Put the "ing" in your Boating

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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.

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.

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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.


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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.


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smartphone cartoonAre you in the market for a new boat?

Boat Shows are the best place to go, to see, to touch and to compare a variety of new boats (and used boat listings) displayed by manufacturers, dealers and marinas with knowledgeable staff just waiting to answer your questions.

But, far too often, show goers suffer from “Boat Show Overload”.  Prospective boat buyers get home from the Boat Show and quickly realize that all the information has merged in their brain and they can’t remember which boats had what features, what was standard on each one, what the options were, the interior colour choices, motor options, etc, etc, etc.

What now?

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oopsWe’ve all heard horror stories of bad boat dockings—some of us have even experienced them.

There is nothing worse than a bad docking to put a damper on boating, a bruise on your ego, total embarrassment and too often a dent in your bank account. Well, maybe, like when "the tides went out a bit faster than expected while we were at the back side of Crane’s Beach at the mouth of the Essex River."

John has sent us his docking story and you will be amazed at what he had to overcome to dock his boat---and, he did!

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boater harbour get togetherThere are all types of boaters and all types of boats, but they all have one thing in common—the love of boating.

In the July Issue of Upper Bay Boating, Don and Gail Elwell shared an idea that would probably be of interest to boaters everywhere to help build their boating communities.

Thanks to Upper Bay Boating publisher Dave Bielecki for giving us permission to post this on our website.


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dan heather aWe love to hear your docking stories about how our docking lessons have improved your docking skills, built your confidence and given many of you a reason to stay in boating.

The last 50 feet back to the dock is the scariest part of boating.

Those 50 feet frustrate and embarrass so many boaters. This is the reason, we have written detailed instructions to help boaters master the techniques that replace the fear of docking, with confidence without the need for yelling, swearing, jumping, boat hooks, bionics, dock helpers, guesswork or embarrassment.


Dan sent in his docking story and we thank him for giving us permission to share it.

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dock like mesAnyone can put anything on the internet; similarly, in a newspaper or a magazine—even a boating magazine. They don’t even have to know what they are talking about.

The danger here is that the reader assumes it to be true—because it is printed! “It Ain’t Necessarily So!

People with expertise in handling and docking boats, can spot a pretender or wannabee-instructor immediately;

BUT, what about the majority who blindly accept the writer as legitimate and take his advice?

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