Port Credit Marine Surveys
& Yacht Delivery
Ontario Marine Surveyors Newsletter

If you have just stumbled across this page and would like to receive updates, send me an email and I'll add you to my mailing list. Your email address will be used for no other purpose. I'll try really hard to keep this current so check back once in a while.

I've had to release many of the older links on this page because it was too hard to keep them up to date.

From Courtice, Ontario
September 3rd, 2017
Well, it's confirmed .... Living on the hard is not for us. We leave in a few days for friends vow renewal on the Arkansas/Missouri border then back to Florida to get DIRT FREE ready for another winter in the Bahamas. Come spring we'll cruise back to Ontario for the summer then head up through the Lakes and down the Mississippi to the Gulf.... repeat ad infinitum

We are adding a solar panel system, ripping out the badly corroded aluminum (stoopid boat builders) waste tank and building an epoxy one in it's place. We are also installing a new dripless seal stuffing box as the old one was a constant problem last winter and fitting a new custom 4" thick aluminum frame freezer door. If you rememeber the entire freezer was built and installed enroute last year and the door (built in the cockpit, underway) was less than perfect.

Over the last number of years with family issues and more cruising it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the continuing education credits required for my SAMS Accreditation and ABYC Certifications. So ...... I have retired from those organizations. I firmly believe in SAMS and ABYC and they have been a great boon to me and I will continue to promote them.
We also intend to continue surveying but at a much slower pace. We will be spending summers in Ontario (most likely PCYC) and do occasional surveys from there. We just enjoy the work and the people too much to give it up entirely.

Website -
I have recently added a new article Liner Hull Bonding Failure that may be of interest to those with liner built boats.
I've updated Every Marine Surveyor in Ontario, ... several new players in the game.
I have a link to the very best DIY marine site on the web. Rod Collins is an ABYC Certified tech who has spent an incredible amount of time putting together the most authoritative and detailed DIY articles on the web. Well worth a look for anyone doing their own work or even just understanding what your mechanic is up to. Marine How To
From Indiantown Marina, Florida
April 7, 2017
DIRT FREE gets hauled out here in about 8hrs. She is all packed up for summer storage in the Florida heat and humidity. it's been 98°F here for the last few days and storage practices are a little different than what we are used to in Ontario. Water tanks are left full (with bleach added), trays of charcoal are left around the boat to absorb moisture and odour, all throughulls are stuffed with mesh pot scrubbers (to prevent rodents crawling in), the RIB stored on the cabin trunk is heavily wrapped to prevent UV degradation and all windows are covered on the interior with reflective material for the same reason.We have never left the boat south before so it's a learning curve for us..... we'll see.

For the summer we'll be living in Coutice, Ontario. I have not lived on the hard for over 20 years and I'm not sure how I'll handle that...... we'll see :)

We fly to Toronto on Saturday and it will take most of the week to get things straightened out .... got to get the taxes done, the car insurance re-instated and Sharon's driver's license expired while we were away etc. I'm itching to get back to work (I've missed it) but given that we'll be living in Courtice my geographic range will be a little different. I'll be looking for surveys between Port Credit and Newcastle and favouring the eastern end of that range. I'm simply not interested in driving further. So if you know of anyone requiring a survey in that area ...........

From Green Turtle Cay in the Sea of Abaco
February 11 2017
Sharon, DIRT FREE and I are currently in Green Turtle Cay in the Sea of Abaco and today I decided to spend some time updating a few things on the website today (I've been neglecting it). With the Ontario boating season approaching I decided to update my "Cruising The NY State Canal System" article and added lots more photos.We spent some more time in there last summer and had the time of our lives. We'd happily spend the rest of our lives cruising those waters if not for winter. So if you are looking for a cruise destination for the summer the NY Canal System is a fraction of the cost of boating in Canada and a terrific place to leave the boat all summer (drive back to Ont. for the workdays) on free docks. Sailboats .... drop that stick and experience NY. Even with the Canadian dollarette it's a very cheap deal. Check it out.

We'll be back in Ontario sometime in June to work for the summer but we have spent our last winter in Canada. So if you are in the Bahamas keep an eye out for dirt free or send a friend request to "Sharon Gouk" and/or "Shawala Gouk" on Facebook to keep up with where we are or take a look at Sharons Cruisng Blog.
Headin' south
August 10,2016
Sharon and I are leaving on DIRT FREE in a couple of days. We are heading south to explore the Hudson River, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay and St.Johns Riverthen plan on crossing to the Abacos by late November, returning to Canada next summer.
When your husband forgets
April 4th, 2016
When your husband forgets he is no longer 50yrs. old and does something stupid on the boat ... who you gonna call ?
I suggest you call Craig Hamilton. Craig is a Red Cross training partner and teaches their first aid courses. Being a boater, Craig puts a few twists on the course focused on dealing with on water emergencies when help may be a while in arriving. He will come to your yacht club, power squadron or any other group to provide your training. Sharon and I took the one day course the other day (Sharon says I'm accident prone ..... not) and were very impressed. Craig not only knows his stuff he also has that totally separate talent of "teaching".

