Category Archives: Uncategorized

Toronto Brigantine Calls Out for All Volunteers

We just had the Blessing of the Fleet. The Crew are busy studying for their final exams to wrap up their school year. The boats are getting ready to set sail for the Summer Program at the end of June. And we have the Redpath Waterfront Festival event the weekend before that.

There are a number of projects that we need to complete before we set sail.

Volunteer Now

Donate too

1 Engine gages to be repaired/installed/mounted
2 Install on Engine room fire detector (they are ordered) $350 X 2
3 Install secondary Running lights to provide with back up and   alarm $5,000 X 2
4 Install range hood for the galleys $200 X 2
5 Installing Ventilation into the heads $200 X 4
6 Install remaining new hatches for Pathfinder  that are being made by John Winney Total Project is $10,000
7 Rebuild aft life raft bracket to make it float free working   with Mark Approx $2,000
8 Repairs to dory
9 Raising the calvents and change closure systems $500 to $1,500
10 Installing an anemometer for measuring wind speed and useful   for maritime training Cost $50 for a handheld one but want to install a permanent   one which costs up to $500
11 Painting and varnishing projects
12 Install new heads and plumbing on Pathfinder $500 to $1,000

All of these projects contribute to the safety and improved living conditions for the crew and trainees this summer. Thanks to everyone that has already contributed to these projects … and welcome to all the new volunteers that are able to help over the next  few weeks.

Captain Shorey and Captain Burt  will be working throughout the weekdays … and the Crew  will all working some week evenings and on the weekends (around their yyear end studying!).

Contact the Office at to let us know  when and how you are able to help out.

PS. If you don’t have time available but want to contribute financially to these projects, please click here for options to donate:

Toronto Brigantine Inc

413-215 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON M5T 2C7

tel: 416-596-7117 e-mail : website:

Registered Canadian Charity 11926 5924 RR0001


Pathfinder inherits sails and fittings from Patricia (1965)

On Jun 25, 1965, Patricia’s masts and gear were removed and given to the STV Pathfinder.  The sails were used on Pathfinder until 1977, when the last of the re-cut sails “blew out”.

P-Class Sloop Patricia was owned by RCYC’s Past Commodore Thomas K. Wade, OBE ‘s owned P-Class Sloop Patricia, designed by George Owen, and launched in 1912. (see photo on page 26).   TK Wade was a member of RCYC since 1902. TK Wade passed away suddenly on Jan 20, 1965. His beneficiaries had requested that the yacht be dismantled and sunk in Lake Ontario and created the “Patricia Memorial Fund”.

Then Commodore Paul Phelan honoured the memory of Pat Commodore Wade and Patricia at Sailpast 1965, taking the fleet’s salute from Patricia – that was May 22, 1965.   On Sunday Jun 27, Patricia was towed into Lake Ontario and sunk in a simple ceremony. Ben Colenbrander and Gordon Nortone were on board to open her seacocks. Cannon Guy Marshall, captain of the Mission to the Seaman for the Port of Toronto, Officiated. Oswald K Schenk donated his painting of Patricia to RCYC.   Pathfinder sailed as afterguard in the RCYC Sailpast that year.

[Photo from Annals of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Volume III: 1955-2000, page 65]

ISMA Freighter Trip Raffle … winners drawn Feb 23, 2013. Buy your tickets early

IMSA Freighter Trip Raffle. Great Prizes to be won for all those looking for some unique Great Lake experiences.   Proceeds go towards Georgian College Marine Scholarship, Toronto Brigantine, and Adventure Education  … and the winner will be announced at Toronto Brigantine’s Pirates Ball Feb 23, 2013 at Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto.
Only $5 per ticket!
The Grand Prize is 7 days on M V Algoma Sprit hosted by Captain Seann O’Donoughue of Algoma Central Corporation (many of you will know Seann from his TBI Days!). Second prize is a trip for a youth on the Brigantine’s next summer … or a group of 8 can get a chance to work on the Simulator at Georgian College … a weekend at Quilters Inn … and 30,000 Island tour on M V Chippewa III out of Parry Sound  .. a sunset cruise on M V Chi Cheemaun out of Tobermory
Any of TBI’s Board Members have raffle tickets … so does the office  … and we have the tickets for sail at most of the Port Events. Next Port of Call is Collingwood on Aug 10th.  Complete details of the Freighter Trip Raffle are provided here … and you can order your tickets through the mail!
And if you want to volunteer to help Toronto Brigantine sell raffle tickets, let us know.

Toronto Brigantine looking for new Captain this Fall 2012

Thanks to the great leadership of Captain Sam Neale on Playfair and Captain Colin Burt at the helm of Pathfinder and their crew,  we  are experiencing another great summer season with over 160 trainees learning the ropes on the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay this summer.  We look forward to another great year next year as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of delivering tall ship based youth sail training on the Great Lakes.

We are sorry to say that Captain Neale will be leaving Toronto Brigantine’s to pursue other career opportunities.  Captain Neale has contributed significantly to the Toronto Brigantine program in his two years as Captain … keeping the boats in great working order and training two years of new officer recruits!

So, Toronto Brigantine is searching for a new Captain this Fall.  Toronto Brigantine is a non-profit youth sail training program (ages 13 to 18).  We own and operate two brigantines, STV Pathfinder (1962) and TS Playfair (1972). The Captain is the only adult on board, all the rest of the Officers and Crew are teenages.   The next few years are going to be exciting for Toronto Brigantine. Next Summer we have another Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge which kicks off with the Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto. There are some great 1812 events coming up. And we are doing some major refit work on the boats. Not to mention that we are celebrating our 50th anniversary starting with the Kick Off Bash on November 10 … what a way to start off a new position!

