Crane Day a sign that a new boating season has arrived

It’s a bird, it’s a plane. It’s a boat?

That’s right, boats are hitting new heights Saturday as the Vernon Yacht Club gets ready to kick off the season it loves most with Crane Day.

Sailing through the sky, a number of boats will be lifted back into the water via crane between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“Certainly for the sailers, it’s a big start for the season,” said Craig Williams, the club’s director of publicity and marketing.

Everyone is welcome to come down to the club and watch the lake-loving giants be lowered back into their rightful place.

The public is also encouraged to come by the club’s 22nd annual Boat Show May 7 and 8.

Wander around the docks, grab a yacht dog and check out the variety of vendors on-site, from marine mechanics to sales of water-wear.

“There’s a couple guys that come up and they sell docks, there’s boat lifts, there’s usually the guy there that has batteries and solar chargers, there’s the boat dealers themselves and the Power Squadron,” said Williams.

It is also an ideal time to refresh your boating knowledge and get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (if you don’t already have one). It is now mandatory for every operator of a vessel, from large power boats even to a canoe with a small engine, to have their PCOC.

“I heard last year, they (authorities) were getting really heavy handed with that,” warns Williams.

After the boat show, the local yacht club will not only be in full boating season, but it will be prepping for another big event – the charity regatta.

Sailors up and down the lake are invited to raise funds for United Way in the June 3 to 5 regatta, which includes three days of races.

“We want to encourage more boaters to come and we want the public to be aware of it for when we’re out there collecting pledges,” said Williams of the event that has averaged $25,000 in annual support for United Way.

“Plus there’s always people looking for crew and we offer sailing lessons.”

For more information on any of the club’s events visit www.vernonyachtclub.com.