Every Labour Day long weekend in September Victoria’s Inner Harbour is the place to be when classic sail and power boats from throughout the Pacific Coast and beyond arrive for the Classic Boat Festival. This is the premier wooden boat show in the Pacific Northwest, drawing more than 200 vessels in a wide variety of categories from Steam Launches to gaff rigged Schooners.
This show breaks boats into three categories; sail, power and steam. Forty boats were entered in the sail category, ranging in vintage from 1897 to the 50's and in length from 30 to 85 feet. Dorothy, a 30 foot fantail cutter, was built in Victoria in 1897 by shipwright John Jacobson. Dorothy is the oldest floating Canadian sailing vessel in British Columbia and was donated to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in 1995.
The highlight of the festival takes place on Sunday mornings with the Sailpast. All vessels leave the Inner Harbour to take the salute from the Honorary Commodore. On the Sunday afternoon, spectators enjoy the annual Schooner Cup and Classic Open Sail races. On the Saturday afternoon, spectators can see the delightful parade of steamboats cruising the Gorge Waterway. The steamboats leave the Inner Harbour around 2 p.m. There is no admission charge for spectators to view the vessels in the Festival.