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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.

harbor collisionA collision at sea can be catastrophic!

A collision in the harbor may not be as catastrophic, but it can not only cause serious damage; but also be extremely embarrassing. It can happen so easily.

We witnessed the following “miss” and use this story to show, how easy it is for a collision in the harbor to happen. Art isn’t his real name, we changed it for obvious reasons and the boats in the picture above are not the boats involved.

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changeBack in the 1960’s, Boat Shows were dominated by sailboats displayed with sails up. Some power boats made up a small part of the Shows.

Over the decades that followed, we saw the opposite swing to almost all power with some sail, then to all power with only a few sailboats.

We have seen a move over time to smaller family boats as older family members with yachts passed on. Now, the highest percentage of boats purchased are smaller boats—much different than the larger yachts that were in demand decades ago. There have been huge swings in size, price and style.

As the outdoor recreational economy now seems to be outpacing the overall economic growth, more confidence is encouraging more and more people to get on board and go boating.

All signs are positive and point to strong recreational boating growth.

For more good news……

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1 10This time of the year, boaters flock to Boat Shows to see the latest and greatest boat models, accessories and all things boating.

Organizers not only plan, market and display marine products, but also add features, events, meet and greets, educational seminars, contests, food courts and even baby-sitting services and more.

They want to make your Boat Show experience more productive, informative and enjoyable.

So, how was your Boat Show experience on a scale of 1-10?

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Have you ever suffered from “crunchitis”?

docking badly 3Crunchitis is a docking disorder associated with stress, contact with the dock, usually yelling, embarrassment and frequently accompanied by extensive pain in the pocket book to cover repair bills.

Most boaters have suffered from Crunchitis at one time or another, and it takes forever to get over it.

No boater wants to experience the embarrassment of hitting the dock.


There are many causes of crunchitis, some more common than others:

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brochure fan4Knowing the actual “real” length of the boat you are about to buy, whether you are buying used/pre-owned or new, will arm you with excellent valuable information in the boat buying process. Comparing the actual length allows you compare apples to apples.

Boats tend to grow, when they are being sold or bragged about; and conversely, they shrink when they are being stored or docked.

Don’t get ripped! Compare actual hull lengths (without pulpits, platforms and creative marketing). Beware of model numbers, as they most often imply that the boat is longer than it actually is.

How do you know what size your boat really is?

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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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