Will traditional paper charts soon be a thing of the past? And what will that mean for recreational boaters?

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?

Navigation light repairs and replacements you can do yourself.

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.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done while boating?

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.

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.

altA 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.

Night125Every trip, whether it is a day trip, series of day trips, single or multiple overnight trips, will consist of three primary areas of activity: Pre-departure planning, the trip itself and post trip follow up. Let’s start with the planning.

MOB125An accident that occurs with surprising frequency to passengers and crew is falling. The chance of this happening can be greatly reduced if precautions are taken, such as wearing non-skid shoes that lace up and wearing appropriate clothing that does not impede movement. Those on board should make sure they have a sound footing and a good handhold at all times.

Destinations

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It was still dark when we departed our home slips in Chrystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and ...

Boat Reviews

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The BC builder takes a big step forward with its largest yacht to date: stylish, fast and ...
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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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Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Fruit Infused water is a top notch way to stay hydrated and have deliciously refreshing drinks ...
I remember vividly awaiting the beginning of the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) which also ...
If you can get your mouth around this burger it is well worth the effort.  Easy but perfect and ...

Marine Products

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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 ...
When any boater is planning to head out onto the water for a two week excursion or even for an ...
My Boat was specifically produced in response to customer demand for an iPad App that would appeal ...