News

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 12 Jul 2024 12:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CLUB BBQ: JULY 16

    Join us at  Water Rats for a free dinner! And you’ll get one play hour if you attend. Please bring musical instruments if you have one!

    SHIP CHANNEL BRIDGE UPDATE
    Here is the latest from Ports Toronto. It looks to be over by August 16.

    WATER RAT SHIRTS/HATS FOR SALE

    Apologies for the incorrect information in our last newsletter.  The good news is that these items will be available for ALL but cat regatta volunteers get a $20 discount and NOT free swag.

    Shirts (quick-dry material and ladies' cut available) please specify your size $30

    Hats (cotton twill material with embroidered Water Rats logo) $20

    Available in the following colors:

    • Hats in White and Navy Blue

    • Shirts in Atomic Blue, Silver, True Red, Forest Green and Navy Blue

    • Shirts (Ladies Cut) in True Red and Wild Raspberry

    If you are placing your order AND volunteering to help with the Water Cats Fall regatta, the cost for your hat + shirt is only $30!

    During both days of the regatta (Sep 21 and 22) we will have a shirts and hats "station" on site and the price will be the same - $30 for shirts and $20 for hats. There will be a volunteer to administer this stand. We will add a box with a money slot so that if we have the merchandise in our inventory in your color and size, you can get it on the day of the regatta. If there is enough interest we might make the box and leave at the clubhouse as soon as next week.

    Please contact Beata to place your order!



     

    ARE THESE YOUR BOATS?

    We are looking for the owners of these two kayaks. They are on the bottom row of the beach racks closest to the cats. Please contact Shona Chornenki.

    MISSING A NEWSLETTER?

    Visit our website to get caught up on club news


  • 02 Jul 2024 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CLUB BBQ: JULY 16

    Our July Water Rats BBQ will happen on July 16th. Join us at  Water Rats for a free dinner! And you’ll get one play hour if you attend.

    We need 4 volunteers to run this event. Please contact Walburga if you can help out. 

    NEW MEMBER?

    We have created an onboarding Q&A just for you. If any have any additional suggestions, please get in touch with Annette.

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

    Are you able to help run our Cat Regatta on Sept 21/22?  Sign up here

    WATER RATS MERCHANDISE

    We have Water Rat hats ($20) and Tshirts ($30) for sale. 

    Hats are available in White and Navy Blue.
    Tshirts (Mens) in Atomic Blue, Silver, True Red, Forest Green and Navy Blue. 
    Tshirts (Womens) in True Red and Wild Raspberry.

    Please contact Beata to place your order. 

    If you are volunteering for the Cat Regatta (see above), the price for both will be reduced to $30.



    HAVE KIDS THAT WANT TO SAIL?

    Join us at the Outer Harbour Sailing Camp for an exciting, inclusive sailing experience for kids aged 6-17. Our mission is to make sailing accessible to all, fostering a love for the sport regardless of background or sailing experience. Led by passionate, certified instructors, we offer CANSail-accredited programs in a safe, fun environment. Campers will navigate waters, understand wind patterns, and master sailing techniques, earning Sail Canada certificates along the way. Our tight-knit, volunteer-led community powdered by the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation promotes inclusivity, diversity, and equality in sailing. 

    One or two-week sessions in July and August, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. run out of the Outer Harbour Centerboard Club. Register now for a summer of excitement, learning, new friendships and much more! 

    More information here

    The camp is currently offering 25% off our WetFeet program, using the discount Code 'Spring' 

    Additionally, we are offering 15% off for all members of OHSF clubs, they need to enter code 'OHSF24' to apply the code. 

    MISSING A NEWSLETTER?

    Visit our website to get caught up on club news


  • 19 Jun 2024 9:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cat Race Practice all summer long

    Join us for Cat Race Practice every other Sunday at 3:30 PM on the water. Please see the list of events and dates. 

    Meet us for a quick on-land session at JTown at 3 PM, on the water from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM, to be wrapped up by 6 PM

    Please join us! We will be set up on the water in front of Water Rats and should be fairly visible.


