Introduction  |  Panel 1  |  Panel 2  |   Panel 3  |   Panel 4  |   Panel 5  |   Panel 6  |   Panel 7  |   Panel 8 |   Panel 9  |   Panel 10  |   Panel 11  |   Model Room and Hall Models  |   Chartroom Models  |   Trophies




The M-Boat Gardenia was built by Wood of City Island to a design by William Gardner*. A notable prize-winner on Long Island Sound, she once took 16 firsts out of 19 starts. In 1913, Mr. M.A. Kennedy sold Yama and brought Gardenia into RCYC.

C.H.J. Snider, Honorary Historian of the RCYC, author of the Annals and a member of the Gardenia syndicate, continues her story in his incomparable manner as it appeared in the Toronto Evening Telegram in 1942. The occasion was a season-end banquet and the dedication of the fine model which graces our model room.

L.O.A.        60 ft.  

L.W.L.         41 ft.  

Beam           12 ft.  

Draught          8 ft.  

* An excellent biography of Mr. Gardner, including a paragraph on Gardenia can be found on page 291 of Sailing Craft by Schoettle. A copy is in the RCYC library.




The famous P-boat Patricia was designed by George Owen of Boston, Mass. and built for a syndicate headed by Mr. N.R. Gooderham. She was named in honour of Princess Patricia, daughter of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Connaught (the Duke had been appointed Governor General that year). Her early races were won under the command of Norman Gooderham and included a victory over Seneca to win the Fisher Cup in 1911 and a brilliant win of the Richardson Cup, signifying the Great Lakes Championship, in Chicago in 1912. T.K. Wade purchased Patricia in 1920 and owned, raced and cruised her for over 50 years.

Following his death in 1965, Patricia received honorary burial at sea off Toronto Island in a moving ceremony on June 27, 1965.

Her long and brilliant career can only be briefly summed up in a list of her many trophy victories:

            Prince of Wales Cup: 1921, 1922, 1939

            Queens Cup: 1924, 1947

            Boswell Trophy: 1929

            Lorne Cup: 1926, 1929, 1932, 1936

            Cosgrave Cup: 1927, 1931, 1935

            McGaw Cup: 1922, 1928, 1933

            C.A.B. Brown Memorial Trophy: 1922, 1925, 1931

            Mackinac Trophy: 1932, 1936

            Smith Trophy: 1934, 1938

            Fisher Cup: 1911

            Richardson Cup: 1912

            Nine Club Championships.

L.O.A.                52.3 ft.           

L.W.L.                34.06 ft.         

Beam                  10.38 ft.         

Draught                7.18 ft.

Sail area         1287 sq. ft.

Disp.           22,312 lb.



The RCYC fleet of P-boats provided fine racing through the 1920's and into the 1930's. Italia was one of the four* which, by resolution of a special meeting of Members, was purchased by the Club for $10,000, total price on the Atlantic Seaboard early in 1919. Promptly resold to Club Members, they joined their sister P-boats Patricia and Cara Mia and the older 30-footers Zoraya and Crusader to form a splendid new Second Division.

Like so many others of the fine sailing yachts of the day, Italia was designed by Prof. George Owen of M.I.T., formerly of Hamilton. Her first RCYC owner was Percy Roberts and she appears to have been a less active racer than some of her sisters until acquired in the mid 1930's by Percy Grant and sailed by his son W.J. Grant. In 1938 Percy Grant took delivery of his new White Wings and Italia was bought by F.M. Fairgrieve and re-rigged as a ketch. He in turn sold her to J.J. March, prominent in the founding of the Port Credit Yacht Club who renamed her Dorion and sailed her for years out of Belleville.

Eventually she reappeared on the Toronto Harbour scene, but was not fortunate in her owners, deteriorated badly, and faded from view in the late 1970's.

L.O.A.        52 ft. 10 in.    

L.W.L.        35 ft.  

Beam          10 ft. 4 in.      

Draught        7 ft. 3 in.      

* The others were Stranger , Bernice and Nutmeg III.



The two crack R-boats that joined the RCYC fleet in 1926 were Acadia which revelled in light airs, and Eleanor which revelled in a fresh breeze. Eleanor was T.B.F. Benson's second design to the Universal Rule Class R, successor to his Nayada of 1924. She was built in Oakville in Captain Andrew's old shop which had been taken over by a consortium of RCYC Members operating under the name of Oakville Yachtbuilding Company. Her owner was R.S. McLaughlin of Canadian automotive fame.

Early in 1926, Norman R. Gooderham sailed Eleanor in the LYRA regatta at Henderson Harbor, competing in a great fleet of R-boats fifteen strong. Placings of first, second and ninth were good enough to earn selection as the Lake Ontario representative to contest the Richardson Trophy series in September off Toledo. Here, Norman Gooderham repeated his Chicago victories of 1924 (with Nayada) and 1912 (sailing the P-boat Patricia) as Eleanor won two of three races to return home champion of the Great Lakes.

