Lifestyle

Summer has sadly come to an end and as winter slowly encroaches on our wistful and elusive memories of boating, sun and swimming, it’s time to think about wrapping up the cottage. There are the obvious steps to take such as storing your outdoor furniture, canoes/kayaks and barbeque, taking in your dock, cleaning out your fridge, making sure all your windows are closed and locked and covering your wood pile. We’ve created a list of things below to ensure you don’t miss anything when it comes to wrapping up the cottage season.

Winterizing your Plumbing

Winterizing plumbing pipes in your cottage is something that can be time-consuming but will save your plumbing from freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks. As water freezes and becomes ice, it expands producing pressure in the pipes. If you’re planning to be away from your cottage for an extended period of time, winterizing your plumbing is highly recommended.

First you will want to shut off the main water valve, turn off the water pump as well as the water heater. Next, you will want to open all drain valves and all taps, and using an air compressor, blow out any excess water that may still be in the pipes. Allow this water to drain out of the hot water and holding tank. As an additional measure, you can add antifreeze to the jet pump case. Flush toilets and remove water from the tanks and toilet bowls. Add antifreeze if there happens to be excess water to prevent the water from freezing and cracking the toilet.

Keep the Sump Pump going

Your sump pump should stay on as it will remove any accumulated water in the basement of your cottage. However, you will want to take precautionary measures such as having a battery backup or wireless alarm. Another option is having a generator backup for your sump pump in case there is ever a power outage. You will need to hire a licensed electrical contractor for this to hook the generator up to the electrical panel.

Roof Maintenance

Inspect your roof for damaged shingles and replace them if necessary. Clean out the gutters as they can cause water to back up under the shingles causing damage to the roof structure below. Trim overhanging branches that could potentially dump extra snow on the roof and wait until all leaves have fell (if possible) before cleaning the gutters.

Leaving the Cottage

Before leaving cottage, ensure all appliances are disconnected. Shut off all breakers at the electrical panel and review your checklist to make sure everything has been completed. Take photos of everything in case there is unrepairable weather damage and you must submit insurance claims. Complete a final inspection of the property, lock up your cottage and enjoy your ride home!

 

Winterizing your cottage can be a big job, we get it. However, by planning ahead and bringing a checklist you’re already well on your way. Another pro tip when wrapping up your cottage is to use the correct vehicle. Here at BOATsmart! our trusted vehicle of choice has and always will be Nissan. The trucks have amazing towing capabilities, safety features and a wide range of to choose from. They are the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure and trusted for all family trips! As a BOATsmart! cardholder, you receive dealer invoice pricing on Nissan vehicles plus any current dealer offers.

Posted By
October 17, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle, Lifestyle - USA

There may be a slight chill in the air and pumpkin spice everything has probably taken over most of your life, but that doesn’t mean that summer is over! Our BOATsmart! crew know that feeling of not wanting summer to end; the long warm nights chilling by the fire after spending all day on the boat, soaking up the sun and making memories – we get it, it’s hard to say goodbye. That’s why we’ve come up with some delicious hearty summer recipes to stretch your summer.

Smoky vegetable Bruschetta with chilli

Here’s a recipe that will warm your bellies from the barbeque to your plates. It’s dairy-free and vegan, takes about 45 minutes to cook and is considered a super easy dish. Spark up that barbeque and char the eggplant and zucchini as well as the ciabatta to get that smoky taste that makes you think of the smell of the campfire while you sing some Van Morrison with the acoustic guitar.

Epic Summer Salad

There is no cooking required for this summer salad, which is probably what makes it so epic. It’s perfect for BBQ’s and buffets, with lamb, steak or chicken kababs! The dressing is super easy, made with fresh herbs that can be blended in a food processor the day-of or up to 24 hours before serving. This salad is so fresh and packed with flavor, you’ll forget fall is around the corner.

Swedish meatballs with beetroot & apple salad

This easy recipe takes only 40 minutes in total to prepare and cook, but no one would ever be able to guess! It’s packed with a medley of flavors and the lean pork meatballs are extra juicy and served with a delicious creamy, herby sauce that will leave your guests wanting more! This is a completely gluten-free meal and totally healthy that won’t leave you feeling hungry. It’s the perfect way to stretch your summer one tasty bite at a time.