As an RYA Yachtmaster, Craig also teaches boat handling (power and sail), does yacht deliveries (call me first :) ) is authorized to issue PCOC cards, Toronto Harbour licenses and the VHF course with DSC endorsement. Check out his website at Boaterskills.ca


Launched our new dinghy the other day .... guess we are not playing with it for a while yet :)

DIRT FREE update
February 29th, 2016

I've created a photo log of our progress in rebuilding Dirt Free. Lots more to do but we have made great progress as we work toward having her ready to head south in August. You might find some of the photos of Our New Boat interesting. PS. don't forget my dog'n'pony show as part of Fogh's Boating Supplies(formerly Masons Chandlery) at The Store in Port Credit this Saturday
Catch up
February 4th, 2016
I keep telling myself (and you) that I'll try to stay on top of this newsletter but ..... life and boats get in the way. It's a little late but my buddy Craig Morley (diesel mechanic and SAMS Accredited Marine Surveyor) is running his very popular one day, hands on diesel course at Mimico Cruising Club again in February check out the details here.... a worthwhile investment.

I did my "Marine Survey 101" dog'n'pony show at the North Halton Power Squadron BBQ last week, Sharon and I had a great time and were well fed. I'll be doing a similar seminar with lots of photos at the Burlington Power Squadron on Saturday March 26th at 1000hrs. and at Foghs (previously "The Store") in Port Credit on Saturday March 5th at 1000hrs.

Another Credential
June 6, 2015
On the heels of the "Documented Marine Surveyor" ( see previous newsletter), another one has jumped to the online market for collecting money from marine surveyors. This new kid on the block is offering a "Registry of Marine Surveyors" status of "Credentialed Marine Surveyor" .... for a small fee :). oh ! by the way, the fella running this outfit was kicked out of SAMS and NAMS.
Another Scam !
May 25, 2015
For a one time charge of $300US you too can become a marine surveyor with a fancy gold shield (looks like a cop badge) and an I.D card. This Documented Marine Surveyor outfit is the latest in a long list of outfits providing worthless "documentation", "certification" and/or "accreditation" to anyone with a credit card. All the real surveyors in the business know who these outfits are but your insurance company accepts their reports anyway. I'm convinced the insurance companies are making so much money from boaters that they just don't care. They look for the valuation on the back page and write a policy. Most insurance brokers wouldn't understand the survey reports even if they read them. The underwriters could shut down these charlatans overnight if they wanted too just by refusing to accept their pathetic reports like the ones on my Sample Survey Reports page.

Our own boat is still under shrink wrap (lived on it all winter) but ten of our seventeen new Bomon windows, most of our new galley and our new granite counter top are in. She comes out of the water June 1st to install the bow thruster, windlass, air conditioning and a couple of new throughulls. Sharon and I hope to be cruising by the end of June and intend to spend some time in the NY State Canal system in August. June 15th we leave for Beaufort NC to pick up a Sea Ray and deliver it to Montreal. Sharon is a liitle new to this and really excited about the trip.

A few teaser shots below. So far I have torn out 3 garbage bags of unecessary or improper wire and re-wired the DC and AC systems including two new battery banks, installed a new water heater, rebuilt the interior decks for easy tank removal, installed a furnace, AC/DC refrigerator and AC/DC cooler, added stainless steel bimini over cockpit, built new bow platform with anchor roller, covered all interior surfaces (painted plywood) with clean white FRP, built a proper propane locker, cut-off 8' of the mast so I can do the NY State Canal System and an endless list of other projects. After she is relaunched I'll slow down a bit and and put a complete pictorial of the project on the website.

Registered as "DIRT FREE"

New granite counter top
& new window

Two of 17 new Bomon windows

old wood framed windows

New (2 of 17) Bomon aluminum windows

Extraneous wire removed from boat
Electric Shock Drowning
March 11, 2014
If you ever read any of my newsletters, please, please read this one ...........
I am in the middle of a 4 day Marine Corrosion Analysis course being presented by Kevin Ritz. I had the privilege of breaking bread with Kevin and my buddy Jeff Jordan tonight. and it prompted me to once again try to raise this flag that I've flying for years to deaf ears.

The major issue involving marine corrosion is electricity, whether on the boat or the marina shore power system and one cannot discuss these issues without bringing up "Electric Shock Drowning", an often unreported, mis-diagnosed phenomena which is more common than you know. Please watch Kevin's Electric Shock Drowning
video, it is heart breaking. If you take 15 minutes to watch this video I guarantee you will never permit your kids to swim in a marina again.

My prediction is that this issue will become more common over time as marina electrical services age and more unskilled hands play with electrical systems on older boats.

PS. The issues explained in this video are sometimes found on brand new boats.

