THE BARNET SAILING COOPERATIVE is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 by a group of people interested in the sport of sailing and the cooperative ownership of boats for the purpose of day sailing and cruising. Each member pays an annual fee and must also contribute time towards maintenance, administration, and social events.
The cost of maintenance, insurance, moorage, etc. are covered by the fees. We limit our membership to 75 sailing memberships. In addition, if you do not wish to sail or if our sailing permits have all been allotted, applicants may apply to be placed on a waiting list for priority for future sailing permits. While on the waiting list, the applicants may attend social functions and meetings.
Have you dreamed about sailing away into the sunset? Have you longed to explore exotic places or perhaps our beautiful British Columbia coastline? Unfortunately for most of us it is only a dream. The cost of owning a boat is extensive. The cost of buying the boat, equipping it, moorage, insurance and, of course, maintenance. A boat has been described as a hole in the water into which you throw money. Then, after all your expenses, you find you don’t have the time to use it. Or you or your spouse find out you don’t really like sailing! The Co-op was founded on the principle of Affordable Sailing, offering members a way to share costs and new sailors a chance to see if sailing is really for them without a huge up-front investment.
The Co-op was started in 1987 when George Doutre conducted sailing classes at Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby, B.C. A group from the classes formed the Barnet Sailing Cooperative with the purchase of our first boat, a fourteen-foot Enterprise sailing dingy that was kept in the park boat compound.
The first Executive consisted of Malcolm Fitz-Earle as president, Keiko Fitz-Earle as secretary, Laurie Robson as treasurer and George Doutre as boat captain. Due to time constraints Malcolm stepped down and Rick Boretsky became president. From that time until 2000 Rick, a veterinarian, was kind enough to allow us to use his veterinary office as our booking office for boat scheduling. In 2000 we switched to a professional answering service as the needs of the membership grew.
Early on the Co-op purchased a 19-foot Mercury boat, Quick Silver, from George Doutre. This boat was moored at Reed Point Marina on an installment plan. Thus began a longstanding business relationship with Reed Point Marina that continues to this day.
In 1988, Doug Bzowy, a member who later served as president, loaned the club money for the purchase of the first 20-foot O’Day, the Day Off. In 1989, the Co-op bought the second 20-foot O’Day, the Moody Blue, the first boat named by the club.
In the spring of 1990, the Co-op was able to acquire, on a loan basis the 22-foot Roberts called the Karat. Derek Booth and George Doutre set out to Mission and sailed the Karat around to Port Moody with a stopover in New Westminster. It took much TLC to put the Karat into service for the club. At that time the Karat became the pride and joy of the fleet! The next couple of years the Karat was moored at Otter Bay on Pender Island or at Canoe Cove Marina near Swartz Bay for summer cruising in the Gulf Islands.
In early as 1991, the first Long Term Planning Committee was formed to develop a 5-year plan for the Co-op. Issues such as fee levels, how to raise money to buy boats and club size were all considered. The first decision was to focus on paying off the existing loans on the two O’Days before buying more boats. The Co-op achieved this objective by the end of 1992. In 1993, the focus was again on finding the “perfect Co-op boat”. If you ask a dozen members for input as to what is a “must have”, a “need to have” and a “nice to have”, you will get a dozen different ideas. The ultimate decision that satisfied the majority of the Co-op’s requirements was a 27-foot Catalina.
The Honey Bee, the first of several hulled boats in the fleet, was purchased in June 1993 with a loan from 10 members. To finance the loan, members were charged a daily usage fee of $50.00. The loan was repaid in just over two years.
The Co-op was now “boat crazy”. We wanted more! Through some creative sleuthing, another cruising boat was found that could be loaned to the Co-op, a 25-foot racing boat named the Lizzie Bee. While it was nice to have another cruising boat in the fleet, the Lizzie Bee did not meet the Co-op’s purchasing criteria.
The next boat to be purchased was of course, another 27-foot Catalina named Mookie. This occurred in the fall of 1995 and was made possible through a loan from one member, Ron Bryce. The repayment scheme for the Mookie was an annual boat levy on all members of $100.00 until the loan was retired.
In the spring of 1998 with the assistance of George Doutre, we acquired yet another Catalina, the Jinjersnap. With a rapidly growing membership (aided by some television exposure from the Vancouver Boat Show) more vessels were needed to satisfy the needs of members who were enjoying a particularly long and warm sailing season. In March of 1999 the 4th Catalina in the fleet arrived, My Way. 2002 brought the addition of the 5th Catalina, Weekend Pirate. In 2014, the Co-op was gifted a boat for $1.00, and Tinkertoy II joined our fleet. In September 2020, the newest addition, 30 feet Catalina Daze Off was added to the fleet. The Catalina 30 is equipped with a Universal M25 (21 HP) diesel. In November 2021, another 30’ Catalina was purchased.
Since January of 1999, the Cooperative has maintained, improved, and refit our boats with new sails, motors, plumbing and electrical systems. The original gold hulls have been re-coated a clean white. We refurbish and rebuild the woodwork and interiors keeping them in good shape and equip our boats with safety gear exceeding Canadian Coast Guard Standards.
We have a fleet that is safe and fun to sail and that we can be proud of.
With a sound fleet and healthy, responsible, debt-free finances for many years, the Co-op is again engaging in Long Term Planning to see where the winds of our membership will take us next. Come join us and be a part of the adventure!
Fair winds, affordable sailing!