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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.

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?

Read more ...

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?


Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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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fender down“My husband orders me to put out the fenders, but never says how high or how low. Regardless where I put them, he yells at me that they are at the wrong height. Help me, before I hang him up from the nearest yardarm!”

This request greeted me in my emails the other day.

Freda and her husband have a 28’ cruiser with single sterndrive.  I thought a whole article would be better than an individual reply in this case, as many First Mates run into this same situation.

Fender height is very important when docking and, knowing how to figure it out each time, is key. My advice to Freda so she could stop fender height fretting.......

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boaters toolboxThanks to all boaters (power and sail) who sent in their lists of “Top Ten Tools”.

We had such a tremendous response, that we not only have a list of your Top Ten Tools, but a comprehensive list of all the tools that should be in every boaters toolbox.

Since there are many types of boats, the toolkit contents would vary; but the list we have compiled from all submissions is a great starting point. Most have sample uses.

Read more ...

empty tool boxNothing will go wrong”, is the hope of all boaters when they shove off the dock. None of us want to have to repair anything while underway.

But, we all know that as sure as it is going to rain on your holidays, things do break or come loose and need to be fixed.

So, all boaters need to carry a tool kit.

Too often the one tool we need, isn’t in the box for that unforeseen repair(s) that you may be faced with either underway or at the harbor.


Read more ...

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Captains love boating

First Mates should too.


Give your First Mate a Valentine promise

To put your yelling aside.

Improve your docking skills

so you’ll both enjoy the ride.

If your dockings include any of the following:

  • Yelling
  • Swearing
  • Jumping
  • Boat Hooks
  • Bionics
  • Dock Helpers
  • Guesswork
  • Embarrassment
  • Hissy Fits

Proceed to Boat Docking Lessons


See also: Communicating Aboard


Kaitlyn boat showBoaters love looking at boats and what better place to look than at a Boat Show!

Whether “just looking” for interest sake, or because they are suffering from “foot-it is” and ready to move up a few feet, they are adding Boat Shows to their calendars and planning a get-away-day at the Show.

Deals will be made and excited boaters will take delivery of their new pride and joy; BUT, a good percentage of them will make a huge mistake.


Read more ...

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