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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.

captain-motherMost often, the First Mate is female and is always the First Mate, and the Captain is usually male and is always the Captain. But, “First Mate” and “Captain” are just titles with duties attached.

So, the one (male or female) who assumes the duties of First Mate, is the First Mate and the one (male of female) who assumes the duties of Captain is the Captain. Gender doesn’t play a role. It is just a job.

In an ideal world, the First Mate and Captain should be able to “Switch Hats” allowing the First Mate to be Captain and the Captain to be First Mate.

Why not give Mom a promotion for Mother’s Day?......

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fender-up-on-dockDon Ruggieri called from New York the other day with a fender question. He and other boaters frequent a restaurant on the Hudson River, while leaving their boats tied parallel on a dock that lies parallel to the river. The wakes from passing inconsiderate boaters, hit them broadside tossing the boats and forcing the fenders to ride up onto the dock’s surface like the picture to the left.

Without fender protection, the dock edge scratches the boats, as they are tossed up, down and sideways against the dock.

Here are some tips to prevent fenders riding up.....

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Paper or Electronic or ?

lake-erie-chartIn the USA, since the 1860s, NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) traditional paper charts have been printed using the lithographic process.

Since they are printed in batches, with lag times of up to ten or more years, they do not contain critical updates that were published in the United States Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) or in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Notice to Mainers (NM) since the chart publication date.

Effective April 13, 2014, the US federal government will no longer

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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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