The Blue Book
A Members Handbook
A Guide to the Gatineau River Yacht Club
Please note that the Blue Book is out of date. Any Member willing to update this publication, please contact the GRYC Board.
The Blue Book is available to download (pdf) and through the Club Secretary. Last updated July 9, 2008.
The islands of Gatineau River Yacht Club (GRYC) have been home to sailors on the Chelsea reservoir since 1962. This booklet is designed to help familiarize members, both new and old, with what the Club has to offer and what the Club expects in return. It aims to cover all of the aspects of the Club and essentially summarize all of the Club's policies and many of its by-laws. Think in terms of a member arriving at the Club, parking, launching a boat at the ramp, walking across the catwalk, touring the islands and Club house, going sailing, swimming etc. and staying for a drink and a BBQ on the deck to discuss all the Club policies and by-laws.
The historically minded will appreciate the notes on the Club's genesis, provided by Pat Evans, one of the club's founders and a local historian and who sadly passed away in 1999.
Nature of the Club
The Club's mission statement is "The Gatineau River Yacht Club (GRYC) is a family-oriented, volunteer-driven, cooperative, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to promoting and encouraging active participation in the sport of sailing and other water-related recreational activities. All activities at the GRYC shall respect the environment and the ability of the Club's islands and of the Gatineau River to sustain those activities on a long term basis."
One of the key elements of the mission statement is that the Club is volunteer-driven. Only a small staff is hired during the summer months for the instructional programs and some of the administrative and maintenance duties. In order for the members' fees to be kept down and for the islands to maintain their beauty, all members are expected to pitch in. This is not a Club for people who expect to pay their fee and then let the Club run by itself.
Club Colours, Insignia, Pennant
The colours of the Club are white and navy blue. The insignia of the Club is a fouled anchor design encircled by a ring executed in rope, knotted at the bottom and surrounded on the sides and top by the initials G.R.Y.C. and/or C.V.R.G. The pennant of the Club is a white triangular flag with a navy blue border upon which is superimposed the Club insignia.
The Gatineau River Yacht Club was incorporated as a non-profit organization on November 24, 1966 under the Companies act of the Province of Quebec. The legal address of the Club is Gleneagle, Municipality of Chelsea, Quebec.
The Club is managed by a Board of Directors elected at the Annual General Meeting held at the end of the season. The Board consists of a Commodore, Past Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore, Fleet Captain, Secretary, Treasurer, Facilities Director, Communications Director and Youth Program Director.
The Club's By-Laws are available on the Club's Web site at www.gryc.ca and through the Club Secretary and generally form part of the annual report provided each year to members.
The Board of Directors sets a variety of sailing and social activities for the enjoyment of the membership. These activities as well as the upkeep of the facilities are carried out by volunteers under the direction of the responsible Board Member(s) who will assign volunteer members to work crews and/or committees.
All members 16 years and older are to provide 2 days of volunteer work annually for the Club and assist in the season opening and closing ("Bridge Down" and "Bridge Up"). Failure to do so results in the levy of an additional fee and repeated failure to comply with volunteer requirements without providing reasonable grounds to the Board may result in forfeiture of membership.
The following are areas of activities in which Members can participate:
To provide first class sailing and swimming instruction for members' children and non-members' children and to facilitate and stimulate sailing activity among Youth members, the Youth Program Director is responsible for planning and organizing the club programs for youth including the swimming and sailing school, special events and maintenance of equipment.
The Facilities Director is responsible for ensuring that the clubs physical assets, excluding sailboats, are maintained and improved. This is done with the talent and hard work of members and, with Board approval, through engaging professional contractors. The work is generally organized along three themes - the harbour, including docks, boat racks, and anything wet; clubhouse, which includes the fabric of the clubhouse and all buildings; and the islands themselves and the ecosystem which they support. The Facility Director may formally designate committees to manage each of these themes, but may elect to organize the work less formally and delegate specific responsibilities for projects to members. Committees so formed will report to the Facilities Director.