  • 11 Jun 2024 9:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CLUB BBQ: JUNE 18

    Our first Water Rats BBQ will happen on June 18th. Join us at  Water Rats for a free dinner! And you’ll get one play hour if you attend.

    We need 4 volunteers to run this event. Please contact Walburga if you can help out.

    CLUB CLOSURE

    The club will be closed 8 am to noon on June 17 for red ant spraying. Please do not come to the club during that time.


    NEW CLUBHOUSE LOCKERS

    Please do NOT lock or close the container door. It is almost impossible for some of our members to get it back open. Just push it closed but do not turn the latches. You should have a lock on your locker inside to protect your belongings.


    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

    We’ll be tackling invasive plants on the property again Thursday, June 13 at 10 am. Please bring gloves and a shovel if you have one!


    HAVE KIDS THAT WANT TO SAIL?

    Some of our neighbouring clubs have learn-to-sail programs. Find out more here



  • 28 May 2024 5:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    80’s SAILING PARTY CLUB CRAWL SATURDAY JUNE 8

    Here’s YOUR chance to see our neighbouring clubs! 

    Join us for an eighties-themed club crawl on Saturday, June 8 starting at 5:00 with a live band at the Toronto Windsurfing Club and ending at 10:15 with an 80's dance party at Westwood Sailing Club.

    There will be a prize for best costume!

    Buy your ticket now for $20. 

    The price goes up on June 3! 

    We also need two volunteers to help staff the Water Rats portion of the party. Please contact Walburga if you can help. 

    2024 HEINZ GEBRAUER SPRING WAR

    Ahoy sailors! Join the race on Saturday/Sunday June 8/9.  Coffee, snacks and prizes for the top three finishes. Great weather and fun is guaranteed!

    Price for the regatta is $40, get your ticket now

    BRIDGE CLOSURES

    The Ship Channel bridge on Cherry Street is still closed. No definitive word yet on when it will be opened. In the meantime, you need to access the club via Leslie street. 

    And just for fun, the single-lane bridge east of the club will also be closed intermittently this Wed - Friday from 8 pm on. Let’s hope they’re finished by the weekend!

    CLUB CLOSURE JUNE 17

    The club will be closed 8 am to noon on June 17 for red ant spraying. Please do not come to the club during that time.

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

    Help our members remove invasive plants from our property. We’ll be out on Saturday, June 8 at 10 am and Thursday, June 13 at 10 am. Please bring work gloves, water and a shovel if you have one. 

    SAVE THE DATE

    Our first Water Rats BBQ will happen on June 18th. More details to come soon.

    CLUB LOCKERS

    If you are using locker 1146 or 1170, please remove your lock and contents immediately. These lockers have been assigned to someone else.

    PLEASE KEEP OUR CLUBHOUSE CLEAN

    Just a gentle reminder that we do not have a cleaning service or a garbage pickup service. So please clean up after yourself and pack your garbage to take home

    We all appreciate it!


  • 08 May 2024 4:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MORE CLEANUP THIS WEEKEND!

    Need more volunteer hours?  Bring a wheel barrel and some gloves to the club this weekend (May 11/12) to help us load the bin before it's removed next week.

    CAN YOU LOAN YOUR TRAILER?

    Our neighbours at Mooredale are sending lots of boats to an event in Peterborough in mid-June. Are you able to lend your trailer (for a fee) to help them out? Please contact Mary.

    ANT SPRAYING DATES

    The club will be closed on May 13, 8 to noon and on June 17 8 am to noon for red ant spraying.

    Please do not come to the club during those times as you will be asked to leave. 

    MISSED A NEWSLETTER?

    Please visit our website to catch up on club news.


  • 02 May 2024 3:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ANT SPRAYING DATES

    The club will be closed on May 13, 8 to noon and on June 17 8 am to noon for red ant spraying.

    Please do not come to the club during those times as you will be asked to leave. 

    JOIN US FOR THE SPRING WORK PARTY

    It's time for our spring work party! Join us on Saturday, May 4 (the rain date will be May 5) at 9 am.

