About this Site

Boating in Canada is one of the oldest and most comprehensive boating information sites on the Web. I created the site around 1995 simply to test new web services for a community network. The dial-up network has morphed into a non-profit ISP, and this website now has over 300 web pages! We celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2016 as no one can remember the date this site went live!

Who is Pat?

I've been a sailor, powerboater, paddler, charterer, and renter. I have cruised the Rideau Waterway, Great Lakes, Thousand Islands, St. Lawrence Seaway, New York State canals, Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, ICW (Intracoastal Waterway), Florida Keys, Bahamas, Virgin Islands and the Grenadines with spouse and even pets. I've been a member of the Ontario Sail Association, Canadian Yachting Association, Thousand Islands Yacht Club, and Ottawa Power & Sail Squadron. And who am I? Pat Drummond. Welcome to my labour of love!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.     -– Mark Twain


This site sells nothing, but accepts advertising that we think Canadian boaters might find useful. This help us continue to bring you the best boating information. More...

Links and Using our Information

You may link to anything on this site without asking permission. Page URLS that begin with boating.ncf.ca is our website - our domain boatingincanada.com simply points to it. Please read our copyright page if you wish to copy any part of this site.


I welcome articles about Canadian boating! I provide a proper byline, and you can add "published author" to your resume or bio!

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General elessonsDawson's e-Lessons will help with docking, tying up, anchoring and launching a boat. You and your crew will learn the practical side of boating in a condensed lesson that will teach you what you need to know to get on the water. Browse, order and download these terrific booklets!

Kudos and awards

Read about our Kudos and awards, from magazines and boating associations to the Coast Guard and a poll.

Letters to Pat is a sample of boaters' comments and questions from around North America.

Links to our page

Please read the Creative Commons Licence for this site on the Copyright page.

Linking to our site will probably improve the search ranking of your site at no cost at all! You may download a free logo or just create a link from the logo to http://boating.ncf.ca/.
Here is an example:

Pat's Boating in Canada is a compendium of information for Canadian boaters. It contains the information you need to get started - from regulations and licenses to boat shows, cruising, news, and our "The Canadian Boating Index".

Requests for Links on our Site

I do not provide links to commercial sites unless I owe you money! Our ad rates are amazing value (see next). I provide free links to useful boating information expecially cruising articles. No page? Just send me your information. I will create a page with full credit for you (and a spam-safe email link if you wish to receive feedback). I am always happy when people let me know that a link is out-of-date or I've made a spelling error!


Display advertising in this site can reach thousands of boaters for pennies a day! Contact us to get started.

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Ship (as defined in Text Abbreviations) - As a noun, “ship” is short for a romantic relationship. As a verb, it means wanting a romantic relationship.

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The information is provided as a resource for any individual who finds it useful. I accept no responsibility for the accuracy of the information or any misuse or damages caused by its use.

Please ask the appropriate government department about their regulations! As governments finally start putting information online, I will be deleting all but summaries from this site.

This is a personal web page, and all information is provided by me and other boaters and teachers who have agreed to let me include their information on this site. It does not constitute professional advice or represent any company, commercial interest or government.

I have written simple summaries of some boating regulations, but you should contact the government or police for detailed information about laws and regulations. I update this site weekly but rarely have time to check links, so I appreciate anyone who lets me know if links have disappeared or moved. I am not responsible for the contents of any of these off site pages.

I do not collect any personal information on this website. If you email me, I use your email address to reply only.

I promise to do the best I can to update the site and still have time for boating! I apologize for the sad state of design, but the information takes priority. Besides, dialup visitors love how fast the site loads. <grin>

If you find this site useful, please tell your friends or boat club about it. Please ask marine business to ADVERTISE here to keep us online - they will reach thousands of boaters for pennies a day.

History: How this site got started...

This site began in 1996, when there was little boating information on the Web. Neither the government, who created the boating regulations, nor organizations who had taught boating classes for decades, wanted to provide information on the Web. Most boaters didn't take classroom courses (operator cards were not on the horizon then), nor had the patience to sift through the Canada Shipping Act, but they still wanted to know the basics before buying their first boat. And so it began.

Of course, buying the right boat is now easier if you read "Buy a Boat with Confidence" written by Doug Dawson. Read this before you buy a boat to save yourself from a lemon.

We were testing new Web service at our local community network, so I took a huge pile of boating notes and began typing. Our local network provided a built-in audience. Getting listed on Yahoo.com brought visitors. Later Google became the favorite search tool. The number of visitors mushroomed as millions got connected. I received lots of email early on from grateful boaters - not so much now that there's lots of information online!

This site was originally all text, developed for typical home computers using Windows 3, Trumpet Winsock software,using 9600bps dialup connections with Lynx or maybe the latest - Mosaic browser! Photos were added much later. We tested early Cascading Style Sheets using the HTML 4.0 standard from W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). It is accessible to all computers, Web browsers, display sizes - even Blackberries and Palms.

In early 1998, I proposed the Canadian boating newsgroup can.rec.boating to the "can" level news authorities, to provide a forum for answering the huge number of questions I was getting in my mailbox - and I didn't know the answers! The newsgroup was created in June 1998. The discussion was very active and attracted a different audience than other boating discussion. Although un-moderated, it had the lowest "signal to noise" ratio of any group. Chris Lewis of ONAG kindly agreed to auto-post the newsgroup FAQ for us every few weeks to discourage ads and spam. As the unofficial "mom" of the group, I posted a "humour award" if someone made me laugh out loud. Sadly, the group was abandoned after ten years - a pretty good run.

Have a good time here, and keep your bottom side wet. Happy sailing! -- Pat Drummond, webmeister
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