Reponsibilities of this position include ensuring that jobs are identified, prioritized, budgeted with an eye to keeping costs low, and effectively managed to completion.
To facilitate information development and dissemination to GRYC members and potential new members, the Communications Director is responsible for maintaining the Club's Web site and the dissemination of information and publicity to club members and, as appropriate, to the outside community.
To facilitate the organizing of social activities for members, the Rear-Commodore is responsible for planning and organizing the annual club social activities, and providing support to the social aspects of other events, such as Invitational Regattas.
To manage the financial resources of the Club for the short and long-term benefit of the membership, the Treasurer is responsible for the planning and organizing club finances, fundraising and payments and accounting.
To facilitate and stimulate sailing activity for members, the Fleet Captain, is responsible for planning and organizing club sailing/ boating activities and maintaining the club's fleet of sailboats.
Other than for the Junior Program, swimming is not supervised and parents are responsible for their children's safety. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed on the island unless accompanied by an adult. The GRYC endorses the "Buddy" system. Solo swims are not recommended.
Swimming is permitted anywhere around the islands. For the convenience of swimmers, two areas are recommended: The west or upriver side of the catwalk which has swimming docks that project upriver. The water in this location is approximately twelve (12) ft deep. A shallow swimming area can also be found on the south point just north of the lighthouse.
Many Club members find swimming around the island a most pleasant experience, and a trophy for the member with the most laps around the island (the Husky Musky trophy) is awarded each year. Swimmers partaking in the "island tour" are strongly encouraged to bring a floatation device with them in case of difficulty.
Daredevils can find fun jumping or diving from "The Rocks" which are located on the West side of the Clubhouse (they can be seen from the catwalk). The depth of water is approximately sixteen (16) feet. As with other swimming activities, diving is at the swimmer's own risk. To find out more about swimming conditions around the Island, ask the Manager or any seasoned GRYC Member.
There are many formal and informal sailing activities organized by the Club.
Sunday mornings feature organized races for youth and adults. There are a large number of trophies to be won, all kindly donated by members past and present. Racing is supervised by the Race Committee. (The Committee is made up of racers and other volunteers who take turns manning the flags and horn. On windy days there are usually desperate searches for volunteers!). Please check the GRYC calendar on the GRYC Web site or the notice boards for race schedules. Because the Club caters to many different classes of boats, race results are handicapped.
The largest event of the season is the GRYC Invitational Regatta where sailors from clubs around the region are invited to participate in a series of races over a weekend. This event usually takes place in August.
Learn to Sail
The GRYC Learn to Sail program is a series of free sailing clinics to its members consisting of boat basics, sailing basics, racing basics, and open sailing clinics.
Members are invited to come out and sail on Wednesday evening "Club Nights". Pram races for the young and the young-at-heart are organized in the Bay before supper. The winds are light and the sunsets are awesome. Sailing is followed by a BBQ on the deck.
The Club has a number of boats (both single-handed and crewed) for the enjoyment of Members. The boats are made available on a first-come, first-served basis during the week when not used by the Youth Program and on weekends. During the Youth Program session, the boat use should be cleared through Club staff. On Race Day (Sundays), Club boats are reserved for those who want to try their hand at racing. Members are encouraged to purchase their own sailboats as Club boats are frequently not available.
Each summer the Youth Program organizes four two-week sessions for children. The GRYC Youth Program has a great reputation around the community. The program features Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) sailing levels from White Sail One up to Bronze Level Five. Red Cross Water Safety and Royal Life Saving Society programs are offered for swimming. The camp runs five days a week in a full day format. The minimum age for this program is 9.
Children of members are given preference for places in the Youth Program. More information is available from the Youth Program Director.
The two islands are incredibly picturesque and every effort should be made to preserve the flora and fauna. Foot traffic can cause much wear and tear. Members and their guests are to:
- Refrain from removing or cutting shrubs and trees or picking flowers. Any gardening work shall only be carried out under the direction of the Island Committee.
