Classic Boat Festival:

Information for Boaters

Welcome, Captains & Skippers!


Festival Hours for the Visiting Public

DOCKS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Friday, September 1 (9 AM – 8 PM), Saturday, September 2 (9 AM – 8 PM), and Sunday, September 3 (9 AM – 6 PM)

FESTIVAL BEGINS: Friday, September 1, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Sail-past and Races (Sunday Day Time Events)

Please attend the Skippers’ Meeting on Sunday, September 3 at 9:00 AM. We ask that all skippers attend this meeting for instructions on both the races and the sail-past.

Please note:

  • Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a working harbour. The arrival and departure of ferry MV COHO frequently coincides with the beginning of this event. Until the MV COHO has departed, NO VESSEL SHOULD LEAVE ITS BERTH. The only exception to this is the Salute Vessel. The lead vessel will be designated at the Skippers’ meeting.
  • The order of departure will be power first followed by sail.
  • All vessels are asked to take the salute of Honorary Commodore who will be aboard the Salute Vessel.
  • Please follow in line under power on the Sail past course.
  • PLEASE GIVE OGDEN POINT BREAKWATER A WIDE BERTH to enable returning vessels to clear. The distance traveled past the Breakwater will be determined by the weather.
  • We ask that you maintain an open channel 69 on all radios.

Further details will be provided at the Skippers’ Meeting.

Docking and Safety



In the event of an emergency (such as a heart attack, stroke, cuts, burns etc.) notify Victoria Classic Boat Festival personnel immediately. Volunteers, staff, and committee members wear t-shirts with “Victoria Classic Boat Festival” on the front.  Personnel are equipped with radio and cell phones for quick access to fire, police, and ambulance.

Victoria Classic Boat Festival personnel are onsite from 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM daily. In the event of an emergency outside these hours, telephone emergency services at 9-1-1.

Ensure your crew and guests also know its location and how to identify the Victoria Classic Boat Festival personnel. Boat owners must be conscious of their own safety, as well as that of their families and their guests.


Although education is helping reduce the number of fires and explosions onboard vessels, the danger remains ever-present. This is especially true at the Festival, with so many wooden boats congregated in a small area. Under these circumstances, the boat owner is required to be both Skipper and Fire Chief.

  • Ensure all vent pipes are clear.
  • Use a blower to allow fumes to be sucked from the lowest part of the bilge. The Golden Rule is to run the blower for five minutes before starting engines at any time.
  • If you have a sniffer, make sure it is working. Use the nose test.
  • In addition to the crew, inform weekend guests of the locations of all fire extinguishers.
  •  Cover and protect outboard fuel and propane tanks from the party atmosphere. (Watch for smokers!)
  • On galley-equipped craft, give particular attention to propane and butane lines between tank and stove.
  • Turn off all master valves.

SMOKERS: Watch for smoldering butts!


To help alleviate the problem of the faster power vessels arriving first and taking up the limited dockside space, where possible we’ll allocate docking space to different types of vessels on a pro rata basis. Please bear in mind that we are unable to “guarantee” spaces and locations.

We request your cooperation as we allocate specific spaces for the vessels that will be judged. These spaces are from the south side of finger C to, and including the south side of finger E for vessels under 50′ LOA. The balance of the space will be allocated at the discretion of the festival Wharfinger. Ships Point is exclusively for vessels over 50′.

To further ease operations over the festival weekend, and for the added safety of all participants, we ask that ALL skippers using fingers B through G face the bow of their vessels to sea (ie: stern to the sea wall).