Ahoy, boaters! Welcome to yet another boating blog, this one focused mainly on small-craft cruising and boatbuilding on the canals and lakes of Ontario, Canada.

Many folks- like us- love the water, but have land-based commitments (you know, jobs and things like that) that prevent us from sailing off to the sunny south. That's OK- there are plenty of interesting places to cruise right here in Canada, many of which can be explored in a weekend (or perhaps a long weekend... or a week).

Our current flagship is Sunset Chaser, a five-metre runabout designed by Phil Bolger and built by Matthew B. Marsh. In the shop is the prototype of the Marsh Design Starwind 860 power trimaran, which we are building to extend our cruising grounds.


On The Water

Photos, ramblings and the occasional bit of useful information from our voyages aboard the runabout Sunset Chaser and other small boats.

Regrets

Introducing a Dog to a Boat

An impressionable, eager-to-please puppy is one thing.... but how do you train a skittish older dog, of a notoriously stubborn breed, to be comfortable around boats? Katy's been working on that, and here are her (successful) findings.

The fun, friendly Topper Topaz

We can finally get out sailing on Lake Ontario, and there's a sweet new boat in which to do it....

A daring broken-ice rescue

Sometimes, despite taking all reasonable precautions, a boater gets in trouble and must rely on rescue services.

Other times – like yesterday – you find folks who are just asking for trouble.

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In The Shop

Dispatches from the shop: Progress reports on our boat building projects, plus some useful information for those of you who are building, restoring or repairing your own boats.

Compound curvature in plywood

Conventional wisdom says that plywood can't take compound curvature. That it can only be bent into conically developable sections.

That's not entirely true. The Starwind 860's amas have a bit of compound curvature, particularly in the forefoot. Here's how we create it.

Planking the Port Ama

This past weekend, we started planking the Starwind 860's port ama. With her first section of hull skin in place, the Starwind is looking more and more like a boat!

Making Scarph Joints in Plywood Panels

When your plywood sheets aren't long enough, they must be joined end-to-end.

Butt joints aren't strong enough. Backing blocks can cause problems when you try to bend the panels. CNC-cut puzzle joints work great – if you have a CNC cutter. So the good old scarph (scarf) joint is the standard solution.

Here's how to make one.

Does she look like a boat yet?

At what point does a boatbuilding project cease to be a pile of lumber, and become a boat-in-progress?

It certainly looks like we're getting there now.

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