Dear BYC Members,
I’m sending this email to update you regarding our progress in reopening the Boat Yard and the Harbour. I will cover the following throughout this email:
  • How the activities can ensure club staff members have a healthy and safe environment to work, ensuring members have access in a means that they can feel secure and work on their boats without the constant worry of congestion and all while having fair opportunity to launch services;
  • The Pre-Launch Preparation (continued), Blue Crane Launch, North Crane Dry-Launch and Masting and Lagoon Ramp Launch protocols themselves; and,
  • Our ongoing commitment to regularly improve and adjust these protocols as we strive to achieve as-close-to-normal operations as soon as reasonably permissible.
On May 14, the Premier of Ontario announced that as of 12:01 on May 16, ‘all marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can open for recreational purposes’ but there were conditions attached. The conditions included maintaining physical distancing, training for staff etc.
BYC is reopening in careful staged steps. The first stage of reopening the yard and harbour started on May 16 with the start of Pre-Launch Preparation activities. We’ve had a week and two weekends of good weather and many boats are now ready for Blue Crane launch. On Monday, May 25th, we will start the Blue Crane, North Crane and Lagoon Ramp activities. I have already covered the South Side Laser preparation, storage and launch protocols in another email.
Pre-Launch Preparation Protocol (continued):
As a temporary measure intended to reduce congestion in the yard and the boat and mast storage areas, access to the Boat Yard and Harbour for Pre-launch Preparation and Blue Crane Launch activities will continue to be by appointment. In a couple of weeks as the storage areas thin out, we will reassess these measures. At this time, members should not approach yard staff and all inquiries should be directed to the office by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. These measures are intended to enable members in maintaining physical distancing requirements without the constant concern that they will be too close to another member working on an adjacent boat and to protect our staff from unnecessary contacts with members, but it still remains the responsibility of each individual to ensure they do so. Wearing a mask is still recommended where difficult to maintain the required distance. Here is a link to the Government of Canada information concerning the wearing of non-medical masks and face coverings
Blue Crane Launch Protocol:
  1. Members who have completed their Pre-Launch Preparation activities and have informed the office they are ready to launch (via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), will be contacted to confirm when the launch will take place. In my last email, I provided a preview of the Launch protocol to be used during this stage and I received much helpful feedback from boat owners. As a result of the feedback I have revised the protocol to be used as described below. What’s important is in these procedures is the objective of maintaining distancing and minimizing contacts to reasonably protect staff and enable members to have options to the amount of contact between staff and their boat and person – no procedures are ever perfect, so we are prepared to make changes as appropriate. The paved area east and south of the Blue Crane and the Dinghy Shed are reserved for exclusive use of the yard staff. Members are not to park vehicles or enter this area on foot unless explicitly requested by a member of the yard staff. See the attached diagram below – areas in red designated ‘staff only’.
  2. The Harbour Manager will review the list of boats who have identified they are ready for launch and determine the optimal order of launch (as any year) and provide a list to the office who will contact the boat owners to confirm the launch slot.
  3. Boat owners will be asked to select either Crane side Pickup or Dock side Pickup. A). For Dockside Pickup, the owner does not have to be present and the staff will launch the boat and tie it to a nearby dock. The staff will open the boat to check for leaks unless the owner indicates that they do not wish to have staff perform this task. You need to leave the boat unlocked so staff can before this function. If you choose to not have this check performed, you may leave the boat locked. The boat will be towed to the dock and staff will not start the motor. The boat owner will be advised that the boat has been launched and needs to come and move the boat to the mooring by the end of the day. Boat owners are responsible for ensuring that all their thru hull fittings are properly connected and closed as appropriate before finalizing their launch with the office. B). For Crane side Pickup, boat owners will be provided with a two hour window during which the crew estimates they will be launching the boat. Boat owners must arrive prior to the start of that window and check-in at the gate. The owner must wait in the gate area. When the staff are ready to launch the boat, the member will be advised and asked to come to the Blue Crane area to observe the launch and when the boat is in the water, a member of the crew will ask the boat owner to enter the restricted area and board their boat. The boat owner must wear a mask while in this area and must remove the boat from the area as quickly as possible. To reduce boat contact , staff will not assist with fending off etc. unless requested by the owner.
  4. Members will fit fenders and lines of appropriate length at the bow and stern for the staff to use to control the boat during the hoisting process. One member of the yard staff will board the boat to connect the slings. This person will wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before boarding the boat, but it is not possible to have this person do this job without touching handrails or lifelines and staff will of course handle the control lines. Any boat owner concerned with this necessary touching should bring supplies to sanitize any surfaces or lines post launch.
  5. For this phase of launch activities and in order to avoid congestion and unnecessary contacts between staff and members, staff will fold the cradles. Boat owners will be informed when and where to pick up the cradle pads.
North Crane Dry-Launch and Masting Protocols:
Starting Monday, the North Crane will be available for masting and launching boats. This crane is available for use only by booking an appointment via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for either, again to ensure members have reasonable time and space to complete their masting or launching efforts. We ask that members self manage their launch time frames and avoid undue congestion in this area. An updated schedule will be posted on the morning of each day both at the gate and at the crane.
Dry-sail boats may be launched by appointment and will be assigned a temporary mooring in order to reduce congestion and demand of the crane and surrounding area. They can be removed from the water by booking an appointment for use of the crane.
Boats masting are asked to be prepared to only use the time of allotted to them by the appointment, and if issues arise may be required to abandon the procedure and rebook another time.
NOTE: As per usual, there will not be on-demand staff support for launching or masting at the North Crane.
Lagoon Launch Protocol:
Starting Monday, the Lagoon Ramp may be used to launch powerboats or small sailboats which are going to be left in the water. Please book an appointment via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have a wet mooring, you may launch here and tie up at your mooring. If you normally trailer sail/boat, you may launch if the office can assign you a temporary mooring. As this area will remain congested until Big Boat launch, we want to avoid in and outs as much as possible. All trailers must be returned to the storage area the boat came from.
The Marine Railway Ramp may not be used at this tine as the dock needs to be repaired.
The South Crane is not available for masting at this time. We will examine the launch schedule and set aside time for masting activities at this crane and I’ll provide an update on this situation before the end of the week.
As mentioned in the Fleet Captain’s email, the flood gate was removed on Thursday morning. Once your boat has been launched you will have normal access to your boat. You will be put on a ‘Boating’ list so the staff manning the gate know to allow you access to the yard for Boating activities subject to the hours of operation which the Club has set as required to reduce congestion and maintain security.
Thanks for your understanding and support as we navigate our way through our phased reopening.
Please refer to the current Code of Conduct.
If you have any comments or questions, please contact either Paul Moore This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or myself This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Al Malo
Vice Commodore / Harbour Master
Britannia Yacht Club
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.