    Please bring rakes, gloves, battery-powered power sanders, safety glasses, sandpaper, ear plugs if you have them. Our picnic tables need sanding and painting and the clubhouse needs to be scrubbed and prepped for caulking.


    We need 3-4 people with wet suits to go into the water to help launch the boat.

    We also need 10 volunteers for lunch prep. (2 to get groceries, 3 for kitchen prep, 3 to run the BBQ and 2 for clean up). Contact Barbara if you can help.

    Reminder that attending the event and helping out counts towards your volunteer hours.

    SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING AFTER THE WORK PARTY TO DISCUSS WATER RAT RIB

    After the work party at 1 pm, we will be hosting a meeting to discuss and vote on the purchase of a new boat.

    Water Rats current RIB (Grand 520S with Tohatsu 50HP) was purchased in 2012 for $17,800 + HST.

    Due to the age of the boat (approx. 12 years) and the fact that the tubes were leaking air, the executive determined that that the current boat would need major repairs or a new boat and motor would need to be purchased.

    The Rib was brought in for an assessment and quote for repair to Melo-craft Inflatables in Missisauga. Melo-craft determined that the boat is unseaworthy due to a failure of the internal baffles essentially making it a one chamber boat. Melo-craft noted that “Due to the nature of the glued seam construction of the tube set paired with the age of the tubes it is highly possible for an outer seam to fail at anytime. It is strongly recommended the boat not be used.”

    Repair of the boat is not an option and replacement tubes are not available. Given the age of the motor, the executive recommends replacing the complete boat and motor.

    We have recieved quotes from the following vendors:

    1. Melo-craft Great Lakes ST520M with Suzuki 50 HP, - $29,799 + HST (including $1,800 trade-in of current boat)

    2. Grand/Gala Atlantis A500L Tohatsu 50HP - $31,212 + HST

    3. Zodiac Open 5.5. $52.995.00 + HST

    4. Highfield Patrol 460 $32,495.00 + HST

    We recommend option 1 as many other clubs including RCYC, Boulevard Club, Ontario Sailing, Brockville YC and Whitby YC are also using this boat.

    We will be taking a vote during the meeting. Please fill in your proxy form and send it to David if you are unable to attend. 

    VOLUNTEER JOBS

    Ramps to the Beach

    We would like to build stairs/ramps down to both beaches. We are looking for a total of 6-8 ramps so that we can make these areas more accessible for members. Please contact Michael to help.

    Sink

    We received many requests to improve the hand/dishwashing station at the club. We are looking for a member to scope out what would be involved in this project, the costs, and a plan for how to do it. Please contact Michael to help.

    MISSED A NEWSLETTER?

    Please visit our website to catch up on club news.


  • 23 Apr 2024 2:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WORK PARTY SATURDAY MAY 4

    It's time for our spring clean-up! Join us on Saturday, May 4 (the rain date will be May 5) at 9 am.

    Please bring rakes, gloves and if you have it, battery-powered power sanders, safety glasses, sandpaper, ear plugs as the picnic tables need sanding and the clubhouse needs to be scrubbed and prepped for caulking.

    Check at the clubhouse for priority tasks.

    We need 3-4 people with wet suits to go into the water to help launch the boat.

    We also need 10 volunteers for lunch prep. (2 to get groceries, 3 for kitchen prep, 3 to run the BBQ and 2 for clean up). Contact Barbara if you can help.

    SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING TO DISCUSS NEW BOAT

    We will be meeting after our work party to discuss and vote on purchasing a new boat. 

    Water Rats current RIB (Grand 520S with Tohatsu 50HP) was purchased in 2012 for $17,800 + HST.

    Due to the age of the boat (approx. 12 years) and the fact that the tubes were leaking air, the executive determined that that the current boat would need major repairs or a new boat and motor would need to be purchased.

    The Rib was brought in for an assessment and quote for the repair to Melo-craft Inflatables in Mississauga. Melo-craft determined that the boat is unseaworthy due to a failure of the internal baffles essentially making it a one chamber boat. Melo-craft noted that “Due to the nature of the glued seam construction of the tube set paired with the age of the tubes it is highly possible for an outer seam to fail at any time. It is strongly recommended the boat not be used.”

