Boating

From the beaches to the mountains, Virginia offers a perfect family destination for your summer vacation. Planning on bringing your boat along to enjoy the Virginia waters? Start planning your summer vacation here!

Want to find the best Marinas in Virginia that will suit all your boating needs? Choose one of the following 10 marinas to dock your boat and ensure you have the best boating experience this summer!

Crown Pointe Marina

Rated 4.7/5 stars, this quiet, family-oriented marina located at the mouth of the York River in Hayes,Virginia, offers quick access to the Chesapeake Bay. This full-service marina contains over 200 slips as well as protected dockage for both power and sail boats. Additionally, the two swimming pools make this marina a year-round favourite with locals and visitors alike! There is also plenty to do near the marina, such as gunkholing and fishing opportunities. Don’t forget to check out the nearby wineries and theme parks.

Ocean Yacht Marina

Also receiving 4.7/5 stars, this Marina located in Portsmouth is a short 15 minute drive from Norfolk/Virginia Beach International Airport. This new complex features a modern Marina including all the amenities, an indoor dry storage building, a complete parts department, and for boats of all sizes, a fantastic repair facility.

Stingray Point Marina

Don’t be fooled by the daunting name, this marina is a fantastic spot rated 4.7/5 stars by customers. The marina is located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, at the mouth of the Rappahannock River on Broad Creek. They are committed to providing a quiet, secure and scenic facility for boaters a pool placed in a park-like setting is included in the amenities and the social events throughout the season are what create a fun community atmosphere that the entire family is sure to enjoy. You won’t want to miss the Stingray Point Lighthouse Replica; an exact replica of the original 1858 lighthouse that stood watch at Stingray Point.

Tidewater Yacht Marina

Awarded Best of the Bay in 2016, Tidewater Yacht Marina has been recognized as being one of the Best Resort Marinas and Best Fuel Docks in the Southern Bay! Located in the heart of Portsmouth’s Olde Town District, among these 18th and 19th century buildings, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a riverfront park and an abundance of places to see and tour. You’ll be within walking distance of the many museums such as the Naval Shipyard Museum, the Lighthouse Museum, the Children’s Museum of Virginia as well as the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Old Harbor Market. Tidewater Yacht Marina is also widely praised for their fabulous  Fish & Slips Marina Raw Bar and Grille restaurant that offers a variety of delicious comfort food.

Cobb’s Marina

This safe haven located in Norfolk, minutes from the Chesapeake Bay is an exceptional marina for boaters looking for an environmentally friendly operation. It is best known for its friendly atmosphere, honest and reliable customer service, exceptional boat maintenance, top quality boat repair and affordable rates!

 Scott’s Creek Marina

Known as the ‘no frills’ marina, located in Portsmouth, you’ll be sure to have a great experience with clean facilities while keeping costs down. Customer’s describe it as a “great place to find when you’re in need” with “very knowledgeable staff”.

 Fishing Bay Marina

Located in Deltaville on the beautiful deep waters of Fishing Bay at the mouth of the Piankatank River. Their deep water basin (16-18 feet) make this marina a favourite for boats heading up and down the Bay. Not far from Deltaville’s centre, you can shop for supplies, enjoy fine and casual dining and even sit back and watch a semi-pro baseball game!

The Boathouse Marina

This popular boater-owned, boater-friendly marina received a stellar rating with 4.5/5 stars based on 30 reviews. Located in Colonial Beach, this place is equipped with a Tesla charging station, free wifi and has free laundry services available!

Slaughter Creek Marina

This highly rated marina is located in Maryland, only a few miles from the Chesapeake Bay. Offering not only boat rentals, but bike rentals as well if you and your family want to tour this city on two wheels after a day out on the water. If you are interested in crabbing, fishing and adventuring, this is the place for you!

Dare Marina

This full-service marina offers excellent service with inside, outside and on-the-water storage. The on-site ship store provides a variety of equipment and parts with an extremely knowledgable staff. It’s located on Chisman Creek which offers a protected deep water harbor close to Chesapeake Bay which people can find access to some of the best fishing on the East Coast.

 

Get boating in Virginia this summer and check out these awesome marinas to dock your boat!

Posted By
June 26, 2018


#Categories: FAQ Virginia, Lifestyle - USA

Boating in Virginia promises a day of fun and excitement as you anticipate the adventure that’s to come. The open water is a perfect place to reconnect with nature and your surroundings while making memories with family and friends. Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful boating spots around, with numerous public launch spots, marinas and scenic backdrops, this state should be at the top of your boating destination list.

