Boating season is officially coming to an end on Okanagan Lake.
The Vernon Yacht Club marks the end of summer with its annual fall Crane Day Nov. 12. The public is invited to come watch as boats are hoisted out of the water by a crane so their owners can prepare them for the winter slumber.
“Typically the crane is up and running, lifting the first boats out by 8:30 and it’s usually all done by noon or shortly thereafter,” said Craig Williams, the club’s director of publicity and marketing.
Last fall 27 boats were lifted from the water (25 sailboats and two power boats). This spring 21 boats were returned to the water.
While fewer owners used the crane this spring to return their vessels to the lake, Williams isn’t sure if the slow start to summer played a part in the numbers.
Despite the rainy start, the club enjoyed great weather for the annual Charity Regatta in early June – where $23,000 was raised for the local United Way. That brings the 10-year total raised to just shy of $300,000 from the club – the largest single fundraiser for the local United Way.
“Though the summer wasn’t what we are used to around here it made for much better wind conditions for our weekly sailing races when during the summer we usually have very little,” said Williams.
The club also saw a boost in membership, with a total of 52 new members joining.