One of the Great Lakes best known tall ships, sail training vessel TS Playfair, will be making her home berth in 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 licensed 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 charitable foundation, 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 rose to the rank of Watch Officer.
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 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.
Starting in 2021 and adhering to all CoVid restrictions, weeklong and weekend sailing training courses on board TS Playfair will be available.
Information about week-long and weekend 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, firstname.lastname@example.org