The Maritime Museum of BC’s Victoria Classic Boat Festival will be returning to Victoria’s Inner Harbour September 1-3.

Victoria Classic Boat Festival

Apr 24, 2023

Image Courtesy of James Holkko.

The Maritime Museum of BC’s 44th Annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival Returns to the Inner Harbour

The Maritime Museum of BC, with support from the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, and the City of Victoria Festival Investment Grant, will be hosting the 44th Annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival this Labour Day Weekend, from September 1st – 3rd.

Registration for boaters is now open on the MMBC’s website.

Registration for Boaters

The Maritime Museum of BC is excited to be able to welcome boaters back for the 2023 Victoria Classic Boat Festival. Registration is open to vessels of Classic design and Traditional construction. Unique vessels of maritime interest are considered by invitation only. Contact for more information.

To register for the festival boaters can visit the festival’s webpage or our online form.

2023 Registration Costs:
Up to 19’ – $165.00
20’ – 30’ – $220.00
31’ – 45’ – $253.00
46’ – 59’ – $286.00
60’ – 80’ – $308.00
Beyond 80’ – $330.00

Cost includes four nights moorage and two complimentary tickets to the Friday evening Welcome Reception.

About the Victoria Classic Boat Festival

The Victoria Classic Boat Festival is a spectacular annual gathering of vessels of a Classic design, both new and old, power and sail. Vessels attend from all over the Pacific Northwest, with the occasional visiting vessel from distant oceans. Each year during the Labour Day Weekend, approximately 10,000 visitors tour the docks and the boats on display. The public is invited to view the boats while they are moored at the Inner Harbour docks. Many owners generously offer tours of their boats.

William Noon, Festival Chair, noted that “the Pacific Northwest is blessed with an enormous number of traditional boats – from sailboats, to workboats, to cruisers. The Festival began in 1977 with the idea that our maritime heritage must not only be preserved, but also celebrated. The Festival’s open docks, events, and activities serve to engage our community and visitors on our maritime history, culture, and its ongoing story. ”

As in previous years, these classic boats will participate in a “sail past” and race on Sunday, September 4. The modern day “sail past” tradition began at the first yacht club that was formed in England nearly 200 years ago. It was first introduced as a continuation of the naval habit of having Admirals and Royalty review the fleet on special occasions. The Festival’s tradition is similar, however, the Honourary Commodore instead of the Admiral receives the salute. Spectators can head out to watch the parade of ships and races from Victoria Waterfront on Sunday afternoon.

Scholarships and Bursaries

The Maritime Museum of BC is delighted to announce the Abernethy & Gaudin Boatbuilders Ltd. Young Boaters Scholarship and the Maritime Museum of BC Boat Bursary to help improve access to the Festival. Both will cover registration and four days of moorage at the Festival, two tickets to the Friday night opening reception and two tickets to the Awards Banquet on Sunday.

Maritime Museum of BC Executive Director Brittany Vis said, “we want the next generation of young boaters to join the Festival and continue this nearly 45-year tradition in the Inner Harbour. Providing this support will ensure the Victoria Classic Boat Festival continues for the next 45 years.”

Boaters under 30 are invited to apply to the Young Boaters Scholarship; the Boat Bursary is open to all. Applications are due by May 10, 2023, and will be reviewed by the VCBF Committee. Only one scholarship and one bursary will be awarded per year. Previous holders of both may apply again, but not in consecutive years.

Apply here.

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