New Flare Technology for Boaters

With Transport Canada’s recent approval of Electronic Visual Distress Signals (eVDSD) for pleasure craft vessels, I decided to do a little research into this newer technology to see what benefits they offer boaters and if they are a better option than traditional pyrotechnic flares, both environmentally and safety wise.

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Weather, Wind, Radar and Water Level Links

When on the Bay I like to do quick periodic checks of forecasts, especially when enjoying a long dinghy day trip. Wind, wave heights and radar are all things to keep an eye on. Tired of going to the various websites I decided to compile everything I need onto one page so I can quickly access the information from my phone or tablet. Note that this is not a substitution for regular MAFOR updates, only suggestions and you will need cell/internet service to access these. It is always recommended to monitor Channel 16 for marine warnings from Canada Coast Guard.

After clicking a link and viewing the info, use your browser arrows rather than “X” to leave the link as that will take you back to my page so you can continue on to the next link.

Forecasts and Buoy Readings

Environment Canada – this link will land on Lake Huron, click on Georgian Bay for updated forecast: https://weather.gc.ca/marine/region_e.html?mapID=10

National Data Buoy Centre (*see note below): https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/obs.shtml

There are buoys on the Great Lakes that have a code number you can text for immediate readings of wind/waves/water temp etc. The above link allows you to use the interactive map to locate whichever buoy you wish a reading from or to locate the correct text code. If you wish to use the text service, first add the phone number to your contact list – 705-710-8011 and then text the buoy code to it. Georgian Bay is as follows: For the South Buoy text 45143 and North is 45137, below is an example of the data you will receive back.

Wind Forecast

South GB: https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/south_georgian_bay_lake_huron

North GB: https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/georgian_bay

Midland: https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/midland_grandview_beach

Western Islands: https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/western_island_georgian_bay

Christian Island: https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/georgian_bay_christian_island

Radar

https://www.theweather.net/radar-ontario-ca_ont-rain.html

Note: Storm Radar by the Weather Channel is also one of my favourite options – it is available as a free app on apple or android.

Water Levels – Great Lakes

https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/Water-Level-Forecast/Weekly-Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/

A Georgian Bay storm passing at sunset

Live Webcam Links – Georgian Bay and Turks and Caicos

Live webcams are a great way for people to preview an area they plan to visit. Georgian Bay has a few that are fairly reliable and although not a replacement for official up-to-the-minute marine weather forecasts, they are a great way to get a quick visual of conditions around the Bay.

Honey Harbour

Below are links to some that are currently operational; as summer approaches and more come online, I will add to this list. Most can be enlarged once you land on the site. Once you have viewed a link, use your browser arrows to go back to my page to select the next link…and so on.

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Buying a Used Power Boat

If you are using the winter to search for a new-to-you power boat, I have some advice to share as a fellow boater which I hope may help you have a better experience. I can’t tell you what boat is right for you but I can offer a few important tips and recommendations you may want to consider before submitting your offer to purchase.

Who’s kidding – buying a boat can be scary as hell, especially when it’s your first time but even again when it’s your second! All that hard earned money going towards something that’s only going to be used 5 or 6 months of the year and for most of us, only on weekends 😫 But once that boating bug bites, it’s in your system and it becomes impossible to think of anything else! But that’s not to say there aren’t a few challenges along the way.

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