After towing Summer Dreams from its winter storage location on May 8th, here is a picture a week later after waxing the bottom hull. I’m quite pleased that I’m at Rideau Ferry Harbour as they allow you to work on your boat. In fact the owner John helped me in parking Summer Dreams, placing her next to a power/water post so that I can wash her and charge up the batteries.
Rideau Ferry Harbour is located just outside Smith Falls, just off highway 15. The marina is on the Big Rideau and I’m looking forward to exploring big water. Even though at Hurst I was on the Long Reach, the longest part of the Rideau Canal, most of the 30 miles is narrow as it is a river. Only a small part opens up where one can have some space. Of course, the Big Rideau is a lake and has everything that implies. I think I’ll have some fun exploring all the islands and bays, as well as fishing. Also, the use of my radar and autopilot will be more practical on big water. The only question will be how Maria will react to actual waves. On the canal, the only waves you experience is from wake waves from passing traffic. For all the time I’ve been on the canal, I’ve never experienced white caps or wavy conditions. Now that we’re on big water, experiencing waves will be a new for us.
I can’t say enough about my switch to Rideau Ferry Harbour. Though towing Summer Dreams was a few hours, it was uneventful. I did plan my route and confirm my boat/trailer; 8.5′ wide and 13.5′ tall transmitting 10,100 lbs to the road. I did get some looks as I passed through North Gower and Smith Falls. The rail underpass in Smith Falls was no problem though I did stop to confirm my height before passing through. Originally, I planned to go around the underpass but since I accurately measured my height I was confident that it’ll be ok. The other impressive thing about Rideau Ferry Harbour is the price. It is surprisingly affordable as compared to my previous slip. I’m saving about $1000 for a larger/better slip. That’s straight savings, however, it’s more since you are allowed to do things yourself. Since I’m a DIY type of person, being allowed to work on your boat is a bonus. That allows me to save in spring commissioning costs. My spring commissioning cost this year will only be the cost of my first gas fillup, the products I will use to wax the boat, and my time. Though time is hard to come by, I’m not rich enough to buy time but It does really help my wallet when I can do some of the work. The reality is that it only takes a few hours to do some items for spring commissioning, etc.. If you plan it well, it turns into real savings. For me, that savings was to the tune of $300.00 (commissioning & launch) + $800 (hull wash & wax) = $1100. So my savings this season so far is approximately $2000. That savings is worth the time I have to devote or the extra hour of driving from Ottawa I have to do.
Well, it’s one week later since the tow. The batteries are all charged up and she’s ready to be splashed. Her new home is slip 15 in “Hulls Way” which is second finger from the end on the left. The docks are beautiful, 8′ feet wide on the main with the fingers being 4′ wide. Of course, the docks are floating but you would never know it. Each floating dock section, a stretch of main with two fingers, is a single “T” structure making it extremely stable. With my weight, I barely even move the dock. Maria will have no problem in walking on this dock.
The day is ending and Summer Dreams will be splashed tomorrow for Victoria Day weekend. The picture to the left shows my slip, on the right of the finger, basking in the setting sun.
Finally, on Friday I launched Summer Dreams with the help of John, the owner of Rideau Ferry Harbour. After firing up the engine checking gear lube & water/oil pressure, I took Summer Dreams for a quick spin. At WOT, I managed to get to 62 kph which is not bad for a fairly heavy 30′ cruiser; it may have been the nicely waxed hull having something to do with it.