May 23, 2019

AIS for BoatersOne of the tankers I worked on had a sign prominently displayed in the wheelhouse….its message was a short, but sharp reminder, “A Collision At Sea Can Ruin Your Entire Day.” In those days, our collision avoidance system consisted of one fairly good pair of eyes and a radar system. I’ve often thought back, “Boy wouldn’t it have been nice to have had an AIS transceiver on board back then.” Well, for the recreational boater who does much of his/her sailing on either of our ocean coasts, in the St Lawrence River system, or on any of the Great Lakes where there is moderate to heavy commercial shipping traffic, these wishful thoughts have been answered.

AIS, or Automatic Identification Systems, were mandated by the IMO in 2002 for commercial vessels over 300 tonnes, and all passenger vessels carrying more than 12 passengers. It wasn’t long before the electronics industry introduced a Class B AIS system for recreational vessels; a lower-powered unit with a few less bells and whistles, but still loaded with lots of great collision-avoidance features. AIS transceivers are fully-autonomous, require no human interaction, operate in the same part of the VHF radio frequency spectrum as the VHF marine radio, and can be integrated with a vessel’s radio, radar, and chartplotter display. Unlike radar, they are not bothered by sea clutter or rain, and AIS can “see” around and over geographical features like islands or headlands.

The heart of an AIS unit is an integral or external GPS unit, and it is programmed with and transmits the same MMSI data as your VHF radio. When an AIS signal from another vessel is processed and appears on the screen display, it shows the vessels name, type, size, its bearing and range, the direction and speed of the vessel, its Closest Point of Approach, and Time of Closest Approach, and other information. Although a typical Class B AIS transceiver will cost around $800 to $900, and a Class A unit from about $1300 and up, consider the tremendous safety margin you are getting. Still a little more than you are comfortable with?… then consider an AIS receive-only set at $600 to $700, but be aware that although you can “see” vessels around you, they may not see you.

CPS-ECP has a seminar, written in both French and English; “AIS For Recreational Boaters,” that has been written specifically with enough operational and technical information to help a boater decide whether or not to buy an AIS transceiver, and what type is best suited for his/her purpose. Your nearest squadron can deliver this seminar for a very fair cost in less than two-hours at your local yacht club or marina, and what’s more, you get to socialize with fellow boaters, coffee and doughnuts included.


Brian Reis, JN

Assistant National Educational Officer

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. 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....................

 

Beneteau Antares 11By Andy Adams

What perfect timing! Beneteau is has just announced their new Antares 11 model for North America and I think it will be exactly what many people are looking for.

The boat business has simply taken off during 2020, spurred on by the social distancing requirements of the global battle with COVID-19. In many regards, this situation has brought a lot of families closer because there are few options for travel and recreation. I suspect that many families have rediscovered the joys of being together, going places and doing things.

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ChemainusBy Marianne Scott

The approach to the Chemainus Municipal Dock from Stuart Channel is straightforward and is protected from all but strong northerly winds. The only obstacle may be some large log booms often anchored in the harbour. The Dock is immediately south of the B.C. ferry terminal; the ferry runs to Thetis- and Penelakut Islands.

Harbourmaster Harmen Bootsma, who has been the cheerful, welcoming presence here for a couple of decades, is ready to catch your lines. 

 

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(From left to right) Boating Ontario CEO Rick Layzell; Pollution Probe CEO Christopher Hilkene; NOVA Chemicals VP Rob Thompson; and Council of the Great Lakes Region  President and CEO Mark Fisher

The Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), thanks to funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, recently announced the launch of the first phase of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup initiative with founding partners Pollution Probe, the University of Toronto (U of T) Trash Team, Boating Ontario, PortsToronto, as well as collaborators EnviroPod, Water Products and Solutions-America, Poralu Marine and Georgian Bay Forever.

Read more about the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup

WinterizationBy Andrew McDonald, Lakeside Marine Services

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to”, is a phrase that many of us are familiar with. Most of the time it is in reference to a bygone era of better, and it’s used to lament the sorry state of what we have today. It is a phrase that can be applied to many areas of our lives: architecture, art, furniture, tools. Boats? I would argue that they don’t make them like they used to. But, is that lamentable, or is it progress?

Progress, I think. With this concept in mind, as we enter another season of putting boats to bed for the winter, why do we winterize as we always have?

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