- Stick to the walking on the paths and refrain from cutting through the brush.
- Keep pets off the island at all times.
The GRYC enjoys a friendly relationship with its neighbours. Every effort should be made to minimize the impact of a busy summer season at the GRYC and as such, Members are expected to adhere to the parking signs posted along the road.
The Club has a carry-on, carry-off policy including beer and wine bottles, food packaging and food scraps. Therefore, the general theme is "anything carried in should also be carried out". Leave no trace that you have even been there.
Bonfires are not permitted on the islands at any time. This is club policy as well as a municipal by-law.
The Clubhouse is open on weekends following Spring Clean Up to roughly the second week of June after which time it is open seven days week until Labour Day. Then, from Labour Day until at least the Thanksgiving weekend, the Clubhouse is open only on weekends. Arrangements to open the Club House during the off-season period can be made based on volunteer availability.
Clubhouse hours are normally from 8 AM to dusk during the summer season. Other times are posted on the front door of the Clubhouse.
The Guidelines for use of the Clubhouse.
- Leave the Clubhouse as you found it (or cleaner!)
- Respect the peace and quiet of other members.
- If you find that something is broken or missing please report it to Club staff or a Board member.
- Members can use the kitchen and available dishes and equipment, ensuring that anything used is cleaned up and put away.
Members wishing to use the Clubhouse past posted hours may do so but are responsible for locking up. A check list must be followed and signed upon completion. Details are available through the Club Manager.
Propane Bar-B-Qs are located on the Clubhouse deck and are available for the use of members. Anyone using the BBQs must ensure that the burners are completely out and the propane shut off before leaving.
Personal lockers are available to rent on an annual basis. These are available at various locations in and outside the Club House. Locks are to be provided by the members.
The roadway leading down to the Club is shared with local residents and cottage owners. The launching ramp and entrance to the catwalk are owned by the Club. Parking is permitted on Summerlea Road leading to the islands but please obey the parking signs. The road must be kept clear to facilitate the possible manoeuvring of emergency vehicles and delivery and launching of boats. Cars violating Municipal parking regulations may be ticketed and towed by the police. Use of the club's parking lot (see map) is recommended, particularly on busy summer days. The parking lot is on the right as one crosses the railroad tracks and turns north to the Club on Summerlea Road.
For large events, especially the Invitational Regatta, the road may be closed at the top of the hill except for local residents.
The key to the launching ramp gate may be obtained from Club Manager during normal Club hours or by special arrangement, providing at least 24hrs. notice is given.
Members who use the ramp for launching boats should ensure that the ramp is cleared of trailers, boats and vehicles as soon as possible. After launching, boats can be tied to the catwalk to provide a secure area for rigging. Boats should not be left on the up-river side of the catwalk for an extended period as they can be easily damaged by wind (prevailing from the north-west), by the water flow, and the occasional drifting debris.
Trailers may be left in the parking lot, although it is preferred that they be taken home to free up parking space. If left in the parking lot, trailers should be chained to trees for security and parked as out of the way as possible.
Boats, Moorings and Rack Space
Mooring and rack space is available for GRYC for members to store your sailboats, both cabin and dingheys (open sailboats), canoes, cayaks and sailboards. Requests for spaces are done annually during the member registration process but can also be made during the year. All spaces will assigned annually. Priority for spaces will be given to the member who occupyed the space the previous year.
The GRYC assumes no responsibility for theft or loss of any boat or vessel kept by members on the island. Members are responsible for the mooring and securing of the boat in the allocated space.
There are four types of mooring and storage formats available on the island, as follows:
- Finger docks are located along the catwalk and are assigned primarily to members with large (cabin) sailboats.
- Island docks (formerly Private docks) are located around the southern end of the island and are allocated with two members sharing a dock. Please note that while the Club is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Island docks, Members are responsible for adequately securing the Island dock.
- Laser Racks are located near the Sail shack and are available in vertical and horizontal (three tiers) formats. The laser racks are designed pecifically for Lasers but can be used for similar boats. Note that Members are responsible for their own rigging and the Club assumes no responsibility for these.
