8 Bells – Rick Butler

January 5, 2021

8 Bells – Rick Butler

Rick (Warwick) Butler led a full and interesting life but was felled by cancer in the last few years
and died on December 25, 2020.

Rick founded Grassroots Sailing School in Newmarket, Ontario. Through this school he shared
his passion for sailing and introduced many to the sport. He was a Sail Canada Advanced Cruising
Instructor and an Instructor Evaluator. When Rick wasn’t teaching during the summer in Ontario, he could be found around Saint Maarten, offering cruising courses there. Anyone who attended one of Rick’s many instructional courses, came away a more competent sailor.

Rick was instrumental in assisting in the preparation of the new Intermediate Catamaran Cruising Endorsement offered through Sail Canada. He was an accomplished sailor and experienced Delivery Captain with many trips between Canada and the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and throughout the Great Lakes.

Survived by his wife Joan, daughter Nancy, grandson Angus and son Mark.

The sailing community has lost one of its most valuable members.


  • Rolex
  • Helly Hansen
  • Gallagher Skippers' Plan
  • BMO Sail Canada MasterCard
  • Government of Canada