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Sailing Canada’s National Parks: The Great Lakes

2017 is Canada’s sesquicentennial (that is to say, 150 years since Confederation), and to celebrate, Parks Canada is making access to national parks free for the year. substantial number of those national parks are on significant coastlines, and can be explored by boat. In this blog, the third of the series, we will provide information about National Parks on the Great Lakes.

Thousand Islands National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Thousand Islands National Park
Park Website

Journey to the picturesque granite islands and windswept pine trees of Thousand Islands National Park. Explore secluded bays by kayak or powerboat. Enjoy a day by the river or overnight in waterfront oTENTik accommodations at the park’s mainland visitor centre. Discover rare species of turtles and birdlife alongside undulating hiking trails. Experience the magic of this captivating and historic wilderness, just a few hours from Toronto or Montreal.

Parks Canada welcomes families to play together in the country’s beautiful spaces. In Eastern Ontario, boaters flock to the cozy clusters of islands in Thousand Islands National Park to reconnect with their loved ones and recharge against a backdrop of natural beauty. Breathe in pine scented air on an island hike, take in a family nature program from a park interpreter who will personally visit your dock, or relax among friends – it’s your choice. Enjoy the comforts of your boat on fully serviced islands or tranquil, rustic islands. For the more adventurous, set up a tent with the kids and gather ‘round the fire for marshmallows.

Charts: 1437 Summerland Group to Grindstone Island, Grindstone Island to Carlton Island
Cruising Guide: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario, Ports Lake Ontario

Point Pelee National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Point Pelee National Park
Park Website

At the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland – Point Pelee National Park, experience nature like never before. Each spring, view flocks of migratory birds, joined in autumn by waves of vivid Monarch butterflies. In winter, wander snowy trails past ice-cloaked trees and in summer, bask on sandy beaches. Whether you cycle, paddle or hike Canada’s smallest but most ecologically diverse national park, you’ll be immersed in an unforgettable eco-adventure.

Charts: 2123 Point Pelee Passage to Detroit River
Cruising Guides: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario, Ports Lake Erie & Lake St Clair


Fathom Five National marine Park, credit to Parks Canada

Fathom Five National Marine Park
Park Website

Featuring both ancient geological wonders and a vital cultural legacy, Fathom Five National Marine Park reaches out from Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula to protect a lush archipelago and a surrounding freshwater ecosystem.

Iconic flowerpot formations flank 420 million year-old dolomite cliffs on Flowerpot Island, home to stunted white cedars, mixed-woodland and rare ferns and orchids. Three historic lightstations hearken to Lake Huron’s mid-19th century shipping heritage. Below the surface, 22 shipwrecks haunt the lake-water and fascinating geological formations scar the rocky bottom.

Flowerpot Island, the most accessible island within the park, welcomes guests with coastal and woodland hikes, two famous flowerpots and backcountry campsites. Or, delve the depths on a snorkel or scuba excursion to explore the wrecks and submerged natural wonders that define Canada’s first National Marine Conservation Area.

Fathom Five awaits—home to underwater mystery, island exploration, rich culture and incredible opportunities for discovery.

Charts: 2235 Cape Hurd to Lonely Island, Cape Hurd to Tobermory & Cove Island, 2292 Chantry Island to Cove Island
Cruising Guide: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario, Paddling and Hiking the Georgian Bay Coast, Ports Cruising Guide Georgian Bay, the North Channel and Lake Huron


Bruce Peninsula National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Bruce Peninsula National Park
Park Website

Bruce Peninsula National Park welcomes explorers of all ages to uncover the natural wonders of its limestone coasts, mixed-wood forests, cliffside cedars, clear-water lakes and vibrant orchids. Situated along Southern Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, and part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, this stunning 156-sq-km park is easily accessible via highway, only four hours from Toronto.

This is the traditional home of the Saugeen Ojibway First Nations, who have drawn subsistence and spirituality from this land for centuries, as well as a protected preserve for more than 200 species of birds, mammals both small and large, amphibians and even some rare reptiles.

