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.

Boats of the Rideau

The August long weekend is one of the busiest times of the year on the Rideau Canal. If you're the patient type, it's a great time to go through a few locks, camp out for a few nights, and check out the local scenery, wildlife and boats, as Katy and I did this weekend. We'll start off with the boats....

World robotic sailing championship 2010

Take an eclectic fleet of experimental radio-controlled model yachts. Add a mix of engineering and computing students from around the world. Add coffee, shake, and let the engineers work for a year. Then turn the boats loose on the race course- and leave them entirely to their own devices. That is the essence of the World Robotic Sailing Championship.

Situational awareness and electronics overload

It's hard not to be impressed by the latest round of navigation electronics. This is 2010, after all, an era in which the average desktop computer has the computing power to calculate the airflow around a Space Shuttle during re-entry, and we can't tell the difference between live and CGI actors on the cinema screen. I'm not convinced, though, that all this computing power is a good thing to be throwing at navigation systems- at least, not in the ways we see in some of the current crop of nav systems.

Security at sea: encrypted email

Is there really such a thing as private communications anymore? By long-standing convention, radio traffic (except emergency and "all ships" calls) is supposed to be kept confidential, but these days, I wouldn't put too much faith in that. Public 802.11 wi-fi is also remarkably easy to hack, unless you're on one of the rare networks that use WPA2 encryption and rotate the access codes frequently.

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