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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.

smashWe have all watched internet videos of two objects approaching each other in slow motion ahead of the anticipated collision.

This past weekend, Brenda and I were aboard Windy the other side of the harbour and witnessed a large boat back out of his slip right in the path of an approaching boat in the fairway.

Everything was right for one to smash into the other.

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happy coupleTom and Wilma, who had dreamed of boating for years, were finally able to buy their first boat. They took delivery and excitedly prepared to be boaters and enjoy life on the water.

Having observed boaters and learned from the internet forums, Tom wrote his own instructions and was confident he could handle and dock a boat. How difficult could it be? After all, he had watched boats coming and going from the local marina and he could drive his SUV.

Their first outing was perfect. Their dream had come true. But, that was about to change.

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captain should focus during dockingDuring the docking process, the Captain should be focused on docking the boat, knowing that his First Mate is prepared and ready so they can carrry out their docking plan as a team.

Then, docking the boat is accomplished without any complications or difficulty.

Sometimes; however, we see family members, or guests aboard, do what they should not do.

This can lead to an aborted docking attempt or even worse, an injury.

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no swimming in harbor2Many boaters in Ontario have heard of or may be staying at a marina that has the designation "Clean Marine".

You may have heard recently about the Blue Flag Program.

But, there is something you Should Not Do at a "Clean Marine" or a "Blue Flag" Marina.

 

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rear view mirrorDoes "jackknifing, pulling forward, backing, jackknifing, pulling forward, backing up, jackknifing again, cursing furiously, pulling forward, backing up, jackknifing, being furiously cursed at" sound familiar on your launch ramp while trying to launch your boat?

If so, Ford may have found the answer to eliminate all the frustration and embarrassment at the ramp.

The following Houston Chronicle article written by Shannon Tomkins talks about best practices at the Launch Ramp and Ford’s Solution to perfect, easy launches.

Shannon writes:

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rick iceBoating in the summer is one thing, but boating in the early spring is another—particularly after this past winter with the Great Lakes totally frozen over. The early spring water is just above freezing with ice still floating is some areas. Hypothermia is a real possibility and you should avoid it at all costs. The water temperature is only 5° to 7° Celsius or 40° to 43° Fahrenheit—that is non-survival cold!

Thanks Rick for sending this picture of you holding a chunck of ice on Lake Huron on May 18 2015.

On your first cruise of the season, you are still sorting out procedures, lines etc. You’re still rusty and un-rehearsed.

Consider these three Cold Water Tips to help you stay out of the unforgiving icy water lurking invisibly around your boat, like a hungry shark just below the surface.

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boating bcAh, long weekends. 

There are only four during the summer so each one is cherished but this one coming up carries special significance for boaters and cottagers.  (There are few things we cherish more than our long weekends.  One such long weekend carries special significance for boaters and cottagers.) 

It’s the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada, followed next weekend by Memorial Day weekend in the US which is considered by most as the unofficial start of summer!  It’s the weekend where the “Honey Do” List takes a back seat to opening up the cottage, launching the boat and hauling out the water toys. 

Historically, though, these weekends generate

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joy stick dockingOver the decades, power boats have undergone many changes and improvements; so much so, that they don’t resemble the old 1930’s and 40’s boats with single inboards, large rudders and huge keels.

Outboards and Sterndrives were invented, requiring totally different handling and docking skills presenting boaters with different handling and docking challenges.

Then, just recently along came the joy stick as a docking solution, allowing boaters to dock a boat like playing a computer game. Sounds like the answer to simplify docking doesn’t it? Well,

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golf lessonBoating is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is a family recreation enjoyed by millions for family fun, entertaining, relaxing, exploring, fishing and just being on the water.

Life truly is better on a boat.

As with all activities, for example; golf, tennis, painting your house or even handling and docking a boat, you can fumble through on your own, learn from a friend OR be taught by a Pro.

The results always tell the tale! Onlookers easily spot someone who has taken lessons from a pro or someone who hasn’t. Are your dockings worthy of a YouTube video?

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researchAfter a long, cold winter, we finally have a break. Boaters are excited about storing their snow shovels and snow blowers and are shifting their thoughts to spring launch and summer boating.

Many are buying their first boat or trading up; but, a good percentage will buy the WRONG boat.

How do we know? Boaters have been telling us their horrors for decades at boat shows, in harbours and phone calls for help.

Here are a few examples of boaters’ stories:

 

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