In this second of three parts, we will explore preparing for a longer cruise from the people side. Later, in the third instalment we will look at final preparation of the boat...
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.
We've all heard this before but it's especially true when it comes to boating– knowledge is power. It is the power to confidently take your boat out with a load of passengers, go on longer trips, into unfamiliar waters, or even to navigate on your own to distant ports – that is the power of knowledge. The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, (CPS-ECP) offers a wide range of courses from introductory level to advanced and everything in between. Always focused on boating safety, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, (CPS-ECP) have been empowering recreational boaters with knowledge for more than 75 years in Canada. Most of their courses are offered through the off-season when Power Squadron members themselves are unable to be out on their own boats.
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.
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For three years following our return from a year-long trip to the Bahamas and back aboard our 1981 CS36 Traditional – Sojourn, Mary and I gave a number of talks to experienced and would be cruisers about planning and executing your dream cruise.This was primarily Mary’s story and she always began with the words,
“It was our two kids, Kevin and Laura, who termed our first trip to the Bahamas ”Living his dream – on her terms”. We did it. There was no mutiny. No divorce...
When it's time to head out for a few days or even just an afternoon of cruising, the last place I want to be is in the kitchen with a complicated, lengthy recipe. So in the spirit of getting out into the sunshine and onto the water faster, here’s a terrific pasta salad recipe that is easy, is full of flavour and will feed a bunch of hungry boaters.
Great performance in a versatile, modern design
For the Canadian Yachting readers who are not yet familiar with Beneteau’s broad range of power boat models, the Gran Turismo 35 may come as a bit of a surprise. Our test boat is a head-on competitor to the North American built express cruisers and the latest day boats that are coming on the market.
The GT35 has the style and amenities to match the best new designs in it’s size range, the stern drive power to deliver exhilarating high speed performance plus, it still adds in an overtone of Euro style.