    Given this, repair of the boat is not an option and given the age of the motor, the executive recommends replacing the complete boat and motor.

    We have received the following quotes.

    1. Melo-craft Great Lakes ST520M with Suzuki 50 HP (similar boat),  $29,799 + HST (including $1,800 trade-in of current boat

    2.  Grand/Gala Atlantis A500L Tohatsu 50HP (similar boat) $31,212 + HST

    3.  Zodiac Open 5.5. $52.995.00 + HST

    4. Highfield Patrol 460, rigged with the Yamaha F50LB  $32,495.00 + HST

    We recommend using: Great Lakes ST520 with Suzuki 50HP. Other clubs using these boats include RCYC, Boulevard Club, Ontario Sailing, Brockville YC and Whitby YC.

    We will be taking a vote during the meeting. Please fill in your proxy form and send it to David if you are unable to attend. 

    VOLUNTEER JOBS

    Ramps to the Beach

    We would like to build stairs/ramps down to both beaches. We are looking for a total of 6-8 ramps so that we can make these areas more accessible for members. Please contact Michael to help.

    Sink

    We received many requests to improve the hand/dishwashing station at the club. We are looking for a member to scope out what would be involved in this project, the costs, and a plan for how to do it. Please contact Michael to help.

    MISSING A NEWSLETTER?

    Visit our website to get caught up on club news


  • 03 Mar 2024 11:49 AM | Michael Williamson (Administrator)

    Membership Renewal

    You will receive a membership renewal notice on March 15. Please renew your membership by April 1st if possible as it helps us with numbers. If you’re not planning to renew, or need more time please contact Michael. A late fee of $100 will be charged starting April 13.

    The key return refunds are going to be applied at membership renewal because this is the easiest way to do a large number of refunds. The membership fee is unchanged at $225 this year, but you will see the fee reduced to $175 and a charge of up to $50 depending on how many keys you returned. Our membership system does not allow for discounts, only for fees, which is why we must apply it in this way. If you returned 0 keys, you will pay $225 (charge of $50). If you returned 2 keys, you will pay $175 (0 additional charge). If you didn’t return your keys last year, we’ll have another opportunity to return them for next year.

    If you have a credit on your account, please press Invoice Me instead of Pay Online. An invoice will be generated and you can apply your credit against the invoice, and then pay online.

    Digital Key Changeover

    We will be changing over to the digital key on April 1 at the start of the new membership season. We will send an invite to the Salto KS system to everyone who has not registered for their digital key this week. It expires after 3 days so please register when you receive the email. Once you have registered with Salto, you need to download the Salto KS app on your phone. Google Link Apple Link

    When you create your digital key, it will not work immediately as it needs to be authorized in the backend. We will set everyone up at the end of the week, but if you need access sooner, please reach out.

    We have recorded videos to show how to open the lock Phone Fob

    There are still a few fobs available for purchase.

    Please contact Michael if you’re having any issues.

    Membership Survey Results

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond to our membership survey. We asked many questions related to your experience at the club, questions related to management, and for project suggestions. All of this information is very helpful so that we can do what you want with the club. We had 96 responses which is similar to last year (93). The summary of member experiences is shown below:


    We’ve improved in every category since last year, and overall the results are very high. The men’s change room was updated with shelves for the items that were being stored in there, removing the pile up of junk. We bought new paddling racks to move the canoes and kayaks closer to the water and closer to the ground. We didn’t do anything on the washrooms unfortunately, but there was an improvement in that category as well.

    We had a look at the overall experience, and the rating is similar between sailing and paddling members and between recent and long-time members. It’s nice to see that everyone is having a good experience.

    There were 3 people who were not receiving emails (97% have no problems). If you have any issues, please check your spam and add WaterRatsSailingClub@wildapricot.org to your contact list.

    Finally, 96% of members thought that the executive would make good use of the feedback provided by the survey. We try hard to listen to the members and appreciate the confidence in our work that was expressed.