A captivating playground in all seasons, guests enjoy hikes ranging from front-country walks to multi-day backcountry treks, summertime swims in pristine lakes and rock-scrambles along the rugged Georgian Bay shoreline. Serene camping in comfortable yurts, drive-to campsites or the remote backcountry makes extended getaways into this magical environment both convenient and fun.

Charts: 2235 Cape Hurd to Lonely Island, Cape Hurd to Tobermory & Cove Island, 2292 Chantry Island to Cove Island
Cruising Guides: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario, Paddling and Hiking the Georgian Bay Coast, Ports Cruising Guide Georgian Bay, the North Channel and Lake Huron


Georgian Bay Islands National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Georgian Bay Islands National Park
Park Website

Georgian Bay Islands National Park protects 63 islands within Earth’s largest freshwater archipelago, stretching for 50 kilometres along eastern Georgian Bay. Eight-kilometre-long Beausoleil Island is the main island, a 15-minute boat-ride from Honey Harbour, and the hub of visitor activity.

This island park harbours incredible biodiversity. Windswept pines and Precambrian granite of the Canadian Shield transition to forests of sugar maple and smooth-barked beech, punctuated by occasional conifers. Birdlife from raptors to songbirds fly above, small mammals scamper through forest undergrowth and this national park protects a greater variety of reptiles and amphibians than any other in Canada. Cultural roots run deep, reaching back through 5,500 years of human history.

Guests hike more than dozen marked paths, cycle scenic trails, swim from sandy or stony shores, ply remote waters via paddle or powerboat and unwind at campsites and cabins overlooking a vast and serene Great Lakes shoreline.

Charts: 2202 Port Severn to Parry Sound, 2241 Port Severn to Christian Island
Cruising Guide: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario, Paddling and Hiking the Georgian Bay Coast, Ports Cruising Guide Georgian Bay, The North Channel and Lake Huron


Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area
Parks Canada

Imagine a landscape where wind and waves caress the shores of tranquil sheltered bays and endless rugged coastlines – a place where a myriad of shipwrecks lay strewn on the lake floor offering silent testimony to the powers of Superior. The Anishinabek people have called this place Gitchi Gumme or “The Big Lake” and have lived on her shores for thousands of years, respecting the strength of her waters and the bounty of her lands.

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area is a site so vast that, once established, it will be one of the largest freshwater protected areas in the world. Come fish, kayak and swim in her waves, hike her trails in search of waterfowl, migratory songbirds and wildlife and feel the grip of nature.

Charts: The LSNMCA is in the area East of Thunder Bay, so there no specific charts of that area. The charts listed here provide detail for the shore around the Marine Conservation Area. 2302 St Ignace Island to Passage Island, 2303 Jackfish Bay to St Ignace Island, 2304 Oiseau Bay to Jackfish Island, 2308 Michipicoten Island to Oiseau Bay, 2309 Cape Gargantua to Otter Head
Cruising Guide: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario,


Pukaskwa National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Pukaskwa National Park
Parks Website

Expanding over 1,878-square-kilometres on Lake Superior’s remote northern coast, Pukaskwa National Park is a captivating wilderness that weaves untouched nature with the long history of the Anishinaabe First Nations.

This is Ontario’s only wilderness national park, defined by pink-and-slate granite shores, Great Lake temperaments and near-endless stretches of spruce, fir, pine and hardwoods. Biodiverse coastal regions—where wetland, lake and forest meet—are home to iconic Canadian species like bald eagles, moose and bears. Sandy beaches and accessible campsites welcome families. Scenic hiking trails range from weeklong expeditions to gentle nature walks. And canoeists and kayakers can paddle along a coast removed from human influence on advanced expeditions or easy day-routes. Pukaskwa is a place where everyone can catch a glimpse of the rich traditions, values and contemporary life of the Anishinaabe, the local Indigenous People.

