Boating is big in the Toledo area. The season starts in the spring and doesn't end for some until the snow flies or the water freezes. Even then, there is ice boating, but that's a winter sport. Sailboats, power boats, and small watercraft make for fun times in the sun.
More than 30 boat clubs belong to the Associated Yacht Clubs, which includes those from Ohio, Michigan, and Canada. The criteria for membership is to be located within a 50-mile radius of the Toledo Harbor Light.
Many of these same member clubs also belong to the Inter-Lake Yachting Association, which includes roughly 150 clubs from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, and Canada.
Additionally, several members belong to Toledo Sail and Power Squadron, which stresses water safety and teaches boating classes.
Here are a few recent boating events:
Ottawa River Yacht Club in Point Place hosted its annual regatta, "It's 12 O'Clock Somewhere," July 13 and 14 with Commodore Don Schuster and Lady Minnie.
Some 130 guest boats were expected to arrive during the weekend, especially because the Associated Yacht Clubs Commodore Jim Kessler and Lady Patty, are ORYC members.
The event was also the first of the AYC poker runs of the season, where members get a poker card for attending, then save them for the final run.
Commodore Schuster and his wife motored to the Elba-Mar Boat Club Regatta in Grosse Isle, Mich., earlier that Saturday then headed back to their own club's festivities. He said the prices of gas have limited trips for power boaters this year. It costs $400 for a round trip to Put-In-Bay on his 32-foot cruiser.
The yacht club on Edgewater Drive is among the oldest around and was chartered in 1910.
North Cape Yacht Club in LaSalle, Mich., on the shores of western Lake Erie, about eight miles north of the Ohio/Michigan border, celebrated its 50th anniversary with Commodore Ken Kania, Jr., and Lady Kristen July 6-8. Dinners, races, family activities, and more were part of the fun.
The club is the 2011 U.S. Sailing One Design Yacht Club of the Year awardee. One design is a racing class that consists of just one model or design of a sailboat. Noted for competitively racing big boats, NCYC hosts many national championship regattas and actively teaches boating skills for adults and juniors. Sea Scouts of America is based at the club.
NCYC was founded in 1962 by several members of Toledo Yacht Club that dates back to 1865. The club is a "working club" with an active membership of primarily sailors, both men and women. The more than 400 members do most of the work to maintain the facilities, prepare dinners, and staff regattas. The small, one-design sailboats that represented the foundation of the club have generally given way to larger cruising/racing sailboats.
Harbor View Yacht Club in Oregon celebrated its 60th anniversary during its annual regatta June 24-26 with 2012 Commodore Frank Thomas and Lady Angie. The weekend of family fun was packed with club members and members of visiting yacht clubs, said event chairman Chuck Martin.
Member Matt Zaleski said many members grew up at the club, including Jim Keaton, whose grandfather, Village Mayor Maynard Keaton, was one of the founding members of the Harbor View Boating and Sportsman's Club in 1952. It changed to Harbor View Yacht Club in 1957.
Members helped with building the club house. Oregon Fire Chief Ed Ellis recalled fun times but also the February, 1970, tragedy while members built a new retaining wall: Club member Lee DeKay, 51, was killed while helping.
When Dan Smith first joined and needed help working on his boat, folks pitched in. So it is no surprise that the club gets involved in charity projects such as the annual river cruise it does for the developmentally disabled of Wiley Homes.
The club has 250 full-time members plus more as auxiliary and social memberships. Included as full-time members are several women including Donna Bashore, the club's first female commodore, elected in 2002.
River View Yacht Club in Point Place on the Ottawa River for more than 60 years, hosts its Bubba Burgers night every Wednesday. Friday and Saturday was their homecoming weekend with 56 Daze band. At the helm was Commodore Dave Dauer and Lady Liz.
Toledo Sailing Club on the Maumee River doesn't have any sailboats anymore, but they have a lot of fun. Through the years, serious sailors have migrated closer to the lake, but the club is still great for recreational sail boats and it is filled with power boats. This year's commodore is Dan Radwanski and Lady Julie. The club's Lobsterfest Weekend is slated for Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
Jolly Roger Sailing Club in Point Place, is the only exclusive sailing club in Toledo. Run by its members, the club provides sailing instruction. During the season, racing is every Wednesday and Thursday, weather permitting.
Perrysburg Boat Club in Perrysburg on the Maumee River, is ideal for recreational sailboats. Every Wednesday is race night followed by a potluck dinner. The clubs' Regatta is slated for July 28 and 29.