Why did you get into boating?

kathy colan new boatersWhen you ask boaters about their experiences on the water, be prepared for hours of entertainment.

Boaters love to share the good and the bad, punctuated with laughter and exaggeration. The answers to the question “Why did you get into boating?” are eagerly shared and most interesting.

An opportunity to be a good citizen and get a free boat ride for doing so, introduced one couple to boating and they are thrilled.

Thanks to Kathy and Colan for sharing their story.

kathy helm loves boating “We had the pleasure of meeting Doug and Brenda Dawson the summer of 2013 during the Day on the Bay fund raising event.  Not only did we help contribute to the hospital we were able to get incredible information and tips from the Dawson’s.  So in the fall of 2013 we purchased a 31 ft. Sea Ray and I purchased Twin Inboard Introductory and Twin Inboard Advanced Docking Lesson from the Dawson’s.

I read the advanced book at least 3 times as our first boating adventure would be from Keswick (bottom end of Lake Simcoe) to Collingwood in June 2014.  It would be a two-day trip and we would need to go through 5 Locks on the Trent system.  My husband, Colan, on the other hand felt he knew everything he needed to know about docking the boat.

So, at the very first lock as we tried to leave the dock to approach the lock, Colan was unable to get off the dock and we ended up tearing off a bumper.  “Ok”, Colan said “tell me what you learned from the Dawson’s books”.  I explained the Undocking technique and told him to use the shifts. I went over step by step the Dawson’s instructions and 2 days and 5 locks later we successfully docked the boat in Collingwood. Best trip ever!

On our next day out on the boat when we were returning to the marina, the winds were about 25 miles an hour. We could not dock the boat.  So we took a suggestion from Doug’s book, “If All Else Fails” to just dock it where we could safely, and that was the gas dock which had just closed for the night.

colanThe next morning we had to move the boat but the winds were still strong.  Now we needed to get off the gas dock with the winds blowing the boat right up tight to the dock.  So I suggested Undocking – Leaving Bow First.  I hooked the stern line to the middle cleat on the gas dock and then Colan put the port shift in reverse and the starboard shift in forward.  The bow of the boat slowly left the dock, I unhooked the line and off we went to the utter amazement of the gas attendant.

Now we had to dock the boat in our slip.  I sat quietly at the back of the boat waiting for my turn as the First Mate and watch Colan back that boat up perfectly and on the first try by using your aggressive docking technique.  I hooked the stern rope onto the cleat, tied  the line and stepped off the boat.  Colan put the starboard shift in forward and the bow of the boat slowly moved toward the dock.  I grabbed the bow line and tied it to the cleat. 

surprise2I threw my hands in the air, started to cheer and looked to see how impressed everyone was of Colan’s docking, only to find that there was not one person around to witness the perfect docking.

Well, the rest of our summer boating was great as we had the confidence to take the boat anywhere.  We also had fun sitting back at the marina and watching our fellow boaters trying desperately to dock their boats and their crazy ways to do so. One couple finally gave up and parked their boat bow first and then from the dock manually turned the boat around.

Thank you, Thank you.  Not only was it an absolute pleasure meeting Doug and Brenda but without these tips and instructions we would never have been able to handle this huge boat and we definitely would not have been able to enjoy a great summer of boating.

Oh, Colan just finished re-reading Advanced Docking so we are all set for another great summer.”

Kathy Sutherland and Colan Inglis

Toronto, ON

 We have since heard from Kathy and they did have another great summer “

“We had a great summer.  We took a four day boat trip this summer over to the 30,000 island.  We cannot thank you enough for all your tips.  It has truly made our boating a stress free adventure.  We still use them, the other day with strong winds, we did the bump and go while trying to get into our boat slip.  We let the fenders do the work.

We will look for you again next year at the boat show.”

We love to hear your stories. If you have a boating story you would like to share, send to Brenda

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