PS. You may also want to look at All About Boat Electrics with a number of other articles involving safe electrical systems..
Hands on Diesel at MCC December 28, 2014 My buddy Craig Morley AMS will once again be running his hands on diesel course this winter at Mimico Cruising Club .............. Details below.

Marine Diesel Engine Theory, Maintenance and Repair Course

This course is designed and intended to provide you with a basic understanding of how your Marine Diesel engine operates and how it should be maintained. The course consists of both theory and a "hands-on" practical demonstration session. The course is conducted in the shop with new, used and broken parts to handle and view during the theory portion of the presentation. You will become familiar with everything that is in, attached to and around a marine diesel engine. All associated systems such as - pumps, exhaust systems, transmissions, propeller shafts, engine mounts and alignments etc. will be covered.

NOTE : Due to the "hands-on" and practical demonstration aspects of this course - Class size is limited to 12 persons ! Participants are encouraged to bring along their own engine information/manuals etc. so I may answer any specific questions regarding your engines.
During the afternoon practical demonstrations we will - jump start a diesel, operate engines on test stands, bleed fuel injection systems, adjust valves, change water pump impellers, winterize engines etc. and any special requests we have the equipment and time for. Anyone wishing to participate may - so dress appropriately as you will encounter diesel fuel and engine oil. Hand cleaner and shop towels are supplied.
We will not make you into a Diesel Mechanic in a day but you will leave with a very comfortable understanding of what you CAN and also - should NOT do with or to your Marine Diesel Engine.
Mimico Cruising Club has gratuitously allowed me to use the shop and facility to conduct these courses.
The shop is heated but not room temperature hot. The shop door will be open for a while when we run the engines in the afternoon. Dress warmly.
Class starts at 9 AM sharp as we have a lot to cover ! We will continue until approx. 4:30 pm or until everyone has had their fill of fun ! Please arrive a little early to register and pick up your text book. Complementary coffee, tea and muffins available in the AM.
The club dining room is open for lunch and orders may be taken during the morning to speed up the process and get us back to the shop within the 1 hour lunch break. Lunch may be paid with debit or credit cards - Sorry - no cash sales.
Course fee is $ 200. + HST which includes you own copy of "Marine Diesel Engines" 3rd edition by Nigel Calder. Payment by e-transfer, cheque or cash payable to "AquaFacts Marine Surveyors and Yachting Services Inc." To Register - contact Craig Morley at aquafacts@gmail.com or phone - Office 519-768-3438 or Cell 519-933-3205
Register early to reserve your spot as we had a tremendous response last year ! ( only 12 persons/day ! )

6 dates are available -
******* 2015 - Sat. Feb. 7, Sun. Feb. 8, Sat. March 7, Sun. March 8, Sat. March 14, Sun March 15. ******
A Sea Change is Coming
December 24, 2014
I have not put out too many newletters this year as life got in the way but I will try to be more active as we move in to the new year. Most important things first .... I sincerely wish a safe and happy Christmas season for you and yours. Slow down a bit and take the time to appreciate what you have, it's more than most.

In February 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper launched the Canada / United States Regulatory Cooperartion Council" (RCC) ". What does this mean for boating ? Well it looks like there is (finally) a move afoot to discontinue our Small Vessel Construction Standards and have ABYC Standards take it's place. This is part of a world wide attempt to standardize all requirements (that may take a while). Transport Canada reports that either ABYC or TP1332E will be acceptable standards in July of next year with the complete demise of TP1332E to follow at some point.

What does this mean for boat buyers, well it is now more important than ever that you hire an ABYC Standards Certified Surveyor. ABYC electrical and fuel standards have been law in Canada for quite a few years and now the other 29 (Ithink) standards will be added. I am constantly amazed at the number of surveyors in Ontario who don't even know there are laws regarding boat systems and construction.

As part of the SAMS Accreditation all SAMS surveyors are required to invest in continuing education and to that end I am hosting the the ABYC Marine Corrosion and Analysis course at Port Credit Yacht Club in March. This 4 day course costs $875.00 US so when you see that A SAMS surveyor charges a little more for your survey you realize that between SAMS, NFPA, ABYC and others, he is spending a considerable amount of money every year to stay current with laws and standards and that adds substantial value to a SAMS survey.

In discussions with tech's in the business we have found that we all agree that significant corrosion issues have been on the rise in our fresh water environment for quite a few years whereas we we used to think of it as a mostly salt water issue. We suspect several issues are contributing to this so it is incumbent on all in the industry to learn more about it.
As most marine corrosion involves some type of electrolytic activity there will be some valuable overlap in this course touching electrical safety including electric shock drowning so encourage your electrical contractor to come.


