Pointe Claire Yacht Club

Robert Gallant sits in a restored wooden sail boat at the Pointe-Claire Yacht Club in Montreal on Monday August 17, 2015. Gallant helped restore the boat to its original glory and it is thought to be the only remaining boat from the original group of 23 Pointe-Claire One designed boats. The boats date back to 1933 when the club began acquiring them as racing boats.Jabberwock is looking good these days. The wooden sail boat — called a PCOD — was in a sorry state when Pointe-Claire Yacht Club members Robert Gallant and Richard Moore first set eyes on it in 2014.

The 19-f00t, single-mast sloop was one of a fleet of 23 PCODs that dominated the racing scene in the region from the mid-1930s until the early 1960s. Jabberwock is the only remaining water-worthy member of the fleet.

PCOD stands for Pointe-Claire One Design. In 1933, the Pointe-Claire Yacht Club sailing committee came up with a single design that would level the racing field and silence post-race quibbles about this winner having a boat of superior design or that racer having a more expensive boat.

“Then it was the skill of the sailor that became the deciding factor, ” Moore said during a chat at the yacht club one recent, steamy morning.

Moore is Honorary Commodore at the PCYC and Gallant is its historian, working on “draft number 19.5” of a book on the history of the club. Interesting fact? The Pointe-Claire Yacht Club still uses the original clubhouse built in 1897 — breaking the longevity record in North America for the continued use of an original clubhouse.

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Jabberwock — now owned by the PCYC — was previously owned by Brent LeBaron who had kept the boat in dry storage in North Hatley for 23 years. In 2014, he contacted the Point-Claire Yacht Club to find out more about the history of the One Design. The club put him in touch with Gallant. LeBaron informed Gallant that he no longer wanted to keep the boat and asked if the yacht club would like to buy it.

“I told him we would love to have that piece of history, ” Gallant said.

Jabberwock arrived at the yacht club in December 2014. Luckily, there was no dry rot, but the cracks between the boards were wide enough to slip a credit card through, there was a worrisome horizontal crack working its way up the mast, the hull’s varnish was cracked and peeling and brass fittings needed some tender-loving care.

Gallant and Moore — both veteran sailors — spent months researching how to restore the sloop and where to find the materials necessary to complete the work. Moore is a retired mechanical engineer with a specialty in airplanes and jet engines and Gallant is a structural corrosion engineer. They holed up in one of the yacht club’s boat sheds over the winter, ridding the sloop of raccoon droppings and critter nests of various sorts, sanding, caulking and tinkering with the brass fittings.

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