DIY Oil ChangeWinterizing your boat in the fall is important and may be a daunting task for some boat owners.  This is a DIY project that you CAN do on your own though.  Rob MacLeod, The Informed Boater, has put together a how to video with simple step-by-step instructions for completing an oil change, which is a good idea at the end of the season as part of the winterizing process.

Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your boat for a trouble-free season. Here’s a guide from a pro…
Sometimes the most daunting thing about launching your boat in the spring is slogging through the checklist designed to "help" you do it. And no wonder: commissioning efforts for Canadian boaters run the gamut from paying a full-service yard to re-commission every system on board to putting away the one lonely space heater that's been wheezing away on the salon floor since Thanksgiving.

Under sail, these marvels of engineering deliver significantly less drag and greater speed than their traditional fixed-blade cousins. When I started sailing, the economical way to reduce propeller drag on a cruising sailboat was simply to install a two-blade prop. This worked fine – we had one on our 35’ sailboat for almost 30 years. Mind you, it didn't provide a lot of push in steep seas and headwinds, and we often used the mainsail to help punch us through a chop. Folding and Feathering Props

When it comes time to haul out this year, plan to give all your underwater gear a close inspection, measure and replace your anodes now and know you are ready for next season. In the fall, you can do this at your leisure. Understandably, we seem to be in a rush to launch again each spring and once the boat is in the water, replacing anodes is difficult to say the least!

It’s not just a matter of cost – there are simply lots of people who enjoy puttering around on their boats and doing their own mechanical work. There are many useful tasks that an owners can do to keep their own little ship “shipshape”, however there are some things where we say, don’t do it yourself! Generally, your fuel system is not a DIY item. For safety reasons alone, a boat's electrical wiring and grounding systems should always be handled by a qualified marine technician. But, there are other areas where home handyman knowledge can get you into trouble.

A few people winterize and store their own boat. Many of us pay the pros to do it. Spring commissioning is far more rewarding because you are preparing for a great summer with your boat. Winterizing is a tough chore because we usually keep boating until the weather turns nasty, plus you are struggling with that “down-feeling” that the boating season is over. That makes it doubly hard to dig in and do a great job of winterizing and protecting your boat for the winter.

So the boating season has finally arrived and since you have been a diligent owner, all your spring outfitting has been carefully attended to. Everything on that spring check list has been duly checked off and your guests are on their way. The coolers are filled with drinks and snacks and you’re looking forward to great day on the water. However, as experience has taught us, we are at our most vulnerable when our guard is down. Routine can lull us into a false sense of security. Now is the time to make sure you have a proper procedure for departure, one that can make the difference between fun on the water and a day of frustration, or worse.

There is no end of discussion and debate about the fuel filtration needs of diesel engines. Myths and half-truths abound. So let’s set the record straight. Diesel engines are the most reliable of all internal combustion engines; they are robust and they need only two simple inputs, air and fuel. Properly maintained they will perform well for upwards of 15,000 hours before needing a re-build. By contrast, that is about three times the life of a well-maintained gasoline engine.

Even if you are on salt water and your boat can safely stay in the water year-round, are you using it regularly? Metal fittings are corroding all the time, the sun beats down on fibreglass and woodwork, and the rain and damp air all contribute to the slow but inexorable process of deterioration. When engines are used, oil and other lubricants are warmed up, spread around and parts are kept running freely. Air circulates through the interior when you are out and moving. Boats just like to be used more than they like being stored.

It was always a bit sad when we “put to bed” our power-boat at the end of the cruising season. Then, one year, our favourite mechanic suggested creating a service program at the end of this season, rather than the beginning of the next one. Price savings could be had, he explained. From then on we regarded the winterizing phase for our boat as a start of the next cruising season, not the end of the current one. What follows are some ideas to make this as easy as possible — and perhaps even less expensive.

