MACASSA BAY YACHT CLUB
Macassa Bay Yacht Club has evolved from a very humble
beginning in 1962 with a small, plucky group of boaters with great vision, to
the vital, vibrant and exciting place that it is today.
The very beginning was around 1962, when seven fellows
got together. The feeling was there were a lot of boaters are out there and
that a club should be started. An association was formed and they met at a work
shop of the B&M Marina. The meetings were held at one of the boat sheds
until the water got so high they had to get out of there. At the time, there
was no official name for the club, but they were often referred to as the
Bitchers and Moaners (from B&M)!
The original clubhouse building was dragged across the
ice from Ship Street
near the present location of the Harbor Police headquarters and placed at the
bottom of Picton Street
where it stands to this day. The owners at the time claimed squatter’s
rights. Later the original seven members bought the building. There were a few
problems working out the purchase of a squatter’s cabin with no deeds,
but they hired a good lawyer, who sorted things out. A “key club”
was set up and new members were charged five dollars for a key.
The next building expansion was in late 1978. The city
by-laws would not allow expansion of the original clubhouse, so with help from
a Wintario grant, two portable buildings were grafted and mounted on pontoons.
This floating clubhouse was placed on the ice and kept right in front of where
the present clubhouse is now. The Commodore at the time said in a Hamilton
Spectator article “We will never give up the old clubhouse, it’s
like an anchor for the future and we’ll always maintain it”. The
old clubhouse could only accommodate 29 of the 77 members. This arrangement
lasted only 3-4 months, and then the buildings were lifted onto a pad. Later in
1981, a centre section was added.
The original plans for the new clubhouse were the
result of a project with Mohawk
College architectural students.
They made up 7 or 8 models and plans, but could not come in under budget. Bill
Mitchell went to the final marks defense and all the proposals were well over
budget. A local architect had a reputation for staying within budget, so he was
contacted. There was some dissent about the building of the new clubhouse. A
special full member’s meeting was ultimately called to settle the issue.
113 members were present and there was a unanimous vote to go ahead with the
In the fall of ’97 the construction of the new
clubhouse was started with the removal of the portable buildings, which were
taken away by a barge. The “floating” cement pad and soil was
tested OK and increased in size to suit the footprint of the new building. The
new clubhouse was completed under budget and opened in April of 1998. A little
later on, the south meeting Room was built. In 2003, the elevator was installed
to make all areas of the club fully accessible to everyone.
MBYC is the envy of the yachting community with its
new clubhouse, outstanding facilities, reasonable rates, beautiful location and
balanced books. The view of the west end of the bay from the verandah is second
to none. We are privileged. The original members had the vision and energy to
make this so. This has always been a “Working Man’s club”,
with the members doing much of the work that was needed to be done. Quite
simply, this is why the club is in such an enviable position. For the long-term
survival of the club, it is incumbent upon every member to become actively
involved in doing whatever they can to help with the operations of the club.
Our club is host to many people in the community for
many uses besides boating. Take the average Sunday and there are usually
several wicked games of Euchre in progress. We have an annual Golf
Tournament, which raises funds for McMaster Children’s Hospital. The
club’s free will offering at the Annual Christmas Open House usually
raises around $1500, which is given to local charities such as The Christmas
Tree of Hope, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Operation Child Find, and The
Good Shepherd. During the winter months, there are Dart games and tournaments
going several nights a week. There is the annual Children’s Christmas
Party. The “Annual Run for the Cure” happens each fall and our team
of runners regularly raise over $2000, going towards the cure for breast
cancer. MBYC supports Aquafest and The Parade of Lights. MBYC provides the Knot
Abreast Dragon Boat Team, with meeting space and boating facilities. MBYC
provides funds to” Keep Hamilton
Blooming”, for the beautiful gardens at the entrance to Bayfront park.
MBYC gives meeting space to The Hamilton Power and Sail Squadron, a volunteer
organization dedicated to teaching safe boating. The club's own gardens are
kept looking lovely by a team of volunteers, which enhances the beauty of the
Waterfront Trail. There are countless wedding receptions, showers, wakes,
dances, concerts, graduations, meetings, demonstrations and classes going on.
MBYC is a great place to be!