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.

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.

Anchoring at both bow and stern: Bad idea

Sometimes I'll see a boat with two anchors out – one from the bow and one from the stern.

This is (usually) a Bad Idea. Here's why.

Pages

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.

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.

The new boat shop

Have you ever wondered if you might be a boatbuilder? Well, if this photo gets you excited, then the answer is yes, you are.

Where's the good wood?

When I built my little runabout fifteen (!) years ago, it was pretty easy to find suitable plywood. The boat was a Phil Bolger / Harold Payson design, and neither man was big on spending money where it wasn't required. Payson's advice was something along the lines of "well, she's glass-sheathed, so you don't need the fancy exotic plywood – just use local AC exterior ply with the boil-tested glue." He was right; after fifteen years there's no evidence at all of any kind of rot, deterioration, delamination or other trouble with Sunset Chaser's fir plywood hull.

Crossbeam bits & pieces

Progress on the Starwind 860 prototype continues. It does seem, however, that I've fallen behind in posting updates about the boat.

The aft crossbeams are nearly done; they still need the fibreglass tape on their outer edges and a final fairing coat before painting.

The front crossbeams now have their upper mid-beam structure installed and are ready to be closed in. That task will probably take place tomorrow.

Pages