High demand means yacht club must expand again

Posted by on Monday, April 25th, 2016 at 4:44pm.

The Kelowna Yacht Club just had a very successful boat show this past weekend with 20,000 taking in the show.  It was an opportunity to show off the facility and for attendees to do a little boat shopping with upwards of 170 boats offered for sale by dealers and individuals.

It’s likely the biggest annual boat show in the country when it comes to exhibiting boats as they sit in the water as opposed to convention space say yacht club directors.

But surrounding this year’s affair are rumours that the yacht club is looking to expand its moorage facilities on Lake Okanagan. Despite upgrades done in 2008, a huge waiting list has been billowing for all types of water craft.  This list started to build after the docks were extended further out into the lake.

The club hasn’t put a budget together for the project or obtained estimates as to how much it would cost to further extend docks out into Lake Okanagan nor have the 1,400 yacht club members put their heads together to see how a project like this would be financed.

After the 2013 expansion, the Kelowna Yacht Club increased the number of prime boat slips from 640 to 1,006 boat slips and because people had been waiting for years for a slip, they were snapped up right away. A new clubhouse was also constructed.

The yacht clubs uses proceeds for its annual boat show towards operational expenses such as a yearly inspection, refreshing the facility with paint and taking care of 32 buoys which are anchored there.  By regulation the buoys have to be checked out every year by divers.   Funds are also allocated for sailing education programs for youth.

About the Kelowna Yacht Club

The club is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization and was formed after the Second World War by a group of boat owners who wanted to promote the sport of boating while socializing with like-minded enthusiasts.  In 1946 the Kelowna Yacht Club was officially incorporated and under B.C.’s Companies Act was granted a charter. Volunteers built the first launching ramp at its mooring facilities and in 1951, the first clubhouse was used when an old building was purchased for the sum of $150.000 and moved closer to the lake from Mill Avenue (now Queensway).   At that time there were just 38 boat slips. The clubhouse was enlarged in 1965 and again in 1986. Over the years, whenever the club needed to enhance or build facilities it either went to the membership or borrowed from local banks, always repaid in full. There have been 7 upgrades in all through the years. The club is not funded by any other means.

There are several levels of membership and those interested can complete an application form found on the yacht club’s website. 

There are a variety of social functions throughout the year including the annual Regatta.  The 2016 Blossom Time Regatta will be held over the May long weekend.  There will be live entertainment, a dance on Friday evening and members can sit on the patio and watch the yacht races all weekend. 

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