Chicken Provençal with olives & artichokes

Although this sounds like it’s on the more difficult side, this is actually qualified as an easy recipe. With a prep time of 15 minutes and cook time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, this hearty chicken casserole will evoke summer in France with the simplistic herbs and vegetables that make it fresh to taste. Serve this stew-like meal right from the dish for a family dinner that will excite your taste buds and have you dreaming of summer nights in Provence.

Aubergine lasagne

This vegetarian dish has the same flavor palette as Greek moussaka with pasta rather than potatoes. There are some intense flavours in this dish and is qualified as a medium-level of difficulty to make. It cooks in 1 hour and 35 minutes and will comfortably serve six people. Serve this warm dish golden and bubbly with a hint of fresh thyme and chilli on the top for a mouth-watering experience.

So, there you have it – some delicious recipes that will help you stretch your summer by keeping the barbeque grillin’ and fresh vegetables as your main ingredient. We know all-to-well what it feels like to have boating season coming to a close, but hopefully with these recipes they can help you keep the dinner parties and laughs rolling for a few more weeks.

Posted By
September 11, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle, Lifestyle - USA

It’s that time of year again, Summer Dog Days! This year we’ll be crowning the 2018 K-9 Captain and we’re pretty excited about it! We’ve partnered up with Save Our Scruff this year to shed light on the importance of rescuing dogs from unfortunate situations, providing them with the necessary care and finding them permanent homes.

Save Our Scruff is a non-profit organization located in Toronto, dedicated to rescuing dogs and finding them safe and suitable, permanent homes by way of adoption. The organization advocates for dogs without homes and educates people on the importance of adoption, spay and neutering. They work with committed volunteers, foster homes, veterinarians and trainers to rescue the dogs and then carefully find them forever homes.

Save Our Scruff differentiates itself from other rescues as they do not discriminate against dogs based on their sizes. They take all dogs in need regardless of the type of medical care or rehabilitation they may need. When it comes to finding a home for these little guys, SOS understands that every home and lifestyle is different, and they work hard to find a perfect fit for every dog.

The overall mission of SOS is to prevent overpopulation while working towards stopping the cycle of abandonment/neglect. They want to provide care and rehabilitation for stray and abandoned dogs so that every dog has the opportunity for a second chance. By providing protection, care education and advocacy to the welfare of dogs, they continue to be a leader in their field.

The founder Laura Bye began the organization after being a dog foster parent for another organization which exposed her to the harsh realities facing dogs worldwide. Many street dogs are neglected, abused and dying on the streets every day. She understands that adoption doesn’t solve the root cause of the problem, so the organization has begun to conduct spay and neuter clinics in Mexico and the Dominican Republic and hopefully, soon-to-be Peru.

If you would like to get involved with this awesome organization, you can donate your time as a volunteer by fostering these dogs until they’re adopted by their forever homes, become part of the transport team by driving the dogos where they need to be, delivering supplies and medication, and doing airport pick-ups and drop-offs among other things. You can also be a casual volunteer by helping out with events and fundraisers, walking dogs, taking photos, selling merchandise etc. There are multiple options when it comes to volunteering for SOS depending on what you would like to do or if you have any special qualifications.

If you are interested in volunteering or helping out financially or would like a better understanding of this organization, you can visit the site: http://www.saveourscruff.org/. Every dog deserves a second chance and every boat needs a dog… We’re pretty sure that’s a thing.

Posted By
August 21, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle, Lifestyle - USA

We have the scoop on the latest and greatest boating accessories from MISSION boat gear! As a team of boating enthusiasts who love being on the water themselves, they understand it’s all about having fun with family and friends out on the water. They want to heighten these experiences with their products to generate smiles and create memories for years to come.

