Boating among people – are you ready?

Pottahawk July Weekend

Apr 6, 2022

Three summers later, are you ready to operate your boat among human beings? The Pottahawk July Weekend traditionally drew thousands of boats to Turkey Point in Lake Erie; it was Canada’s largest boat party until it was dampened by Covid for two straight years. Everything else had the wind knocked out of it by lockdowns and social distancing too. In sail racing, pursuit races replaced traditional starts out of ‘an abundance of caution’ and nobody has been socializing very much on the dock. Visiting distant or nearby ports has been almost completely restricted for two full seasons.

True, we have enjoyed our boats but mostly with close family or a small bubble of friends. Having a boat turned out to be the best escape ever during troubled times. But now as we head back to ’normal’ are you ready?

Operating your boat with distractions, with people aboard – it’s a skill we have acquired over the years but may have gotten rusty over the last two. While I have been heading out now and again, it’s been largely constrained.

Beginning soon, there will once again be crowded fuel docks, traffic in harbours and channels, boats everywhere. There probably will be 2,000 at Pottahawk and but even smaller crowds like 20 on a start line still mean you need to remember how to steer, respond and so on. Don’t run into them. Boat handling skills are back!

Check your nav software, remember how to stock the fridge. Remember what you may not remember about operating a boat. It’s time to make sure you’re ready for normal.

John Morris
Online Editor
Canadian Yachting Magazine


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