There is nothing worse than a weekend of wasted opportunity and with so many great things to do outdoors in Canada, failing to take advantage of them feels like doing the weekend gods an injustice. So if your usual plans are getting stale, why not plan an epic, unforgettable boating trip? Get up to the cottage or campsite, and give your crew something to talk about come home time! With thousands of lakes and waterways to choose from across Canada, there’s no shortage of scenic locations to choose from. We talk to a lot of boaters and they tell us all about their killer weekends on the water, so we have the inside scoop on the latest gear and gadgets to make your boating adventures something special. So before you set off on your next adventure, read our Ultimate Cottage Gear Guide to get the most out of the trip. Remember to get your crew BOATsmart! certified too, so you can all truly experience the thrill of getting out on the water. Captain gets first dibs on dinner!
When you do something like getting up on water-skis for the first time in front of all your friends, you need a great photo or video to show off. Pics or it didn’t happen, am I right? Nothing beats the durability and performance of the GoPro for snapping incredible POV shots of your set. Not only is the camera waterproof, it comes with a floaty to keep it from sinking to the bottom of the lake. Make sure you snap lots of pictures so you can share the story of your unforgettable Canadian getaway.
See how many crew members you can squeeze onto one of these mats, or take part in a competitive game of bowling (all you need are empty plastic bottles and a tennis ball!). Take an afternoon off to lounge around in the sun and tan, or get the squad together to make the most of a lazy day and watch the sunset over the water. That GoPro we mentioned is seeming pretty useful now too, right?!
Make sure you and your crew are outfitted with the best (and most stylish) lifejackets and PFDs for your weekend on the water. This device is lightweight, but packs a punch when you need it to – it provides up to 50% more inflation than your average lifejacket. Its thin design doesn’t cover you up too much either, making it perfect for showing off your new bathing suit and avoiding those nasty tan lines!
Keep the tunes bumping both on the water and back on land. This Bluetooth speaker is water resistant so you don’t have to worry about dropping it or splashing it while you’re out on the boat. It’s portable, lightweight, and durable enough to stand up to the elements on the water and on the beach. Time to take your best cottage weekend playlist to-go! Set up a collaborative playlist with your crew on Spotify and let the good times – and tunes – roll.
Beginners will love this wakesurfer for its ability to maintain speed and its maneuverability. This board’s shape combines the skim and traditional surf styles which is perfect for beginners and experts alike. Not to mention the board’s stunning design that is sure to make your Instagram snapshots even more eye-catching.
Adventures and adrenaline-fueled watersports are undoubtedly fun, but after a hard week it’s also a good idea to take an afternoon off and experience the joys of fishing with your crew. This fishing kayak allows paddlers to mount up to two rods and even includes a padded backrest – perfect for those days when you just want to lie back and let the fish come to you. Impress your fam with freshly caught dinner and you’re sure to be the hero of the trip.
Take the littlest crew members out for a spin! Let your kids test out their skills on two planks if they’re not as comfortable on a board. These beginner skis feature a detachable stabilizer that is great for getting the kids used to the feeling of riding the water.
Stand-Up Paddleboards give you and the squad a great way to get around and can burn between 300 and 400 calories per hour. If you’re feeling flexy, try out a few yoga poses – it’s a LOT harder than it looks. These SUP boards from Tikhine are both sturdy and lightweight. They’re also beautifully designed giving your crew art they can ride!
Make waves with Delta! Nothing dampens your mood more than waves that just won’t cooperate with you. Luckily, Delta’s Wakesurf Panel allows you to create the exact wave you want with ease. The only way you’re going to get that great shot of the new trick you learned is if you catch the perfect wave.
We know that sometimes the best trips are spontaneous. That’s why we offer an online course that lets you get certified from anywhere – at home the night before you leave, or even dockside at the cottage on your phone. We provide a temporary boating license card that allows you to drive a boat immediately – just print it out and take it on board.
No matter what you plan to do, a day or two spent by the water will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Whether you’re trying out new activities and escaping your comfort zone or simply taking time out to chill out, make sure you have a licensed boater for the weekend – or get your whole crew certified today. What are you waiting for?! Start up the playlist and hit the road!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!