News

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 26 Jan 2024 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2023 Membership Survey: January 31 deadline

    We are looking for your feedback on how to make Water Rats better. We've created a survey with questions to better understand your experience at the club. 

    In addition to the questions, there is a comment section at the bottom where you can leave additional feedback. Some of the questions have an Other option where you can also write in suggestions.

    We are looking forward to hearing your feedback!

    Take the survey here. 

    SGM Date: Feb 8

    The club will be holding a special general meeting on Feb 8 at 7 pm at the club as a follow up to our AGM to discuss and vote on changes to the fee structure for members who have a catamaran and a Laser.

    Background
    For as long as we have digital records (2011-present), the Water Rats Membership Rules have officially allowed members to store:

    1.       1 Catamaran or up to two Dinghies under 16’ (if a sailing member)

    2.       Up to 2 Canoes/Kayaks

    When conducting the inventory of boats in 2021, we discovered that a number of members had more boats than the rules permitted. We learned that in the past, some Catamaran members had been given permission to store a Laser free of charge in order to encourage participation in Laser racing. This was never changed in the membership rules and the practice was inconsistently applied over time, with members being told at times they were not allowed to store a Laser. In addition to Catamaran members with Lasers, we found paddling members with three boats, dinghy members with three boats, and Catamaran members with non-Laser dinghies. In many cases, members added these boats without seeking permission at all and the club had no official records of the boats.

    The board felt that the fairest thing to do was to give the privilege of additional boat storage to all members. However, that privilege came with an additional fee of $200 to avoid Water Rats becoming a dump for unused boats. The fee was successful in encouraging a number of members to sell unused boats and we had many members take the opportunity to add another boat. Several members recognized that they were aware they were not within the rules and welcomed the opportunity to pay the fee to abide by the updated rules. Currently we have 7 Catamaran members with a Laser and 2 Catamaran members with another dinghy. Of the Catamaran Members with Lasers, only one is participating in Laser racing.

    We asked in our 2022 membership survey if members felt this fee was fair. 80% of respondents answered that the fee was fair or too low. We asked again in our 2023 membership survey, which is not complete, but with 72 votes cast 76% of members indicate their support for the current fee structure.

    At the AGM, a few members felt that the fee should be removed. To that end, we will be considering the following motion:

    Modify membership rule 4(a) to read “one catamaran and one dinghy” and rule 5 to read “Laser and Dinghy members may store one additional dinghy under 15' and its trailer at Water Rats for an additional fee of $200 per year. Members must obtain approval and stickers before bringing the boat to WRSC.”

    The effect of the motion is to remove the $200 for Catamaran members who have a dinghy.

    If the motion passes, members who paid the fee will be refunded, resulting in a cost of approximately $5,400 to the club.

    If the motion does not pass, then the fee structure will remain unchanged. Given that the membership surveys indicate broad support for the current fee structure, if we are unable to obtain quorum, we will leave the fee structure unchanged.

    The board recommends voting against the motion. We feel that it is reasonable for members to pay for the storage space that they use. We don’t believe that the fee is so large that it discourages members from Laser racing. We have found that members with multiple boats often do not make use of all of them, contributing to our derelict boat problem. Having a small fee encourages members to consider whether they are making good use of the boat, and we have found the introduction of the fee to already be successful in removing a few boats that were unused.

    In addition to voting at the meeting, members may vote by proxy by sending the form to David. The form can be digitally signed.



  • 19 Jan 2024 11:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are looking for your feedback on how to make Water Rats better. We've created a survey with questions to better understand your experience at the club. 

    In addition to the questions, there is a comment section at the bottom where you can leave additional feedback. Some of the questions have an Other option where you can also write in suggestions.

    We are looking forward to hearing your feedback!

    Take the survey here:  

    https://waterratssailingclub.wildapricot.org/Sys/Poll/49946



  • 21 Nov 2023 11:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Come to the holiday party!

    We'll be having our holiday party on December 1 at the Keating Channel Pub at 7 pm. There will be entertainment, a buffet dinner, wine on the table and a free drink at the door!

    All this and you get to claim one play hour. Tickets are only $45.

    But please register on our website before Saturday so that we have accurate numbers to order the food. 

    Hope to see you at our holiday event!


  • 16 Nov 2023 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AGM this Sunday

    Join us at our AGM at the Water Rat clubhouse this Sunday! There will be beverages and cookies. Plus you qualify for one play hour. We need 30-35 members for quorum so please attend if you can.