Chart: 2309 Cape Gargantua to Otter Head
Cruising Guides: Great Lakes Waterway Guide 2017, Top 50 Canoe Routes of Ontario


In addition, the Trent- Severn Waterway (which is managed by Parks Canada) has free locking this year, as part of the same program that provides no-cost access to the National Parks. Information about this can be found in this blog from last year

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Sailing Canada’s National Parks: The Gaspé and St Lawrence River

2017 is Canada’s sesquicentennial (that is to say, 150 years since Confederation), and to celebrate, Parks Canada is making access to national parks free for the year. substantial number of those national parks are on significant coastlines, and can be explored by boat. In this blog, the second of series, we will provide information about National Parks on the Gaspé and St Lawrence River.

Ile Anticosti National Park. credit to SEPAQ

Ile Anticosti National Park

Just imagine! In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a wild and enchanting island, basking in the clear northern light. Imagine white cliffs being lapped by the ocean’s waters unfailingly. Imagine looking down into yawning canyons and hearing the roar of powerful falls. Imagine huge secluded caves, white-tailed deer grazing on seaweed, salmon frolicking in emerald green basins, and seals sunning on rocks. Imagine yourself at Parc national d’Anticosti. Nearly 125 km of trails crisscross this huge land area. On the island, hiking takes several forms: a walk along the shore or through a canyon with towering rock faces, a fascinating exploration of a cave or an outing in a boreal forest.

Charts: 4025 Cap Whittle to Havre-Sainte-Pierre, 4026 Havre-Saint-Pierre and Cap de Rosiers, 4430 Plans – Ile d’Anticosti
Cruising Guides: Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St Lawrence, Cruising Guide to St Lawrence River and Quebec Waterways Note: This last is a new edition in 2017.


Mingan Archpelago National Park Reserve, credit to Parks Canada

Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Park Website

Only an artist’s limitless imagination could have conjured up the striking landscapes of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. The combination of climate, sea, and naturally sculpted rocks have been the subject of countless works of art over the years. As far as the eye can see there are peat polygons, gravel beaches, former sea cliffs, and limestone monoliths with the ocean setting the mood. Its rhythm, salty smell and vibrant blue colour are so idyllic it feels like you’ve walked into a living painting where thousands of seabirds – meeting on the island to nest – swirl across the sky in unison. Atlantic puffins, terns, and Common eiders are just a few winged friends who regularly visit the islands.

Charts: 4025 Cap Whittle to Havre-Sainte-Pierre, 4026 Havre-Saint-Pierre and Cap de Rosiers
Cruising Guides: Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St Lawrence, Cruising Guide to St Lawrence River and Quebec Waterways



Forillon National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Forillon National Park
Park Website

Forillon Park covers a total of 244.8 km2, including a narrow strip of marine area a little over 150 m wide (4.4 km2). Its history is as fascinating as its wildlife and plant life which includes Eastern Canada’s largest colony of Atlantic kittiwakes. As seen at the Grande‑Grave heritage site, commercial cod fishing prospered from the 18th century to the mid-20th century. Frequented by Aboriginal peoples for more than 4,000 years, Forillon is also the site of the only World War II coastal battery that is fully preserved and publicly accessible in Quebec, at Fort Peninsula. As impressive as the major role played by the Gaspé naval base in the Battle of the St. Lawrence from 1942 to 1944 is the discovery of a geological phenomena of easily visible fossils dating back 500 million years!

Charts: 4024 Chaleur Bay to Isle de La Madeleine, 4416 Havre de Gaspe, 4485 Cap des Rosiers to Chandler
Cruising Guides: Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St Lawrence, Cruising Guide to St Lawrence River and Quebec Waterways


Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay. credit to SEPAQ

Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay
Park Website

The scenery is so awe-inspiring! In this magnificent spot, nature used its colossal strength to create a fjord. There are so many things to see and do here in winter and summer alike. For example, you can head to Baie de Tadoussac to admire the extraordinary panorama of the boundless sea, but also to see hundreds of migrating birds. The scale of this migration gave birth to the Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac. The park is divided into three areas, as large as they are different: Baie-Éternité, Baie-de-Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Marguerite.

