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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.

Kidde RecallMore than 40 Million Kidde Fire Extinguishers have been recalled.

This is important information for boaters who count on their Fire Extinguishers to work if they ever need them.

The American Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website shows you how to identify the recalled Fire Extinguishers sold between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017.

According to the CPSC website, consumers should immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement fire extinguisher and for instructions on returning the recalled unit, as it may not work properly in a fire emergency.

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yellingpointingfinger2If your docking involves any yelling, swearing, jumping, boat hooks, bionics, dock helpers, guesswork or embarrassment, you are not in the “Best” Boat Docking category, and should probably upgrade your docking skills a level or two.

Boaters, who read our last newsletter “Bad, Good, Better, Best”, know that docking your boat should not include any of the above.

We have heard from many boaters over the years, who have mastered Doug Dawson’s Docking Techniques and are enjoying stress-free docking, but sometimes have difficulty explaining why it works so well, when challenged by another boater—especially one who is more senior and “qualified”.

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leaky hosse 1We are well into September and the boating season is quickly coming to an end. So, Brenda and I squeeze in as many days as we can over September and into October.

This particular September day, I was walking down the dock to B45 where WINDY is docked. Having been born and raised at our family marina (Dawson’s Marina on Lake Simcoe Ontario) and learning from Dad to look after the customers’ boats, I still never just “walk” down the dock. I am always looking and listening for anything out of the ordinary that could indicate a problem. He taught me that avoiding problems is far better than fixing or cleaning up later—it’s something marina operators just do!

Today, I heard water running on the way to my boat........

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boat docking meafordBoaters have varying levels of expertise when it comes to docking their boats—both power and sail. Some can handle and dock with precision and ease in extremely tight quarters; while most struggle forever with great difficulty as they try to make their boat do what they want it to do.

Why is this? Why do some boaters fear docking? In fact, some boaters are afraid to go out because they fear coming back in--especially if there is a breeze or light wind.

Wouldn't it be better to replace the fear with confidence and handle and dock with precision and ease?

So how do you elevate your docking skills to the Good, Better or Best categories?

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1000 islands bridge US Canada

This photo of Thousand Islands Bridge is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Boaters from the US will now be exempt from reporting to Canadian Border Services Agency, when they cross the border to cruise or fish on the Canadian side of the line, 

PROVIDED they do NOT...............

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who is right

Docking a boat can be really difficult—especially when using the wrong instructions.

There are many “experts”, who insist their way is the “right way”.

How can they all be right? They can’t. But, how do you figure out, who has the right instructions for you and your boat?

Many boaters feel the best way is to pick up some techniques from one, some tips from another and still other instructions for someone else.

That way, they feel they will be getting the best from everyone and be better off for it. But, is writing your own book of instructions best?

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boat soldThousands of boaters invest in docking lessons to learn how to dock their new or used boat, that they have just purchased. This makes perfect sense.

But, the other day, Thomas called to order a docking e-lesson and video, because he was selling his Pontoon Boat.

At first, I was confused; then he explained and it made a lot of sense. Why not?


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shore cordBoats, both power and sail, that are wired for 110V, need Shore Cords to plug into marine power at the dock. Some use one while others need two cords. 

But, there some things you should know before handling your Shore Cord.

How do you safely run the shore cord from the power post/pedestal on the dock, to the power inlet fitting on your boat to supply power without causing harm to you, your guests, your boat or others?


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cruiser hit dockJoe and Judy (not their real names) had launched a few days ago and were organizing their boat for a great summer season, when they heard a cry from the First Mate aboard the boat attempting to dock beside them. “Honey, DON'T HIT THE DOOOCK!” she screamed, sending shivers through Joe’s spine.

What followed was a huge CRUNCH and “Too late”, as he smashed into the dock, damaging his hull and leaving his screw-up mark forever on the dock.

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first aid kitHow many times do you check the contents of your Boat’s First Aid Kit? Probably, not very often. It’s one of those things you have on your boat, just in case you need it, hoping you won’t ever need it.

First Aid Kits come in all shapes, sizes and prices, resulting in different contents. Do you have what you might need when something goes wrong? Not having the correct contents can be just as bad as not having a First Aid Kit at all.

But, one boater says there is something more important than having a First Aid Kit on your boat?

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