Comfort and convenience are important factors both to keep boaters enjoying boating as well as to attract new people into boat ownership. Perhaps the most significant regular challenges for all boaters are docking and close quarters manoeuvering. Getting in and out of your slip or into the fuel dock on a busy day can be tricky, especially if the wind is up or currents are running. In 2005, Volvo Penta introduced their revolutionary IPS drive systems that included an industry first - joystick docking.
Last fall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the source for official US government nautical charts, abruptly announced it would no longer distribute lithographic nautical charts as of April 2014. The printer of NOAA charts, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), made the decision to stop printing charts after the US budget shutdown last September. Is this the beginning of the end of paper charts as we know them? Will printed charts from the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) be next?
In researching this article, we spoke to a number of marine industry professionals and started by asking, “Have you ever noticed boats on the water at night with incorrect or missing lights?
“Or none at all!” was the frequent response we got as people laughed out loud about how common it is for navigation lights to be faulty.
That’s the question I asked fellow-boaters over the past year. About half reported some real doozies, while the rest reported minor mishaps such as running out of gas in their dinghy or losing their winch handle overboard. Accidents happen to the best of us. The key to happy boating is to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others so we don’t repeat them.
Effective communication is the key to smooth, stress-free docking. I am an extraordinarily lucky guy. My wife Corinne is the skipper of our American Tug 41, Ocean Mistress, and she loves and excels at her job! I am completely delighted when we bring the boat into a difficult docking situation and make the perfect no-fuss, no-stress landing. I’m even more tickled when folks on the dock see Corinne come out of the pilothouse and are surprised to learn that she just docked that big boat. She has received everything from whispered compliments to standing ovations.
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced boater, nothing helps build competence and confidence like boating courses and instruction. There’s nothing like being out on the water, spending time with family and friends, letting the wind fill our sails and whisk us away to new adventures. Or if power is your preference, casting off and throttling up catch a few waves or discover a new destination.
Summer may be fleeting but the rewards of autumn cruising include a slower pace, quieter destinations, surprisingly good weather, and maybe even a few thrills. The full moon rose big and bright, its track shimmering across the water into our anchorage near the head of Salt Spring Island’s Long Harbour. Golden lights winked on one by one in the cottages around the bay, reminding me that I wasn’t completely alone. After a precious sunny, almost-warm late-autumn day, it was one of the most beautiful evenings I’ve ever spent on the hook. It was also one of the coldest, for we had yet to install a heater in our 27’ sailboat Squid.
I've been a pilot for 37 years and spent 28 years flying passenger aircraft for the airlines – you can bet that the weather was always one of my foremost concerns. I've retired from the airlines, but my interest in the weather, in forecasting weather and in all of the available resources to help me plan a safe journey, are just as important as ever. It’s still a matter of my personal safety, the safety of my loved ones and my friends, except now, I’m at the helm of my own boat.
Discipline is paramount in implementing a total starting strategy for each and every boat race. Without a sound understanding of the procedure by every team member on a boat, and allowing time to gather information before the start of every race, your chances of making well calculated decisions are substantially reduced. Many different sailors and teams have their own ideas and plans for the start of the race. The guide outlined here is a system that works well for me and you may find that modifying this works better for you – but the only way to establish this is to start practicing and sticking to a plan from the outset.
A number of weeks ago I received an e-mail from a Canadian who owned and operated a recreational boat in the U.S. The boat, for the most part, stayed in U.S. waters and was licensed in a U.S. State. The owner wanted to know where he could fly a Canadian flag to indicate his citizenship.
The simple answer was that he could not, if he was operating in U.S. waters. The National flag indicates the Country of registry, or where the boat is licensed, in this case the U.S. A courtesy flag indicates where the vessel is being operated, for the most part, also the U.S. These flags do not indicate the citizenship of the owner/operator.
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As the result of some scheduling issues, career commitments and just bad timing, our sojourn to Holland became a guys only trip. Here is what we would tell our wives that they missed by not joining us on our Le Boat trip in Holland.
Roster for the trip:
* Captain John Armstrong on the wheel * First Mate Robin Ball, navigator, tactician and sous chef * Deck Crew Greg Nicoll, lines and bollards, plus some cooking and storytelling...
The express cruiser style in this boat is refined in a number of interesting and unique ways. The distinctive bow styling serves an important purpose as does the attractive transom treatment while the rest of the yacht in between is an outstanding expression of the contemporary express cruiser style.
Our guide through the boat was Derek Mader, President of Executive Yacht in Toronto and our Azimut 55 S was, at that time, the only 2016 model available in Canada. Derek had ordered the boat in because he believed it had some unique features and indeed, it's unexpected to find a 55 foot express cruiser that includes both a private crew cabin and an enclosed dinghy garage.
As summer becomes a distant memory, see if you can close your eyes and recall those glorious days when you spent more than one lazy day hanging around the general store at the cottage. Not only was it a great place to purchase some penny candy, but also the place where you could eavesdrop on conversations that your parents said you should know nothing about. It’s where countless members of small communities seemed to blend seamlessly when they sailed, laughed, danced, swam, had ice creams, paddled, and shared cherished memories in a casual, summer atmosphere. C and Stony Lake Yacht Club comprise this community which has existed for some eight generations on Juniper Island in the ‘Jewel of the Kawarthas’. Many say that if Stony Lake is a community then Juniper is its hub. In the late 40s, Swatty Wotherspoon came to the lake and has been returning ever since. For him, life-lasting friendships were made where he vividly remembers square dances at the Pavillion, which became a very important place for his family growing up. He still treasures the spoons he won in the races sailing with everyone out of the yacht club.