Charts: 1201 Saint-Fulgence to Saguenay, 1202 Cap Eternite to Saint-Fulgence, 1203 Tadoussac to Cap Eternite, 1320 Ile du Bic to Cape de la Tete au Chien, 6100 Lac Saint-Jean
Cruising Guides: Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St Lawrence, Cruising Guide to St Lawrence River and Quebec Waterways



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Sailing Canada’s National Parks: The Atlantic Coast

2017 is Canada’s sesquicentennial (that is to say, 150 years since Confederation), and to celebrate, Parks Canada is making access to national parks free for the year. substantial number of those national parks are on significant coastlines, and can be explored by boat. In this blog, the first of a series, we will provide information about National Parks on the Atlantic Coast.

Gros Morne National Park, credit to Sheldon Stone via Parks Canada

Gros Morne National Park
Park Website

Midway up western Newfoundland, Gros Morne is a spectacular park on the Gulf of St Lawrence, facing Labrador.

Soaring fjords and moody mountains tower above a diverse panorama of beaches and bogs, forests and barren cliffs. Shaped by colliding continents and grinding glaciers, Gros Morne’s ancient landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander coastal pathways and beachcomb among sea stacks. Cruise the dramatic, sheer-walled gorge of Western Brook Pond. Spot moose and caribou. Hike to alpine highlands where Arctic hare and ptarmigan thrive on tundra, and explore the colourful culture of nearby seaside communities.

Charts:  4658 Bonne Bay, 4661 Bear Head to Cow Head, 4663 Cow Head to Pointe Riche
Cruising Guides: The Cruising Guide to Newfoundland (2014)


Terra Nova National Park, Credit to Parks Canada

Terra Nova Provincial Park
Park Website

Terra Nova is in northeastern Newfoundland, north and west of the Avalon Peninsula and St. John’s.

A ragged-shaped oceanside park of sheltered inlets, islands, headlands, ponds, forests and bogs across 400 square kilometres (154 square miles), Terra Nova is perched on the northeast coast of Newfoundland, a three-hour drive from the provincial capital of St. John’s.

Though easily accessible by the Trans-Canada highway, it is a traditional island wilderness with abundant wildlife like black bears, lynx, ospreys, moose and the rare indigenous Newfoundland marten. Join a campfire sing-along, touch sea critters in a tank, enjoy live performances under the stars. Arrange a guided, interpretive park tour or explore the park on your own for a day or on a multi-day camping trip. Ten hiking trails range from kid and wheelchair-friendly nature strolls to challenging treks. Canoe or swim in Sandy Pond, kayak rugged shorelines. In winter, strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis for a backcountry experience.

Charts: 4854 Catalina Harbour to Inner Gooseberry Island, 4855 Bonavista Bay- Southern Portion, 4856 Bonavista Bay- Western Portion
Cruising Guides: The Cruising Guide to Newfoundland (2014)


Prince Edward Island National Park, credit to Tourism PEI

Prince Edward Island National Park
Park Website

PEI National Park extends over 65 kilometres of shoreline, including beaches, red sandstone cliffs and rolling sand dunes on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island in Atlantic Canada. Broad, sandy beaches draw crowds of day-trippers and campers throughout the summer. Meanwhile, extensive walking trails and boardwalks, as well as 20 kilometres of paved multi-use trail for cyclists, slice through varied coastal terrain, from saltwater marsh to Acadian forest. If the landscape seems storybook-perfect, there’s good reason. The park is also home to the 19th-century farmhouse immortalized in the novel Anne of Green Gables, now one of Canada’s most popular heritage places. Marvel at exotic dunescapes on the Greenwich peninsula. Camp, cycle and swim in the central Brackley-Dalvay region. Or just enjoy sun and sand and a glimpse of Canada’s literary past in Cavendish. With three distinct regions overall, PEI National Park brings together the best of Atlantic Canada.

