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



C-BOATS 1923

In the Annals Of The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, C.H.J. Snider records that, "One of the happiest ventures undertaken by the Club was the institution of a one-design class of small yachts to fill the gap between the sailing dinghies and the Class R. The work began with a motion at the semi-annual meeting of November 25, 1922. The new sailing committee pushed it forward gladly with the result that by the time the season of 1923 was in full swing, the Club had a fleet of nine new sloops. They were known as Class C, and were identical, all being from one design furnished by T.B.F. Benson, N.A. They were built by the Gidley Boat Company of Penetanguishene. They were raised deck sloops, with solid deadwood and no hollows in their garboards, with 600 pounds outside ballast and 350 square feet of sail area on a marconi sloop rig. The boats were built for the Club and sold to members at their cost, $900.00 apiece, and the nine were immediately taken up.

Three more of these sloops, nicknamed "Bing Boys" after their designer, Mr. Bingley Benson – were later built at the Club's shop, and in 1926 Mr. Benson received orders for twelve more, from the Grosse Point Yacht Club, Detroit. This order was extended to 16, the fleet being built at the Oakville Yachtbuilding Company's shops in Oakville, in the winter of 1926-27.

All the yachts in the class had names stating with 'c'"

The C-Boats were deservedly popular and the Toronto Evening Telegram donated a costly silver bowl as a perpetual challenge trophy. Each year for ten years, Clubs from Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence Valley sent crews to compete, sailing the RCYC fleet. The first series, sailed in 1923, attracted 14 entries and was won by Mr. Wm. Judd from Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, who took second to George Corneil in 1924 – and won again in 1925.

By 1934, some of the C-Boats had passed into other Clubs so the Telegram Trophy Race was thrown open to all C-Boats belonging to any Club. In 1936, Stars and Rainbows were admitted into the contests so that it evolved into a championship for small keelboats, eventually including Tumlarens, Yankee One-Designs and others.

C-Boat stories abound including Chum's withdrawal from a race after fouling a mark with her spreader and the loss of Cordite, during the 1925 Freeman Cup Race, when she was run down (and her crew rescued) by the steam yacht Anona.

Those few C-Boats that survive today are no longer in sailing condition. Their time has passed but the great sport which they gave will long be remembered.

Some C-Boat names:

CHUM                       CERPRISE

CHARMAT                CLIP

CANUCK                 COUE

CLARITA                  CRAFTY

CYNTHIA                CORDITE

COLLEEN                CHERIE

CUB                          CICADA

CECIL                       CORNEA

CRICKET                 COCKTAIL

CAPRICE                 CRUMB


L.O.A.         25 ft.  

L.W.L.         16 ft.  

Beam            6 ft. 6 in.

Draught         4 ft.  



A fully rigged model of Invader II may be seen in the Chartroom.

Quest came close to breaking Rochester Yacht Club's hold on Canada's Cup in 1930, close enough that Commodore George H. Gooderham, who had headed the successful Invader syndicate of 1901, resolved that a new 8-Metre should be built for a challenge in 1932; that she, like Quest, should be designed by Wm. Fife Jr. of Fairlie, Scotland who would also build her – and that she should be named Invader II.

Walter Windeyer and Invader II met Wilmot V. (Rooney) Castle and Conewago off Rochester in early August, 1932. What they also met was the first parachute spinnaker seen in major International competition – first race to Conewago. By next morning, Invader II had an equally large parachute, but didn't use it as she evened the series on windward ability. The third race went to Conewago in light air, and so did the fourth although Invader II several times had the lead. The Cup remained in Rochester.

Crew lapses had hurt Invader's challenge. Not convinced that the loss was to a faster yacht, RCYC challenged for 1934, but built no new 8-Metre. Invader II was turned over to Thomas K. Wade, who found himself facing the same Conewago and the same Rooney Castle. The first race was sailed in a 25-knot westerly, the second and third were in light airs. Conewago won them all. Twenty years later, Walter Windeyer again took Invader's helm and contested the RCYC trials to select the 1954 challenger. She was still the best of the older RCYC 8-Metres, but she couldn't match Venture II which won the trials and went on to – finally – win Canada's Cup.

Although Canada's Cup never fell to her, Invader II won her share of Club and LYRA trophies, particularly during the early 50's under Norman Walsh's ownership – which led directly to that sportsman's winning campaign with Venture II.

