The Horizon Escape 1350

Le Boat staff met us at the Westport locks on our arrival. This yacht would be our traveling companion for the next few days – the Horizon Escape 1350.

Picture Perfect Vacation on the Rideau with Le Boat

By Andy Adams, Greg Nicoll and John Armstrong with Robin Ball

If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you have, a vacation aboard a Le Boat Horizon 1350 can give you a whole new view of this magnificent waterway.

One of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century, the Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously-operated canal system in North America. Traveling this sheltered waterway aboard Le Boat, we were able to relax and take in the spectacular nature, picturesque towns and historic locks of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Le Boat FleetThis is an impressive sight in Smiths Falls – many of the Le Boat fleet were back, being cleaned and awaiting the arrival of the next wave of guests.

There are 24 Lock stations and 47 Locks on the Rideau. Each lock has 3 to 4 staff members and usually washrooms, docks where you can stay overnight, sometimes launch ramps and other facilities to enjoy as you travel.

What will amaze you is that these locks are basically as they were originally built in the 1800s and are manually operated! The lock staff not only meet you as you arrive but they assist you as you lock through and they use the man-powered chain drive winches to open and close the massive timber gates to the locks.

DAY ONE
Our vacation was relatively short. We all wished we had had weeks to explore and enjoy the Rideau Canal and lakes, especially given the perfect weather, but getting three (or in this case all four) Galley Guys together in one place at one time, restricted us to just a few days.

The Le Boat staff were totally accommodating. We arrived at the Newboro Lock around lunch time on our first day and we were met by the friendly and very efficient Le Boat staff. We left our car to Sandy, a member of the Le Boat staff who drove it back to their headquarters in Smiths Falls so we could pick it up later when we dropped the boat off.

Scheuermann WineryWhile staying in Westport, we made the decision to go to the Scheuermann Winery and vineyard. Check out the full Galley Guy story in the May 2019 Canadian Yachting.

THE LE BOAT BOATS
Specially designed and built for Le Boat, we cruised on an Escape Horizon 1350 which is built by Delphia Yachts. The boat is 44 feet long overall [13.5 m] and weighs 9500 kg. The Horizon 1350 is a special design for cruising rivers and sheltered waters. It only draws 0.86 m in spite of its size. The beam is 12 and a half feet and the boat is powered by a Nanni diesel producing a mere 60 hp. The Escape Horizon 1350 is very easy to push, the Nanni diesel engine is smooth and quiet, and it seemed happiest running at 7 or 8 knots with a top speed of about 12. At most cruising speeds we were leaving almost no wake to disturb shoreline residents or cause any erosion. The boat is easy to steer, tracks quite accurately and has both bow and stern hydraulic thrusters that can spin the boat in its own length – a test the Le Boat Base Manager tried us out on as part of the orientation.

This makes it remarkably maneuverable for 44 feet, especially when docking or navigating in close quarters such as coming in or out of a lock.

The Locks At PoonamalieEntering the locks at Poonamalie, you can see the Parks Canada staff turning the winches to open the timber gates on the lock.

You can also use the gears to spin the boat, and during our check-through we turned it around in the Newboro lock docks area that way.

We had the Horizon 3 model and there are Horizon 1,2,3,4 and 5 versions. All are basically the same 44’ hull but the Horizon 1 is primarily a boat for couples or with young children and it features a very big master stateroom with smaller cabin for two kids. The new 5 version has 5 cabins, each with an en suite head and a total of 8 single berths plus a forward double to offer sleeping accommodation for 10 easily.

The Galley GuysWaking up moored at the lock at Beveridges, the Galley Guys greet the day by toasting with coffee.

Whichever version suits your group best, the emphasis is on spaciousness and comfort. The Escape Horizon 1350 includes a navigation system and both a lower helm in the saloon for driving inside, or an upper helm on the big flying bridge.

