Sugarloaf Marina - Contemporary buildings and modern facilitiesNorm F. Myshok

After being without a boat for almost a decade, I decided it was time to own one again. My wife and I recently moved from the city to a slower, less-congested lifestyle on Niagara’s south coast. We were quite taken by the quiet streets, the sound of the breeze blowing through the trees and the beautiful beaches. 

Before we bought our boat, we wanted to research our options for slipping and storing in the area. We spent some time at several different marinas in order to get a feel for the dock life. We were looking for a place that could store our boat on site, offered fuel and pumpout services and was still located near to everyday conveniences.

Our choice became clear very quickly. Sugarloaf Marina in Port Colborne is truly one of the nicest marinas I have ever visited and is apparently one of Ontario’s five largest marinas. Hosting over 700 slips with covered picnic areas and electric BBQs right on the docks, it also offers two fish-cleaning stations, WIFI, swipe card security dock and washroom access, and onsite laundry facilities. (Even the wakeboard zipline run by Boarder Pass Niagara had us hooked!) The HH Knoll Lakeview Park, located next door, offers a modern playground and splash pad for the kids. It also has an outdoor stage for open-air concerts and events. Roselawn Centre is just a short walk away and home to world-class theatre. We can walk downtown in minutes for groceries, great restaurants and quaint boutiques.

Port Colborne is also steeped in marine heritage and is home to the world-famous Marine Heritage Canal Days Festival. This draws 300,000+ visitors during the four-day Civic weekend event. (portcolborne.ca/page/canal_days).

Sugarloaf Marina is centrally located so we can cruise across Lake Erie in an afternoon, dock in Dunkirk (USA) to enjoy dinner, and/or go further afield to Pennsylvania and Ohio, both within a short two-day sail. Or we can stay north of the border and explore Port Dover, Pelee Island and Erieau. Being situated at the mouth of the Welland Canal allows us to take the eight locks down to Lake Ontario opening up even more cruising destinations.

sugarloaf marina boasts over 700 slipsWhen the season ends, Sugarloaf provides its boaters the largest travel lift (30-tonne) at the eastern (Canadian) end of Lake Erie. They also operate a 15-ton hydraulic trailer and telehandler for moving equipment, cradles and stepping masts.

Sugarloaf Marina uses a workplace passport system so only licensed, certified and insured companies can apply to work on boats, either on the docks or in the storage yard. Avid DIYers can work on their own boats as long as they follow all environmental policies and procedures. Because “there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”.

I can’t say enough about the staff, students, and fellow boaters at Sugarloaf Marina. Everyone is friendly and the facilities are very well kept; the location and amenities certainly speak for themselves. I am proud to have chosen it as my home-based marina.

portcolborne.ca/page/marina

Photos:

Photo 1 - The contemporary buildings and modern facilities add to the enjoyment at Sugarloaf Marina.

Photo 2 - Sugarloaf Marina is one of Ontario’s five largest with over 700 slips and features like covered picnic areas, electric BBQ’s, fish cleaning stations, Wifi, swipe card security and more.

 

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

 By Catherine Dook

“So you’re going offshore to Genoa Bay,” said an old salt at coffee that morning. Genoa Bay was 15 minutes away from our homeport of Cowichan Bay and hardly counted as offshore, but it was our first destination that fall. The fog had socked us in all that morning, so John and I drank coffee and gossiped with the neighbours while waiting for the weather to lift. We’d provisioned with cans of chilli, a sack of apples, and tanks full of water. We’d tested the engine and the anchor winch. We were ready.

Read More of Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay.....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

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 By: Katherine Stone

Do you know how many boaters you run into while standing in the lift lines of Blue Mountain and the surrounding private ski clubs? Quite a few! Start some conversations on the ski lifts and you might be surprised how many avid boaters you can meet.

Many who boat say that winter sports are just there to pass the time until the ice clears and you can get your boat launched and start boating again. As a ski instructor, you tend to meet even more interesting boaters… Read more about the Reef Boat Club ....

 

 

Boat Reviews

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DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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By Owen Hurst

Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine navigation instrument. We have discussed its functionality, available apps, relevant hardware and compared it to traditional charplotters. This focus on iPad led one of our readers to an interesting question that we have yet to address.

Question: Why has the focus been solely on the use of iPads for marine navigation rather than Android devices?

Read More Going iPad or Android.....