July 21, 2022

Greg SmithBy Allegra Smith-Herriot

After graduating from Georgian College, Greg has come full circle and now instructs part-time for the same marine program he graduated from while also helps boaters as a technical pro at Marina del Ray in Orillia, ON.

What is your background in the marine industry? Tell us a bit about how you got into the marine industry.

I kind of fell into a career in the boating industry when I was 19. I originally went to school to become an electrician, but after graduating I didn’t think it was the right fit for me. I was looking for something else, and a family friend who worked at a boat manufacturer mentioned they could use some extra help.

I started out, doing mainly carpentry and small jobs. By the time I left 3 years later, I had experience in every aspect of building boats from the mold up. I wanted to learn more about the mechanical aspects of boats, so I moved up north and started the Marine Engine Program at Georgian College.

What made you choose your program?

Georgian College was the only institution in Ontario offering any training on boats.

What was your path after graduation and what are you currently doing now?

After I graduated, Georgian College set me up with a co-op placement at Marina Del Rey, and I’ve been there ever since. I’m currently the lead Technician at the marina, with many other responsibilities within the company like haul-out, and equipment maintenance, etc.

Where do you instruct and what specific courses do you teach?


I’m currently a part-time instructor at the Midland campus for Georgian College. I mainly teach the apprentices things like sterndrive propulsion, AC and DC electrical systems, and Outboard EFI Systems.

Are there any notable differences in the program from when you were a student compared to now as an instructor?

The boating industry is one that is constantly evolving, and the staff at the Midland campus do a very good job with keeping up with the times. All of the instructors have years of on-the-job experience, or currently work on boats when they aren’t at the college. The marine program is constantly updated to introduce new equipment and techniques for working on boats.

I’m finding that all of the students come from a variety of different backgrounds and are very eager to start working. The Midland campus is in the heart of Ontario’s cottage and boating country. Being so close to where the education is going to be applied is quite exciting for most students.

How have you seen the marine industry change over the past couple of years?

The technology we are starting to see on boats is a huge leap forward from when I started thirteen years ago. The digital age is starting to trickle its way into every system on board. Environmental considerations are also being noticed in engine manufacturing and chemical production. We are starting to see more “Green” fluids and oils, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and stricter emission requirements. Which I am definitely very excited to see.

What was a highlight of your program?

The instructors were so knowledgeable, and helpful. Everything about the program including the campus, course content, and equipment, was so well directed towards a career in boats. The co-op placement at the end of the program is such a huge advantage to getting your foot in the door as well.

Greg SmithWhat is one piece of advice you could give someone entering the marine industry?


As with any job, there are difficult days. We do work outside in the elements, which comes with its own challenges. We do have to cram into some tight spots from time to time. Hopefully you aren’t afraid of spiders. At the end of the day though, I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.

What could be better than taking a boat for a sea trial on a beautiful summer day? When I get to tell a customer that their boat is ready for the weekend, they get so excited. I’ve been hugged many times. People have a very special relationship with their boats, and it’s really cool to be able to be a part of that. Who wouldn’t want to work and play on the water for the rest of their lives?

Are you a power boater, sailor, or both?

I grew up on the water, and I have been in a boat since I was in diapers. We always had power boats when I was younger, so that’s where my heart is. However, I did own a small sailboat for a short amount of time. If you’re not in a rush to get anywhere, and you don’t mind putting in a little work, sailing is actually quite fun too.

Most of the memories I have involve the water at some point. I’ve spent my entire life on boats, beaches, lakes, and rivers so it’s hard to pinpoint one memory. I proposed to my fiancé on a dock next to our boat during a weekend trip with my brother and his wife. That moment was really special, but so was the entire trip.

Interviewer, Allegra Smith-Herriot, is a recent (Sport Media) graduate (from Toronto Metropolitan University) as well as an active sailor and power boater on Georgian Bay. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Related Articles

Thursday, 02 June 2022 13:31

From cottage boats to luxury cruisers, there have been a host of major design changes over the past decade and the latest boats for 2022 are significantly different from the new models we saw back...

Monday, 06 March 2023 12:30

A recent Canadian Yachting magazine reader survey showed that there is a big population of boat ownership under 27-feet amongst our audience. There are also some major design influences guiding the...

Wednesday, 08 March 2023 09:43

Serious Fun! The motto of the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Canadian Yachting had the chance to attend this bucket list event to capture all of the action over the course of four days of world...

Tuesday, 10 January 2023 14:48

The next graduate in our Marine Industry Career Path series is one of Canadian Yachting Media’s very own, Andrew McDonald! Andrew most recently graduated from Georgian College in Ontario and has...

Tuesday, 06 December 2022 14:36

Introducing the next graduate in our marine career path series, April Scarlett. A former Ontario resident, April was enticed by the Pacific Ocean and everything it has to offer.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 17:34

The marine industry provides exciting opportunities for Canadians. Every month CYOB will introduce you to a graduate of one of Canada’s marine programs. By profiling these graduates, we will be...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new ...
When J/Boats set out to make their latest model, their thinking moved away from a boat that you had ...
Wellcraft launched a legacy of offshore boats from Sarasota, Florida more than 60 years ago and ...
The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and ...
Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. ...
When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex ...
I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats ...
The weather wasn’t cooperating for our test of the new Fountaine Pajot Isla 40. Rain, storm clouds ...
Last August, we were again invited to the Neptunus Yachts facility in St. Catharines, Ontario to ...
Cruisers Yachts’ 34 GLS is the latest model in the Cruisers Yachts line that includes a dozen ...

