There is nothing quite like spending a beautiful Toronto summer day on the water. The staff from Discover Boating Canada and Boating Ontario hosted FE on an afternoon boat ride where we learned all about the pleasures of boating. We enjoyed a relaxing ride on a pontoon boat on Lake Ontario and watched a water skiing demonstration.

Being on the water is a great way to relieve stress, enjoy the outdoors, experience nature, spend time with family, swim, get fit with water sports and participate in hobbies like fishing and bird watching.

Boating is quite affordable for most Canadians, with many boats costing less than an average car. Nearly 60% of boaters have an annual household income of $100,000.00 or less.
People of all ages boat with almost 59% of boaters under 50. Most Canadians have access to water less than an hour away with 12.4 million Canadians participating in boating in 2015 (an increase of 35% from year 2011/2012)

There are many types of boats to choose from, the bowrider has an open bow seating area and allows for skimming the lake. They range in size from 15 to 28 feet and have lots of power for watersports. All purpose fishing boats sit higher in the water and have powerful outboard engines, which means they can handle rougher waters. Cabin cruisers are driven from the stern (rear) by inboard engines and have features like sleeping, cooking and bathroom facilities so that one can live on the boat. They range in size from 26 to 40 feet.

Day sailors are raced in regattas and good for short trips. Pontoon boats have couches and lounges so that one can relax on the water. Pontoons are ideal for fishing and recreational water sports. Ski/wakeboarding boats have an inboard engine that has maximum pull to allow for water skiing and wakeboarding.

The Discover Boating  site (Discoverboating.ca) has many valuable features to help one get started in boating. There is a boat selector, a loan calculator, a list of boat brands, a list of certified boats, information on boat safety courses, where one can earn the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), safety and legal requirements, a marina finder, winterizing tips, and signups for news and tips.

Boating Ontario (Boatingontario.ca) also has excellent information on boating in Ontario. It is the largest recreational marine trade association in Canada. Boating Ontario developed the Clean Marine Eco-Rating Program and marinas, boat dealers and businesses all voluntarily get certified in best practices. This helps protect the clean water supply. The site shows all the waterways in Ontario available for boating, boating safety (rules of the road, load limits, speed restrictions, and pre-departure checklists), marines, and dealers.

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