 

Smith Mountain Lake

This lake lies in a broad valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southcentral Virginia less than 40 miles outside Roanoke. This is a manmade body of water created after a dam was built in 1963. There are plenty of public boat launches to choose from which provide you access. This lake is a draw for anglers as it has abundant bass in its waters which in turn bring large fishing tournaments to the region. The Bridgewater Marina is a perfect place to dock your boat, stretch your legs and take a look around. There is a full-service gas dock, marina store with basic groceries, ski and wakeboard Proshop, boating and skiing apparel as well as covered boat storage. Check out The Landing Restaurant for exceptional cuisine and beautiful lake views in Bernards Landing Resort, minutes from Westlake.

 

Lake Gaston

Ranging 35 miles in length, with 350 miles of shoreline, with large amounts of open waterways, this is an ideal lake for all water sports. Boaters can access the lake by way of Holly Grove Marina which also offers a convenience store, gas docks, a deli that serves breakfast and sandwiches, a fully-stocked tackle shop and boat launch. The easiest way to access the lake is from the main lake or HWY 903. This lake is on the boarder of Virginia and North Carolina counties of Halifax, Northhampton and Warren.

 

Kerr Lake/Buggs Island Lake

This is the largest reservoir in the state, with more than 50,000 acres of water and 800 miles of shoreline, found just west of Lake Gaston near Buffalo Springs. Known as Bugg Island Lake to the locals, it attracts many recreational boaters, and avid water sport enthusiasts as it has ample wide-open space. There are plenty of quiet coves to drop an anchor, relax and enjoy the scenery. This lake was ranked as number one for Crappie fishing in the United States by Fisherman Magazine and as such, hosts many state and national fishing tournaments. There are public access points to the lake from Occoneechee State Park and Staunton River State Park offering biking and hiking trails if you need to stretch your legs. Check out the Clarksville Bridge at night which becomes illuminated by glowing lights that reflect off the water’s surface.

 

Lake Anna

This is Virginia’s third largest lake which spans 13,000 acres with over 200 miles of shoreline. This is known as one of the best lakes for largemouth bass on the East Coast making it a popular spot for year-round fishing. Lake Anna is one of the most popular freshwater destinations for water sports and boat enthusiasts with plenty of boat launches and marinas as well as the pristine Lake Anna State Park beach. This is a fun day trip to spend out on the boat, but if you’re thinking more along the lines of extending your trip, there are plenty of on-land activities that the surrounding area offers.

 

Philpott Lake

This lake offers almost 3,000 acres of open water, nine boat launches, eight campgrounds and six beaches, which makes it an ideal spot for a boating get-away. This lake generates hydroelectric power to the area and was created by the damming of the Smith River. The lake is situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with an elevation of 300 metres. Philpott is known for its Large and Small Mouth Bass, Walleye, Bluegill and Crappie population. Making it an ideal fishing spot with a scenic backdrop of the mountains.

 

You can’t go wrong with these top boating destinations in Virginia. There is plenty of open water to explore and sights to see including mountains, beaches and wildlife making Virginia a popular boating destination and one of the best in the east coast. Something to be aware of is that with the boating popularity comes high traffic volumes and crowded waterways making watercraft accidents more common. It’s always important to be well versed in the rules of boating; even if you already took your test, it doesn’t hurt to brush-up on the rules of the water. You can do this by visiting the Knowledge Base at BOATsmart! to keep you boating with confidence.

Posted By
June 25, 2018


#Categories: FAQ Virginia, Lifestyle - USA

Travel like an insider with these tips on how to make your boating trip in New York EPIC!

First, the best time to visit New York is between April and June. April, May and June offer wonderful summer-like weather without excessive heat! The temperature ranges from 14-25 degrees Celsius in those early months. Later on in the year from September to early November allows for breezy autumn weather. The changing colours in the trees, the beautiful waters and sunny days make for the best weekend trip. Second, find some places you’d like to see! Here’s a list of the trendiest, most beautiful, and most instagram-worthy spots. Check out the list below for some of our favourites.

Chautauqua Lake

This beautiful lake hosts many marinas, parks and great spots for fishing. It also has several restaurants and cottage rental opportunities. Chautauqua Lake is nestled between Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh borders. It’s great for water sports and recreational activities, such as catch-and-release fishing (which is recommended by conservationists). This is the perfect lake for all-around family fun!

