Boating in Canada is one of the oldest and most comprehensive boating information sites on the Web. It was started around 1995 and now has over 300 pages. We celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2016 as no one could remember the exact date the site went live!
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 anyone's articles about boating in Canada! I provide a byline, links (if you want them), and you can add "published author" to your resume or bio!
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.
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 or police for current details about laws and regulations! As they provide more information online, I will be deleting all but summaries from this site. I update this site weekly but rarely have time to check links, so use at your own risk. I am not responsible for the contents of any of these off site pages.
This is a personal web page, and I do not accept any advertising or other fees. All information is written by me and others who have agreed to let me include their articles on this site. The information does not constitute professional advice or represent any company, commercial interest or government.
I do not collect any personal information on this website. If you contact me, I use your email address only to reply.
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, visitors on slow connections love how fast the site loads. <grin>
The creation of this site began around 1995 just to test the new web services offered by Ottawa's community network (ncf.ca). At the time, the "World Wide Web" as it was called, offered very little boating information and people were just starting to get Internet access at home. You could buy a boat with just a boat licence, without any knowledge of regulations or "rules of the road". Neither the Canadian government responsible for boating regulations nor Canadian Power Squadrons who taught boating courses, were interested in providing information online. Not many new boaters 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 I called it "Pat's Boating in Canada" so people would know it was not a government website. I took my collected boating information, and just began typing.
Our local community network provided a built-in audience, and the world came to our door once the website was online. A listing on Yahoo.com brought lots of visitors, and more when Google's search engine came online. The number of visitors mushroomed as millions of people got connected to the web. I received lots of email early on from grateful boaters - not as often now that there's lots of information online.
This site was developed in basic HTML language with only one image - a logo. It was designed for typical home computers using a Windows 3 system, Trumpet Winsock connection software, 9600-bps dialup connections, viewed in a Lynx text-based browser or even the latest Mosaic graphical browser! We tested the W3C's HTML 4.0 standard and Cascading Style Sheets so the website would be accessible to all computers, Web browsers, and display sizes - down to Blackberries and Palms. Fortunately, web services got faster, browsers got better, and connecting to the Internet became easier! I redesigned the site for smartphone access - now the most common device visitors use to view the site.
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.
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! I hope you have a good time browsing the site.