Lastly .... my own boat. I have made progress (never enough), I have rewired much of the AC/DC systems, installed a Flagship Marine furnace/air conditioner, my first six (of 17) Bomon windows are on deck ready for installation, two new battery banks and charging system are operable, two new refrigeration systems are running, my bimini frame is installed, four new bilge hatches are fittded (there were none), the plywood bulkheads in the saloon have all been covered in crisp, clean white fiberglass and the new galley is almost finished .... another 10 years or so and I should be done. Once the construction debris is cleaned up I'll post some photos.
My New Boat
August 6, 2014
As some of you know I sold the boat last year and became a "Dirt People". Well, things have changed and I just can't do it anymore. It's not a natural state of affairs to live on land so I bought a boat and will be moving onboard in a couple of weeks. This is my third boat and like the other two she is a custom one of a kind. Take a look my new boat here.

I'm off to Chambly Quebec next week to participate in a SAMS two day regional meeting where we will as a group survey a boat and then cut her up. This will give us a chance to see how good our assumptions and non-destructive testing are. So my next newsletter will probably be about our findings in that excercise.

Metal Failure
April 13, 2014
Metal fatique, stray current corrosion, galvanic corrosion, weld failure, rigging failure, mast failure, broken and corroded propellers, struts, pistons, crankshafts and any other problem with metal. When any of the SAMS® surveyors run into a metal failure that we can't figure out, the go to guy is fellow SAMS® surveyor Mark Bell of Bell Metallurgy, Metallurgical Failure Analysis. Mark's website makes for fascinating reading with some terrific photos of metal failures in boats.

Just a note on the current used boat market ... things seem to have picked up a quite a bit but almost half of the calls I'm getting are from American buyers. I guess they are taking advantage of the sinking looney. I am guessing that prices for boats in better condition will start to rise (a bit) if market conditions hold. Filthy boats in poor condition, even at greatly reduced prices are becoming a very hard sell. I have had two surveys cancelled before I was finished my inspection because of the absolutely disgusting (I went home and showered) condition of the boats. Everyone seems to understand the importance of staging a home for sale, why not your boat ?

Sea Trials
March 13, 2014
So it snowed again yesterday and I still sit here waiting for weather to get to work. I have survey work backed up the ying yang and am very frustrated. So what do I do ... I sit up all night writing more drivel for my website. Tonights special ......My thoughts on the much under rated and often poorly performed .... Sea Trials, it ain't just a boat ride.
More on Moisture Meters
February 7, 2014
Moisture Meter Mythology re-visited with a soupcon of Thermal Imaging. This is a record for me, three newsletters in four weeks. This just shows how terribly bored I am. For years I have been able to work right up to Christmas then a week or so in January and another in February. The weather has not cooperated this year and I'm going stir crazy. These three recent newsletters are evidence of my boredom. I have been playing with my moisture meter at the Toronto Boat Show and with my test panels and have re-written and added a lot of interesting photos to illustrate my points on why these meters are not entirely trustworthy. I have also been playing with a Thermal Imager and have added some photos and my thoughts on those as related to NDT (non-destructive testing). Hopefull you'll find this as interesting as I do.
Bad Surveys and How to Become a Marine Surveyor
January 17, 2014
I've had samples of my own survey reports on my website for many years. I thought it might be fun to post some of the worst reports I have come across so I have added a few to the Sample Marine Survey Reports page. Keep in mind that all of these reports were accepted by insurance companies.

For several years SAMS® had a booth at the Toronto Boat Show but no one wanted to talk about surveys. We were inundated by people who wanted to know How To Become a Marine Surveyor
Getting her home &
Diesel engines
January 9, 2014
I've added a "Getting Her Home" article to the website with some thoughts on how to get that new purchase safely home from Georgia or Duluth.

My friend and and fellow AMS, Craig Morley will once again run his one day hands on small diesel course at Mimico Cruising Club in Toronto ... well worth a day of getting your hands on a diesel without doing a pretzel imitation.

Marine Diesel Engine Theory, Maintenance and Repair Course
This course is designed and intended to provide you with a basic understanding of how your Marine Diesel engine operates and how it should be maintained. The course consists of both theory and a "hands-on" practical demonstration session. The course is conducted in the shop with new, used and broken parts to handle and view during the theory portion of the presentation. You will become familiar with everything that is in, attached to and around a marine diesel engine. All associated systems such as - pumps, exhaust systems, transmissions, propeller shafts, engine mounts and alignments etc. will be covered.

