Tag Archives: Toronto


Spring launch is a bit stressful, polishing & painting the hull, servicing the engine, wrangling batteries, cold weather and launch coordination. Of course this year I was racing to finish the bimini and get the solar panels installed.
All that work and fades away once the boat splashes into the water, the engine fires up and I’ve got a boat again, not just a big expensive liability.
Here are a few photos from out first trip out with friends to Centre Island Centerville and then to catch the Victoria Day Fireworks on the water.
The boat is moored at that angle as it’s sitting on the bottom, the boat behind me has the depth I need.


Bigger better faster – more expensive

I’m contemplating a bigger boat, while the Tanzer 7.5 is a perfect day sailor for us, with two little ones it is a bit difficult to contemplate longer trips. Given that we live so close to the boat we have never slept overnight on the boat, but the desire is there. With a larger boat I can envision spending time (days/weeks) on the boat – a proper head, kitchen with refrigeration, stove and cupboards, sleeping quarters and a kid friendly cockpit & swim platform go along way to selling the idea. Trips to the 1000 islands or Kingston, NYC or up the Trent Severn lock system seem much more palatable on a larger boat.

I own this boat now!

I am a bit stunned by how quickly the price shoots up on larger boats, so I have been researching fractional ownership. There seem to be a few companies in Toronto offering fractional ownership of new boats, but that seems a bit out of my league (price wise) and you don’t get a lot of sailing time. I know there are people out there sharing ownership so this looks like a good route – I am thinking more along the lines of a hybrid of bareboat chartering and shared ownership. In the course of my research I came upon a new website called nautical monkey . They are a Canadian company with a minimal membership expense. I am interested to see if it gets populated with people in the Toronto area.

Let me know you experience or thoughts on fractional ownership!

Fall sail

We ended the 2012 season with a circumnavigation of the Toronto Islands. It was a beautiful September day, perfect for a stop at Center Island for a picnic.

Dinghy clean up

In the spring I decided to show my dinghy some love. I scrubbed it, patched a small hole (the hole I made dragging it over to be cleaned…) reattached the transom and floor and fitted a new drain/plug. I repainted the floor with bottom paint I found on super sale ($50 reduced to $5).

Here are some  before shots before the UV and weather took it’s toll and the rubber got gummy …

Launch 2011

Aida, my Tanzer 7.5, is my first keel boat, so I wasn’t really sure how the launch from a crane would go down. It was easier and faster then I imagined – what I didn’t imagine was 40k winds gusting to 60k. Rain, snow, sunshine, sleet and everything in between. After I cooked bacon in the rain for a couple of hours while the crane put the docks in the crane driver thought we should get to the boats asap, I just had time for a quick sampling of my handiwork as the crane headed over to launch the boats. It was decided that we should postpone until Sunday morning – 7am.

I spent the evening in Brantford, so I had an early drive, no traffic – so the highway photo is the sunrise over Hamilton. I arrived at 7:30 expecting to be the last of the second row of boats to go in – instead I was the first of the second row, I had just attached my lines and fenders when Martin yelled ” you’re next. You ready?” I hopped out and we attached the slings off it went, and into the drink. Thanks to everyone that helped out. It was smooth and painless. The ride over to the lake was fairly uneventful – there was the first big wave that caught me off guard and threw everything across the cabin! After a couple of hours the wind really picked up and the snow/rain started – a few boats were still making it into the APSC lagoon and it was a nasty time on the water. The ice had only cleared a week ago so it was pretty cold getting my hands wet on the lines and moorings – other than that – it was a productive soggy weekend.

20 Years in a Locker.

My parent’s condo came with a mangy collection of dive gear in the attic and a small outboard motor in a storage locker. I used the dive gear few times in the late 90s and it slowly disintegrated with minimal use. (think Steve Zissou era equipment…)Rubber parts, gaskets & seals don’t last forever. The motor however, was always in the back of my mind.

It wasn’t until this year that our membership in the Aquatic Park Sailing Club was confirmed that I had need of a 4hp motor to power a (as yet unspecified) dinghy.

So into the locker we went.

I threw out the flares (orange box) – I didn’t think they would pass Coast Guard inspection, let alone do much more than fizzle if I ever needed them.

My lovely young assistant helped me break the motor down….

…and pack it in a big box to ship it home.

I sent it by air-cargo on Delta (via NYC) , it arrived in Toronto in  four days. Funny thing is everyone I called told me to use Delta. UPS even told me to call Delta as it would be cheaper. When I asked how much cheaper… pause “’bout $100”. I called a shipping company and he told me he would just use Delta and charge me more, so, taking the hint,  I finally emailed Delta.

Total cost including shipping, GST and Customs $251. I am crazy lucky as this motor is in immaculate condition. The old neighbours (they are old, but still neighbours ) say it wasn’t used more than a few times by the previous owners and looking at the condition and plugs,  it is pristine.  Now I’ll have to fire it up to see if the crank seals and the fuel pump is still limber enough to run the motor. It did have one piece broken so I ordered a Lever, cam lever from Boats.net – a whopping $5.37
The engine is a Belgium made 1987 4hp 2cylinder 2-stroke.

Now all I need is a dinghy.

ps – I was going to call this post 20 Years in the Closet, but realized that that means something quite different.

Undercover: winter togs

To cover or not to cover.

I read lots of forums, blog posts and asked the sailors I knew what they did with their boats for the winter. There wasn’t much consensus, some say why bother, boats are leak free anyway, others warn of the dire actions of snow loads and ice, not to mention the unrelenting assault on bright work from UV.  The simple reasons I choose to cover was 1) the windows are a bit leaky, a cover will keep water out 2)  I’d like to do some simple maintenance, like bright-work and winch overhauls, digging through snow and ice doesn’t sound fun. 3) six months less UV sounds like a good idea.

I decided on a simple tarp from Princess Auto, it just fits.  Four 10′  x 3/4″ electrical  conduits from Home Depot fit into the life-line stanchion bases, the mast as cross beam.  I’m not sure if there are enough supports, the spacing is about 4′, looks like it might sag between if there is a snow load – we’ll see. I underestimated the amount of rope needed to cover the Tanzer 7.5. Seems looping under the sailboat back and forth is not the most efficient use of line.

I like the fact that the cover seems to funnel air into it, much like an air sock. Not sure if this is a fluke on the location, wind direction or the fact I have the bow open a bit and pointing towards the water? The upside is it stopped the flapping motion and I hope this will extend the life of the cover and help the grommets stay put.

Delivery – not deliverance

I decided not to drive up to Lagoon City to watch the boat being loaded – I figured there was little for me to do besides watch – and as interesting as that would be , I didn’t think it was worth 4 hours of driving.  I was expecting Al to arrive around 12-1., he called to say he was running late because of road work, but still managed to get here by noon.

It was a tight squeeze and a good thing the yard was empty. By the time Aida was on the ground, there were cradles and trailers populating the yard.