    Work-Play-or-Pay

    In 2023 we introduced a ‘Work, Pay, or Play’ program as an expansion of our ‘Work or Pay’ program. The new program credits members one hour of volunteer work for attending club organized social events and races. 70% of members thought that the new program was a positive change for the club, and 65% thought that it improved the turnout at social events. We also found that it improved engagement with only 25% of members completing zero hours in 2023, compared to 45% in 2022. However, we found that only 40% of members completed all of the hours, which was the same as 2022. And 45% of members indicated on the survey that they had trouble completing their hours due to lack of volunteer jobs. In the 2022 survey, members thought that both the volunteer hours and cost were too low. In 2023, members thought that the cost and hours were too high, so it appears that we may have overshot. Based on all of this information, we are changing the hours and rates to what is reflected in the schedule below (under Updated Program):

    Hours Worked/Played

    2022 Cost

    2023 Cost*

    Updated Program

    0

    150

    300

    260

    1

    125

    270

    220

    2

    100

    240

    180

    3

    75

    210

    140

    4

    50

    180

    100

    5

    25

    150

    75

    6

    0

    120

    50

    7

    0

    90

    25

    8

    0

    60

    0


    The change will be applied retroactively for 2023. We decided to make the first few hours cost more, so that members who were close to completing their hours had a smaller penalty. As well, the number of hours required has decreased to 8, of which 4 can be completed by ‘play’. As result, members who are active in our social events or racing will have to complete fewer work hours compared to 2022.

    February SGM Results

    The club held a special general meeting on Feb 7 to vote on whether we should allow members with Catamarans to store a Laser free of charge, instead of for the fee of $200 that was previously changed. The motion passed 17-16. Following this motion, the executive also voted to allow members with Dinghies over 15’ to store an additional boat free of charge to align these rules. The limitations now become:

    Catamaran members: 1 catamaran, 1 dinghy under 15’, 2 canoes/kayaks
    Dinghy/Laser members: 2 dinghies (max 1 over 15’), 2 canoes/kayaks. 3 dinghies can be stored for an additional $200
    Paddling members: 2 canoes/kayaks. 3 canoes/kayaks can be stored for an additional $200.

    As a reminder, members who want to bring new boats to the club must register them with the club and obtain stickers before bringing them to club. These limits are subject to availability of storage space (currently no issues).

    Maintenance of your boat and surrounding area

    On our membership survey we received a number of complaints about the condition of other members boats. Water Rats is a community and a space shared with over 300 people. We all want to be proud to come to the club, and share the space with our friends and family. Everyone has a responsibility to maintain their boat and area around it in a way that we can all be proud of. Specifically, members must cut the grass around their boat, make sure that the cover is maintained (not ripped or covered in lichen), and make sure that their boat can moved (no flat tires, etc). The top of the boats should not be used for storage. Let’s all try hard to make Water Rats a beautiful place to sail and paddle.

    Lockers Available

    We have a few of the smaller lockers available in the container. They cost $40 for the season. Please contact Michael if you would like one.

    Storage Locations

    A few members indicated in the survey that they were not happy with their storage location. If you would like a change in your storage location, please reach out to Michael (Sailing) or Shona (Paddling) to discuss possible solutions.

    Sail Tubes Follow Up Survey

    Members indicated interest in the sail tubes in the membership survey. We’re conducting a follow up survey for obtain more details for planning. If you are interested in renting a sail tube please fill out the survey.

    Volunteer Jobs

    We received a number of great suggestions for projects in the membership survey. We’re still going through the list of projects, but we’ve selected a few to start on and are looking for some volunteers to help with them. Also, please note that the survey was anonymous; if you volunteered for a project in the survey response, we don’t know who you are. Please contact Michael if you’d like to volunteer for a project not on the list.

    Ramps to the Beach

    We would like to build stairs/ramps down to both beaches. We are looking for a total of 6-8 ramps so that we can make these areas more accessible for members. Please contact Michael to help.

    Sink

    We received many requests to improve the hand/dishwashing station at the club. We are looking for a member to scope out what would be involved in this project, the costs, and a plan for how to do it. Please contact Michael to help.