A secure and easily managed staircase takes you from the main deck level cockpit to the roomy ‘fundeck’ where the Galley Guys spent most of their time. The flying bridge is fitted with a large table around which to gather your crew for a glass of wine after a relaxing cruise and it’s the perfect place from which to admire the view or simply to sunbathe. There is a BBQ here too!

Our Horizon 3 had three bedrooms, each with en suite head for total privacy and comfort aboard. Then there was the saloon with the main galley and a generous dinette for meals (if you prefer not to be up top on the bridge).

The light and airy saloon and fully equipped kitchen has over-sized windows and opens up to a rear seating area through large sliding glass doors. This cockpit area has a huge bench seat and the backrest flips so you can face either direction. To ensure full season comfort, the boat has air cooling and heating.

Capt. John ArmstrongCapt. John Armstrong at the helm on the flying bridge getting the check-out from Le Boat’s Base Manager.

CRUISING
Newboro lock to Westport is an easy run – no tricky navigating and scenic sheltered waters.

We had glorious weather for our trip and the village of Westport was a great spot for a first night. This sheltered and very pretty waterfront had a four-person dock staff including a Harbormaster who greeted us, guided us to a spot on the docks where we could connect to shore power and provided us with both a friendly welcome and answers to any of our questions.

While in Westport, we took time to visit the Scheuermann Winery for a delicious dinner. Look for a Galley Guys story in the next issue of Canadian Yachting on that!

View of the HarbourThis was the view as we approached the harbor at Westport for the first time.

After breakfast in Westport, we headed east passing through the Narrows and on to Portland. There are a few important facilities available in Portland including docks, a marina, local shops, a nice waterfront restaurant and more.

After our walking tour through Portland, we headed towards Rideau Ferry, stopping at Col. By Island to drop anchor for lunch. The water was cool and refreshing and we joined a few other boats that had also stopped for a swim in this sheltered area.

Vanilla Beans CafeGalley Guy Greg Nicoll is standing in front of the Vanilla Beans Café Creamery, conveniently located near the docks. Westport seems to have more coffee and ice cream shops per capita than any other town I've been in!

From there, we cruised the past Rideau Ferry and on to Beveridges at the start of the Tay Canal. This remarkable waterway had been carved through some 11 km of tangled swampy land running north to Perth, Ontario which in the mid-1850s, was a bustling and wealthy community, but one that lacked direct water access.

The construction of the Tay Canal took far longer and cost twice as much as anticipated, and in the hot summers with clouds of insects, many of the workers developed malaria and died. The construction was a monumental task.

That was not why we chose not to go up the Tay Canal though. Rather, we wanted to pass through the locks at Poonamalie to return our Horizon Escape 1350 to the Le Boat head office in Smith Falls. From there, we were able to pick up our car and easily made the short drive to Perth for a most enjoyable shopping trip and photo session.

After spending a last night aboard the boat, we wrapped up our Rideau Cruise and headed back to the office and the daily grind that Galley Guys normally never admit to. Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong were joined by our fourth Galley Guy, Robin Ball who kindly took many of the photos and made the trip easier and more fun for all. Le Boat runs a great operation and the Horizon Escape 1350 was very comfortable, spacious and easy to operate.

As probably Europe’s best bare boat charter company, Le Boat has had years of experience and they brought their best to the Rideau Canal to start their Le Boat business in North America.

Related Articles

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. Our Virtual Show will continue to grow so visit frequently and check it out. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1As boat builders clamber to create ever-bigger platforms for ever-more generous budgets, the entry-level cruiser has become an elusive animal. Sure, if you want to daysail, there are plenty of small open boats from which to choose, but if you want a freshly built pocket cruiser, you’re in for a long search. Enter French builder Groupe Beneteau, which identified this gap in the market and set about creating the Oceanis 30.1, an adorable little cruiser that resembles her larger siblings in all but length and price. With all she offers, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her a mini yacht.

Read More about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1..................

DolphinsBy the Canadian Yachting Editors


Canadians are blessed in many ways and especially when it comes to boating. We enjoy some the world’s most beautiful cruising waters and many places are as sheltered as they are scenic.