Many active racing years were followed by purchase into the R-boat fleet of National Yacht Club where, partially converted, Eleanor sailed until recently under the name Val.

She is now owned and sailing in North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Eleanor's model is the fine handiwork of her famous racing skipper, Norman Gooderham and shows her original varnished topsides and remarkably curved mast.

L.O.A.        39 ft. 3 in.      

L.W.L.        26 ft. 3 in.      

Beam            6 ft. 9 in.      

Draught         5 ft. 10 in.



A fully rigged model and a half-model of White Wings may be seen in the Model Room.

This second White Wings proved no less of a star than the first. Percy Grant had owned the P-boat Italia and ordered his new yacht to be built in Toronto by J.J. Taylor and Sons to a design by John G. Alden of Boston. At the time, the Lippincott (eventually CCA) Rule was emerging in the U.S. but Lake Ontario adopted the English RORC Rule and the influence was evident in White Wings' long, graceful and fine counter.

Time proved her to be a winner regardless of measurement rules. She won the Freeman Cup in 1939 under the RORC system, then repeated the win in 1947. Years later, in 1959, when Lake Ontario was finally in step with the rest of North America, White Wings won her third Freeman Cup, sailing under the CCA Rule. Then, when 27 years old, she added a fourth in 1965.

Further laurels were many and included the Boswell Trophy in 1939, Duggan Cup in 1947, the Edward, Prince of Wales in 1946, and in 1940 the Prince of Wales Cup.

Her racing skippers throughout were the owner's sons, first W.J. (Bill) Grant, and later R.D. (Bob) Grant, former International 14 Foot Dinghy sailor and skipper of the 8-Metre Invader II. When Bob Grant served as Commodore of the RCYC in 1967 and 1968, his proud flagship was White Wings.

In 1968, White Wings was sold to Peter Allen and she remained in the RCYC fleet until acquired by an American owner in 1977. She has been maintained in pristine condition and is frequently seen today, sailing the waters of Long Island Sound as she nears her fiftieth birthday. (Beneficiary of a thorough restoration, White Wings was in 2012 sailing in the Mediterranean classic-yachts fleet.)

L.O.A.        50 ft.  

L.W.L.        33 ft. 3 in.      

Beam          11 ft. 8 in.      

Draught        7 ft.  


BIBIS 1947

During the 1950's, the International 6-Metre class flourished on Lake Ontario, with a fleet numbering in the twenties mainly located in five yacht clubs. A good portion of this fleet was moored at RCYC where Bryan Newkirk was a great promoter of the class. He purchased the Solenta, renamed her Buzzy after his grandson and put N.W. (Bill) Gooderham at the helm.

In 1952, Gooderham sailed Buzzy to a win in the Olympic trials at the RCYC. Newkirk, realizing that Buzzy was not Olympic quality, arranged to purchase a Swedish-designed and built 6-Metre named Trickson VI and renamed her Buzzy II.

Gooderham went to Sweden a month before the 1952 Olympics, and trained on Buzzy II before sailing her from Stockholm to the Olympic venue at Helsinki, Finland, a three-day trip!

Buzzy II finished seventh out of a fleet of fourteen in the 1952 Olympics, the last year International 6-Metres would be an Olympic Class.
Mr. Newkirk, still enthusiastically promoting the class on Lake Ontario, purchased a Norwegian 6-Metre designed by Bjarne Aas, Elisabeth X – silver medalist in the 1952 Olympics and winner of the Scandinavian Gold Cup in 1951 and 1952 – and brought her to the RCYC. He renamed her Bibis after his granddaughter.

As the competition on the Lake became keener, Mr. Newkirk decided it was time he had a new 6-Metre. He commissioned Sparkman & Stephens of New York to design a 6-Metre, Buzzy III, that would incorporate the best qualities of Buzzy II and Bibis.
Through the last half of the 1950's, BIBIS was owned by Denbeigh Taylor and Jim Crang (skipper and architect of the City Clubhouse). She won numerous trophies including the George Cup (a challenge trophy, but in effect the Lake Ontario championship, 1955 and 1959) and the Prince of Wales Cup (1954 and 1955).

     Alarm Cup (5 times)
     George Cup
     North American 6-Metre Championship (twice)
     Richardson Cup
     North American Team Racing Champion for 6-Metres

Bibis returned to Scandinavia with a new owner, Hans J. Oen, in 1999. Under her old name of Elisabeth X, she raced in one World Championship, won the Scandinavian Championship in 2000, and in 2002 won a silver medal in the European Championship in Copenhagen, almost 50 years to the day after her Olympic silver medal. She also took the Baron's Perpetual Award at Svendborg Classic Week in 2003.
Since 2005, Mr Oen has sailed her from Larchmont Yacht Club, participating in World Championships in Newport (2009) and in Helsinki (2011). Elisabeth X, doing well and well cared for, is slated to compete in the 2017 World Championship in Vancouver.