NOTE : Due to the "hands-on" and practical demonstration aspects of this course - Class size is limited to 12 persons ! Participants are encouraged to bring along their own engine information/manuals etc. so I may answer any specific questions regarding your engines.
During the afternoon practical demonstrations we will - jump start a diesel, operate engines on test stands, bleed fuel injection systems, adjust valves, change water pump impellers, winterize engines etc. and any special requests we have the equipment and time for. Anyone wishing to participate may - so dress appropriately as you will encounter diesel fuel and engine oil. Hand cleaner and shop towels are supplied.
We will not make you into a Diesel Mechanic in a day but you will leave with a very comfortable understanding of what you CAN and also - should NOT do with or to your Marine Diesel Engine.
Mimico Cruising Club has gratuitously allowed me to use the shop and facility to conduct these courses.
The shop is heated but not room temperature hot. The shop door will be open for a while when we run the engines in the afternoon. Dress warmly.
Class starts at 9 AM sharp as we have a lot to cover ! We will continue until approx. 4:30 pm or until everyone has had their fill of fun ! Please arrive a little early to register and pick up your text book. Complementary coffee, tea and muffins available in the AM.
The club dining room is open for lunch and orders may be taken during the morning to speed up the process and get us back to the shop within the 1 hour lunch break. Lunch may be paid with debit or credit cards - Sorry - no cash sales.
Course fee is $ 200. + HST which includes you own copy of "Marine Diesel Engines" 3rd edition by Nigel Calder. Payment by e-transfer, cheque or cash payable to "AquaFacts Marine Surveyors and Yachting Services Inc." To Register - contact Craig Morley at aquafacts@gmail.com or phone - Office 519-768-3438 or Cell 519-933-3205
Register early to reserve your spot as we had a tremendous response last year ! ( only 12 persons/day ! )

****** 2014 courses dates are every Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 8th to March 2nd ******
A very unusual voyage
October 2, 2013
Back in 2006 I was delivering a 570 Carver from Georgian Bay to Toronto. On the Trent Severn system one night I docked next to a fella in a 20' open, wooden boat ... looked kinda like a runabout but very unusual. I struck up a conversation with the fella and got a tour (20 seconds). The boat was homebuilt and powered with a Mazda rotary car engine and a jet drive. His reason for such a curious power train .... shallow waters and it was all he could afford as it had been assembled from whatever bits he could get his hands on.

He launched the boat in Wind River, Wyoming and apparently had to push her through several miles of shallows. He ran her through the rivers,across the Great Lakes, down the St.Lawrence, around Nova Scotia and down the east coast to the Bahamas. His hope is to reach lower South America.

I recently heard his name again in a conversation with a marine surveyor in Texas and looked up his site. His name is Spike Hampson, a fascinating guy and his website is a fascinating read. Spike's American Odyssey
Marina Electrical Safety
August 30, 2013
After a recent spate of fatalities in fresh water marinas in the US, this booklet from the Association of Marina Industries on what to look for in your harbour becomes required reading.
Ship Happens
June 8, 2013
After 16 years of living aboard, a major change is happening. Due to family issues Laura and I have become "Dirt People". "Monday Morning" is up for sale so if you know someone who wants to buy the most fuel efficient cruiser on the water please send them this link to TRENDSETTER 40' FOR SALE.

ex navy gunboat arrested in Tenerife. " It's just a pleasure craft" says skipper. This guy takes the old discussion about carrying guns onboard to a whole new level.
Seminars, Stolen Boats & OBBC
March 19, 2013
I'll be presenting "Marine Survey 101" at Harbourfront Centre Sailing and Powerboating (Toronto) on April 2nd at 1830hrs.

Two new links if you are buying a boat from the US. Check out the State of Florida Stolen Boat Register and Todd & Associates Stolen Boat Register. I've added these links to my Buying a Boat - if the Lobotomy Didn't Work page.

I just received an email from my friend Peter Hager concerning the demise of OBBC (Ontario Boat Builders Cooperative) of which I was a member for many years .The entire email is printed below.

Dear past OBBC member
Unfortunately the Ontario Boat Builders Co-operative has ceased operation, but not without aiding thousands of members realize their boating dreams. Many boards of directors, co-ordinators and office managers have donated their time selflessly to maintain it's operation. However the market has changed, and few individuals can commit the time to operate a co-operative, so I am endeavoring to continue to offer you a private alternative.

As the current yard operator where the Co-op resided, and a marine contractor, I am taking my sources in conjunction with the Co-op's suppliers to continue to allow boaters to build and refit their boats at reasonable cost. I will be offering the ability to do this through the Ontario Boat Builders Club run and operated by myself at the same location on Royal Windsor Drive.

The operation of the club will be quite similar to the old Co- operative with a membership fee of $45 annually, a fixed transaction cost per supplier/invoice of $15, supplier catalogs available for $5, a web site, 2 annual swap meets, a bi-monthly e-newsletter, consignment sales, inventory items,and Saturday store opening.

The suppliers include Mermaid Marine, Rekord Marine, Stright Mckay, Imtra, Crest Aluminum, CR Laurence, Ameron International, The Battery Sell. New suppliers will be sourced where demand and value support their inclusion.

If you are interested in a membership application, which includes full membership terms, please respond to this email and I will forward one to you. Alternately visit the yard at 6-2265 Royal Windsor Drive, Mississauga on Saturday March 30 for my opening and enjoy free coffee and donuts and check it out. Hope to see you there!