Destinations

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Some may say that the sailing experience of monohulls versus catamarans is as different as chalk ...
The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie ...
I know of no other boating location quite like the town of Gananoque in the Thousand Islands.The ...
Having cruised the BC coast for several decades, we enjoy sharing information about the remote ...
Glendale Cove, on BC’s Knight Inlet, is protected habitat for grizzly bears – and the ideal spot to ...
Years before realizing my family and I would find happiness in boating, Bronte Village had been a ...
The family of the Great Lakes, like our own, has members who each enthusiastically demonstrate ...
Clayoquot SoundClayoquot is one of the major sounds on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast, and a ...
The Rideau WaltzI have lived in Ontario my entire life but have likely explored more acres outside ...
It was still dark when we departed our home slips in Chrystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and ...

Boat Reviews

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Bernie Luttmer of Swan’s Yacht Sales, has finally had his brainchild come to life, and he tells me ...
The BC builder takes a big step forward with its largest yacht to date: stylish, fast and ...
Modern graceful elegance is what Dufour’s Umberto Felci was trying to achieve when he designed the ...
The very first Sabre yacht, was a Sabre 28 sailboat appropriately named Patience. Sabre repurchased ...
When the time finally comes to do the dream destination cruising you've always talked about, you ...
The Offshore series from Canada’s largest aluminum pleasure boat builder offers practicality, range ...
Embodying the Cruising Sailor’s Wish List.The Bavaria Vision 42 is the product of collaboration ...
The Beneteau Oceanis 38 claims more flexibility than seen before on this size of boat and a new way ...
From the first glance the wide open decks large cockpit and overall look and feel of this boat are ...
The brand new Cruisers Yachts 328 Bow Rider is one of a new breed of boats that is redefining our ...

Environment

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Boating and astronomy can be a match made in the heavens. The inky black canvas above the boat is ...
The 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay is a boater’s dream destination with crystal clear waters, ...
New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ...
Many Canadian Yachting readers have likely experienced the beauty of British Columbia’s Gulf ...
Many newspaper headlines appeared in the spring of 2012 with these two names highlighted. The ...
Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to ...
I’m on vacation! Things can turn ugly in paradise when you finally reach that secluded anchorage. ...
I've been a pilot for 37 years and spent 28 years flying passenger aircraft for the airlines ...
There's been lots of talk about electric boats recently, but few examples are actually out on the ...
I think it’s a given that as a Canadian Yachting reader, you are passionate about ...

Lifestyle

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If you are ready to start your Holiday baking or just plain need a great chocolate fix these ...
It doesn’t seem to matter if you are on the east coast, in the Prairies, or on the west coast, ...
An easy salmon dish with homemade teriyaki sauce and a Sriracha cream sauce that will knock your ...
Soup season is in full swing and this Tomato Tortellini Soup with Pesto is just the recipe to warm ...
This flavour-infused pasta dish is terrific for any season.  It takes a little bit of prep time but ...
As the season's evenings grow cooler boaters will be looking for heartier galley meals to extend ...
Cooler days and cooler nights make everyone want to prepare something warm and comforting... This ...
This is a simple recipe too.  The only challenging part is rolling up the tortillas without ...
This recipe is great for a make-ahead easy yet satisfying on board meal.  You can use chicken or ...
The formation of Glacial Lake Iroquois, at the end of the last ice age, was to have a lasting ...

Marine Products

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Just like diamonds, stainless steel is forever. Combining beauty and strength, stainless steel ...
The compact McMurdo Smartfind Plus G5 GPS EPIRB features a high performance, multi-channel GPS ...
Sweden-based Radinn, a company aiming to "revolutionize the watersport industry,” is trying to make ...
Taylor Made Systems is introducing a new range of glass sunroof systems for the boating industry at ...
KVH TracVision® owners in the U.S. can now enjoy satellite TV from DISH Network® on their boats and ...
Douglass Simpson, a winner of the Globe and Mail's Top 12 Canadian Innovator awards in the ...
Whether chilling snacks for a quick outing or supplying auxiliary cold storage for longer trips, a ...
SunZone SprayWet has been specifically designed to be applied on wet skin. Its formulation is able ...
Boaters and marina workers should exercise caution this summer before taking to the seas. A study ...
ASA Electronics is pleased to announce the arrival of the MS40BT—a Bluetooth®-enabled stereo that ...