    Washroom

    Likewise there were are number of requests to improve the washroom situation. We’re looking for someone who can find a supplier and obtain a quote. The cost for this project is likely high, so we’ll probably need to raise membership fees to pay for it and we will bring it to this year’s AGM. Please contact Michael to help.

    Clean & Repair Clubhouse Exterior

    The Clubhouse has several areas mildew where the caulking needs to be replaced. The roof needs to be cleaned with TSP. There are areas of the exterior that are splitting and need a fiberglass repair. Please contact Barbara to help.

    Deck Refinishing

    The clubhouse deck needs to be sanded and repainted. Please contact Barbara to help. 

    Website Content for New Members

    We would like to improve the content on our website, with a focus on providing information for new members. Please contact Annette to help.

  • 26 Jan 2024 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2023 Membership Survey: January 31 deadline

    We are looking for your feedback on how to make Water Rats better. We've created a survey with questions to better understand your experience at the club. 

    In addition to the questions, there is a comment section at the bottom where you can leave additional feedback. Some of the questions have an Other option where you can also write in suggestions.

    We are looking forward to hearing your feedback!

    Take the survey here. 

    SGM Date: Feb 8

    The club will be holding a special general meeting on Feb 8 at 7 pm at the club as a follow up to our AGM to discuss and vote on changes to the fee structure for members who have a catamaran and a Laser.

    Background
    For as long as we have digital records (2011-present), the Water Rats Membership Rules have officially allowed members to store:

    1.       1 Catamaran or up to two Dinghies under 16’ (if a sailing member)

    2.       Up to 2 Canoes/Kayaks

    When conducting the inventory of boats in 2021, we discovered that a number of members had more boats than the rules permitted. We learned that in the past, some Catamaran members had been given permission to store a Laser free of charge in order to encourage participation in Laser racing. This was never changed in the membership rules and the practice was inconsistently applied over time, with members being told at times they were not allowed to store a Laser. In addition to Catamaran members with Lasers, we found paddling members with three boats, dinghy members with three boats, and Catamaran members with non-Laser dinghies. In many cases, members added these boats without seeking permission at all and the club had no official records of the boats.

    The board felt that the fairest thing to do was to give the privilege of additional boat storage to all members. However, that privilege came with an additional fee of $200 to avoid Water Rats becoming a dump for unused boats. The fee was successful in encouraging a number of members to sell unused boats and we had many members take the opportunity to add another boat. Several members recognized that they were aware they were not within the rules and welcomed the opportunity to pay the fee to abide by the updated rules. Currently we have 7 Catamaran members with a Laser and 2 Catamaran members with another dinghy. Of the Catamaran Members with Lasers, only one is participating in Laser racing.

    We asked in our 2022 membership survey if members felt this fee was fair. 80% of respondents answered that the fee was fair or too low. We asked again in our 2023 membership survey, which is not complete, but with 72 votes cast 76% of members indicate their support for the current fee structure.

    At the AGM, a few members felt that the fee should be removed. To that end, we will be considering the following motion:

    Modify membership rule 4(a) to read “one catamaran and one dinghy” and rule 5 to read “Laser and Dinghy members may store one additional dinghy under 15' and its trailer at Water Rats for an additional fee of $200 per year. Members must obtain approval and stickers before bringing the boat to WRSC.”

    The effect of the motion is to remove the $200 for Catamaran members who have a dinghy.

    If the motion passes, members who paid the fee will be refunded, resulting in a cost of approximately $5,400 to the club.

    If the motion does not pass, then the fee structure will remain unchanged. Given that the membership surveys indicate broad support for the current fee structure, if we are unable to obtain quorum, we will leave the fee structure unchanged.

    The board recommends voting against the motion. We feel that it is reasonable for members to pay for the storage space that they use. We don’t believe that the fee is so large that it discourages members from Laser racing. We have found that members with multiple boats often do not make use of all of them, contributing to our derelict boat problem. Having a small fee encourages members to consider whether they are making good use of the boat, and we have found the introduction of the fee to already be successful in removing a few boats that were unused.

    In addition to voting at the meeting, members may vote by proxy by sending the form to David. The form can be digitally signed.



<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software