Peter Hager
Sole Proprietor
Ontario Boat Builders Club
6-2265 Royal Windsor Drive
Mississauga, ON L5J 1K5
647 - 381 - 3454
Diesel Engine Course
March 10, 2013

I wish I had known about this sooner but my buddy Craig Morley, an excellent diesel mechanic and Accredited Marine Surveyor on the north shore of Lake Erie is running a number of one day diesel maintenance courses at Mimico Cruising Club. The course will cover bleeding the fuel system, changing impellers, adjusting valves and eveything else you need to know to keep her running smoothly. Craig will have complete diesel engine on hand. The course runs March 9, 10,16,17 23 and 24th. You can contact Craig through his website www.afmarinesurveys.ca

I've added some new photos to Marine Survey 101 and just when you think you've seen everything go to Safe Boat Propane Installations and scroll to the bottom of the article to see a photo of my latest Darwin Award winner.

At last count (Dec. 2011) we had 210 marine surveyors in Ontario. My . List of Every Marine Surveyor in Ontario is now up to 238
Save $1,267.00
January 28, 2013
"Masons Store" in Port Credit Harbour had to change their seminar schedule so my presentation of "Marine Survey 101" has been changed to March 9th at 1300hours. As space is limited, The Store ( 905-278-7005) asks that you pre-book.

My friend Steve Ware recently made me aware of the proposed Trent-Severn Waterway fees for the 2013 season. The official word is that these fees may go even higher. We spent a month in the New York State canal system last year and decided to compare costs for a month on our 40' boat.

Trent - Severn : lock pass - $524.00, mooring pass (lock walls) $392.00, shore power $294.00, HST $157.30
TOTAL = $1367.00


New York State Canal System : system pass (all inclusive) $100.00.
TOTAL $100.00


Shore power at Trent Severn locks is a rare commodity, they lock the washrooms when they close for the night and those facilities are Parks Canada minimums, they also charge for parking if guests meet you and there is no free docking at the few small towns and a pumpout willl cost you $25 - $30.00.

On the New York Canal system there is free docking at all locks and all small towns (dozens of them), At one town we were charged $5.00 for power, the rest are free. Pumpouts cost from $0 - $2.00, some places have free laundry facilities and free Wifi, The washroom, laundry and shower facilities are impressive, almost every town on the system has a free museum and most are excellent. The New York System is five times longer than the Trent - Severn.

Trent Severn proposed fees
New York State Canal fees
Dog & Pony show
January 4, 2013
I hope you and your family had a safe and joyful Christmas and sincerely wish you all the same for the new year. I'm going to hang around the Toronto Boat show on Monday 14th, perhaps I'll bump into you there.
Masons Chandlery in Port Credit Harbour has a new owner and I guess nobody warned him so he's invited me back to do my Dog & Pony show for the seminar series they run in February and March. I 'm not sure who else will be presenting but they usually have a pretty good line up with splicing, gelcoat and electrical seminars etc. They will have the full schedule up soon on their website but my date is set for February second.
Winds of Change
November 12, 2012
Many thousands of boats will be written off in the wake of hurricane Sandy and not all will go to landfill. I've re-written my Buying a Hurricane Boat article with some new info and suggestions for those who will soon be in the market. Don't get stuck with one of these turkeys. It's also that time again to remind you to re-read Frozen Boat Surveys if you are boat shopping this winter.
Ship Happens
November 3, 2012
After almost 15 years living aboard at Port Credit Yacht Club it was time for a change and we have moved to Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. I am hoping to draw more business from this area to cut down on the driving.

Education … You may know that all SAMS members are required to acquire sixty continuing education credits in each five year period. SAMS executive keeps close tabs on the membership and issues annual reports on our CE status. Even though I managed 86 CE credits, my 5 year period started again at zero on September 5th, 2012

My first course in this new period is a seminar on techniques for surveying electrical systems on boats. This can cover everything from Electric Shock Drowning to galvanic and stray current corrosion (may even touch on lightning strikes) and methods for detecting and identifying problems in these areas.

This one day seminar will be presented at RHYC by Capt. David Rifkin USN Retd. Dave is a consultant to the USCG and BoatUS on electrical issues and works closely with ABYC. Non-SAMS members are welcome. If you are interested send me an email and I will forward the info.