- Canoe racks are located along the bay and are used for the storage of canoes, kayaks and similar vessels. A dock is located in the bay for the launching of these canoes and kayaks. Note that Members are responsible for their own boats and paddles and the Club assumes no responsibility for these.
- Sailboards racks are located on the north side of the island. A dock is available for launching of sailboards.
All boats must have a GRYC sticker. These are permanent stickers and serves as an inventory of all boats kept at the GRYC as well as the mooring or rack space assigned to your boat.
The Club Manager is responsible for assigning all mooring and rack spaces as well as providing and ensuring all boats have stickers.
For those without the capacity (or perhaps the energy) to store a boat at home, space is available at the Club. Every nook and cranny in and around Clubhouse is used. Users of this service must provide their own covers, padding and insurance. A reminder: the island is not accessible after late October. Note that the Club assumes no responsibilities for private property left at the Club.
Bridge Down signals the arrival of the new season. This event usually takes place the first or second Saturday in May. Spring clean-up is carried out this day. The islands are open to members from the long weekend in May until Thanksgiving. The island is staffed on weekends only until the second week of June, after which time staff is on duty seven days a week until Labour Day. Hours then switch back to weekends only until Thanksgiving.
With the exception of special events, the Island and Club facilities are considered closed after 10 PM daily. This is done with the consideration of neighbours who have been informed to call police if they see any unusual activities on the Island or docks after this time.
The membership criteria is explained in detail in the Club By-Laws. Membership is unrestricted, but preference is given to local applicants and to those who own sailboats.
An adult member is allowed to host up to ten people at one time. Members are responsible for their guests. Among other things, this means that members must be on the Islands with their guests at all times. A family membership is considered one membership unit. Two adults within a family membership may not invite 20 guests at one time.
In a Family membership adults are allowed to host guests. However, children within a family membership, who are 18 years and older will be recognized as young adults and may host up to two guests. Alternatively, and in accordance with GRYC by-laws, a child within a family membership, at 18 years of age, can choose to take out an adult membership and as such, have full adult guest privileges. Children within a family membership and under the age of 18 may not personally host guests. For children to have non-member friends at the club, the friends must be guests of an adult, and as such the adult must be on the island.
More than ten guests at a time is considered to be a private party, for which members must make special arrangements with the Rear Commodore and pay the appropriate fee. Private parties are generally not permitted between June 1 and Labour Day. Particular or unusual circumstances should be referred to the Rear Commodore for resolution.
The GRYC Islands are a smoke-free zone. As required by Provincial law, www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/loi-tabac, the GRYC property and facilities are non-smoking. This includes the clubhouse, the island and the catwalk. This applies to guests as well, so please remind your guests of this and any other club policies. Thank you for not smoking.
Every year the Club hires staff to manage the daily operations of the Club. The staff is placed under the supervision of the Club Manager who reports to a designated member of the Board, usually the Commodore. The staff of the Junior Program is under the supervision of the Manager and the Youth Director.
Instruction to staff shall be given by members of the Board of Directors. Under no circumstances should an employee of the Club be reprimanded directly by a member. Any complaint or questions regarding staff conduct should be addressed to a member of the Board.
The Club uses several ways to keep the membership informed. The primary means of communicating with Members is the Club's Web site www.gryc.ca. The Web site should be consulted for the most current or up-to-date information. The site will have the annual calendar of events, highlighting current events, notices and any other current information of relevance to the Members.
The GRYC News and Notices or GRYC Communications is disceminated as an email notice to all Members who have submitted email addresses. This Communications notice will be sent out on a weekly basis during the summer months and on as required basis the rest of the year. The Communications will inform members of current activities and events.
The Club Bulletin Board will also be used to post the annual calendar and any other notices of interest to Members.
It is the responsibility of Members to keep informed of events and notices. Members who do not have access to the Internet or email services can make arrangements with the Communications Director of the Club Manager to provide them with these notifications.