The Lake of Bays Sailing Club (LBSC) was founded in 1964. Its first headquarters were situated on Bigwin Island as part of Bigwin Inn, in the years before the property was re-developed as a private golf club. In those days, LBSC was given two rooms down by the water as a clubhouse. The rooms overlooked Bigwin’s gigantic sun-deck.
Under the guidance of Commodore Bob Dolphin, the Club operated throughout July and August with just two Albacores, offering junior sailing lessons to about 30 sailors per month. Additional Albacores were loaned to the Club for instructional use by Club members.
By the early 1970s, LBSC had moved operations across the “Big Bay” to the south shore of Lake of Bays. The club rented the old Glenmount Teahouse from LBSC members Bob Fasken and Dick Hogarth. Then, in 1976, LBSC members purchased a permanent clubhouse — the Catholic church situated just across the road from the Teahouse. In 1984 the Club purchased the Teahouse as well and turned the space into what’s now known as the “Sailing Club dock”. It’s now used to store the sailboats in summer; it’s also used for lakeside yoga on summer Saturday mornings!
Summer 2002 ushered in a new era for LBSC. The Clubhouse was renovated to include additional storage facilities, a workshop, a new kitchen, and extra washrooms. These renovations especially benefit the Junior sailors as they provide much needed instructional space.
Today, the most important function of the Club is the Junior Sailing Program. Kids and teens from around Lake of Bays and neighbouring Muskoka communities learn to sail in programs based on the Canadian Yachting Association standards. Perhaps more importantly, these junior members establish Lake of Bays friendships that last a lifetime. In addition to the various sailing activities, there are many social events held on-shore for both Junior and Senior members.
Officially, the Lake of Bays Sailing Club is a non-profit Club formed under Provincial Charter with an interest in developing both sailing and recreational facilities for the Lake of Bays Community. The Club’s aims are to encourage sailing and racing, provide Clubhouse facilities, and to continue sponsorship of the Annual Lake of Bays Regatta.