    Director's reports are in and can be found here. Please find links to this and other reports below.  Note that there is also a form for members who would like to vote by proxy.

    Director's Reports for Water Rats 2023.pdf

    WRSC Proxy Form 2023.docx

    Minutes from 2022 WRSC AGM.pdf

    Please bring folding chairs in case we don't have enough seating for all attendees.

    Come to our first post pandemic holiday party

    Attention sailors and paddlers! Our first holiday party in FOUR YEARS is coming up in two weeks. Don’t miss it!

    Come and enjoy a wonderful evening with your fellow Rats. 

    Ambience, live music and a buffet dinner with wine will be awaiting you. Let’s get into the holiday spirit together. 

    Tickets are $45. Register here nowWe would really like to see you there. 

    Volunteer hours

    Water Rats has a work, pay, or play system where members are required to contribute 10 volunteer/play hours per year. Hours that were not completed are charged at $30 per hour on the 2024 renewal invoice. Please ensure that you have entered your hours on our website by Nov 30. Hours that are not entered using the form will not be counted.

    Have a great winter!


  • 09 Nov 2023 9:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Annual General Meeting Announcement

    We are going ahead with an in person annual general meeting on November 19th at 2 pm. Beverages and cookies will be served and your attendance counts towards one play hour.  It will be held at the clubhouse.

    All of our current executive board members have indicated that they are happy to stay on for next year.

    They are: 

    Chief Rat (Commodore) Jeff Gerrits
    Race Rat (Race Director) Ray Davies
    Dinghy Rat (Associate Membership Director) Chris Van Rossem
    Paddling Rat (Associate Membership Director) Shona Chornenki
    Key Rat (Membership Director) Michael Williamson
    Money Rat (Treasurer)
    Gordon Akum
    Paper Rat (Secretary) David Street
    Party Rat (Social Director) Walburga Groetzinger
    Web Rat (Communications Director) Annette Bradford
    Grounds Rat (Harbour Master) Barbara Anderson
    Badger (Past Commodore) Norm Lamb

    As always, we welcome new nominations for any position. If you are interested in running please contact our chief rat Jeff Gerrits

    An email containing director reports will go out a few days prior to the meeting.

    Please join us and have your say about the club. Note: we need 15% of the club to attend the meeting which is about 35 people. If you indicated on our poll that you would like an in person meeting, please make this a priority if you can. 

    Holiday party 

    We are going ahead with our holiday party this year on December 1 at the Keating Channel club. If you intend to go please purchase your ticket soon so we can prepare some snacks in advance. 

    We'd like to prepare a slideshow at the event to showcase how wonderful our club is. If you have photos to add please send them to Jeff Gerrits.

    Thanks to our volunteers

    Thanks to all the members who attended our fall cleanup event! Many hands make light work. And special thanks Richard Woodrow for building the fantastic shelves in the men's changeroom and to Bruce Hanson for cleaning up the propety fence line. 

    Our club is volunteer run and every person is encouraged to make their contribution! Don't forget to add your volunteer hours on the club website by the end of the month. 

    See you at the AGM next Sunday!


  • 03 Nov 2023 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    IMPORTANT: AGM date announcement and poll

    Our AGM is happening on Sunday November 19th.  Several members have expressed that they would like to return to in person meetings at the Water Rat clubhouse. We'd like to know what you think. Please indicate your preference on our poll.  Note: you need to sign in as a member to vote.

    We'll need 15% of membership to agree to an in-person meeting to carry forward with that option. Location will be announced on November 9.

    Join us at our holiday party!

    We'll be having a holiday party this year. It will take place on December 1 at 7 pm at The Keating Channel Pub. Tickets are $45 and you can buy them on the Water Rat website

    Volunteer hours

    Water Rats has a work, pay, or play system where members are required to contribute 10 volunteer/play hours per year. Hours that were not completed are charged at $30 per hour on the 2024 renewal invoice. Please ensure that you have entered your hours on our website by Nov 30. Your current hours should be up to date on your member profile page. 

    Masts down for winter storage

    As a reminder, members are required to demast their boats by November 30. Winds can be strong over the winter and we’ve had boats topple over when stored with the mast up. To protect everyone’s property, we require that boats are stored with the mast down.

    Winter storage

    Members who would like to store a boat for the winter that they do not normally store at Water Rats may request to do so for a fee of $50. Winter Storage runs from Oct 1 to April 30.

    Have a great winter!