Within a year of Katrina there were some "great" deals on hurricane boats coming out of the US, many of which were filled with Bondo and polished up (scary stuff). After seeing the devastated marinas in NJ and NY I expect to see another flood of junk on the Ontario market next summer. Be very, very careful of any boat you buy next year. If you are considering a purchase next season don't forget to review "Marine Survey 101" and Buying.
Best Deal on The Water
October 2nd, 2012
It's been a while since my last newsletter due to working pretty much seven days a week since April. By the end of July we needed some "us" time so we took off and spent a month in the New York State Canal System. Take a look at "The Best Deal on The Water" with lots of tips and photos then start planning your cruise on this amazing system for next summer.
Use A Yacht Broker Or Not
March 25th, 2012
I recently followed a thread on a boating chat forum that posed the question "Are yacht brokers an outdated entity in the age of internet advertising ? " This is just one of many broker bashing threads on boating chat forums and it got me thinking about the value of yacht brokers today so I wrote Use A Yacht Broker Or Not. My opinions may surprise you and possibly shock a few brokers :)
Survey 101
March 17th, 2012
I recently presented "Survey 101" for the Brant Power Squadron and it seemed well received so I thought I'd put a version on the website. This article has about 95 photos on what to look for when you are in buying mode. The goal is to avoid paying a surveyor more than once and to help you weed out the junk before even calling the surveyor.
Survey 101
February 21st, 2012
The Store, Masons Chandlery in Port Credit have re-scheduled (my fault) my "Survey 101" presentation for Saturday February 25th, 1400hrs at the store in Port Credit.
This presentation is in a new format to help you weed out the junk rather than have to hire me more than once.

Some of my best friends are Italians.........

Rossi

Biaggi

Fabrio

Schettino
Propane on Your boat
January 23, 2011
The rules for propane systems on your boat are virtually non-existent. Transport Canada does have rules for propane on some commercial vessels but specifically excludes pleasure craft. I wonder why ? This article shows many photographs of absolutely stupid propane installations including a few shots of unsafe new boats taken at the recent Toronto Boat Show.
See how to do it right in Safe Propane Installations in Boats.
Gas Yourself
January 12, 2011
I have completely revised my article on proper ventilation of gasoline powered boats. Check it out at Gas Yourself ..... or not .

Looking for something to amuse the kids this summer ? Check out this cool fishing rod/colour underwater camera. for $59.00 its hard to believe.

Brant Power Squadron
luncheon, Best Western, Brantford, March 3rd, 2012, 10:30 a.m. til 3:30 p.m. I'll be presenting "Surveying 101" in which we'll walk through a marine survey and teach you how to weed out the junk so you don't have to hire me more than once. Gil Newton - yacht broker will give a short presentation on buying through a broker, privately or from the US and Pat Pearl - insurance broker will give a short talk on marine insurance. So bring all your questions and let's get to it.


Ever had a look at BoatUS Magazine online ? Can be a little difficult to navigate through the maze of BoatUS websites but worth the effort. They have a vast amount of information on Boat Recalls, Consumer Complaints along with some fascinating insurance claims stuff on their Seaworthy Magazine site.
Winter Update
December 13th, 2011.
Cuddy is the third member of our crew and in his honour we thought the Droopy Dog theme for our shrink wrap appropriate . Anybody know where I can get a 6' Santa cap ?
In the April Newsletter I listed the 200th marine surveyor in Ontario. In September we hit 205 and now I have added number 210. Marine surveying has to be the fastest growing segment of the marine business.
Winter slow down
November 29th, 2011
If you are boat shopping over the winter it may be worth reviewing Frozen Boat Surveys.
Listed below are a couple of events I am involved with and I'll also be doing one of the spring seminars that Lori runs at Masons, The Store in Port Credit. I'll let you know the details on that seminar series when I get them.

Central Ontario Boat Show Feb 17 - 20th. I'll be one of three panelists at the boat buying seminar including yacht Broker Greg Piper of Bridge Yachts and insurance broker Petra Fischer of Skippers' Plan marine insurance. This little event runs for an hour each day. Bring a list of questions.

Also at the show is Lori Mason of Port Credit' s The Store Mason's Chandlery, Friday 4-5PM and Monday 11AM to Noon with her informative talk on boating safety, equipment and procedures.

Brant Power Squadron luncheon in Brantford. My usual dog and pony show with some great photos of how people try to blow up their boats.
80' mast vs. 65' bridge on the ICW
October 12th, 2011
Cute little video of how to get a boat with an 85' mast under a 65' bridge on the ICW.

PS - Our trip south this year cancelled due to ICW (and other issues) so we are stuck here for another winter.
Trip south & 205 Marine Surveyors
September 6th, 2011

Trip South - The Erie Canal is closed for the year due to massive damage from Irene, the Champlain locks were closed and now re-opened but the Troy Lock is still closed and there are hazardous navigation warnings in the Hudson River.... it seems unlikely that we will be heading south on the 23rd as planned.

Marine Surveyors - I have added another surveyor to my list of Every Marine Surveyor in Ontario, Talspar Marine Services in Hamilton makes it 205.
LED lights for your boat, $10.00 each
August 24th, 2011

We are heading south soon and I am looking for anything to reduce the draw on our batteries. LED lights draw next to nothing but are up to $100.00 each in the marine stores. Check out my source for $10.00 LED lights.
More than just a boat magazine
August 15th, 2011

Professional Boatbuilder magazine is by far the best boat rag in the business and for some time have also produced an online radio show. Search the online archives of these shows for every topic under the sun about boats including shows on how to become a marine surveyor.YouTube video of a sailboat demanding right of way over an 900' ship .........
it didn't work.
Don't forget the Port Credit In-Water new and used boat show at Port Credit Harbour , August 26th through 28th.
Darwin was obviously wrong or all of these perpetrators would be extinct by now. Check out the Hot Docks photo album.

