Is owning a boat on your someday list? Here are 10 tips to help you get your nautical journey started on the Bay of Quinte. Who knows? Maybe someday is closer than you think.
Thanks to Neil Dowson for allowing us to pick his brain for this story.
Do some research.
Read up on your options to understand what best suits your needs and waterway. Better yet, pick the brains of boat owners you know.
The motor is the most expensive part, so get the best one you can afford, and make sure it’s in good condition.
Where to find one.
Check out local ads on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, or ask around at the marina.
Keep navigation simple.
Boats with full steering systems are more expensive to maintain. Opt to keep it simple by choosing a boat with a tiller (a lever used to turn the rudder).
You bought a boat and now you’re wondering how to get it home. Your new best friend will be a trailer to haul your ride to the launch or your garage—either way, make sure your trailer fits your boat.
1 You’ll need either to register or license your new “pleasure craft” (that’s official government lingo). The forms differ depending on the size of your boat and whether you have a marine mortgage (a loan secured on the vessel). Make sure you pick the right set to make wading through the bureaucracy a little easier.
2 Don’t forget your boating licence! You can study for and take the Transport Canada test in class, through correspondence or online (50 multiple choice questions) for about $50 through a private company. Once you pass, your card is good for life—just make sure you have it on you at all times on the water.
Ask for help.
Don’t worry if locals chuckle as you struggle to get your trailer down the launch and into the water (chances are, you’ll laugh about it later, too). Folks are happy to lend a hand or offer advice.
Navigating the Bay is far easier for inexperienced boaters than the much windier and busier Lake Ontario.
To follow the fish, you’ll need to access the whole bay. A boat gives you the option to fish in varying depths and explore the Bay of Quinte’s nooks and crannies.
Still fuzzy on the details? We recommend starting with Transport Canada.