September is here and it looks like the cold weather will hold off a little while longer. I’ve had the opportunity to meet most of our members and all seem to be enjoying the boating lifestyle as much as I do. With so many of our members introducing boating to their guests and gifting their time to friends & colleagues I thought I should share some tips about cruising comfortably and safely. I encourage you to share this document with new guests as this may help cover some of the questions they may have and alleviate any awkward moments.
Tips for Safe & Comfortable Cruising
Footwear: Although sandals and flip flops are comfortable during the summer they are not appropriate for cruising. If you do wear them to the boat, kick them off when you board and cruise barefoot. The deck can get slippery and the crew have all seen people trip and stumble in their flip flops or designer sandals, and there’s no quicker way to ruin a day than having to tend to an injury.
We do ask that if you and your guests choose not to cruise barefoot, please wear non-slip rubber-soled shoes, preferably proper deck shoes or even skateboard shoes such as Vans. White or clear soled shoes only as dark coloured soles will mark the deck.
Clothing: Bring sweaters and long pants, especially for an evening cruise. It is better to have an extra bag with a jacket and long pants that you don’t need than be shivering wishing you had thought ahead. It can get cold quickly and being uncomfortable can ruin an otherwise fabulous outing.
Swimming: Yes you can swim in Lake Ontario! We have many blue flag beaches to anchor at. We do ask that you bring everything you need to be comfortable, towels, change of clothes etc.. we’ll find space for your belongings on board.
Personal Floatation Devices aka PFD’s/lifejackets: It is required by law to have a PFD onboard for each person on a watercraft. While we do have enough onboard for adults, children will need to have their own Transport Canada approved lifejacket or PFD and wear their floatation device at all times.
Be sure to buy only Canadian-approved floatation devices and have your child try on the device before you buy it.
- It should fit snugly and not ride up over your child’s chin or ears.
- There should be less than 7.6 cm (3″) between your child’s shoulders and the floatation device. Otherwise, the device is too big and could do more harm than good.
Look for these safety features:
- a large collar for head support
- waist ties or elastic gathers in front and back
- a safety strap that goes between the legs to prevent the device from slipping over your child’s head
- buckles on safety straps and reflective tape
View this video for quick tips on keeping your child safe on the water
Sunscreen: It is always best to put your sunscreen on at home before you leave while in the buff, you’re less likely to miss areas but don’t forget to reapply throughout the day!!! We ask that while on the boat you use a sunscreen lotion and leave your sprays for the beach. The spray sunscreens leave a residue on the fiberglass creating a slipping hazard and the oil will stain the teak. Spray at home, spray at the beach but top up with lotion during the cruise.
Hydration: While we always have plenty of still water on board. If you have your own refillable water bottle I recommend bringing it as it will keep your water cold longer and as Covid still looms, you will always know which water is yours. Alcohol is permitted on the dock or while at anchor, but not during a cruise. The authorities treat the boat like a cottage when it’s docked and like your car when it’s moving; you can drink alcohol in your cottage but not in your car.
Food: Definitely a necessity especially if adult beverages are on the itinerary. Keep in mind, snacking during a cruise takes a bit of thought. Unless you’ve arranged for a cleaning crew or hostess, I recommend you stay away from potato chips and popcorn, the least bit of wind and it’s everywhere! I promise you, despite their efforts to catch it all, if the previous guest has had popcorn or chips onboard you will know it!
Pita, dips, crackers, cheese, charcuterie, pre-made sandwiches, fruit or veggie platters, always work a treat and make for easy clean up at the end of your cruise.
We encourage everyone to bring their own fare or call culinary talent Daniel Tesfay of Fuze Cuisine for catering. He specializes in catering for groups of 8-10 and is available for any type of event.
Smoking & Vaping: Not permitted at any time on the boat, the owner of the vessel has asked us to maintain this rule and we ask all of our members and guests to respect it.
For members: Know your safety equipment, where to find it, and how to use it. Trust me when I say, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use it you already don’t have time to look for it or to read instructions. If you review the safety equipment and their locations regularly it will prevent chaos in an already stressful situation. Share safety information with regular guests and family members, talk about how and when to use the equipment, and let’s hope you never have to.
Although the weather hasn’t always cooperated this season we’ve had some wonderful days on the water. We still have warm weather ahead of us so let’s enjoy it while we can!
Executive Assistant to G. Marlo