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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.

old cruiser skegRecreational power boats have evolved over the decades from low inboard power boats with huge rudders, skegs and low flat decks in the 30’s and 40’s when the same docking lesson worked for both sail and power, to the variety of power boats you see on the water today.

As a result of all these changes and improvements, handling and docking a power boat is much more challenging and requires a completely different method of handling and docking for each drive system, BUT

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checklist-boat-springBoating is supposed to be fun! But, many boaters experience disappointment or even disaster on their first few outings in the spring.

Forgetting to bring the corkscrew for your wine, the can opener for your cans, or the fly swatter to protect yourself from the pesky flies are irritating, but aren't too serious and can easily be remedied by bringing them the next time.

But having an annoying water leak or the VHF radio not working, or your windshield wiper smearing your windshield could put a damper on your outing.

More serious problems like transmission or engine problems, leaky holding tanks, electronics not working, or missing safety items could easily result in disaster.

All of these problems are preventable with a simple.....

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There are knots for just about everything. You can find all kinds of information on the internet and view how to tie them. But, we are interested in finding out about one particulawnmower hitch smlar knot (hitch) that many boaters use but don’t know what it is called.

Last year, we asked for help identifying this helpful knot that has no name—or at least no name that we can find. Many suggestions came in that were close, but none match this knot.

It is often used to store a coiled rope or line when not in use either on the bowrail or on a rail in storage. The cow hitch and lanyard hitch appear similar once tied, but they are tied differently and not with multiple coils of rope or line.

Do you know what it is? See Unknown Knot - Still Unknown


dawsons mobileEverything is changing—some things more rapidly than others, like websites.

Many aren’t able to respond to new improvements and requirements to operate smoothly and efficiently on the internet.

As a result, it is more and more difficult to see and use webpages on smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other platforms.

The pages just don’t fit, don’t flow, freeze, and are so frustrating. 

What’s the fix?

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irish coffee brieWeather is as unpredictable as many other things influencing our lives today.

Every country in the world is experiencing huge changes in weather patterns and, most often, our forecasters can’t accurately predict long term or even short term.

Planning a trip now, becomes more difficult—especially when crossing large bodies of water. You have to plan for almost everything.

But, it isn’t all bad!

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questionWhat do these have in common?

  • a Christmas tree
  • a hedge
  • hair
  • waistline
  • sails
  • power boats


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If you have a First Mate in your family, why not put a First Mate Gift under the Christmas Tree this year?

firstmate bkcoverNeed a Christmas Gift for your First Mate?

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Give a Gift that will keep on giving.....every boating season

For the boaters on your Christmas list, a downloadable Docking e-Lesson is fast, easy and will definitely be appreciated.

Christmas 2014 Special – 2 for 1

Buy a Docking e-Lesson and get

a “Conquering Wakes”  e-Lesson absolutely free.

2 gifts for the price of one!

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better-wayWinter is here for many of us, but for you lucky boaters who are fortunate enough to boat all year, you have an opportunity to improve your skills and knowledge, to enjoy boating even more.

There is almost always a better way to do everything on a boat.

Don’t get stuck in a rut.


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sherlock-holmesNow that much of the North is into fall, and you are going to your boat less often, who is watching your boat when you aren’t there? During the fall, we all want to squeeze in as many hours or even minutes on the water as we can. Knowing that haul out is just around the corner, each fall visit to the boat or fall cruise is precious.

Most marinas regularly check all the boats, but many do not spot smaller problems or potential problems. In some harbours, there is no one to check on the boats at all. If your boat isn’t being checked, there is a simple solution.

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