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!

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!

Our Related Information

Blogger   Boating in Canada News

Wordpress   Boating in Canada News (Wordpress mirror)

Twitter   Twitter @BoatingInCanada

G+   Google Plus +BoatingInCanada

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

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.

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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.


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>

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 was called "Pat's Boating in Canada" so people would know it was a personal project, not a government site.

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.

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!

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