Red Jacket


Perry Connolly's concise instruction to Cuthbertson and Cassian in November 1965 was to create the meanest, hungriest 40-footer afloat. With no original intention of campaigning beyond the Great Lakes, Red Jacket was designed to excel in light to moderate wind velocities. Hers was the first sailing-yacht hull ever built of sandwich construction using end grain balsa as the low density core between two fibreglass skins. For the time, she was considered extreme in her elimination of weight in the ends to reduce pitching moments. She had a large and tall sail plan which drove her fast in typical lake conditions and she could win both upwind and down. For all these reasons her CCA rating was fairly high and she won her races not on time allowance but by virtue of her superior speed.

In her first season on Lake Ontario, Red Jacket was overall winner in eleven of thirteen races sailed, including the Freeman Cup Race and the Lake Ontario International. Her capabilities were recognized and she headed south, a dark horse Canadian entry in the prestigious Southern Ocean Racing Circuit (SORC).

In her very first salt water race, from St. Petersburg to Venice, Florida, Red Jacket startled the cream of U.S. ocean racers by defeating a fleet of almost 100 crack yachts. Next she was second overall in the long race from St. Petersburg to Ft. Lauderdale. Then she whipped the fleet again in the Lipton Cup Race off Miami only to slip to twenty-third in the Miami–Nassau Race on a tactical error and lose the points lead.

Although finally Red Jacket lost first place to a yacht with a consistent string of seconds and thirds, hers was the outstanding record in the 1967 series. But Red Jacket was far from through. Perry Connolly brought her back the next year and made no mistake as Red Jacket fulfilled her promise to become the overall SORC champion in 1968.

Subsequently she was briefly owned in Florida, then brought back to the RCYC, where today she is as active as ever, although no longer the awesome competitor of her youth.

L.O.A.       39 ft. 9 in.

L.W.L.       30 ft.

Beam         11 ft. 3 in.

Draught       6 ft.



In the early 1890's, the Club had a wooden former steam yacht Esperanza to take Members to the Island. By mid-decade, she was no longer capable of handling the demand. As a result, the Club ordered a new steel vessel from the Bertram Engine Works Ltd., Toronto, which was launched on July 9th, 1895. A single-decked ship, she carries a wooden cabin with an open deck aft and pilothouse forward and was originally powered by steam. She burned anthracite coal and made little smoke.

Hiawatha was completed shortly after her launching and entered service during the summer of 1895. Her first Master was Capt. David Reynolds, whose former command, the Esperanza, was now retired. The total bill for Hiawatha amounted to only $7,000.00.

During the winter of 1944-45, the steam engine and boiler were removed from Hiawatha and replaced by a gasoline engine. Diesel replaced gas in 1950. Hiawatha received a new pilothouse during the early 1960's, a significant replacement of hull plating in 1983 and again in 2005. Despite the changes, "Hiawatha remains true to her original appearance, which is typical of a late 19th century launch, having a narrow hull, a plumb stem and a counter stern. Her romantic name was inspired by the Longfellow poem "Song of Hiawatha" and the native street names of the Toronto Island." (Quoted from Hiawatha's historical plaque, displayed at the City Station.)

Kwasind and Hiawatha were both attacked by persons unknown, who opened sea valves one night in July, 2000. Kwasind was discovered while still just afloat and prevented from sinking. She was quickly restored to service. Hiawatha sank and was extensively rebuilt over the following winter.

Hiawatha is believed to have been in continuous service longer than any passenger vessel in the world.

L.O.A.         56 ft.

Beam           13 ft. 4 in.
Draught         6 ft. 4 in.

Tonnage       46 Gross, 31 Net



When Hiawatha proved too small to handle the traffic alone she was joined by Kwasind, built by Polson Iron Works Ltd., one street north of the Club's present Cherry Street City Station. Kwasind was roughly similar to Hiawatha in appearance, but was fifteen feet longer and cost $20,000.00 – $13,000.00 more than Hiawatha – to build. The two have maintained the Club's service together ever since.

Kwasind was nearly destroyed when the cruise ship Noronic was consumed by a fire that killed 160 in 1949. A Club member on the scene, aided by police, moved her away. Kwasind and Hiawatha were both attacked by persons unknown, who opened sea valves one night in July, 2000. Kwasind was discovered while still just afloat, and prevented from sinking. She was quickly restored to service. Hiawatha sank and was extensively rebuilt over the following winter.

L.O.A.         71 ft.

L.W.L.         64 ft.