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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.

telling-storyIt’s no secret! Boaters love to tell stories and quite often, the more times told, the grander they become.

As we listen to boaters’ stories, we enjoy the entertainment, but also hear the underlying message.

One boater told his story to a group of boaters who were enjoying refreshments in the cockpit, about a yacht Captain who really screwed up when exiting a lock in the Trent Canal.

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toilet-paperQuality is remembered, long after price is forgotten. I heard these words often as a child, from my Dad. He told me it was better to pay more and buy a quality product because it would last longer, I would enjoy it more and it would be cheaper in the long run.

But, today with prices going through the roof on just about everything, more and more people are shopping price just to make ends meet. Take toilet paper for your boat, for example. Why would you pay $1.50 per roll when you can buy one for 30 cents?

Well, let me tell you. I bought the marine quality toilet paper for our boat at $1.50/roll and saved $487.11! Dad was right!

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hand-fingersMuch has been written and most boaters know that you never put a finger, foot, hand or any other body part between a boat and any structure like a dock, pier, piling or another boat to prevent the two from hitting.

But, I haven’t seen anything written about the danger of knots and fingers.

When pulling in to a marina for a pump out one day, a willing service dock attendant offered to assist with our docking. We always look after our own lines, but I was told that this attendant had been trained in tying knots. “Do you know how to tie a figure eight cleat hitch?” I asked her. “Yes” was her reply.

As we came into the dock, I handed her the stern line from the platform and asked her to tie a figure eight cleat hitch. She squatted down and fumbled her way through tying the line to the floating dock cleat but…..

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drying-linesThe Anchor Locker on the bow of your boat is a compartment that is designed to store and protect your anchor rode and chain.

When not in use, the locker keeps everything untangled and ready for instant use when you arrive at your anchorage or for deploying in an emergency.

Anchor lockers get hot and wet with little or no ventilation causing hidden problems........

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falling2At our family marina, Dawsons Marina on Lake Simcoe, where I demonstrated and sold thousands of new and used cruisers for many decades, I observed so many new boaters who were not accustomed to the movement of the boat. As a result, they were terrified of losing their balance and would hang on for dear life.

But, it wasn’t only new boaters, as I noticed the same behaviour from people buying their second or third boat.

Nothing is more unsafe or frightening than losing your balance on the deck, on the platform, in a small boat in rough seas, or when the Captain accelerates quickly, or stops too fast. Many boaters and non-boating guests often end up falling with resulting injuries.

There is one simple free tip to prevent falls in all of these circumstances and many more situations.

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going-fishingAh Father’s Day… if you’re like us on Lake Simcoe, it was a bright sunny day with warm temperatures. I decided to stop the work on repairing our cottage deck, and get the fishing boat – a 15 foot long Princecraft with a 20HP Yamaha 4 stroke, out for a ‘run’ and maybe some fishing.

My son, daughter in law and grandson had just safely returned the week before from the boat’s first outing of the year, the annual Orillia Perch Festival.

When I uncovered the boat, I noticed that it had a good deal of water in it, from all the rain we had… or so I thought.

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Are Your Flares Expired?

If your flares have a manufacture date of 2010 or earlier they have or will expire this year.

You can't light them, throw them in the water or in your household garbage. This has been an ongoing problem for boaters.

We have just received a notice from the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons that something is being done in Canada to help boaters dispose of their expired flares.

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captain-motherMost often, the First Mate is female and is always the First Mate, and the Captain is usually male and is always the Captain. But, “First Mate” and “Captain” are just titles with duties attached.

So, the one (male or female) who assumes the duties of First Mate, is the First Mate and the one (male of female) who assumes the duties of Captain is the Captain. Gender doesn’t play a role. It is just a job.

In an ideal world, the First Mate and Captain should be able to “Switch Hats” allowing the First Mate to be Captain and the Captain to be First Mate.

Why not give Mom a promotion for Mother’s Day?......

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fender-up-on-dockDon Ruggieri called from New York the other day with a fender question. He and other boaters frequent a restaurant on the Hudson River, while leaving their boats tied parallel on a dock that lies parallel to the river. The wakes from passing inconsiderate boaters, hit them broadside tossing the boats and forcing the fenders to ride up onto the dock’s surface like the picture to the left.

Without fender protection, the dock edge scratches the boats, as they are tossed up, down and sideways against the dock.

Here are some tips to prevent fenders riding up.....

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Paper or Electronic or ?

lake-erie-chartIn the USA, since the 1860s, NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) traditional paper charts have been printed using the lithographic process.

Since they are printed in batches, with lag times of up to ten or more years, they do not contain critical updates that were published in the United States Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) or in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Notice to Mainers (NM) since the chart publication date.

Effective April 13, 2014, the US federal government will no longer

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