New lease leads to new sailing program


Two sailing schools are looking for room on Charlotte Harbor–and there is only room for one. The launch of a new sailing program is sending a long-time school scrambling for a new location.

Logan Boucher and his sister, Kyra, learned to sail at the Community Sailing Center.

“It’s something active and it’s work, but it doesn’t feel like work. It’s a way to get you out on the harbor and experience everything that’s out there.” Logan said.

The school’s lease at the Bayfront Center ends April 1, and it hasn’t been able to find a new location yet.

“And, unfortunately, that means all the boats have to be moved and it makes it that much harder to come out here and do our sailing” Logan said.

The city chose to lease the building to the YMCA, not the Community Sailing Center.

That means the director is clearing out his office after nine years here. The hardest part was telling his students they won’t be able to sail until he finds a new location.

“It was tough, it was tough. It was an emotional time for me, but it’s one of those things where we try to teach them, keep your head up, look forward and keep going,” said Dennis Peck of Community Sailing Center.

Sailing will continue at this location. As part of its lease with the city, the YMCA is required to start its own sailing program here.

“I’m absolutely excited to think, after all this time, it’s finally coming to fruition,” said Randy Dunn, CEO of Charlotte County Family YMCA.

Dunn says his group has been working on a sailing plan for about four years.

They have hired a sailing director, organized an advisory committee and are hunting down boats to launch their program here by June 1.

“We just have a lot of kids out there that need to sail, and we have a lot of parents who would like to see their kids sail on our beautiful harbor.” Dunn said.

Peck is meeting with the county next week to discuss a possible partnership for his school.

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