We are looking for a tall ship sail training enthusiast that enjoys working with youth. The details of the position are provided in the job description posted here.

TBI Captains Job Description Updated jul 2012

Date Approved:   July 23rd, 2012 Position

Location: Toronto, Ontario Reporting to:   President with oversight from Chair STOPS Committee

Closing Date:  August 25th, 2012 Start Date:  October 1st, 2012

Interested applicants may respond by email to  Please include a resume and cover letter. Only candidates that meet our specified qualifications will be contacted for an interview.

Please forward this email to any qualified persons who may be interested.  Note that you must have or be able to attain a Transport Canada 150-tonne Masters’ License and Transport Canada Small Vessel Machinery Operator Certificate (SVMO) by the 2013 sailing season (April).

We look forward to finding the next great Toronto Brigantine Captain that will join our team and help us to celebrate our 50th year of youth sail training on the Great Lakes.

Toronto Brigantine

Let us know what you think

Brig Petty Officer by Jurgen Braunohler

Toronto Brigantine’s Summer Program has finally started … and all the hard work and training that officers have done all Winter and Spring … is to get ready for the summer of sailing on the Great Lakes and up to Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Not to mention working with a new group of trainees on 7 different courses this summer.

Here is a story by Jurgen Braunohler as he recalls his winter program training experiences from the 1970s!

Jurgen Braunohler is a Toronto Brigantine Alumnus from 1975 to 1977 and remains a long time and great supporter and promoter of the Toronto Brigantine program. He publishes regularly in in the Flotilla Newsletter. [For other articles by Jurgen, see:   Flotilla archives are posted under “About Us” .]

To sign up a teenager for our Summer Program, do check out our website

1812 Sackets Harbor article by Jurgen Braunhohler

Just as Pathfinder and Playfair and their crew of trainees are setting sail from Kingston to join up with the 1812 Squadron on their way to the Naval Renactment at Niagara on the Lke on Jul 14 (with a stop in Toronto on Friday night before for the Captains Meeting),   Jurgen Bruanohler has sent another article about the 1812 Battle  at Sackets Harbor. Enjoy.

Jurgen Braunohler is a Toronto Brigantine Alumnus from 1975 to 1977 and remains a long time and great supporter and promoter of the Toronto Brigantine program. He publishes regularly in in the Flotilla Newsletter. [For other articles by Jurgen, see:   Flotilla archives are posted under “About Us” .]

To sign up a teenager for our Summer Program, do check out our website


Captains Promotion Announcement

Toronto Brigantine Inc. is proud to announce the promotion of Sam Neale to full-time Captain and Colin Burt to part-time Captain. This spring both Captains are training their new crew for the summer season as well as project managing the maintenance projects on the ships Playfair and Pathfinder.

Captain Sam Neale has more than twelve years of maritime experience both in the program as a youth, and continued experience on the water throughout the years since he graduated the program. After spending six years with TBI, working his way up to the XO position, Sam spent another year sailing on the eastern seaboard before restricting his maritime activities to the summer for a few years while he completed a double honours degree in history of science and anthropology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. After graduating he went back to the water, spending a season in the Mediterranean and crossing the Atlantic aboard a mega yacht, before coming back to Toronto Brigantine, first as a part-time Captain and now full-time.

Captain Sam Neale

Captain Colin Burt started sailing with the St. Lawrence II of Brigantine Inc. as a trainee in 1999, and then continued through the program up to the rank of executive officer. Since then his time has been split between working for his family’s greenhouse business in Odessa and sailing. He has sailed a number of vessels of various rigs ranging from Small yachts up to the Bark Europa. This has taken Captain Burt to Antarctica, Europe, and several deep-sea passages. He also worked for a short time on tugboats and engaged in a wind farm construction project. During this time he’s also worked at acquiring his Master 150 ton certificate from Transport Canada exclusively from self-study. His first contact with TBI was during his later years with St. Lawrence II when he was volunteering on a few deliveries on Pathfinder, as well as one on Playfair. Having gone through the program of Pathfinder and Playfair’s sister ship, and it very much shaping the course his life, he held all three brigantines in great esteem and has always hoped to be in command of one of them.

Captain Colin Burt

An update from Playfair’s First Mate

After a balmy march break trainees and wardroom alike are settling back into the weekend work routine.  It was great to see the turnout of trainees over the break, and even better to see our (almost) full workforce this weekend past. I’m sure I speak for all of the crew when I say that the weather will be missed, as it allowed us to enjoy many jobs on the surface away from the shop.  Playfair’s deck is now only a few boards from bare, and Pathfinder’s newly varnished chart table is back in place acting as eye candy for those who pass by it.  Besides the work, March Break offered up time to enjoy the waterfront, and participate in some highly anticipated Brigs traditions.  Now I don’t mean to brag, but I feel fortunate that I was able to enjoy weather almost as nice as those vacationing down South while still living and working with the Brigs bunch.  Back to more current events, this Saturday had much more seasonal weather. Sheltered from the rain in the shop, I witnessed and participated in an impressive flying serving and sanding party, with great effort from everyone.  To those who are available on Sundays work will be happening from 10 am to 5 pm. It would be great to see as many people there as possible; the sailing season is just around the corner and we all want the boats ready to meet the nice weather! 

-Playfair’s X.O., Aidan Bingham

Without Masts, the boats hardly look like Tall Ships

Pretty soon the boats will be rerigged – we are targeting the third weekend in April!

Playfair and Pathfinder  hardly look like tall ships without their masts!

Its much warmer now, so come down and visit, but if you can’t make it down, check out the pictures that Ian took of all the boats on the harbour.

These pictures were taken by Ian on his visit to Toronto Harbourfront in February.

Playfair – withouth riggings or masts

Pathfinder – without riggings or masts.