Charts: 4023 Northumberland Strait, 4425 Harbours on the North Shore
Cruising Guide: The Complete Cruising Guide to the Down East Circle Route


Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Credit to Parks Canada

Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Park Website

Over 100 kilometers of rugged, wave-pounded cliffs, sheltered coves and long curving beaches mark the breathtaking journey to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Every turn inspires a photograph. Some 26 hiking trails are carved out along the coastline, across mountaintops, and tucked into forested valleys. The Skyline Trail leads to a breathtaking headland above the Atlantic, where mountains meet sea. View the Chéticamp River valley from the gorgeous Acadian Trail. Lone Shieling is a walk through 350 year-old sugar maples. And Fishing Cove leads from mountain top to secluded ocean cove. You might spot a bear eating blueberries, or notice velvety moose antlers poking out between spruce and fir boughs. Overhead, bald eagles, hawks, and cormorants soar. Along the coast, catch a glimpse of plunge-diving northern gannets, bobbing seals, and, peeking out of the ocean waves, minke or humpback whales. Stay awhile to enjoy swimming, golf, ocean and beach-front camping, and of course, the warm welcome from the fishing communities you’ll pass along the way, where you can stop to take in a ceilidh or a yummy dinner of fresh local seafood.

Charts: 4449 Cheticamp/ Grant Etang/ Margaree Harbours, 4464 Cheticamp to Cape St Lawrence
Cruising Guide: The Complete Cruising Guide to the Down East Circle Route, Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast


Kouchibouguac National Park, credit to Parks Canada

Kouchibouguac National Park (New Brunswick)
Park Website

Kouchibouguac National Park extends over 238-square-kilometres of Maritime Plain Natural Region along New Brunswick’s scenic Acadian Coast. This mosaic of salt marshes, peat bogs, freshwater systems, Acadian woodland and sandy beaches has long captivated guests, one generation to the next.

Hundreds of species of birds, dozens of mammals as well as amphibians, reptiles, rare plants and a wide variety of sea life inhabit this park, and the landscape welcomes exploration via its network of gentle hiking and cycling trails. Offshore, shifting sand dunes harbour the endangered piping plover and a colony of grey seals swims in the sea. Stargazing takes a unique perspective in this coastal Dark Sky Preserve. Kellys Beach is one of the region’s most popular summertime destinations. And in winter, the snowy side of Kouchibouguac invites soft adventure with cross-country trails and cosy warm-up huts.

Charts: 4906 West Point to Baie de Tracadie, 4909 Richibucto, Buctouche, Cocagne and Shediac Harbour
Cruising Guide: The Complete Cruising Guide to the Down East Circle Route

Canada’s Atlantic Coast is a great place to cruise, and we hope you’ll explore the National Parks this summer. In the next blog in this series, we’ll explore the National Parks of the Gaspé Peninsula and the St Lawrence River

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Charts, Charts and More Charts

Now that Spring has sprung, it’s time for our annual Chat about Charts.


In the past, a number of blogs have been written about charts: what we carry, what we can order, and laws regarding charts. We’re proud to be a chart agent, providing Canadian Hydrographic Services charts, as well as charts from NOAA, Imray, Maptech, Richardson’s, NV Charts, and a number other organizations and companies. There continues to be some confusion over charts, specifically the legality of chartbooks and what is required.

The Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, Article 5(1) (c) (i) states that boats are required to carry “…the largest scale chart according to the reference catalogue… ”

Since this is something that confuses many people:
Small Scale = Large Area
Large Scale = Small Area

To put it another way, if you’re boating around Toronto Harbour, you’ll be required to carry chart 2085- Toronto Harbour. Chart 2077 (Lake Ontario West End) or 2000 (Lake Ontario general) would not be considered to have sufficient information.

The Canada Shipping Act requires most vessels to carry paper charts specifically, even if navigation will be done by GPS or on a computer. If you’re are going to be navigating, you should be carrying charts.