My Friend Peter Code has been teaching people how to build wooden boats at his boatbuilding school near Port Credit Yacht Club for years. Peter is also heavily involved in a charity organization that teaches kids about building and sailing wooden boats. Check out their website YouthBoatworksCanada and take a look at their recently launched 38' Bantry Bay Gig that kids will be sailing around Ontario this summer.
Free marine (donations appreciated) seminars on Toronto's waterfront from Sailing and Powerboating Harbour Front Centre in Toronto. Seminars on small engines, rig tuning, electronics and more including a surveying seminar by fellow SAMS® Accredited Marine Surveyor Peter McGuire.
Every Marine Surveyor in Ontario
April 15th, 2011
I started compiling this list of Every Marine Surveyor in Ontario in 2003 and found 48 Marine Surveyors in Ontario. Today we have reached a milestone, I just added number 200. Check it out.
I was just wandering around the yard at PCYC watching people get their boats ready for launch. I happened to have a multi-meter in my pocket and on a whim decided to check some shaft anodes. I checked about 40 boats and found only two with good continuity (less than 0.3ohms) between the anodes and the shaft and one of these was a brand new boat that has yet to see water. On most of these anodes I could not even get continuity across the surface of the anode. Bottom line... about 96% of the anodes were not doing their job. Check yours before launch.


Congratulations to Craig Morley AMS® of Aquafacts Yacht Surveyors. Craig has just passed his Accreditation exam and is now a fully Accredited SAMS® Marine Surveyor earning the right to the AMS® designation after his name.
The fortunate boaters on Lake Erie can reach Craig in West Lorne at 519-768-3438 or aquafacts@gmail.com

Due to the cost of fuel, I am now charging for all travel (except for PCYC cause" I'm already there). Take a look at my new fee schedule.
New Surveyor Website
January 22nd, 2011
If you need a surveyor/naval architect in the Ottawa - Kingston area check out Stephen Leake AMS® new website.
Apr. 17/2011 - Looks like I get another free meal for doing my slide show for the Fort Erie Power & Sail Squadron. Come and hear me speak on "Why don't More of these Things Blow Up".
Need a speaker for your Yacht Club or Power Squadron ? Give me a call. There are a number of SAMS® surveyors across the province that regularly make presentations on a variety of marine topics. Presentation - Primer For First Timers Heading South


Mar 25 - 27 . Stop by the SAMS® booth at the 1000 Islands Boat Show in Gananoque and meet a few SAMS® surveyors

Feb 26/11 - I am doing my slide presentation at Masons Chandlery in Port Credit Harbour as part of the useful seminar series running on Saturday mornings Jan - Feb/2011. Link to Masons Seminar Schedule which include sessions on gelcoat repair, alternate battery charging methods and more.

Feb 18 - 21/11 - New Kid on the block ! The inaugural of the Central Ontario Boat Show in Hamilton, Another cure for the winter blues with ticket discounts if you pre-purchase on-line.

Feb. 18/11 - Looks like I get another free meal for doing my slide show at the Hamilton Power and Sail Squadron pizza/wing night at Macassa Bay Yacht Club

Feb 18 - 21/11 - New Kid on the block ! The inaugural of the Central Ontario Boat Show in Hamilton, Another cure for the winter blues with ticket discounts if you pre-purchase on-line.
Another Speaking Engagement
December 6th, 2010
Jan. 22/10 - I am guest speaker at North Halton Power and Sail Squadron winter Fish Dinner (BBQ salmon). I have some fun with a great bunch of people and get a free meal ! How can I lose ?

From a Canadian Marine Advisory Council update... As of December 1, 2010 boat licensing will no longer be done by Services Canada. For the time being all boat licenses will be processed through an office in Fredricton, NB. Eventually certain boat dealers will qualify to issue boat licenses in house. Others may not get that privilege (Sounds like a pending conflict). There will still be no means of tracking the title of ownership of a licensed boat except for police and SAR and even that's hit and miss if the boat was licensed prior to the change to the "ON" series licenses started in 2006. Starting to sound like the Pleasure Craft Operators Card fiasco. Get the required forms and more detail at Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety.
Frozen Boat Surveys
November 5th, 2010
Tis' The Season For Frozen Boat Surveys. Check out my article on the pitfalls of surveying frozen boats. http://winter boat surveys.com

An updated list of marine insurance providers in Ontario. Here .

Check out my home page for Sample Survey Reports and dozens of articles on boat safety like Boat Maintenance for Non-Idiots
Need a marine surveyor in Ontario... See this list of Every Marine Surveyor in Ontario