British Columbia and the Pacific North West plainly have the most breath-taking scenery with the combination of the majestic ocean views and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s like no place on earth when you have a Killer Whale breach beside your little fishing boat.

Read more about Canadian Cruising...........

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
The Council of British Columbia Yacht Clubs with over 50 yacht club members has become the voice of ...
Classic boat restoration expert and wooden boat builder Stan Hunter recently sent us this great ...
In Mid June, a floatplane plunged into Constance Bay on the Ottawa River after two planes collide ...
Winter is a fun time for sailmakers in Canada. We grind through mountains of repairs and have an ...
The seasoned sailor mapped out an ambitious course around the world — aboard his 28-foot ...
Clean wake: A concept amongst cruising sailors that stresses the impact that individual behaviour ...
This line-up of Beneteaus can to us from our friends at RCR Yachts in NY State where they are ...
As another harsh Victoria winter came to a close, the deck repair and refinishing continued with ...
The Peterborough Canoe Company was formed in 1892 and began production the following year after ...
On one of the sunny days we had recently, Kyle MacTaggart in Honey Harbour ON fired up the Merc to ...

Cobourg Yacht Club - 2015 Sailing instructorsKatherine Stone

Like many other harbours on Lake Ontario, Cobourg has seen its fair share of changes. Screams used to be heard from kids piled into a toboggan on wheels that went hurtling down a wooden slide into the harbour. Above it all was the bustling din from the waterfront of ship’s whistles, train engines, foghorns and thundering coal cars. It is now a rather serene place for the locals and visitors to enjoy various watercraft. Fortunately, the beautiful beach that lines the waterfront is still a star attraction for the town.

Located 95 kilometres east of Toronto and 62 kilometres east of Oshawa on the north edge of Lake Ontario, United Empire Loyalists first starting arriving in the area as early as the 1780s. The first settlement in 1798 was called Buckville, later renamed Amherst, then called Hamilton (after the township) and also nicknamed Hardscrabble. It wasn’t until 1819 that they finally settled on the name of Cobourg, which was incorporated as a town in 1837. In the late 1820s large schooners with passengers and cargo had to anchor well off shore, as there was only a landing wharf. A group of Toronto businessmen formed the Cobourg Harbour Company which built the wooden Eastern Pier from tolls charged for the use of the harbour.

Read more: Cobourg Yacht Club...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Many boats are now on the water after a COVID-imposed hiatus – and with a shortened ‘prep’ period, ...
Wrapping your hull with marine vinyl wrap instead using traditional marine paint seems like a new ...
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...
Building on our last two editions (Sealants, and Fibreglass, respectively), Gelcoat is the next ...
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major ...
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? ...
Last edition we talked about sealants to perform tasks like bedding and sealing. Other tasks like ...
Over the winter, a many-thousand pound fiberglass, wood or metal shell is held in position by only ...
Since the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over ...
This bag does more than hold your anchor and rode in one tidy little pile. After you’ve anchored ...

Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

Read more about the right-of-way rules.......................

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Wet decking can compromise passenger safety on boats, particularly when boarding or disembarking. ...
Anyone who has repeatedly used a rag to clean gelcoat, paint and delicate surfaces has seen the ...
The new Mercury Racing 300hp Five‑Blade CNC Cleaver propellers are designed expressly to maximize ...
Beneteau may have outdone itself with introduction of its new Gran Turismo 36, manufactured in ...
Yanmar Power Technology has announced the development of a hydrogen fuel cell system for maritime ...
Kevin Monahan is a retired Canadian Coast Guard officer with more than 20 years of experience ...
The new 2020 PORTS Georgian Bay, North Channel & Lake Huron Guide is available for purchase at ...
Professional boatbuilders don't want to have to redo a job any more than a DIYer. Many choose Life ...
Since its introduction last year, the JBL by Harman Marine BassPro 10" Powered Subwoofer (JBLMBP10) ...
After decades of perusing charts and guidebooks as part of planning a cruise, it was a totally ...