard for his officiating.

The races were not without some controversy though – a late change involved the doubling up of power on Ragna – with the expected result of trouncing the competition.  Some thought it would be more fair if that boat had to make one round of the buoys for each person rowing, but with the foul weather, nobody wanted to wait around for the extra couple of minutes.

We ended up doing two regular races, changing out the rowers for the second race, and then had a third race with the rower blindfolded, and a seeing guide in the boat providing instructions.  Some instructors were more successful than others, getting their directions through to the rower.  The best surprise success was the 4-yr-old giving his Dad guidance – and coming in 2nd place!

But the winners of that race had a clear advantage of the oarsman having rowed many miles in the Vogler, and demonstrated that he can in fact row that boat with his eyes closed!  The races were a lot of fun, and we hope to drum up more interest, more participants, and much better weather for next year!


One of our neighbours on display in the Market Square was this sweet handliner – a local boat, an excellent rower, suitable for English Bay waters, and carvel planked – perhaps Oarlock & Sail’s next new build?  We shall see.

Huge thanks to Georgina for her work in rallying the troops and leading the team in organizing everything – we love to participate in the festival, and it’s always a challenge fitting in time near the end of summer, but we had a great time!

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Boat Show Setup

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Yesterday we brought 3 of our boats over to Granville Island for the Wooden Boat Festival.  Ragna and Vogler were lifted up and over the dock, to rest in their regular sheltered spot.  We brought the Button Swan up into the Market Square, next to our tent – but it wasn’t quite that simple!  The ramp at the west end of the island didn’t turn out to be as wide as we’d thought, and so after a bit of head-scratching and talking to the organizers, we were given a spot in the water, along with the bigger boats (photo below is a temporary mooring while looking for a spot).  That didn’t sit comfortably with us, and so we scouted a spot to take her out of the water, first on Google Maps, and then checking it out in person.  We found a spot on the other side of the island, in Alder Bay (where we’ll be hosting the dinghy races on Saturday!).  After un-stepping the mast to take it under the walkway, we were able to drag it up the beach on the dolly, and paraded along the streets to the square, MUCH to our relief!  And she looks mighty fine there!

Last week, Dale was busy scrubbing Vogler’s bottom, and giving her a fresh coat of paint – she’s sure to win the rowing race now!

Hope to see you at the show!  The racing is Saturday August 25th at 11:00.


Work on the Robert Allan began a couple of weeks ago with removal of the sacrificial keel and some of the centerboard fastenings.  Last Saturday, scraping of the interior got underway, in preparation for refinishing.  We found the stern knee was badly delaminated, so a new one of black locust will replace it.  The centerboard trunk was removed and examined, and will be remade.

We’ve received a couple of updates from the family who bought the Sam Mac, and they’ve been busy repairing her.  Thanks for the photos, Kirby!

And, remaining work on the Button Swan has been mapped out.

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One of those items includes the word “repair” – yes, even a new boat needs some remedial work sometimes.  One of the laminations of the deck didn’t hold, and we found a split joint.  Some epoxy and screws should take care of that, and we thought of adding knees underneath for added support, in case the split was stress-induced.  All part of the break-in period!

Button Swan sails! (and how!!)

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A couple of photos sent in by another sailor (thanks Ron!):

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve been chipping away at finishing up the Button Swan’s sailing rig.  The jib sail has been made by Bob, Nick, and Louise, and Bob did some finishing touches on Saturday.  We had a great day of working out the last of the rigging questions that we’d had, and got the boat set up with both sails!  And boy, does she look fine, and sail wonderfully!!

After a bit of a shake-down sail, we came back to the dock for some adjustments, and went back out for another test.  There are still some finishing touches left to complete, but we feel we’ve got the system set up pretty nicely now.

This boat really moves!  We had perfect conditions for testing her, a nice steady breeze and flat water, and were hugely impressed with her speed!  She has no problem beating to windward, her long keel doing a great job of keeping her tracking, and when tacking, the jib does its job splendidly, pushing the bow around through the wind – tacking was quick and easy.  She is a bit tender, and we’re curious to see what she’ll be like in heavier winds, but we do have two reef points to let us reduce sail for more manageability, so it should work out fine.

