Sept 15, 2020

BrigsBeloved sailing training programs ties up in Hamilton, Ontario’s historic port

One of the Great Lakes’ best-known tall ships, sail training vessel TS Playfair, will soon be making her home berth at the Hamilton harbour thanks to the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports) and a hard-working group of volunteers.

Playfair, specially built in Kingston as a sail-training vessel and licenced by Transport Canada, has been taking generations of 13 to 18-year olds on sailing training courses for the past 48 years. 

The volunteer run charity, Brigs Youth Sail Training, formerly known as Toronto Brigantine Inc., that owns and operates TS Playfair, has been looking for a new home for the past two years.  “We have watched the tremendous redevelopment of the Hamilton Harbour for years and couldn’t think of a better port for TS Playfair where Great Lakes maritime history is celebrated in Canada’s busiest Great Lakes port,” said Brigs Board Chair Francis Clegg who spent five years as a teenager on board TS Playfair and rose to the rank of Watch Officer.

Playfair“We think TS Playfair is a delightful addition to Hamilton’s vibrant and changing waterfront,” said Ian Hamilton, HOPA Ports President & CEO, who is himself a former sail-training participant.

TS Playfair is a 33 tonne, steel hulled, two-masted, square-rigged, 72-foot brigantine. She was christened in Kingston, where she was built in 1972, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II making her the only Canadian ship to be commissioned by a reigning monarch.

A unique feature of the Brigs program is that young people between the age of 13 to 18 manage and operate the vessel. On board are 28 people: 18 new sailors, called trainees, 10 youth officers and two adults, the First Mate and Captain.  First Mates and Captains are licensed by Transport Canada.  Most Captains and First Mates are graduates of the program.

Brigs HelmInformation about 2021 courses on board TS Playfair, the organization and people behind it, its history and more, www.brigs.ca, instagram/brigs.sailing, facebook/brigs.sailing  416 596-7117, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TS Playfair will be in Hamilton starting September 1, berthed at Harbour West Marina, close to the Leander Boat Club and Pier 4 Park, adjacent to the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. The area is easily accessible by the waterfront trail.

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