Lake George

Lake George is our favourite spot for boating and water sports. Lake George Marinas offer boat rentals with free training courses for inexperienced boaters, and also allows you to launch your own boat at multiple locations. Lake George spans 28,000 acres, and is perfect for tubing and other water sports. The lake is a refreshing 70 degrees fahrenheit in June – perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Million Dollar Beach is a beautiful family-friendly spot to relax and picnic under the sun.

Lake Champlain

Named after the explorer Samuel de Champlain, its depths reach 400 feet and features over 80 species for cold and warm-water fish. Lake Champlain stretches 120 miles along New York on the coast of Adirondacks Mountains. Even more exciting is the mystery long-necked creature swimming in its waters, also known as Champ to the locals.

Skaneateles Lake

About a 30 minute drive from Syracuse lies a pristine, glimmering lake. Skaneateles Lake offers boat launches for your own vessel, or you can rent kayaks and canoes to use for the day. Don’t miss out on the sixth largest of the Finger Lakes in the region. It’s calm waters allow for beautiful beaches and park access at Thayer Park, Clift Park and Shotwell Park. Boating and fishing are just a few pastimes well used by locals and visitors throughout the year.

Liberty Landing Marina

Lady Liberty allows you to dock and eat under her beautiful statue in the Marina. The Marina offers two renowned restaurants and gorgeous sunset views across the water. The Ellis Island Ferry tour offers great views from several angles of Lady Liberty and the New York skyline. Truly stunning!

The best way to enjoy New York is either by heel-toe express or by water. Boating is a perfect way to experience the charm of a hustling city from a more relaxed point of view, while learning about the city’s heritage and history. There are also tons of other water activities to try out in New York! Many different parts of New York offer great paddling and rowing experiences at little or no cost. Learn basic canoeing with the Urban Park Rangers in the Bronx, go out with the Village Community Boathouse along the Hudson starting in Manhattan, have a row and dinner with the North Brooklyn Boat Club, or head out to the Long Island City Boathouse and learn some canoeing and kayaking skills. There are several ways to enjoy the beauty of New York at sea level, hopefully these tips for an awesome boating weekend in New York will help you get out there and explore them!

Posted By
June 25, 2018


#Categories: FAQ New York, Lifestyle - USA

New York is a city surrounded by various bodies of water making it a perfect city to spend the day out on the water. Made up by five boroughs, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island, this lively city sits right where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean making boating an epic and visually stunning experience. Boat your way into a  New York state of mind when you step off the dock and onto the water for a day of sun and adventure as you cruise around the Big Apple.

Freeport

The inlets and islands of Freeport are perfect for a day of fishing and boating while you take in the beautiful coastline. Freeport is situated in Nassau County on the South Shore of Long Island. Zach’s Bay is southeast of Freeport off the Jones Beach Theatre and is a great place to anchor for families to raft-up and enjoy a concert playing at the theatre or enjoy a day on the beach without the overcrowded feeling.

The Hudson River

The Hudson River offers beautiful scenery along the 300 miles that it stretches. Boaters can escape to the north toward Peekskill where the river offers copious amounts of wildlife. There is abundant largemouth and smallmouth bass around the tributary mouths and in-river structures during the summer and fall. In the spring striped bass can be caught below the Troy Dam to New York City. There are small towns along the river that you can visit, learn the history, stretch your legs and enjoy dinner along the water’s edge. Check out one of the only Dock & Dine spots in New York city at La Marina in Washington Heights for a really fun experience!

Finger Lakes

This is a region of New York State, known for its lush vineyards and named for its series of eleven long, thin lakes extended like fingers. This is one of New York State’s most popular regions for recreational boating with numerous private boat launches to enjoy a scenic route. Take a day trip and explore the Finger Lakes Central Region (the centrally located area found between the two largest lakes; Seneca Lake to the West and Cayuga Lake to the East). These lakes were formed by glaciers and contain over 6.6 trillion gallons of fresh water making it an ideal destination to enjoy a day on the water.

Thousand Islands

If you love fishing, this is the place for you as it has ample fish and fishing holes. With more than 100 boat launches available in the region, this is an easy accessible waterway with much to offer. With it’s crystal clear waters, historic castles and lighthouses, it is arguably one of the best places for pleasure boating in New York State.

New York Harbor

Boating by the Manhattan skyline is an experience everyone should have at least once in their lives. There are many attractions such as Governors Island which is a 172-acre island containing Fort Jay, Castle Williams, and Dock 102. Don’t forget to stop by Liberty Island, home to the Statue of Liberty  as well as Ellis Island  which is a historical site that opened in 1892 as an immigration station for more than 60 years.