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She is a delight to sail, and we are overjoyed with how she has turned out!  I hope that everyone will be able to get out and enjoy this wonderful boat!!!

Heritage Harbour Swap’n’Shop

We had a great turnout on the dock for the first annual Heritage Harbour Swap’n’Shop – lots of fascinating things to look through, and though we didn’t get a whole lot of shoppers, there was a steady flow of money changing hands.  Oarlock and Sail sold some books and magazines, as well as a sweet looking vintage soda siphon which was donated (thanks Marty!).  Some vendors bought more than they sold, but hey, some of that may be resold next year – hopefully we’ll get more buyers!

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At the end of the sale, one of our dock neighbors donated a sweet pair of oars to the club!

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After the sale, some more prep work was done on rigging the Button Swan.  Here, the bowsprit is being tested for flexing – looks strong enough to lift the boat out of the water!

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Crafted Vancouver, and Marine Swap

Two events to tell you about – one was last week, and one is coming up next week.

Last Thursday, Oarlock and Sail presented a slide show of the Button Swan build, gave a demo of a few boat-building tools, and hosted a tour of our shop and the dock.  We had been approached by the organizers of a new festival, Crafted Vancouver, which includes tours and demonstrations of a number of craft related things.

We had a good turnout of about 15 guests, in addition to 8 or so of our members.  Rob gave an excellent talk on the building of our boat, keeping the audience interested and involved.  That presentation took place in the Maritime Museum.

Down at the dock, Daniel showed 3 types of planking, including trying a bit of caulking in a sample of carvel planking, and also a brief demo of the drawknife.

Arnt gave a tour of the shop and descriptions of our boats.  It was great to see the interest and enthusiasm of the visitors – lots of questions were asked and answered!

Coming up on the first Saturday in June (June 2nd), Bruce and Sheila are working on putting together the first Heritage Harbour Marine Swap’n’Shop.  The hope is to get a bunch of the Heritage Harbour ‘residents’ to gather some interesting boating bits and pieces that they have laying around, and have a swap and sale on the dock.  OLAS has a few items, mostly old magazines, and we are open to whatever any of our members might contribute.  We hope this can be an interesting new activity on the dock!

First sail

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We tested Button Swan’s mainsail on Saturday, and considered it a great success!  We did some temporary fastening, tying the sail to our spars, and rigging some control lines.  The sail shape worked perfectly, and the boat was fast enough to pull away from Ragna quite easily most of the time – we’re very pleased with her performance!  This was in a nice light wind, perfect for a first sail.

With Ragna giving chase, we got some video of her underway.  Ragna was able to pull away on one leg, but after a bit more tuning, Button Swan took off again.

This boat is continuing to satisfy and delight us!

The launch of the Button Swan

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We had a most excellent day for the launch party for the Providence River Boat “Button Swan”, and a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the launching of the Vancouver Maritime Museum’s “St. Roch”.  We had a full dock of guests, members, and staff!


The celebration began with a short talk by our club president, Rob O’Dea, thanking all who have participated in the building of this fine boat, including those who contributed in our fundraising and the Vancouver Maritime Museum for the greatly appreciated place in which to build.  After a celebratory taste and splash of spirits, the boat went in the water, and went for a number of rowing excursions – the sails are still being completed, and we’ll have another celebration to come!

Before the launch could happen though, there was a frenzy of work in the preceding month.  A lot of work was achieved in a short time, thanks to many extra hours during the week by a handful of our members, much of it done by Arnt, either at the boat shed or in his own shop.  Thanks to all the others who contributed!

Sail-making is nearly completed, at least the main-sail, so we’re looking forward to adding it – thanks to Bob, Nick, and Louise for their work on that!

After the launch of the boat, a number of boats from Heritage Harbour went out for a sail-past, led by Bruce & Sheila and guests on North Star, looking splendid!  Sheila & Bruce had been busy gathering flags to outfit all the participants, adding wonderfully festive colour to the fleet.

It was an exciting day, finished off with a bbq on the dock, and continued enjoyment and admiring of the Button Swan!  Thanks to all who made the day a great success!