DELTA Wake Shaper

This piece of equipment was created in 2016 and totally changed the game of wake surfing. This new innovation creates a beautiful wave, that distributes the flow of water, opposite of the surfer, allowing you to surf behind your v-drive or direct-drive inboard boat. It’s a removable surf solution that attaches to the side of your boat cleanly with suction. You can thank the people who dedicated over a thousand hours to investing in the prototype that would make the most perfect wake. Every single aspect of DELTA was designed with the wakesurfer in mind and promises to deliver the best-in-class wave performance. The reason for this is due to the geometry of the device; the contoured front panel with engineered side vents generates the perfect amount of turbulence to give you the best wave performance for your boat. If the panels were larger and flat, it would put more stress on the boat and would increase steering problems, fuel consumption and splashing. The reversible orientation design is optimal for direct-drives or complex hulls that require DELTA to be attached higher while the normal orientation is typically used for decently weighted v-drives.

REEF Inflatable Mats

This mat will provide you, your friends and family with endless amounts of fun this summer! Enjoy limitless options as you sit on top of the water on this stable and rigid mat. It’s made with extra durable material that’s used in naval applications with premium drop-stitch construction and double reinforced seams. It’s 4-inches thick, giving the mat maximum stability to perform your favourite acrobatics, golf, cannonballing and much more. It comes in three different sizes for your preference and stows in a small bag. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it feels like to walk on water, now’s your opportunity!

TUKO Towels

These are the absolute best towels to take with you to the cottage or on a camping trip. The microfibres absorb way more water than cotton towels, they stow small and have an integrated strap which serves as a way to hang the towel to dry. They also come with a water-resistant carrying case to ensure that after a day of wakesurfing, you won’t need to air dry.

SENTRY fenders

These are an innovative boat bumper solution that quickly attaches to boat cleats and docks. What’s different about these fenders is the protection they offer both above and below the rub rail. These fenders have been adapted to meet the needs of boaters today. They are easy to use on smaller boats, boats that don’t have flat sides, handrails and/or high-waisted rub rails. They have a hanging point that’s lower than traditional fenders which aligns with the contour of your boat and keeps it from getting caught on top of the dock. They keep your boat safe with an innovative hanging system (a strap, rather than a rope) and an easy, adjustable locking mechanism that allows you to place it on a boat or dock offering optimal protection.

Board SOX

You can keep your board looking snug as a bug in a rug with these low profile, stylish board SOX. You can choose from the point or snub nose styles. The snub nose fits wakesurf and wakeboards up to 57”, the large point nose fits boards up to 64” and small point nose fits boards up to 55”. These SOX are light-weight, quick-drying and perfect for storing your boards on the boat or at home.

MISSION boat gear is a leading company in the boating accessory industry. They continue to innovate and bring new, exciting products to the water for us to enjoy and create life-long memories. Use one of these accessories next time you’re out on the boat, and you won’t be disappointed! Happy boating!

Posted By
August 8, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle, Water Sports

This month marks BOATsmart!’s 15-year anniversary and we could not be more excited to celebrate this milestone with some company history of where it all began and share the news of where it’s going. We took this opportunity to interview Cameron Taylor, the founder and CEO of OUTDOORsmart!, the parent company of BOATsmart!, HUNTINGsmart!, SLEDsmart!, ATVsmart! And PADDLERsmart!, for a little trip down memory lane and to give our customers a more authentic look into the mind of our fearless leader.

From the time Cameron Taylor was 12, he already had a taste of what entrepreneurship looked like when he began to cut lawns. He has always had a passion for innovation which is the driving force behind many of the accomplishments he has had throughout the years. “I’ve always thrived on challenging and succeeding without a safety net, knowing it was up to me to succeed, and learning how to take advantage of opportunity. Inspiring others to share in your vision is ultimately rewarding.” – Cameron Taylor, OUTDOORsmart!. From this drive and innovative thinking came the idea of BOATsmart! which evolved and grew into the company it is today.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do as a business leader?

“Learning to say no. When you’re growing your business, you naturally want to take advantage of every opportunity you can in order to drive growth, sales and valuation. But laser focus delivers more to the bottom line than trying to capture every dollar. If you can’t define the consumer problem and your offering in two sentences, you’ve got a problem. It’s taken me a while to learn this, but saying no is more powerful than saying yes.”

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your business?

“Not everyone on your team is wired the same. As an entrepreneur in a lean start-up, you’re doing everything. Embrace and savour that. However, once your business and your team starts to grow, you’ll need to recognize that not everyone you bring onboard will be built like you. That’s a good thing. You don’t need more of you; you need more of not you. Truly tap into what drives different people on your team, learn from them and build intrapreneurs that know how to make awesome decisions without needing to have their hands held.”

