Penetanguishene | boatingont

22 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Are you happy with your marina? How to pick a marina that’s right for you.

A marina is just a place to park your boat, so shouldn’t you look for one with the cheapest slip fees? Definitely not! Picking the right marina is like picking the right neighbourhood when house hunting – there are many things to consider to ensure you pick the one that’s right for you.

Back in 2009 when we first purchased our 25.5” Regal Ambassador we were at Thornbury Harbour. We had selected that marina as Mitch’s uncle had a cottage just outside Thornbury and it is only an hour away from Orangeville. While the town of Thornbury is a great place to visit and shop we found the marina wasn’t quite the right fit for our boating needs. Don’t get us wrong it’s a great marina but the downfall for us was that it was more of a place for cottagers to park their boat than a place for boaters to spend time on their boat. By 6pm on any given weekend the marina cleared out as people went back to their cottages for the evening. We were looking for more of a boating community.

Another drawback for us was the location on Georgian Bay, Thornbury is right at the base of the large open portion of Georgian Bay which sees rough water conditions more often than not. It can be a fairly scary ride across the bay to Beckwith Island with bad weather that comes out of nowhere fast. We had one such nightmare experience with three other friends on the boat, we battled four to six foot waves across the bay and one of our passengers threw up part way through the trip. All of us were pretty relieved to touch dry land after that stressful voyage. A couple of drinks helped us recover fairly quickly though!

Our summer trip of 2009 took us to the 30,000 islands from Beausoleil (Tobey dock and Frying Pan Bay) to the anchorages of the Musquash channel (Good Harbour, Hockey Stick and Longuissa Bay). After that trip we knew we wanted to move over to this area of Georgian Bay so we started researching marinas. At first we thought let’s get as close as possible and pick a marina in Honey Harbour, but that meant a portion of our trip each weekend up to the boat would involve the dreaded 400 highway of hell. We both commute fair distances throughout the week and had no desire to be on the 400 on the weekends.

* Ok so this is actually a traffic jam in China but this is what the 400 feels like in a traffic jam!

So then we started to look in the Victoria Harbour, Midland and Penetanguishene areas. There are lots of great marinas in these towns but we knew we wanted a full service marina and preferably a pool. After price checking a few marinas we decided to call Hindson Marine and check it out before making a decision. We headed up to Penetanguishene which is an hour and forty-five minute drive from Orangeville and it’s not a bad drive either, the only somewhat sore spot of the drive is Wasaga but it’s not too bad.

We went to the main office at Hindson Marine to check in for our tour and we were surprised to be taken around the marina by the owner himself, Kelly Hindson. Something we really love about being at Hindson is the family business vibe around the marina among boaters and staff. Hindson is a fairly large marina with around 500 slips, offering a truly full service marina. The chandlery is fully stocked and the staff provide exceptional customer service. On site the marina offers mechanical and body repair, a paint shop, canvas repair or new custom canvas and even free pump-outs. If you know you’re going to be in a rush to leave the dock you can give them the key to your boat and they will have the boat gassed up and ready to go when you arrive to your boat (for a fee). The pool and on site Laundromat are nice extras and a big perk is the quality of the bathrooms and showers.

* We often spend Sunday afternoons lazing by the pool

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Since it was September Kelly offered us the remainder of the year at no cost and we went for it. Because slip fees and winter storage are a fairly large portion of your yearly boating expenses it pays to shop around. Hindson is competitively priced and a good value. Last summer close friends bought a very similar boat to ours, a 1989 Regal Ambassador 255 and are also at Hindson Marine. We are now heading into our third summer at Hindson and we can’t wait for the season to get started.

* I caught this Pike off the dock right beside our boat! But there was no way I was going to pull it in so Mitch did!

If you don’t have enough room on your boat for extra visitors you can book a room at the Floatel Motel for a reasonable nightly rate. Since our boat is on the smaller side we often have family and friends stay in the Floatel. It’s conveniently located near the main dock for easy pick up and drop off and the rooms facing the marina have a great view!

In terms of local amenities, Penetanguishene has the basics; Tim Horton’s, a few restaurants, grocery store and LCBO. Midland is only a five minute drive and has big box stores like Canadian Tire and Walmart as well as our favourites; Bulk Barn and a new all you can eat Sushi restaurant in the mall.

The towns of Midland and Penetanguishene alternate each year for Canada Day fireworks. Last summer they were in Penetanguishene and we had a great view from our dock, it was one of the best fireworks displays we’ve been to and a great way to spend Canada Day.

If you would like to see everything Hindson Marine has to offer check out their website:

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