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Boating Articles

Doug and Brenda Dawson boating on georgian bay

Every couple of weeks, Doug and Brenda write seasonal articles informing boaters of new products, regulations, checklists of things to do for summerizing and winterizing, and covering topics like canvas, head, holding tank, cleaners, upholstery, teak, ropes and numerous other boating activities.

Here you will pick up tips and tricks to help make your boating easier and more enjoyable.

had-enough-snowThe Polar Vortex has had North America in its grip for far too long, reminding us of the winters in the 60’s and 70’s.

The humorous picture making its way around the internet, “If you have had enough cold and snow, PLEASE…Raise your hand!” about covers it.

Every waking minute.....

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confusedIs now the right time to buy a boat and which is the right boat to buy?

When buying a car, you look for one that suits your needs whether you are driving alone to work, or shuffling family members to and from activities, taking long trips for holidays with kids and pets or combinations of different travel needs. The most important consideration is determining what you are going to use the vehicle for and buy the right one for your needs.

You also consider the price. Knowing what can you afford, there’s no sense looking at a Hummer if a Civic is what fits your budget—unless you can get an unbelievably great price on a Hummer.

With so many features on each, it’s wise to compare, touch and feel all vehicles on your short list, before you make the final decision.

Similarly when buying a boat,

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snowingOn Saturday December 21, 2013 as the summer-style winter storm was roaring up the centre of the US into Canada, I took a quick moment to enjoy something different than most North Americans.

Most people in the eastern half of the continent were preparing for or already enduring the wet or white wrath of Mother Nature.

Freezing rain and sleet were delaying or wrecking the best laid plans of many as the countdown to Christmas loomed.

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dont-forgetFor many boaters, the summer boating season has ended and their boats are being hauled, or have already been hauled, and winterized ready for the cold winter months.

There are many winterizing jobs that can be done by your marina, but there are also many things you should remember to do yourself, to ensure you have a trouble-free winter. Read More

Boating All Year?

better-wayFor you lucky boaters who are fortunate enough to boat all year, you have an opportunity to improve your skills and knowledge, to enjoy boating more.

There is almost always a better way to do everything on a boat. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Read more


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coloured-leaves-shoreIt is sad to have to say this, but the reality is, winter is just around the corner. Many boaters in the Northern Hemisphere, have already hauled and stored their boats for the winter. Others, like us, are taking advantage of all the great days left for boating this year.

Sure, it is a little cooler and the days are much shorter, but squeezing in some extra boating time lets us enjoy the best of the fall days on the water, instead of in the back yard.

Vivid fall colours dress trees along the shoreline, while smoke circles above the cottages and homes as they once again make use of their fireplaces.

The air is crisp, the water a deep clean blue and only a few boats are visible in the distance.

Here are a few tips to squeeze in some extra boating time this fall.

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deck-thermometer44 degrees celcius (115 degrees F) greeted us when we stepped out of the office to our deck for lunch this afternoon.

“This is crazy” we thought. “This is summer weather”.

It didn’t take us long to make the decision to take our work to the boat for the afternoon, where the offshore breeze would cool us down. We could do this, because we are fortunate to have set up everything on our laptop so we can work from anywhere.

But, you’ll never guess what we found, when we arrived at the boat.

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bottlesFollowing our “Canvas Straps Damage Clear Windows” article, David asks “Could you tell me the best way to clean the windows on our boat (not the glass) but the plastic”.

There are many products on the market for cleaning the clear plastic/vinyl windows on your boat.

After trying many of them (some “green” and some not so “green”), we decided there had to be something better, easier, still environmentally friendly and something that wouldn’t harm us, as we breathed in the fumes.

A few years ago, we were so excited when we found the answer.

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canvas-straps-hanging-downEvery boat with a bimini top or camper enclosure, has straps that hang down as shown in the picture to the left.

canvas-straps-rolled-upTheir purpose is to hold rolled-up doors and windows up and out of the way for access or ventilation, as shown in the picture at the right.

However, when not in use as hold-up straps, they damage the clear plastic or vinyl windows, as they dangle back and forth in the wind or the movement of the boat leaving a half-moon scratch on the plastic.

There is such an easy way to avoid the scratching.

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the-slipOver time, most boaters learn the tricks of getting on and off a boat or dock, in and out of a dinghy. Most often it’s by trial and error with willing helpers offering a helping hand.

When stepping up from the cockpit of a small boat to a floating dock or up from a dock to a cruiser, people are quick to grab your hand, thinking this is the right thing to do. In many cases, there isn’t enough grip and the hands slide apart as we have all seen on TV and in movies, resulting in a fall with serious consequences.

Holding hands is like giving your fellow boater the “slip” or a “golden hand shake”.

There is one simple tip that Scouter Cliff taught me many decades ago when I was a Boy Scout, that I’d like to share to help boaters avoid “the slip”.

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stick-ostrich-head-sandUnlike the ostrich that sticks its head down a hole in the sand to hide from troubles, you need to stick your head down your bilge.

Each time you return to your boat after a day or week, lift the engine hatch(es). You may be surprised at what you might discover.

One boater told us that he was blown away by what he saw in his bilge—totally unexpected.

The perfect storm of problems had attacked his boat since the previous weekend.

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