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.

Lubber's Loops

Boats, unlike cars, rarely go where you point them. This is, of course, old news to anyone who voyages under sail; likewise for those who navigate in coastal areas with strong currents. Those of us with small, fast powerboats tend not to care about this quirk once we leave the dock- how much of an effect can a light breeze have on a 20-plus-knot boat?

Quite a bit, in fact. The "lubber's loop", the course that's sailed when cross-track error is ignored, gets all of us in a bit of trouble now and then.

Overrun by the Poker Run

Poker run boats are among the world's most highly engineered ways of turning money and fuel into noise and pollution. They also happen to exhibit some of the best craftsmanship and rigging in the powerboat world today. And we just had a hundred, maybe more, of these beasts roar through Kingston.

Donzi 38 ZR (2007)

Weeds and props

The weeds are really, really bad this year. The folks at Zero to Cruising have commented a few times on how thick the weed mats in Collins Bay are- some of their weeds have even trapped birds. And on the Rideau this weekend, we rarely made it more than a minute or two without getting a weed ball of some kind wrapped around the prop.

Locking through the Rideau

Not much has changed in the last 180 years or so. Not on the Rideau Canal, at least. Sure, there are shorepower ports these days, and electric lighting, and the lock staff have even started carrying short-range radios. But the lock gates are still winched open by hand, the water flow is still controlled by hand-cranked valves, and boats are still coaxed into position with rope, muscle and a bit of shouting. Even in the chaos of the August long weekend, it's a tranquil throwback to a simpler age.

Well, most of the time.

Pages