November 17 – Acrylic and Ceramic Gelcoat Restorers – Miracle Cure or Stumpwater?
Fibreglass boats take a lot of maintenance. Their appeal, half a century ago was their ‘maintenance free’ nature when compared with wooden boats. Add in the ability to mass-produce, and the low coast of manufacturing made fiberglass and easy choice. Read more >


November 10 – Protecting your boat for the winter
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at marinas and yacht clubs about the merits and disadvantages of winter covers, tarps and wraps. Read more >

November 3 – Boat electricity – a look inside
I’m on many different types of boats, with many configurations. Some have a single ‘automotive-type’ battery on board. Others have shore power, coupled with multiple battery banks, generators and inverters. Often the complexity of the systems, dictates the type of power needed to support them. Read more >


October 27 – The Main thing
This is a typical conversation during the off-season at the sail loft. This is where I pull up a price sheet and a list of different sail cut and cloth options on the computer. Read more >


October 20 – Seasonal tip: Thieves love stored boats. Take precautions.
Pretty soon, fleets of recreational boats will be put into winter storage to await next year’s season. As they sit unattended for months, they can easily become a target for thieves. Will your boat be on a crook’s hit list? Read more >


October 13 – Windy Day Upwind Sailing
It has been remarkably windy lately, so I figured I should share some windy day techniques to make your sailing easier and faster. I’ve been club racing with my 13 year old son driving lately, so I figured I should share with you what I shared with him. Read more >


October 6 – The Sun’s UV factor: is it spoiling your boating enjoyment?
For the last 40 years boating has been a huge part of my life, but it came with a price. Whether from racing or cruising on a sailboat in the Great Lakes, the Caribbean or British Columbia’s West Coast, I just couldn’t get enough of it. During those 40 years on the water, my skin took a beating. I once had sunstroke which has forced me to wear a hat whenever I’m outside. Because of my fair skin I am very susceptible to sunburns, my lips were continually scabbing over and appeared to be translucent. Pre-cancerous growths on my face needed constant attention and removal. Read more >


September 29 – Bras d’Or Yacht Club: Over a century on the Baddeck waterfront
Ever since Alexander Graham Bell chose Baddeck for his summer home the town has been a popular destination for boaters and tourists. In addition to his many ventures and experiments at his Bell Laboratories, Bell also commissioned the 52’ yawl Elsie and gave her to his daughter Elsie Bell Grosvenor. Elsie’s husband was Gilbert Grosvenor whose family were publishers of the National Geographic magazine. Through many articles in the magazine over the years the Bras d’Or Lakes and the town of Baddeck became world famous. Read more >


September 22 – Autumn means haulout
Labour Day weekend tends to be the ‘last hurrah’ on many fronts: the last long weekend of the summer, and (for many of us) the last time to enjoy the family boat for the season before other work/school/tasks/life take precedence. Read more >


September 15 – Blowing Smoke
My Dad is not a mechanical guy. He is educated and well-read, and handy around the house – but not mechanical. When I was 12, I joined a trip to the local mechanic to get our family car fixed. Dad struggled to describe the issues – he didn’t know the terminology or the parts or how various engine systems work. The best he could do is what many of us find ourselves doing: making noises and blindly guessing. Read more >


September 8 – Do It Yourself Deck Repairs
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major maintenance catch-up. I decided to forgoe winter racing and take advantage of an extended haul -out from October to March. Read more >


September 1 – What’s a yacht and small craft marine surveyor worth?
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? Most people would say priceless and impossible to put a value on. And yet many people seem to misunderstand the worth and principle role of a marine surveyor, whose very job it is to ensure your safety at sea by surveying, inspecting and reporting on your expensive, potential new purchase. Instructing a marine surveyor to work on your behalf should never be seen as a distress purchase where price is the all-important factor, rather it is an essential requirement. Read more >


