The Belwood Lake Sailing Club is a group of family-oriented sailing boat enthusiasts who come from a wide area and all walks of life.
The club is located on a lovely four acre site on Lake Belwood, a reservoir managed by the Grand River Conservation Authority, about 4km east of Fergus. There is a club house with sail and gear storage, washrooms, a kitchen, picnic tables, shaded picnic area, children's play area, camping area, and boat and car parking.
There is a ramp into the water and launching dollies that allow most people to hand launch their boats easily. There are two docks: one for launching and one for short term docking.
The club owns two safety motor boats which are kept in one of the garages.
The club is managed by its members. There are ten directors elected from the membership who organize various functions throughout the year. Each week club members are responsible for keeping the general appearance of the club neat and tidy -- this normally takes about two or three hours and members are only required to do this once per year.
There are a lot of different boat types in the club. Dinghies such as: Lasers I and II, CL14s, CL16s, Wayfarers, Mirrors, Y-Flyers, GP14s, and Albacores and catamarans like Hobie 14s, 16s, 18s and Dart 18s. Some members also keep canoes and kayaks at the club and use them quite often in the back waters of the lake.
Belwood Lake Sailing Club is concerned about safety, both on and off the water. We urge members to adhere to the requirements in Transport Canada's Safe Boating Guide. In addition, when racing we require participants to wear a PDF.
Ontario Sailing, formerly The Ontario Sailing Association (OSA), recently came out with the following reminders about how to keep safe on the water:
PUT SAFETY FIRST!
Here are a few reminders for everyone.
Texting and Driving - we should treat operating a coach boat (or committee boat or mark boat or safety boat) the same way as driving a car. Period. A distracted operator of a motor boat is a very common thing. Don't text or talk on the phone. While a cell phone is a good safety item to have, keep it in your pocket until you are stopped and the engine is off or in neutral.
Ontario Sailing encourages our clubs and schools to pass this rule immediately! This is the policy of Ontario Sailing for all our coaches, instructors and contract staff.
PFDs - They Only Work If You Wear Them! - Ontario Sailing has a policy of mandatory wearing of PFDs by our coaching and instructing staff on the water. We ask clubs to pass the same policy.
Kill Cords - wear the kill cord round your leg as this is the only way to shut off the engine if you happen to fall overboard while coaching (or otherwise driving the motor boat). It's there for a reason - wear it!
Teach Knot Tying - we encourage all clubs to teach knot tying as part of their CANSail curriculum. Checklists are MINIMUM STANDARDS. By teaching such things as knots, parts of the boat, and sail controls, we will make safer and better sailors.
Final Words - Remember to hydrate, wear sunscreen. protect your eyes, get plenty of rest, don't drink and drive, and do a safety check of your boat daily! And beware of heat-related stress: hydrate, cover up, take a break, wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and cover up!
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Every Wed and Sunday the club has a great gathering of individuals that like to race and the vib after is fun and friendly with everyone hanging out having a drink/snacks. Its something that really stands out about this club, just the all round positive feeling. So many long term members... so this must speak to the quality of the facilities.