dest-canada-back_to-small“So you’re back,” says Canadian Yacht Charters co-proprietor Ken Blodgett as if it hasn’t been a year since we’d last seen him.

“I’m back.” I sit down on a Muskoka chair beside Blodgett just outside their office, snugged down on the shores of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island’s north shore.

I stare at the waters – dark green and mysterious in the late afternoon.

destinations-canada-first_steps-smallYou're not quite sure how or when this happened, but the casual thought of going off cruising someday is starting to become a goal you're taking more seriously. Perhaps at the moment you don't know if, given your current circumstances, it's even possible to say goodbye to the rat race for a while and set sail for warmer climes, but you'd sure like to check it out!

destinations-canada-bruce-smallA rugged path strewn with rocks slices through a dense stand of cedar just beyond a red-roofed square wooden lighthouse squatting beside Georgian Bay on the furthest reaches of Ontario's Bruce Peninsula.

You trudge along this path that meanders through forests boasting five-hundred-year-old trees; you deeply inhale the cedar aroma. Then the forest thins and you emerge onto a plain of stone and sand and shale.

destinations-canada-best_of_bc-smallThe Gulf Islands of British Columbia envelop a beautifully diverse cruising ground – an alluring and accessible pocket of paradise. Boaters will be charmed by each island's distinctive character and lured by clean sandy beaches, sheltered bays, hideaway anchorages, spectacular sunsets and abundant wildlife. In addition, the area's marine parks are unique to British Columbia's coast and are often only accessible by water.

destinations-canada-dream_cruise-smallMost cruises are based on a destination: "When school finishes, we are going to take the kids on a summer cruise of Georgian Bay." "When I retire, I want to sail through the islands of the Caribbean for a couple of years." "We're going to ship our motorboat over to Europe and explore the Med for a few seasons." "We're going to sail around the world!"

destinations-canada-financial_matters-smallMost people believe that long-term cruising is expensive but it certainly doesn't have to be. When we first cut the docklines in 1989 we were surprised at how our monthly fixed expenses dropped when we let the apartment go, sold the car, and suddenly didn't have rent to pay or home and car insurance premiums. The cable TV fees stopped, as did our fitness club memberships. Costly commuting expenses disappeared. No longer working in offices, our clothing budget dropped drastically since our wardrobe simplified and cruising in the tropics didn't demand several sets of seasonal clothes.

destinations-canada-cruising_pay-smallTravelling by boat, as I'm sure you'll agree, offers many pleasures and freedoms but can present plenty of challenges and high-stress moments as well. Adding financial stress to the adventure can really take the fun out of cruising so, as we discussed in our last article, it's important to maintain a good financial base when cruising. As in life ashore, financial security provides freedom and peace of mind. The ability to earn a living while cruising then seems the ultimate freedom.

destinations-canada-part_time-smallThere is a misunderstood notion that to become a long-term, long-distance cruising sailor it is necessary to truly cut the docklines by selling everything and leaving. You know, get rid of the house, quit your job, and wave goodbye to the rat race. Paul and I have been cruising now for 18 years and can assure you that this just isn't so. In fact, the happiest long-term cruisers we meet are most often those who have found a pleasurable balance between life afloat and life ashore.

destinations-canada-home_base-smallThe decision to cast off the dock lines and undertake a long-term cruise involves considerate financial planning from establishing a budget for outfitting your boat, travelling expenses, insurance, sightseeing costs, maintenance and repairs, and changing costs of living as you move from destination to destination. So it's no surprise that in the process of planning a cruise, the topic of whether or not it's economical to maintain a home base while you're away nearly always comes up.

can-sunshine_coast-smallStrung out below Syren Point on the east side of Hotham Sound is popular Harmony Islands Marine Park. The biggest and smallest of these four islands (the rest are private) are designated as a marine park, with the southernmost park providing flat, grassy spots for kayakers to beach their craft and set up camp. The adjacent waters in the channel between the islands and the mainland are also within the park's boundaries. We headed for our favourite, sheltered spot known locally as Kipling Cove – tucked between the three northern islands, it offers dramatic vistas, good snorkelling opportunities and warm water swimming in July and August.


Rideau Canal Cruise

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.

Read more about the Le Boat Rideau Canal Cruise...

 

Lifestyle

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John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...

Boat Reviews

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ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

DIY & How to

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This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...

Dear Doris

Clarity Nicoll

I grew up in a sailing family. My mother comes from a long line of sailors, my dad works in the marine industry and my brother and I have travelled up and down the eastern coast racing with and against each other. Yet, somehow, I had fallen in love with a No,ON-sailor (please note, the use of capital letters).

I had tried to introduce Dustin to sailing with some success, however, with the fast-paced nature of racing, and experienced sailors always ready to lend a hand when someone yelled “pull the cunningham!!!!”

Read more about Clarity Nicoll...

 

  

Marine Products

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Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...