Lake George

This was called “the most beautiful water I ever saw” by Thomas Jefferson and this statement still holds true today. It was once an important fur-trading route and held an important role in the American Revolution with traces of the past laying at the bottom of the lake in the form of shipwrecks. Although a lake that once held a violent past,  today, the coastal shores are full of beautiful wilderness, marinas, restaurants and the Adironack Mountains which add to the astounding atmosphere.

Cold Spring Harbor

This is the perfect place to drop an anchor, enjoy a picnic on the boat and go swimming for the day or head out for a day of water skiing and wake-boarding. This is truly some of Long Islands best boating with a coastline full of beaches, parks and historic mansions. For larger vessels who want to anchor for the day, Eaton’s Neck Basin is the perfect place and it’s only a few miles east near Huntington Bay.

Whether you’re going for an all-day boating adventure to take in the picturesque scenery along the coast, throwing down an anchor to take a dip in the water or stopping along the water’s edge to indulge in a scenic meal, New York offers a vast array of options for any type of excursion. The waterways of New York will never disappoint an enthusiastic boater as there is truly something for everyone. Sail through these waters in New York and make memories you will never forget.

Posted By
June 18, 2018


#Categories: FAQ New York, Lifestyle

With Father’s Day nearly here, it’s tough to choose that perfect gift for dad to show him how much he really means to you. After all, he’s been your number one supporter from the beginning, giving you advice and always sharing his not-so-funny dad jokes when you need to smile. Dads look forward to the day that they can pass on their traditions to their kids and share common interests for the ultimate goal of spending quality time together. Maybe he took you to his favourite fishing spot and showed you how to put a worm on a hook and helped you reel in that whopper you’d been excitedly talking about all day. This Father’s Day, we have some awesome gifts for you to choose from to save time and to show dad how great you think he is!

Boating License

Dad’s already our captain, why not get him a boating license and make it official on the water! Get it now and he’ll receive two extra cards to keep in his tackle box, car or wallet. Boating allows you to feel free and relaxed out on the water and the BOATsmart! course will help dad boat with confidence this Father’s Day.

Engraved Compass

Swim into dad’s good books this Father’s Day with an engraved compass. This thoughtful, personalized gift is made out of brass metal and measures about 2.5” in diameter. Each compass is hand crafted in a vintage style with minor dents and scratches to add to the charm and character. There are 50-60 characters that can fit per side to personalize your message. This makes a unique yet practical nautical gift for dad that will surely become a keepsake.

Anchor Cuff Links

What do you get the dad who already has everything? Anchor cuff links, of course! These handsome accessories are a perfect way to make a detailed fashion statement for any occasion. Let dad show his boat enthusiasm with these nautical accessories in a sophisticated way this Father’s Day!

Driftwood Charging Dock

This handcrafted driftwood dock for iPhones or iPods is the perfect gift, tying the modern-day electronics to the timeless minimalism of nature. This is a practical gift that looks like art, handmade in Maine by Lee Goodwin and his team who gather and then handcraft them to fit the contours and cord of your device.

Seafood Cookbook

This cookbook is perfect for the dad who loves to cook seafood! It offers more than 150 mouth-watering recipes including entrees, salads, appetizers, soups, sides and more. Every single recipe features seafood that hasn’t been overfished or caught in an environmentally destructive way, making Barton Seaver (the author) one of the most important voices of the sustainability movement. You will learn how to buy and choose the freshest ingredients as well as how to prep and cook seafood. Let dad discover how to make Poached Salmon with Pickled Chilies and Mint or Smoked Lobster and Fennel-Carrot Salad and he’ll become captain of the kitchen in no time.

Nautical Sweater

This striped sweater has a classic look to it that will never go out of style. For those summer days out on the boat that turn to a chilly dusk, dad can throw on this cotton-cashmere sweater and continue on his boating route with his crew in tow.

Sperry Boat Shoes

Dad could always use a new pair of boat shoes so why not treat him to these authentic originals! These have been a long-time favorite to many-a-boater, sailor and yachter for good reason, too! These fine shoes are crafted with genuine all leather upper which allows for years of wear, non-marking rubber outsoles with wet traction as well as genuine hand-sewn Tru-Moc construction for durable comfort. Dad’s feet will be thanking you for this awesome gift!

