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Canada's Greatest Yachstman
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Yachtsmen of the Millennium Past

Yachtsmen of the Millennium Past

by Robert B. Townsend - Embodying writings by C.H.J. Snider

Yachting has been described as "the action, fact or pastime of racing or cruising pleasure vessels".

There were vessels referred to as "yachts" on Lake Ontario in the eighteenth century. These were government vessels, part of the Provincial Marine, used for carrying dispatches and passengers. The Toronto Yacht, an armed "yacht" or government vessel for the use of the civil administration of the province built at the mouth of the Humber in 1792 is an example.

Sailing on Lake Ontario just for the pleasure and fun of it started at the very beginning of the nineteenth century, and probably before. In September of 1801, Joseph Willcocks "bought Captain Fitzgerald's boat from Mr. Allan". Willcocks records working on the bowsprit, the sails, and going for a sail in the evening. Yachting as a private sport was flourishing in Toronto by 1832. An advertisement in the York Sapper and Miner, October 18, 1832, offered for sale "the fast sailing cutter Dart, 12½ tons burthen, with or without rigging, sails and other furniture." She belonged to Captain, the Hon.. John Elmsley, R.N., of York (now Toronto).

By the turn of the century, (1900) the yacht fleet of the Great Lakes alone numbered over 1,000 vessels flying between 30 and 40 club burgees. Yachting in the Maritimes, the St. Lawrence and the West Coast had also seen a dramatic upswing in numbers. With the arrival of glassfibre boats in 1959, the number of pleasure boats multiplied dramatically.

In the first half of the 19th century there was a new kind of seaman out on the waters, mostly during the summer months, handling the most exquisite sailing machines yet devised by men. These were commonly called a Yacht.

These seamen were rooted in all the best of sailing's traditional skills. They refined and perfected those skills, and raised sailing performance to a higher level than ever achieved before. The cream of the those who did this became the great skippers of racing yachts. They were a small select breed of men with a halo of fame that success in sport brings. They were not just seamen, but artists of sail handling. They were called Yachtsmen.

Book Description:
ISBN: 0-9683798-1-8
Cover: As Shown
Perfect Bound with Hard Spine
Bar Coded ISBN Number
Size: 6.5" (W) x 8.0" (H)
Pages: 56

Catalogue Information:
Author Robert B. Townsend
Title Who Was Canada’s Greatest Yachtsman?
Publisher Odyssey Publishing
Authors: Robert B,. Townsend; C.H.J. Snider
Subjects: Yachts and yachting - Biographies
Yachts and Yachting - History
Sailing - Great Lakes
History Ca
History Ont.
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