There have also recently been more questions about the legality of chartbooks, such as Richardson’s, Mapquest, and NV-Charts. These are not technically charts, but instead are very high quality photographs of charts. From discussions with representatives of various law enforcement agencies it is clear that there is no universal policy towards chart books. Anecdotal evidence suggests that also, reaction will vary from officer to officer. While the odds suggest that any individual person or boat may not be stopped by the Police or Coast Guard, and even if they were a chartbook such as Maptech or Richardson’s would usually be considered sufficient, they do not technically satisfy the legal requirement to carry charts in Canada.

The reality is that chartbooks such as Richardson’s are much easier to use on a chart table than a full paper chart, and that chartbooks are much more cost efficient than purchasing a full set of paper charts. We also understand that cost is a major factor for choosing to purchase chartbooks only, and not paper charts. What we would suggest is that our clients purchase a chartbook such as Richardson’s for their day-to-day navigation requirements, but also purchase the CHS charts they need to cover their usual cruising areas. To do so is more expensive, but it will cost far less than the fines for not carrying paper charts.

Charts are just part of what is required to be carried on board. It is always necessary to update charts or chartbooks with the Notices to Mariners. In addition, boats are required to have Chart One, Sailing Directions,Tide & Current Tables, the List of Lights, and Buoys and Fog Signals.

If you’ve talked to us about charts- you know that we place a strong emphasis on paper charts, whether they be CHS, NOAA, Imray, Explorer or anything else. Digital Charts cannot be denied, however. In Canada, it is still required to carry paper charts, even if you have digital charts. If you would like to purchase digital Canadian Hydrographic Service charts, we can absolutely provide them to you.

Canadian Hydrographic Service Digital Charts

As always, we at the Nautical Mind are happy to help you all of your chart needs and requirements.

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Some books about the Great Lakes for the Summer

Recently we’ve received some fantastic books about the Great Lakes. It’s an incredibly important environment for maritime commerce as well as for recreational boaters. These books provide some insight into the commercial aspects of Great Lakes Traffic.

Know Your Ships 2017
Marine Publishing Co.

This is a classic book, and a must-have for anybody who is curious about freighter. This book provides an incredible amount of up-to-date information about the fleets that service the Great Lakes and the ships that ply the waters. It addresses both the local Lakers, as well as the Saltwater freighters that also frequently come into the system.

if you’re a veteran watcher of the Great Lakes fleets, this is definitely a book for you.


A Beginner’s Guide to Ship Watching
Brett Ortler

This book is great for those who are new to the Great Lakes, or new to ship watching. It begins with an educational FAQ about freighters in general, then proceeds to describe good places for ship-watching. NB: This is an American-published book, and so there is very little discussion of good places for ship watching in Canada, limited to the Welland Canal. If you’re touring the American side of the Great Lakes, this book should absolutely go with you.


Sailing Into History: Great Lakes Bulk Carriers
Frank Boles

Frank Boles has spent many years working research libraries and archives around the Great Lakes, and this book brings forth his expertise on commercial shipping in the Great Lakes. The author examines every aspect, from the way that the Lakes themselves have been reshaped for shipping, to seamanship, Union relationships, the relationship between the ships and ports and other topics. This is an essential book for any student of Great Lakes history.

Lake Boats: The Enduring Vessels of the Great Lakes

Lake Boats: The Enduring Vessels of the Great Lakes
Greg McDonnell

A big, beautiful tribute to the historic ships still working the Great Lakes, from cement boats such as the 100-year old “St. Marys Challenger” to straight-deckers, self-unloaders and 1,000-footers sailing under the flags of prominent Great Lakes fleets: Algoma Central, Upper Lakes, Lower Lakes, American Stamship, Canada Steamship Lines, and others. Includes exact identification and specifics plus a history of each vessel.

The Inland Steel Fleet. 1911-1998
Raymond Bawal, JR.

For nearly ninety years, lake freighters belonging to the Inland Steel fleet transported the raw materials required for the manufacture of steel at their owner’s industrial complex at Indiana Harbor, Indiana. This volume traces the history of this company’s involvement in the Great Lakes shipping industry throughout most of the twentieth century, achievements in which included the commissioning of groundbreaking vessels such as the steamers Wilfred Sykes and Edward L. Ryerson.

