Top 5 Tips from GYC Members - Updated Often!


Here's some useful tips from our esteemed members; many have been sailing for decades and have experienced the best (and worst!) that sailing has to offer, in local and international waters.

Glen Mitchell - GYC Commodore 2024 

  1. Take an approved course in sailing and cruising. Check out the courses at CYA (now rebranded as "Sail Canada"), The Power and Sail Squadron, and the Bluewater Cruising Association.

  2. The number one problem that C-Tow reports is clogged fuel filters. Make sure you have at least 3 fuel filters on board and know how to change them, including priming the system. Your engine is a vital backup in emergencies and when coming in to dock.

  3. Know how to recover a person overboard and practice it. Sailing to the Heave to position is usually faster that lowering sail and motoring back to the person. Also, it is very difficult for your crew to get you out of the cold water. Have an effective recovery system. Make sure everyone on board is able to operate it. Jump in on a warm day and have your crew get you out.

  4. Practice sailing onto an anchorage and how to sail off an anchor or buoy.

  5. Make sure everyone on board (including the children) know how and when to use the radio. Write down the common channels to hail the coast guard. For a radio check use channel 83A, not 16. For other traffic: 11 for ferries (also VHF channel 12!), 66A for marinas, 10 for Winchelsea Control.

From Ragnar Bertelsen: GYC Member since 2007, started sailing Lasers when he was 16!

  1. Stay away from rocks. (Duh.)

  2. Always check your tide and current tables - they change drastically and very quickly.

  3. Practice Man Overboard drills every season - get familiar enough that it becomes second nature.

  4. Believe in the 5 P's of Murphy's Boating Law - Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

  5. Indoctrinate guests how to use the head before you leave the dock! Don't assume they know even the most basic boating practices.

From Chris Stangroom: GYC Member since 2013, sailing since 1981

  1. If you don't like what's for dinner - catch your own!

  2. If things go wrong, blame the Captain.

  3. Stock up on Walmart cat food (in the pull top tins) for setting prawn traps - send your husband out early to set your prawn traps before the wind comes up!

  4. Pro-Tip - don't watch the Perfect Storm just before setting sail....

  5. Make sure to arrange meet ups with sailing buddies before you head out - something exciting always happens.