Rather than spending money to build a highfalutin clubhouse, the Water Rats found yet another scrappy solution. Jack Jones knew of a Great Lake freighter that was scheduled for demolition. The Rats salvaged the wheelhouse and captain’s quarters, and it served as the clubhouse for 40 years.
Once the club was established, it became a sailing hotbed. Henderson recruited Hans Fogh to move to Toronto. Along with Ian Bruce, Fogh and Henderson went for a sail in December of 1970 at the Water Rats Sailing Club in a boat called TGIF, short for “Thank God It’s Friday.” That boat would become the Laser, and the Water Rats’ club would become home to those who love racing it, catamarans, and paddling canoes and kayaks.