Some key dates that we are really proud of:

June 1, 2011: BOATsmart! recognized as Canada’s 32nd  Fastest Growing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 200

September 2011: BOATsmart! Peterborough Employer of The Year – Final Nominee

June 2012: BOATsmart! recognized as Canada’s 69th Fastest Growing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 200

June 1, 2013: OUTDOORsmart! recognized as Canada’s 113th Fastest Growing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 500

June 1, 2014: OUTDOORsmart! recognized as Canada’s 274th Fastest Gorwing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 500

October 22, 2014: OUTDOORsmart! wins Peterborough Employer Of The Year

Where we’re going from here

We have an exciting new chapter ahead as we embark on a new adventure with our company and brand. We’ve re-branded with the name Campfire Collective. Campfire is a collective of Brands, Educators, Publishers, Ambassadors and Public Agencies with a mission to inspire and empower outdoor pursuits. We do this by providing online outdoor education courses and through content that informs our Collective of users about spending time in the wild.

At Campfire, we have an affinity for the outdoors and believe that people are better people when they have more ‘wild in their lives’. We want to be a brand that truly connects with people and help them ‘go boldly to their wild’ while having the best experience possible. We are also very passionate about conservation and sustainability efforts and believe there needs to be more of an effort to shed light on these important issues.

As an innovative, agile company that puts people first, we are constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves; continuous improvement is at the centre of everything we do. We are passionate about what we do, and when you do the things that you love, amazing things happen; that’s what sparked Campfire Collective. So, here’s to BOATsmart!’s 15 years as North America’s leading boat licensing and PCOC company and the many years ahead of ingenuity, growth and inspiration as we set sail for our new venture!

Posted By
July 20, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle, Lifestyle - USA

Whether you’re taking the family on a trip to the cottage, taking a cross-country road trip or off-roadin’ with your pals, Nissan provides all the tools needed to ignite the outdoor enthusiast in all of us and enable us to get outdoors and explore! BOATsmart! is a fan and advocate of Nissan as a company, but especially their truck line because we know first-hand how reliable they are. Here at BOATsmart! we use Nissan trucks every time we plan an outdoor trip as they are the optimal, high-performance vehicle that can do just about anything we need.

TITAN
With 390 horse power and 394 lb-ft of torque, the TITANprovides the power to carry massive payloads. With a full-length, fully-boxed frame, powerful Endurance V8, new 7-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode, and adjustable Brake Controller, TITAN helps you tow any and all water toys to the cottage making you feel capable and confident. While you’re at the cottage, check out these 10 awesome cottage hacks to help you spend less time worrying about the small stuff and more time making memories with friends and family. Thinking about taking a cross-country trip to check out the awesome lakes to boat around on? This is the vehicle you’re going to want to use! It can comfortably tow a trailer behind it in any condition and terrain.

TITAN XD
The TITAN XD has a larger frame and is extensively reinforced for added strength and stiffness, which helps resist vertical and lateral bending and increases torsional rigidity in comparison to its counterpart the TITAN. It features a 555-lb-ft of torque, heavy-duty brakes, a larger high-strength steel fully boxed full-length ladder frame and a sliding bed extender giving you maximum versatility with minimum effort. This truck will conquer whatever outdoor adventure you throw at it. It’s no wonder Bryan Baeumler says that “The Nissan TITAN XD is already an integral part of [his] construction business. Without a doubt this truck is the most important and versatile tool on and off the jobsite.”

With an integrated gooseneck hitch this has some serious towing capability and is the perfect vehicle to tow your boat or PWC to the cottage for a weekend of fun. We know it can often be tough to launch your boat, especially if it’s the beginning of the season. For a little refresher, check out our blog on how to launch a boat: 10 steps to get out on the water. Bringing someone to the cottage who has never driven a PWC before? We can help with that! Here’s some fun and easy directions on how to drive a Jet Ski! See? We got you!

Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is next on our list and it’s built for rock-solid performance; where durability meets style, with the tailgate-mounted spoiler which helps reduce drag, this truck is known for its rugged exterior making it the perfect choice to take off-roading. But that’s not the only reason we love this truck, the performance towing capability is high with a capacity of up to 6,710 lbs, up to 261 horse power and 281 lb-ft torque and it’s V6 engine, you never have to worry about what you’re pulling behind this bad boy.

This truck is the perfect choice for a camping trip with the whole family as it offers Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC). This feature – sometimes called stability control – continuously monitors your steering and braking actions, senses any oversteer or understeer, and helps compensate by reducing engine speed and/or applying brake pressure to specific wheels. The safety of your family is in good hands in this vehicle.

There you have it, the low-down on our vehicles of choice for outdoor adventures. Here at BOATsmart! we take our outdoor adventures seriously – especially when it comes to water sports and activities.  There is no doubt that when we’re planning a day out on the water, Nissan is our number one choice of vehicle for any and all situations. From the safety features to the towing capabilities, Nissan has always been the best option for getting outside and exploring the wild. Get your boating license today and receive…

Posted By
July 11, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle

Le Canada est réputé pour son feuillage d’automne étonnant, et être sur l’eau offre le point de vue idéal pour voir les couleurs spectaculaires à l’échelle nationale! Nous avons rassemblé certains de nos endroits préférés pour saisir des vues imbattables cette saison …

En ONTARIO

Le parc Algonquin est le point de départ idéal pour voir le feuillage d’automne et les visiteurs viennent de tout partout pour obtenir  voir les vues panoramiques. Les bateaux motorisés ne sont pas autorisés dans certaines cours d’eau, mais il y a quelques exceptions; notamment le lac Opeongo et le lac Galeairy. Vous pouvez voir les autres endroits où la navigation est autorisée ici.

QUÉBEC

Le Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean au Québec est vraiment un paradis nautique, à 15 km de rivage à explorer -tout en admirant la riche tapisserie d’automne qui vous entoure. Plein de couleur et de caractère, cette zone est la niche parfaite pour les navigateurs. Découvrez comment tracer votre parcours ici.

COLOMBIE BRITANNIQUE

Atlin Lake peut être l’endroit le plus beau de la terre, et c’est encore plus spectaculaire pendant l’automne. Niché dans le nord-ouest de la Colombie-Britannique, c’est le plus grand lac naturel de Colombie-Britannique connue partout au Canada pour sa pêche à la truite trophée. Vous devez demander un permis avant de jeter vos lignes ici, mais il vaut la peine de sortir sur l’eau pour ces vues seulement!

SASKATCHEWAN

Le nautisme de la majestueuse rivière de la Saskatchewan du Nord est superbe pour tout ceux qui aime la nature ou qui adore l’histoire. Il y a une grande diversité de la faune comme les martins-pêcheurs, les castors et les aigles chauves en naviguant devant le Fort-Saskatchewan historique, enveloppé par une myriade  de feuilles d’oranges rouges et jaunes.

NOUVELLE-ÉCOSSE

La rivière St Anns au long du sentier Cabot offre des vues spectaculaires, mais n’importe où dans la région est sûr de vous satisfaire. Peu importe la route que vous prenez, cette aventure nautique vaut vraiment le détour. Découvrez ici.

Les meilleurs moments pour voir le feuillage d’automne varient selon la province; mais assurez-vous de vérifier votre site local pour plus de détails et plus d’informations. Une ligne directrice approximative pour savoir quand mettre en veille pour une couverture de couleur optimale est ci-dessous …

BC – octobre et novembre

AB – Fin septembre – fin octobre

SK – Octobre

MB – Octobre

ON – Fin septembre – fin octobre

QC – Fin septembre mi-fin octobre

NB – début octobre

NS – Fin septembre – début octobre

PE – mi-septembre -fin octobre

NL – Fin septembre -début octobre

Nous espérons que cela vous excitera pour la saison à venir, mais assurez-vous de vous rappeler de rester en sécurité! Les belles couleurs d’automne et l’air frais peuvent se distancer des dangers de l’immersion dans l’eau froide, alors utilisez toujours votre gilet de sauvetage et rafraîchissez vos connaissances avant de partir!

Passez une balade en bateau heureuse!

 

Posted By
June 29, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle