Sailing co-op opens hatch

NANAIMO – People can tour boats and meet members during Van Isle Sailing Co-op's annual open house Sunday (April 27).

Van Isle Sailing Co-op will launch its sailing season with an open house Sunday (April 27).

The not-for-profit sailing co-op is inviting the public to experience what the club is all about by offering opportunities to speak to members and tour boats.

Van-Isle Sailing Co-op started up in 2005 to give sailing enthusiasts a chance to get out on the water without the expense of owning and maintaining a boat.

Members meet up for monthly pub socials and weekend cruises along the coastline. New sailors can learn those with years of sailing experience and from a financial standpoint the co-op allows for the “most affordable sailing you’ll ever find,” according to John Boudreau, the club’s membership director.

The annual open house is a chance for the club to get the word out about the co-op and allow people to see first-hand what it offers members.

““[It] gives people a chance to get a feel for the club,” Boudreau said, adding that members will be available to answer questions about the club, show the boats and offer refreshments. “I mean we have done this for the last couple years that I know of and people seem to appreciate the opportunity to come and see what it’s all about rather than read about it in the brochure.”

The co-op has four 27-foot Catalina sailboats moored at Stones Marina, including its newest addition the Santa Serena. The  boat, recently donated by a Victoria widow, replaces an older model and is considered an upgrade to the fleet. To see the new boat or learn more about the co-op, visit the open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stones Marina.

For more information or to join the Van-Isle Sailing Co-op, contact Boudreau at 250-585-3170.