  • 22 Oct 2023 9:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Fall work party this weekend

    We'll be having our fall cleanup on Saturday October 28th from 9 am to 1 pm. The rain date is Sunday October 29th.

    If you plan to attend please note your attendance on this poll (so we have enough food for everyone). Note: you need to be signed in as a member to our website in order to respond.

    AGM announcement

    Save the date! Our AGM will be Sunday November 19. Like previous years, this will be a virtual meeting. More details will be announced soon. 

    Volunteer hours

    Water Rats has a work, pay, or play system where members are required to contribute 10 volunteer/play hours per year. Hours that were not completed are charged at $30 per hour on the 2024 renewal invoice. Please ensure that you have entered your hours on our website by Nov 30. Hours that are not entered using the form will not be counted.

    Look for an email with your digital key

    If you haven’t signed up for your digital key yet, please watch your email for your invitation to download your digital key. It will be titled Your invitation to Water Rat Sailing from SALTO Keys as a Service. The link in the email will expire 3 days after you receive it, so if you are able to register within that timeframe it would be helpful.

    Once you have created your account, please download the Salto KS app on your phone and then you can log in and download your digital key. Many smart watches also support digital keys. To access the locks, open the Salto KS app on your phone and hold your phone to the lock.

    Key return

    In the clubhouse there is a box for key return. Please write your name on an envelope and place your keys inside. We will discount your membership on renewal based on the number of keys returned. We also need a volunteer to go through the keys and record the names. Please contact Michael if you are able to help.

    Fob pickup

    Members who have purchased a fob on or before Oct 20, you can find you fob in the clubhouse in an envelope with your name on it. Anyone who would like to purchase a fob can still do so here. The fobs cost $30 and will not be refunded if you leave the club.

    Why are switching to digital locks?

    The main reasons we are switching to digital locks is to increase security, reduce administrative efforts, and reduce costs.

    Currently, Water Rats owns two sets of padlocks. Each year we do a key exchange, where we switch keys between padlocks. While not everyone is aware that this is our system, it provides little security. Someone who does not return a key, for example if they leave club, will still have access every other year. Over the years, we’ve “lost” 100s of keys, both from people who misplace the key, and members who leave the club but do not return their keys. The only way to keep this system secure is to continually buy new locks, which would cost around $5,000 per year. After accounting for the recovery of the fob cost, the electronic lock costs only $4,500. The savings are mainly because to keep a physical key secure, we would need to throw out the keys each year. Finally, our locks have a log on them. If we have a security incident, we can download the logs and see who entered the club on a certain day.

    Physical keys are also a large administrative effort. To do a key exchange requires 10s of hours of volunteer work and record keeping associated with it. It’s also a lot of work for members to come to the club and exchange keys. It may take you 5 minutes to download your new digital key, but think of this as your 2023 key exchange and every key exchange you would have to do for a long as your maintain a membership. Beyond the key exchange, there is a significant key effort to meet members who didn’t come to the key exchange, lost their keys, or left the club. Each year, 10-20 people don't come to the key exchange. Think of the amount of work to arrange times to meet all of these people. When someone leaves the club, we refund them for their key deposit. That means our treasurer needs to write a cheque, membership rat needs to get that cheque, arrange to meet the departing member and exchange the key. Each of things adds up to a lot of time that doesn’t really make the club a better place. With the digital lock, when someone leaves we can delete their keys in seconds, and instead of dealing with keys we can focus our efforts on things that improve the club for all members.

    We’re modernizing our system in a way that will provide security benefits to members, eliminates key exchanges, and reduces the administrative effort. No organization with over 200 members is giving out physical keys in 2023 and we're simply updating to the modern security standard.

    Masts down for winter storage

    As a reminder, members are required to demast their boats by November 30. Winds can be strong over the winter and we’ve had boats topple over when stored with the mast up. To protect everyone’s property, we require that boats are stored with the mast down.

    Winter storage

    Members who would like to store a boat for the winter that they do not normally store at Water Rats may request to do so for a fee of $50. Winter Storage runs from Oct 1 to April 30.

    Rules changed to reflect new key policy

    We’ve changed the membership rules to reflect the change to our electronic lock, removing the key deposit. This change shouldn’t affect any members, but we would like to announce it so that members are aware when the rules are changed.

    Who is interested in having a holiday party?

    Please answer our poll if you'd like to attend. Note: you need to be signed in as a member to our website in order to respond.

    Have a great winter!


  • 13 Oct 2023 1:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Fall work party

    We'll be having our fall cleanup on Saturday October 28th from 9 am to 1 pm. The rain date is Sunday October 29th.

