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.

New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ready to comply? In May 2012 a significant environmental anniversary slipped by with little fanfare. It was the end of the promised five-year transition period before new sewage discharge regulations for small craft in salt waters, introduced in 2006-07, took full effect. From 2012 onwards all vessels in Canadian waters, fresh and salt, are covered by the same legislation regarding sewage discharge. Salt-water boaters have a bit more flexibility in pump-out options but the basic rules are now the same for fresh and salt water.

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.

Lifestyle

  • Prev
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 ...
For all those OnBoard subscribers who have followed along with the maintenance, repairs and ...
We hardly need tell you about the pandemic but it’s worth noting that the marine industry is acting ...
If you’ve been to CORK, you’ve probably seen Tim Irwin. Whether he was organizing volunteers, ...
This brilliant shot comes to us from professional shooter Elle Bruce.  These four sailors are ...
In 2008, Pat and Lynn Lortie said goodbye to their everyday life to pursue their dream; making ...
With old boats every repair seems to uncover something else needing attention.  Removing the ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
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....................

Destinations

  • Prev
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

KingstonBy Amy Hogue

Cruise into the city of Kingston, Ontario, and it will quickly become clear that this city and surrounding waterways have something special. Built around the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Kingston is the place to go if you love to explore new waterways, fantastic views, and exceptional boating opportunities.

Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

Read more about Kingston...........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
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 ...
Ever since I was a youngster Jeeps of all kinds have fascinated me. It wasn’t until the mid 70s ...
New from Plastimo, this bi-colour backpack in Tarpaulin 500D will keep contents dry from ship to ...
Being a boater can come with certain space restraints for additional items that may make your ...
Whether you are interested in monitoring your vessel’s systems while underway or remotely from your ...
No wires to install down your mast. Transmit to smartphone/tablet. Works with lots of great ...
Vesper Cortex, the advanced multi-station VHF, AIS, monitor with intuitive touchscreen operation is ...
The Handy One Combo is an all-powerful, hands-free lighting solution. It's tough, reliable, ...
The Nebo FIXR features an easy, portable solution for all your everyday tools.