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.
Every 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.
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Cruising on Canada’s East Coast, at least for those who have never been there, can conjure up images of fierce tides and dense fog. While these conditions do exist at times, they can be managed with prudence and planning. However, there are two large cruising areas that are as inviting as any protected inland lake or river. These are the Bras d’Or Lakes region of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and the Saint John River in New Brunswick. Although the Saint John River runs for over 400 miles from its headwaters in the mountains of northern Maine, it is the approximately 75 miles between the river’s mouth at the port city of Saint John on the Bay of Fundy and the head of navigation at Fredericton, that attract the boater’s attention. ...
Dufour in partnership with Felci Yacht Design wants nothing less than to optimize the sailing experience through design, performance and comfort. The Dufour 500 Grand Large provides space and amenities with style, efficiency and performance. This yacht is an embodiment of that objective.
Contemporary, sleek design is combined with innovative features using modern construction techniques, materials and components. The 500GL has a low profile and wide side decks. The plumb bow and full beam, carried well aft with a visible hard chine, are design features found on current racing profiles. The expansive drop transom is a feature shared with many modern cruisers along with twin wheels and a foldout sunbed in the cockpit. It’s the design innovations in the interior that sets the Dufour 500 Grand Large apart.
A social club based on sailing
The Halifax Harbour is well known not only to mariners and historians, but also to most Canadians for the 1917 Halifax explosion and the many fortifications left by the British. It has a rich and fascinating maritime history. The Bedford Basin, named after the 4th Duke of Bedford, is the remains of a large pre-historic fjord found in the northwestern end of Halifax Harbour measuring 8 kilometers in length and 5 km wide. A well- protected, deep harbour makes it ideal for anchoring. Due to these qualities, Halifax Harbour became the primary logistic port for resupplying Western Europe during both World Wars. With its protected waters, Bedford Basin allowed the English and Canadian Navies to securely assemble merchant convoys. With torpedo nets set in Halifax Harbour, German submarines were kept at bay.