Video Gallery

Neptunus 650F

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Last summer Waterways TV debuted with host Steve Bull’s tour of Ontario. In this episode Parks ...
I sail on Lake St Clair. Michigan is on one side of the lake, and Ontario is on the other. My ...
The bright summer sun forces its way through magnificent Arbutus trees as I dive off our ...
I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to ...
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...

Sunset off St. John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More

DIY & How to

  • Prev
It’s that time of year again. The groundhog has been consulted, and we all anxiously wait for the ...
Particularly with the increased costs of ownership, Fractional Ownership may be a better investment ...
As spring approaches, the market starts to heat up, and as you are starting to search for that ...
This is part 1 of a 2-part series on off-season maintenance and upgrades that are ideal to get a ...
For many sailors north of the snow belt, haulout means getting the boat ready for winter, which ...
With boat show season upon us some will walk the show looking to be inspired, others will be ...
This is the time of year for planning next season’s special voyage. This may be a trip up the ...
This is Part 2 of a two-part series on compression testing. Last edition explored how an engine ...
Pt 1: Compression in a gas engine. The massive block of iron sitting in your boat (or mounted atop ...
Last issue we explored NMEA 2000 networking, including the advantages of creating an on-board ...

Svala at Anchor

Story and photos by Matt Bera

We settled Svala into what my family and I had come to think of as the most desirable anchorage on Lake Ontario, on a sunny summer afternoon. With an abandoned settlement, an old schoolhouse full of swallows, giant snakes and a rum-running past, Main Duck Island had it all.

That we had to sail past the Psyche Shoal, a magnetic disturbance, and into the middle of the rumoured Marysburgh Vortex made an even better sea story. It had taken us two attempts, two years, two boats and a new sort-of experimental engine to get there.

Read More

 

  

Sailing With a Captain

By Zuzana Prochazka

Never chartered? No problem. Here’s how to plan, execute and enjoy a vacation on a charter yacht where life is easy and the sunsets can’t be beat.

Decide on a crewed or bareboat charter

A crewed charter means you have a captain who manages the boat and maybe a chef or mate as well. Crewed charters ensure a safe and comfortable vacation with most everything done for you. The chefs are usually outstanding so if you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven and you may be able to pick up new recipes too. Larger crewed yachts may also have a mate who works with the captain and will do things like getting toys (kayaks, SUPs, snorkel gear, etc.) ready for you to use so you do very little work.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Storing, cleaning and maintaining a boat takes time, money and effort. Now the boating public has ...
There is always a lot of action going on at boat shows, but I was a bit startled at the Miami show ...
Few people think about hinges until they begin to corrode and squeak and become difficult to ...
These volumes provide the in depth info you need  from knowledgeable experts to get your boat ...
Televisions on a boat are increasingly commonplace. With the simple-to-install Glomex Avior VT300 ...
With enough brightness to cut through the darkest nights, the Steelcore 1000 Lumen Flashlight has ...
Boating Ontario proudly represents over 500 private & municipal marinas, boat dealerships and ...
Mechanics use sockets instead of individual wrenches because they can complete a project in less ...
Here are some titles that will keep you A-wake (groan). Pike’s long overdue analysis and ...
From cone to cube, the Gobius C from Albin Group Marine precisely measures the exact volume and ...

News

  • Prev
After hitting their podium in their first two events in this, CAN SailGP’s inaugural season, ...
For the first time since the 1980s, access to the British Virgin Islands, a top destination for ...
A premium polishing ablative bottom paint available in several colors designed to go over ...
At the Ontario Regional Boating Advisory Council Meeting held in mid-January, members heard about ...
Serious Fun! The motto of the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Canadian Yachting had the chance ...
Brad Boutilier became a Master Mariner at a young age but, after starting a family, wanted to be ...
Two weekends ago on the Sunday of Australia Sail Grand Prix racing in Sydney, a severe weather ...
For the former tenants of Ontario Place’ 240 slips, this will be a stressful summer searching for ...
More than five decades ago, Mustang Survival began engineering lifesaving solutions that push the ...
Charter company, Dream Yacht Worldwide and luxury catamaran builder, Fountaine Pajot, are ...

Mercury marine V10 OutboardsOn November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced the industry’s first ever V10 outboard with the official launch of its all-new 5.7L 350 and 400hp Verado® outboard engines.
 
Consistent with the award-winning Verado brand, the new V10 engines are the quietest and smoothest in their class running 45 percent quieter than a leading competitor at cruise. In addition to NVH, the new Verado’s are not only compatible with the latest Mercury SmartCraft® technologies but will also be offered with an optional dual-mode 48V/12V alternator to seamlessly pair with Navico Group’s Fathom® e-power system, an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system, providing boaters the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system.

Read More