Finding The Right Boat

With over 70 different boat types to choose from, how do you determine which is “The Right Boat” for you and your family?

This is not an easy task and too many boaters make the biggest mistake, of purchasing the wrong boat and are sorely disappointed later. Once they get out on the water, they discover that:

  • confusedThe kids need a head, but the bowrider didn’t have one.
  • The cottage taxi boat didn’t have a big enough motor and was too bulky for skiing at the cottage.
  • The narrow mid cabin cruiser wasn’t roomy enough for the “large” family. It wouldn’t perform and turned out to be an “excuse me” boat—there wasn’t enough room to move anywhere without saying “Excuse me”.
  • The bed was too short leaving the feet hanging over the end.
  • There wasn’t enough room for the knees when sitting on the head.
  • OR, one of hundreds of other problems for their boating lifestyle.

There are so many disappointments boaters experience when they start using their new boat that could have been identified before they bought.

Normand Vallée and Lise Tremblay were determined to do it right and buy the right boat. Now, they have turned their dream into reality on board “Real Mountie” enjoying all boating has to offer in their retirement.

Read their story to find out how they did it.

When I asked Normand if we could publish his story, this is what he replied:


Brenda Dawson, Lise Tremblay, Doug Dawson at the Toronto International Boat Show

“Nice to hear from you. Yes, you are authorized to publish our comments as they will benefit future boaters in having easy access to your shared knowledge for getting positive results in helping them to Learn and Understand What you Need to Know about Boating in order to realize their dreams.

Your publications are extremely helpful and a credit to any reasonable person who want to enjoy boating with his first mate and it certainly still help to keep a relationship during those boating trip… as it can become a nightmare…

We do not have any financial interest as you already know since we first met and remembered these memorable moments at the Toronto Boat Show.

Our main interest is that people benefit from Doug boating experiences and your First Mate boating safety learned advices which are the most important for us to learn.

Our testimony is a living result of your continuous engagement and learned contribution of the boating community that I am part of for the years we have to enjoy.

Thanks to you and God Speed!”

Kindest Regards!

Lise Tremblay and Normand Vallée.

PS: We had to refer to First Mate 101 to resolve some conflictual issues and it defused some delicate situation for both the Captain and the ADMIRAL…

J.R. Normand Vallée, On board of trawler/À bord du chalutier REAL MOUNTIE.

This is their story:

Thank you for your publications! They really helped us to realize our dreams! Kind Regards!

My wife Lise and I had lived respectively a long and exciting careers. We wanted a new way of living in seeking a pleasure craft that could provide us the ultimate Retirement Adventure, our Alternative Home and our memorable summer residence as a reward to our hard-working and successful life.

The current retirement alternatives do not offer much to those who have achieved something in their life and are just ready to be put out to pasture. We needed a boat that could put a sense of freedom into our retirement adventure.

There is a camaraderie in a boating community that is non-existent in a cement high-rise or suburb. We wanted to become more involved in the heartbeat of life as we are more aware of Mother Nature and her ever-changing moods something you lose with the big city. We wanted more than a summer cottage. We bought a condominium for Skiing during the snow season and we wanted a Boataminium for the rest of the year. I sailed since the age of 14 and I was tired with huge headsails, getting soaked in an open cockpit and living in a expensive submarine, all at a 15 degree heel.

After a 3 year research, we made that eccentric choice to Buy a Boat as a liveaboard for the ultimate retirement experience in order to escape the jungle of concrete and asphalt of big cities like Montreal, Canada.

We wanted a Boat that fits our needs and we so grateful to Doug and Brenda Dawson for all their publications. Doug, Brenda thank you for helping us to make the appropriate choice in order to realize our dream! We have interpreted our Research into Reality.

We then established criteria for safety, economy, character, comfort, style and why not grace. We were attracted by a classic look Motor Yacht that did not look like a Clorox bottle or Wedding cake type of Motor Yacht (No offence to anyone who choose Low maintenance and Bigger budget Yacht). We did not want high performance as we have worn out the thrill of rattling our kidneys and our dishes. We wanted to save our pocketbook in keeping our fuel tanks filled so we would spend it visiting area to discover.

Comfort was a personal thing. We wanted to equate comfort with pleasure and enjoyment. This is one of the area’s that occupied most our our research and study.

We do not enjoy weathering through a storm although we did encounter some bad weather and put up with Mother Nature during our trip from Fort Pierce to Lake Champlain and we were quite satisfied and impressed with her handling and performance during a thunderstorm.

Our Boat was to be our passport to civilized adventure in the nautical living environment. We did not want a boat to win races or cross the ocean, we just wanted to enjoy ourselves on the water as is it our belief that pleasure boating is for pleasure.

This Boat was to be our escape from the pressures of day-to-day existence. as a new, exiting alternative lifestyle for we wanted to taste more of life. We needed a chage of tempo as we needed to refresh our spririts like to put a smile on our face and in our heart. We are from the ”Stop and Smell the Roses” School of Boating!

The covered screened after deck (veranda deck) is to be the best comfort place to sit and relax or have our meals. We have in addition two comfy chairs and we can accommodate half-dozen people for happy hour.

We finally bought it from Jim and Joan Elliott, formaly named CHRISTINE. Thank you Jim and Joan!

real-mountie-sternREAL MOUNTIE is a Canadian icon for a Canadian made 1986 Pilgrim 40 Hull #28 (a.k.a. as P-40) that was developed by Ted Gozzard a talented designer, tool-maker and shipwright.

The first production boat of the Pilgrim 40 Project started in January 1983. The P-40 was designed by an Artist, Ted Gozzard who expressed his natural talent and made the proof of concept (without using a computer), envisioned it three-dimensionally, drafted it, made a model, tooled and builded it to the finest carpentry detail that would be cost prohibitive today.

What a great feeling for us to see the smiles on people who tell us “What a beautiful boat you have”!

Every day, people make us realize that her striking looks is the centre of attention at our Marina or when we pull in to a harbour or an anchoring bay.

“Real Mountie” has given Lise and I, pleasure and pride in ownership in showing her classic, proven full displacement hull, with her plumb bow, fantail stern, gently arched windows, varnished mahogany trim, her sheer line, cosmetic details all combined to create an dream impression about herself and about her owners living their dreams that only one’s own eyes and not our words can explain.
.. J. R. Normand Vallée
On board of trawler/ À bord du chalutier REAL MOUNTIE

Contratulations Normand and Lise

real-moutie-boat-cardNormand and Lise bought right. They found our website, bought and studied “Buy a Boat With Confidence” and “First Mate 101“, then met with us at the Toronto International Boat Show to learn as much as they could. Then, armed with knowledge and confidence, they set out to find their dream boat.

Knowing what they wanted from boating, they did their research and homework and found the boat that FIT all their needs.

Real Mountie is their dream come true and Normand and Lise are excited to be able to enjoy boating and all it has to offer.

Thank you Normand and Lise for sharing your story. We are so pleased to hear you are living your dream. Enjoy!

Doug and Brenda Dawson

See also:
Another Success Story

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