August 25 – The Bucket
I was cleaning up my workbench the other day. My eyes then scanned across my workbench and fell on ‘the bucket’. Everyone has a one. On a boat, it’s usually in a cockpit lazarette. It’s full of old paint cans and half-used tubes of caulking. There might be some white grease, painters tape or epoxy in there, too. I take my bucket everywhere and it’s full of all sorts of tubes of grease and sealants and adhesives. I thought to myself that I should probably sort through the bucket and get rid of the stuff that isn’t useful. I quickly realized, though, that each of the items in my bucket (except that had gone bad) were useful, and each is used for a particular job. Read more >


August 18 – Bareboat Chartering for First Timers
If chartering is something you’ve been dreaming about, this article is really for you and I hope will encourage you to give it a try… BUT be forewarned…it can be addictive! Read more >


August 11 – Beware of What you Cannot See
Most people think that proper eye care consists of visiting an eye doctor. Taking good care of your eyes is up you. “Even short-term effect of over UV exposure can cause a ‘sunburn’ of the eyes. Symptoms are pain, tearing or blurred vision,” says Dr. Maria Sirounis Sirmis, a Toronto optometrist. Read more >


July 14 – Water connections and new solutions
As boats increase in size, complexity and arrangements, the systems requiring water onboard also increase. Modern boats have pumps, pressure systems, ballast systems, showers, air conditioners, water-cooled refrigeration, washdown pumps, faucets, heaters, and all of through-hulls, tanks, lines and connections necessary to support them. Read more >


June 30, 2021 – Upgrading from manual to electric head
As bareboat charterers for many years now, most boats we’ve had the pleasure of renting had an electric head. Much to our enjoyment and that of our fellow passengers, they are super simple to operate and explaining how to use them is a breeze. Plus it’s a whole lot more pleasant than facing the bowl to pump! Read more >


June 23, 2021 – Want to be a better linesman? Know your ropes and where to use them
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June 16, 2021 – Replacing and Installing Transducers
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a display at the helm. This data is usually in the form of depth and speed – but in more advanced systems can also provide sonar, fish-finding and side or forward views. Read more >


June 9, 2021 – Is Fiberglass Recyclable? Part 2 – Emerging innovations in fiberglass recycling
Interest in finding alternative uses for used fiberglass can spark creativity and innovation. For example, a partnership involving the US, Ireland, and Northern Ireland Universities called Re-wind developed some interesting civil engineering project ideas for reusing and repurposing fiberglass blades. These include using decommissioned blades in civil engineering projects as part of powerline structures or towers, or roofs for emergency or affordable housing. In Northern Ireland, Re-wind is also considering piloting them for use in pedestrian bridges along greenways. Read more >


June 2, 2021 – Is Fiberglass Recyclable? Part 1
Today many things are made from fiberglass, from automotive parts to boats, and bathtubs to wind turbine blades. Fiberglass is lightweight and strong, it is resistant to impact and is waterproof. It does not rot and can be repaired relatively easily. But recycling fiberglass, can it be done? Read more >May 26, 2021 – Spring 2021 Checklist
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May 19, 2021 – What You Need to Know Before Buying an Electric Sailboat
It’s no secret that we’re approaching, or have maybe even passed the moment in history where most buyers are considering buying an electric vehicle. The awkward early adopter phase is long gone, doubters few and far between, and every car manufacturer has at least some EV options, while others focus exclusively on electric and are experiencing massive growth. Mass adoption is here, the prices are falling, and infrastructure and legislature are hurrying to catch up. Read more >


May 12, 2021 – Canvaswork – covers, dodgers and biminis
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it were because it’s been immaculately maintained and looks perfect when installed. I notice it because it’s a pain. Shrink wrap and tarps are removed, canvas is installed. Strataglass is fogged, rips and tears are evident, zippers are broken. In short, repairs are required. Lets face it, boat canvas takes a beating: it’s exposed to the elements: wind, rain and sun – and it’s maintenance is often overlooked in favour of more pressing ‘Let’s go boating’ needs. Read more >


May 5, 2021 – Understanding Gelcoat
Gelcoat is the next logical progression – that is, the outer part of the hull and decks. Gelcoat serves two main purposes: To protect the fiberglass beneath it, and to give a cosmetic finish as the outer layer of construction.
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