STV Pathfinder Returns to Sail Training in Hamilton Harbour Thanks to Breakwater Investments

Hamilton now home to second tall ship

Aug. 23, 2021

HAMILTON, ON – Brigs Youth Sail Training (Brigs) is pleased to announce, through the generous support of Blair McKeil of Breakwater Investments, the tall ship STV Pathfinder will return to sail training in 2022.

Following an extensive refit, Pathfinder will rejoin her sister ship TS Playfair in Brigs’ homeport of Hamilton, Ontario. Together, the two Brigantines will offer sail training courses to youth and adults. Brigs, a 60 year old not-for-profit organization, will operate the tall ships and offer over 350 spots annually for new trainees to come on board starting in the summer of 2022. 

“The return of the original vessel, Pathfinder, to sail training is exciting for the Hamilton Community and we’re incredibly honoured to lend support and be a partner to Brigs,” says Blair McKeil, President and CEO of Breakwater Investments. “The teamwork and skills that youth gain through the sail training program not only fosters and rewards self-confidence, leadership and character building but most importantly, connects young people from all walks of life and nurtures lifelong friendships.” says McKeil.

Commissioned in 1963, STV Pathfinder was one of Canada’s first specially designed sail training ships. Thousands of young people have learned to sail on her and many graduates of Brigs’ sailing programs have gone into marine careers. 

Pathfinder was Brigs’ first vessel and it holds a very special place in the hearts of thousands of our alumni,” said Francis Clegg, president and board chair of Brigs Youth Sail Training. “We’re incredibly excited to welcome Pathfinder back to sail training and to now be able to offer many more berths on our popular summer courses. All of us at Brigs are beyond grateful for the generosity of Mr. McKeil and his team in embracing our vision and for providing the financial support and technical expertise to make this happen.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Pathfinder to its new Hamilton home,” said HOPA Ports President & CEO Ian Hamilton. “What better way to celebrate our port city and its maritime heritage than to help foster a new generation of young people as passionate about the Great Lakes as we are.”

Brigs is now sending out a call for volunteers to help with maintenance, outreach, fundraising and programming. To get involved visit or email [email protected].

Registration for 2022 courses will open at the end of August. More information is available at,  Facebook and Instagram @brigs.sailing. 


Media Contacts
For interviews with Blair McKeil, contact Natasha Mackow, 416.278.3566, [email protected]

For interviews with Ian Hamilton, HOPA and Francis Clegg, Brigs, contact Rosemarie Enslin,
 416 684 4410, [email protected].

About Breakwater Investments Inc.
Breakwater Investments Inc. is a single-family office based out of Burlington, ON. specializing in private 1st mortgage lending throughout urban and suburban markets within Southern Ontario. Breakwater invests across a range of asset classes and industries with an emphasis on the real estate and marine sectors.

About HOPA Ports
HOPA Ports (aka Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority) is a generous supporter of Brigs Youth Sail Training. HOPA is an integrated port network on the Great Lakes, with facilities in Hamilton, Oshawa and Niagara. HOPA’s facilities comprise 1,000 acres of land and handle 10 million MT of cargo per year, empowering 40,000 jobs and $6 billion in economic activity in Ontario. By investing in high-quality infrastructure and prioritizing sustainability, we are building prosperous working waterfronts in Ontario communities.

About Brigs Youth Sail Training
Brigs is a 60-year-old charitable organization now based in Hamilton, Ontario thanks to the support of the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority and Breakwater Investments Inc. Brigs is dedicated to building leadership, self-efficacy, and self-esteem in youth 13-18. This is accomplished through the peer-to-peer delivery of challenging programs aboard our traditionally-rigged sail training tall ships, with a focus on safety and the creation of positive and memorable experiences and adventures onboard. Brigs fosters learning and the development of practical skills, the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices, and an appreciation of the rich marine heritage of the Great Lakes.