Several years later, under new ownership, Invader II was sent to New York for conversion prior to entry in the southern Ocean Racing Circuit. Not completed in time for the series, she headed for home in the spring, bound north up the Hudson River. Travelling at night, she was run down by a tug with a tow of barges. Invader II rests today in 200 feet of water off West Point Military Academy.

L.O.A.      47 ft. 9 in.

L.W.L.      30 ft. 4 in.

Beam          8 ft. 3 in.

Draught       6 ft. 5 in.



Designed by C. Sherman Hoyt of New York and built by Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Conn., Aphrodite was brought to Canada and into the RCYC fleet in 1932 by Jack Braidwood. Acquired by R.B.F. (Bob) Barr, she enjoyed many racing successes highlighted by her George Cup win in 1937 and successful defence in 1938.

For ten years, Aphrodite and Mermaid (ex Merenneito) were the 6-Metre class in RCYC and sailed countless races against each other. Many were the young sailors who first heard the starter's gun aboard one of these two. In 1948, Aphrodite became flagship of RCYC as "Bobby" Barr began a three-year term as Commodore and during those years the growth began which eventually resulted in as fine a fleet of "Sacred Sixes" as has ever existed anywhere. Outclassed in time by newer and faster rivals, Aphrodite gracefully withdrew from racing, but Bob Barr never considered parting with her. She served him as his elegant daysailer through her final years and on Commodore Barr's instruction, was broken up in the RCYC marine yard in 1969.

L.O.A.        37 ft. 4 in.      

L.W.L.        23 ft.  

Beam            6 ft. 6 in.

Draught         5 ft. 4 in.      



Venture II will always be identified with Norman Walsh for it was he who bought her from her Detroit owner in 1953, his express purpose being to challenge Rochester Yacht Club for Canada's Cup which had been uncontested for 20 years.

Venture had been built by Britt Bros. of Saugus Mass. in 1938 to a design by E. Arthur Shuman. Although she was not outstandingly successful in the strong Detroit fleet of Eights at that time, Walsh was attracted to her because she was big, relatively modern and in excellent condition. But she had a heavy mast and rig which were soon replaced and she began to show speed.

Invader II was no match for Venture which won seven straight races in the final RCYC trials to select the 1954 challenger. Rochester Yacht Club elected to defend with Iskareen, an Olin Stephens design also built in 1938.

Prospects for a successful defence looked good as Iskareen won the first race convincingly, but David E. Howard sailing Venture evened the score in the second race which was highlighted by the most sustained tacking duel ever seen in a major match. The next day, in very light conditions, Venture took her second win and, after almost half a century, the possibility of Canadian recovery of Canada's Cup loomed large. The final race was sailed in overcast skies, in a fresh breeze punctuated by a thunder squall, conditions similar to those of Canada's final race in 1896. Venture and her crew were never headed and won the race by 3 minutes and 16 seconds, and the series 3 races to one.

Canada's Cup was not contested again until 1969. Although that series was not sailed in 8-Metres, Norman Walsh bought back his old racer for a final fling with his beloved Eights.

Now owned and sailed by Lorne Corley and his family, Venture II continues to sail and race in the thriving RCYC fleet of 8-Metres. (Thoroughly restored, she is now owned by Lorne Corley's daughter, Diane Palme, and her husband.)

L.O.A.         49 ft. 9 in.

L.W.L.         30 ft. 9 in.

Beam             8 ft. 0 in.

Sail area     839 sq. ft.



The second Oriole was designed by A. Cary Smith and built for Commodore George Gooderham on the Gooderham and Worts property at the foot of Parliament Street.

Resplendent with black topsides, gilt cove and scrollwork, and varnished rail, trim and deckhouse, this large and handsome schooner came to epitomize gracious yachting in the Victorian era. Rare was the summer day that Oriole II did not leave her mooring at 3:00 sharp, her guest list made up of Toronto's and Canada's elite.

A formidable racer, she won the Prince of Wales Cup five times from 1886 to 1890 and then again in 1892 – but most notable was her challenge race sailed in 1888 off Mackinac Island against Wasp of Cleveland and Idler of Chicago. Won by Oriole II without calling on her time allowance, the race is recalled in exciting detail in Vol. I of the Annals of the RCYC, pp 81 to 86.

From the tip of Oriole II's bowsprit to the end of her mainboom, she measured 131 feet, and her main topsail peaked 102 feet above her deck. She was framed of oak and planked with yellow pine and served Commodore Gooderham until 1906 when her owner chose to have her broken up.

L.O.A.         87 ft. 6 in.

L.W.L.         73 ft.

Beam           20 ft. 3 in.

Draught          7 ft. 9 in.