The Bowen Island Yacht Club - and by extension Bowen Island itself - has become the beneficiary of the generosity of a long-time Island family. Denys and Marguerite Ford, who have been on Snug Point since 1962, have given the club a sailboat for training kids and adults to sail.
The Fords are handing over their Drascombe Longboat - a three-sail, fibreglass 22' boat built in the U.K. - as a training craft. The family has owned the boat, which comfortably seats five or six adults, since the 1970s and Denys said they would like nothing more than to see it enjoyed by Bowen Islanders interested in sailing.
The boat will be on lease to the Yacht Club for $1 a year indefinitely.
Yacht club member Damien Bryan says the gesture is greatly appreciated. Beginning sometime in early June the club will be getting plenty of use out of it. Bryan, who has sailed many years and was involved with Outward Bound as an instructor, said that the Drascombe is perfect for the task of introducing people to sailing.
"You really couldn't find a better boat to learn to sail in and Denys's wish is that the community uses it to teach sailing to kids and adults," Bryan said. "All around this is a great gift to the community."
The club's existing boats, such as Lasers, will still be used but Bryan says that the Drascombe will get a lion's share of the work. He is also on the board of directors for the youth centre and says that they, too, will be having the opportunity to learn and hone sailing skills, in conjunction with the yacht club. Bowen's yacht club offers a range of sailing opportunities with training classes and sponsoring of a number of sailing activities for Islanders to avail themselves of, such as the Spring Race Series and Round Bowen Race each summer. Details are available on their website at www.biyc.bc.ca.