    If you plan to attend please note your attendance on this poll (so we have enough food for everyone). Note: you need to be signed in as a member to our website in order to respond.

    Food will be served at the end of the event. We need 2-4 volunteers to help out. Please contact Barbara.

    Please bring rakes and gloves. We'll also need four volunteers with wet suits to take in the boat lunch. Please contact Barbara. 

    Electronic Lock Transition

    Our new electronic lock has been installed on the clubhouse door. You should have received an email from Salto KS to create your account. Once you have created your account, download the Salto KS App from the App Store. When you log into the app, it will download your new digital key. This is your new key to Water Rats! Once the key is downloaded, you do not need internet access to use it.

    To access the clubhouse, open the Salto KS App and press Use Digital Key. Hold your phone up to the end of the lock, and the lock will flash green and activate. You can then turn the knob on the lock to rotate the deadbolt. This lock functions differently from our previous lock; the deadbolt operation is manual. Currently there is a key fob hanging from the door of the clubhouse; if you have any issue with your digital key, you can hold the key fob to the lock to open the door.

    There are also new padlocks that will be placed on the gate. In order to ensure that no members are locked out, we are still using the old pad lock. Around Oct 28, we will change the pad locks to the electronic locks. If you do not register for your digital key by Oct 28, you will lose access to Water Rats.

    You must return your old keys. In the clubhouse, there is a key drop off box. Write your name on an envelope and place your keys inside, then place the envelope in the key return box.  We will be refunding the key deposits against the 2024 membership fees. Members will receive a discount based on the number of keys returned. We will not be issuing cheques for the return of the key deposit.

    We have a limited number of key fobs available for purchase for $30. The fobs are a purchase not a deposit, they will not be refunded if you leave the club or lose the fob. The main reason for switching to electronic locks is to reduce the effort involved in giving out keys, replacing lost keys, recovering keys from past members, purchasing new keys, key exchange days, etc. Therefore, we ask that members purchase a fob if they have a technological issue using the digital key. Our preferred method of access is the digital key, which cannot be lost and can easily be disabled when members leave the club.

    AGM announcement

    Save the date! Our AGM will be Sunday November 19. Like previous years, this will be a virtual meeting. More details will be announced in the next newsletter. 

    Personal items in the clubhouse

    There are a number of personal items in the Clubhouse such as wetsuits, PFDs, sunglasses, water bottles, etc. Please remove any personal items that you may have left in the clubhouse by Oct 28. Any items not removed will be assumed property of Water Rats and may be disposed of.

    Volunteer hours

    Water Rats has a work, pay, or play system where members are required to contribute 10 volunteer/play hours per year. Hours that were not completed are charged at $30 per hour on the 2024 renewal invoice. Please ensure that you have entered your hours on our website by Nov 30. Hours that are not entered using the form will not be counted.

    Men’s changeroom cupboard

    We would like to clean up the men’s changeroom. We are looking for a member who could build or purchase/install a cupboard to organize all of the items that are being stored in the changeroom. Please contract Michael if you would like to help with this project.

    Who is interested in having a holiday party?

    Please answer our poll if you'd like to attend. Note: you need to be signed in as a member to our website in order to respond.

    Have a great winter!


  • 06 Oct 2023 4:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Save the date: Fall work party

    We'll be having our fall cleanup on Saturday October 28th from 9 am to 1 pm. The rain date is Sunday October 29th.

    Please bring rakes and gloves. We'll also need four volunteers with wet suits to take in the boat lunch.

    More details to come.

    Who is interested in having a holiday party?

    Please answer our poll if you'd like to attend.

    Also: 

    New gate looks will be installed soon and a date for the AGM will also be announced in the next couple of weeks.

    Have a great winter!


  • 29 Aug 2023 12:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Paddle paddle paddle this Thursday

    On Thursday August 31 we'll meet at club at 2 pm and leave shore at 2:30pm sharp.  We'll paddle to along Cherry Beach to Ward Island for an ice cream. Participation means you get 1 play hour towards your membership!

    Water Rats Cat Fall Regatta coming up

    Join us on September 9 for an unforgettable weekend of cat racing! Prizes, dinner and a guaranteed good time. Register for the event here

    Not a racer? No problem because we still need a few volunteers to help run the event. Sign up here.

    Fall is coming!

    Although we hope there are many more great days to enjoy the water to come, this is a reminder to secure your boats and other property for the upcoming season.

    See you on the water!


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software