Gig HarborBoaters visiting historic Gig Harbor will be rewarded with one of the most extensive and sheltered anchorages in Puget Sound filled with a vibrant array of watercraft and a lively downtown shoreline dense with marinas, docks and boats...

 

 

Midland Harbour MuralAs an attractive destination for sailors and cruisers alike, Midland Harbour doesn’t really have to try hard to impress; the waters of Georgian Bay attract yachts of all sizes from all over the globe. With a history steeped in lumber and boat manufacturing, Midland Harbour today is an integral part of a thriving town, boasting the largest freshwater marina in the world amongst its offerings. The hometown of Sarah Burke, Glen Howard, Adam Dixon and David Onley to name a few, Midland is the heart of the North Simcoe area, the centre of the neighbouring Georgian Bay communities.

Founded in 1871 the town’s main industry was lumber manufacturing at the Playfair Mill which dominated the town’s waterfront until shipbuilding took over, beginning with Dobson’s Shipbuilding and later as Midland Shipyards. 

Sugarloaf Marina - Contemporary buildings and modern facilitiesAfter being without a boat for almost a decade, I decided it was time to own one again. My wife and I recently moved from the city to a slower, less-congested lifestyle on Niagara’s south coast. We were quite taken by the quiet streets, the sound of the breeze blowing through the trees and the beautiful beaches.  Before we bought our boat, we wanted to research our options for slipping and storing in the area. We spent some time at several different marinas in order to get a feel for the dock life. We were looking for a place that could store our boat on site, offered fuel and pumpout services and was still located near to everyday conveniences.

 

I know of no other boating location quite like the town of Gananoque in the Thousand Islands.

The graceful double-ended St. Lawrence rowing skiffs were a swift and effective way to travel through the area in the 1800s carrying cottagers to their islands, visiting millionaires to the fishing grounds and transporting all manner of goods through the beautiful and sheltered island area. Today, you still see St. Lawrence rowing skiffs as well as kayaks, sailboats ranging in size from dinghies to yachts and powerboats of all kinds from trailerable family-runabouts to super yachts and all the way up to Great Lakes freighters that are hundreds of feet long.

 

Much has been written about the sublime cruising destination of Desolation Sound. Once you pass Lund and the incredible expanse of snow-capped mountains opens up, even the most jaded must surely gasp in awe at the vista of islands, peaks and sparkling ocean. The choice of anchorages is extensive and all offer something special to make them a cruiser’s favourite.

 

 

 

Any list of the “Best of the West” iconic boating destinations (CYW August 2013) simply has to include Prideaux Haven. Indeed, many would consider this scenic anchorage in Desolation Sound one of the “Best in the World.”

Prideaux Haven, including Melanie and Laura Coves, is surrounded by numerous islands that create myriad bays and interconnecting coves that are a wonder to explore by small craft. Against the backdrop of the rugged BC coastal mountains, these islands provide excellent protection from the weather. 

 

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Viko S35

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I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap.

Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

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Four Winns H4

 

Four Winns H4By Andy Adams

The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and the new H4 is a great example of how the design and engineering resources of Beneteau can up the game even for a brand like Four Winns that has a long and distinguished history.

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It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul out was still over a month away. The question was: where to now? Friends in Meaford often suggested we sail in for a visit. We never had because we’d always moved north-south on the east side of Georgian Bay. This year we were up for something different. This was the perfect opportunity to cruise the west side of the bay.

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