Subscriptions

A fishing or boating subscription is a perfect gift to help dad stay in the know and keep up-to-date on the newest industry news. Help him stay informed with subscriptions to magazines such as Boating Magazine, Boating World or Real Fishing Magazine or set him up with Lucky Tackle Box which sends a box of the newest fishing gear each month.

Dads can often be difficult to buy for as they are the ones that we will always look up to as our teachers, comedians, confidants and protectors. We have so much to thank dads for that it’s hard to show just how much we appreciate their life lessons (mostly at the wrong time but still, it’s the thought that counts) or their silly dad jokes that are not funny at all but that somehow makes them hilarious.  But what dads appreciate the most is quality time spent with you! Hopefully these top Father’s Day gift ideas will help you create more time for dad this year while showing him how much he means to you with these thoughtful gifts.

Posted By
June 13, 2018


#Categories: Lifestyle, Lifestyle - USA

We’re feeling the Royal Wedding buzz in the air just like the other 3 billion people who are expected to be tuning in to the big event this weekend. So, in honour of this monumental event, we’d like to share some delicious, easy recipes that will have you eating like royalty on your boat this Victoria Day Weekend.

Prosciutto Wrapped Pears with Blue Cheese
These decadent appetizers are easy to make and transport in your cooler for a fun day of boating in the sun or a nautical picnic on the dock. The saltiness of the thin prosciutto mixed with the sweetness of the pear and bitterness of the blue cheese is a flavor explosion even the Queen would enjoy.

Avocado Ceviche
Nothing says summer like fresh ceviche and nothing tastes like rich creaminess like avocados. The citrus from the lime or lemon juice is what “cooks” the meat, making it a fresh and tasty meal. Not only is it healthy, we’ve created this recipe to be really easy to make. This delicate meal can be eaten as an appetizer or main dish and is fit for any king or queen of the water.

Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2-pound fresh white fish, filleted
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped, to taste
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chopped avocado (keep in a separate bag)

Directions
The key ingredient here is freshness. While this method of “cooking” fish is delicious, it doesn’t kill all potential parasites. For this reason, you should only use freshly caught fish from clean waters.

Chop the fish into 1/4-inch cubes, submerge fish in lime or lemon juice with the other all other ingredients except for the avocado, let cool in the fridge (or cooler) for 30 minutes. Allow the fish to marinate until it becomes opaque, take the bag out and add the avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss into a container and serve with corn chips.

Roast Beef Sandwiches
Nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned roast beef sandwich. Roast beef is a national dish of England and was traditionally made for Sunday dinner served with a side of Yorkshire pudding. For this sandwich you’ll need roast beef left over from family dinner or purchased from the deli, two pieces of bread, horseradish or horseradish sauce, pickle slices and one small onion, sliced. Assemble all ingredients onto the bread and enjoy! This will be a sandwich the Royal Family could enjoy any day of the week!

Deviled Eggs
Need a side dish to accompany your roast beef sandwich? We have just the thing! Deviled eggs of course. This rich side dish is packed with flavour and brings a hearty punch to any boating trip. This dish is typically found at picnics and parties with women who wear gloves and oversized hats and sip their tea with raised pinkies. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch but basically what we’re saying is that these dressed eggs will have your taste buds you will be sending your taste buds cruising with these guys.

Fruit Salad
This is a fresh and light option for those hot days out on the boat to help re-hydrate you and add a little bit of sweetness to your day. Cut up some fresh fruit such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwis, bananas and don’t forget watermelons! They are one of the best summer fruit to indulge in and will keep you hydrated and satisfied during your sunny picnic.

Mason Jar Pasta Salad
Okay, it might be a bit of a stretch to think that the Royal Family would eat salad out of a Mason jar but this is a super easy, no-mess option.  With these options for cold pasta salads, it’s a perfect meal to keep you fueled for the rest of the day on the water.

You don’t have to be heirs to the throne to eat like princes or princesses; you just need a little bit of time, some great recipes, open water, a boat and your boating license. Ensure you know the rules of drinking and boating before taking to the water this long weekend and make the best of your unofficial kick-off to summer in royal style.

Posted By
May 18, 2018


#Categories: Boating License, Lifestyle

boatsmart_lifejackets_boat safe

The first time I went boating it was a small group of family friends in Muskoka, Ontario and we were having the perfect getaway weekend. We enjoyed sun-drenched weather all week and the views of the water from the boat made for the ultimate Instagram shots! Deciding to take a leap into the lake from the boat to cool off, we double checked our life-jackets were secure and hopped into the water… Continue reading…