Become a Member
5 Ways to Join the BHSC!
- Sail Regularly with BHSC
- Does not register to race
- Club Events
- Wednesday Night Races
- Tuesday Night Races
- Club Events
- 12 to 21 years old
- Racing Sailboat Placement
- Club Events
- Includes Regular Membership
- Learn Sailing Skills
- 4 Training Sessions!
- Includes Racing Membership
- Experienced Mentor
A Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club “Regular Member” enjoys sailing regularly in the club but does not register a boat to race. If you are trying to register a boat to race, please go to Racing
A Regular Member has all the benefits of other members including access to all club events, reduced fees for regatta parties and club merchandise, the ability to volunteer for committee boats and to run club events.
Regular members may sail exclusively on one boat or participate on several boats. If you do not have a relationship with a registered boat and need assistance finding a position, please register for Crew Bank instead. Skippers needing crew will review your sailing experience on Crew Bank and contact you directly.
The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club races by the rules set forth by US Sailing. Membership in US Sailing is optional. You may choose that option on your registration page. You can learn about the benefits of US Sailing membership here. We encourage you to support this governing body.
The centerpiece of the club’s racing program are the Wednesday night races. Three Series of 5 races each are run between mid -May thru mid-September. At the end of the year, awards are given out at the annual banquet in early November for each Series winners as well as awards for the Fleet Champions.
Wednesday race night draws up to 70 some individual boats broken into 9 different classes.
All are determined by a Lake Erie PHRF rating system, called PHRF-LE. These “handicaps” put each boat into a fair competitive racing class. Currently we have 3 main and jib classes and 6 spinnaker classes. All helmsmen/women must be BHSC members and we encourage all crew to join the club as well.
BHSC also provides a Tuesday racing program. One is titled China Light which is designed as a women’s teaching program. Certain perimeters exist such as a female must be the helmsperson, she must be a BHSC member and there must be more women onboard than men. This is designed to encourage women to become actively involved in sailing and to provide as much racing experience as we can offer.
The other is titled RCR and provides a venue for those just entering the racing scene and wanting more “on the water” practice or for those who may have purchased a different boat and want more practice time. No perimeters exist other than to be a BHSC member as stated above.
Within each of these, BHSC provides a main and jib class as well as a spinnaker classes. So each Tuesday night there would be 4 different racing starts.
BHSC also sponsors the Chilcott Regatta Series named after Chuck Chilcott for his long time dedicated service to the club of over 30 years as our PRO (Principle Race Officer). The PRO sets up the race course based on the variable wind conditions that occur each week of racing.
These regattas are run on 2 different weekends over the summer. One is a one day regatta and the other is a two day regatta. The combined performance totals are calculated and the class winners receive an award at the annual banquet.
BHSC also sponsors a double-handed racing series and on occasion a single handed racing series. This is for those who like to race and venture out solo or with one other crew member. There are 2 races for each category and awards are presented at the annual banquet.
BHSC is one of several clubs sponsoring the Lake Erie Interclub Regatta. This is a five day racing event and takes in various ports of call like, Erie Yacht Club in Erie, PA, Port Dover, Port Colbourne, Point Abino, Buffalo Canoe Club and of course Buffalo, NY .
BHSC is proud to be a member of US SAILING Association (USSA), the Inter-Lake Yachting Association, (ILYA-LE), the Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA-Lake Ontario), the Niagara Frontier Yacht racing Association (NFYRA) and PHRF-LE.
Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club is proud to offer a Junior Membership for those 12 to 21 years old. Although we have no specific junior sailing class, we do try to place any interested junior member on a racing sailboat and learn to sail/race all at the same time. Many of these skippers take crew out on other days for practice which is the ideal time to learn and freshen up your skills. Please click on the link below and complete the junior membership application.
An Introduction to Sailing
Ask any sailor what sailing means to them and the answers will be varied but always passionate. For some, it’s the feeling of silently gliding on the water and the pull of wind in the sails. For others, it’s the rush when the boat heels or the thrill of running a race line. But for all, it is the camaraderie of sharing a sport that is at the same time intellectually challenging, emotionally exciting and physically demanding. The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club wishes to share all of this with you.
Discover Buffalo Sailing is your introduction to the world of sailing. Taking place the first 4 weeks of the sailing season, the program will expose you to basic sailing skills through a structured program of onshore chalk-talks and on the water, hands-on experience. Club boat owners are volunteering their equipment to give you the best possible experiences. Mentors and seasoned crew members will coach you as you learn how the wind and the sails move the vessel through the water. The program will include basic boat handling, safety, and mock race starts.
The 2020 season will kick off on Thursday, April 23rd with an orientation session from 6:30-8: 30 pm that will outline the program expectations, recommended equipment and boat assignments. It will also be a “meet the skipper” night as all participants and fellow crew members, including your club mentors, will be introduced. This meeting will be held at Obersheimer Sailor Supply – 1884 Niagara St. Buffalo, NY 14207 on the second-floor sail loft.
Sessions will run on four consecutive Saturdays with the first session running from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm on May 16th. The remaining sessions will start at 8:45 am. Each session will consist of a 45-minute dockside chalk-talk and 1-1/2 hour sail, weather permitting. Sessions will not be rescheduled if poor weather prevails. In the case of poor weather, a dockside lesson will be substituted. Each boat will have a mentor and a minimum of two seasoned crew members. Participants will be actively involved in sailing during each session.
The requirement for participation is basic club membership which is $55, a $20 materials fee, and signature of a liability waiver. Participants need to be agile enough to easily move around a boat in motion. For more specific information regarding requirements prior to orientation, please contact Diana Augspurger, Program Coordinator at Diana@buffaloharborsailingclub.org
Seats are limited so we encourage you to apply early. Submit your membership application online by clicking on the signup button below
Have you ever thought about racing your sailboat?
Don’t know the rules?
Don’t know how to trim sails for competition?
Join the BHSC Learn to Race program
Every week from May until September,
the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club runs sailboat races on Lake Erie
with over 70 boats participating.
Challenging – Exhilarating – Rewarding – Competitive
Using your boat, a BHSC mentor that’s an experienced racer will sail with you and help you learn the rules so you can join the fun.
The mentors will help you understand how the course is laid out, how the starts are run and share some tricks about the rules of the road. You will be immersed in the competitive world of racing as you learn about tactics, boat speed and crew management.
A 2 hour race orientation will precede the sessions . Cost for the complete program is $125.00.
(Sorry, no rain dates if weather does not cooperate)
This price includes club membership through 12/31/20 which includes the ability to sail the rest of the season through the end of September. Membership renews on 1/15/21. You may cancel at any time.
Do you wish to pay by check?
Download the member application, fill it out and send it with your payment to the address provided.
Contact us to become a sponsor