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Book Review: Fifty Ships and 100 Objects

This week we have two similar books that use a number of case studies to provide a broad understanding of maritime history. This kind of book is very popular at the moment with publishers, and these are two very good examples.

Fifty-Ships-Change-HistoryFifty Ships that Changed the Course of History
Ian Graham
Firefly Books, Hardcover, 223 pp.

This book is beautifully printed. Physically, it is lovely to hold, and to read. Each of the fifty has four pages, with lots of illustrations, images, and maps. Examples of the ships are Khufu’s barge, a Roman wine trade vessel, HMS Victory and the USS Enterprise. The majority of the ships covered are from the 19th century on, and it does focus on mainly European, and North American ships. There are exceptions, such as Zheng He’s treasure ships and the Yamato. There’s also good balance between warships and non-warships. This is a great gift for somebody who likes ships and how they influence their times.


A History of Sailing in 100 Objects
Barry Pickthall
Adlard Coles Nautical, Hardcover 223 pp

The sheer diversity of objects examined is probably the most distinctive feature of this book. It includes objects from all aspects of sailing, including ships, equipment, paintings, drawings, sculpture and even locations. This deserves pride of place on your coffee table, and it’ll give you hours of enjoyment. It has a satisfying weight to it, and the paper feels really nice under your fingers as you flip through it. This book will serve as a really effective vector for inspiring somebody to learn more about the material history of sailing.


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Racing Rules 2017-2020 Comparisons

The Rules in Practice 2017-2020

With the introduction of the new rules for the next three years, it’s a good idea to revisit the different versions of the rules and explanations thereof that are available. The CYA does publish a plain text volume of the rules, and it is the least expensive. However,  there are no flourishes and it provides little explanation. It is however, the official rules to be used in Canadian regattas and races, so that is important. There are a number of other versions.

Understanding the Racing Rules Dave Perry 2017- 2020

Dave Perry’s Understanding the Rules of Sailing is the best text for the American version of the rules, and is indeed published by US Sailing. It is a thick volume, and presents a very in-depth explanation. It very precisely follows the structure and organization of the rules themselves. It is excellent for those who have a more advanced understanding of the rules and experience racing.

This volume is supplemented by Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rule Quizzes. Together they are one approach to the Racing Rules.


The Rules in Practice 2017-2020

Bryan Willis’ The Rules in Practice 2017-2020 present a completely different approach to teaching the racing rules. Where Perry proceeds through the structure of the rules document, Willis structures his book to explore the rules in the same order that a race occurs, that is to say from preparing to the Start, then through the turns and then ending with the Finish and Protests. This is an excellent book for those who are new to racing, or for younger racers.

One other note: the Elvstrom explanation of the Racing Rules for 2017-2020, famous for having little plastic boats to work out problems, will not be available until September 2017.

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Visit Booth G545 at the Toronto Boat Show for Bargains Galore and More!

Come see us at the Boat Show, Friday Jan 20th – Sunday Jan 29th!

Nautical Mind Boat Show Booth G545

New Racing Rules Books

The Rules in Practice 2017-2020

Racing Rules Companion 2017-2020 (300dpi)

Understanding the Racing Rules Dave Perry 2017- 2020



Chapman Piloting & Seamanship (67th ed.) — only $35!
Franklin’s Lost Ship only $9.99!
Making Paper Boats – only $6.99!
Your First Atlantic Crossing: A Planning Guide for Passagemakers – only$8.99!
Reeds Diesel Engine Troubleshooting Handbook – only $5.99!
Adlard Coles Nautical Quiz Book: With 1000 Questions – only $3.99!

Up-to-date Cruising Guides:



Marine Charts

-Explorer Chartbooks for the Bahamas, charts for Intracoastal Waterway,  Richardson’s for the Great Lakes, Trent-Severn
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Nigel Calder to Appear at Toronto Boat Show!

Nigel Calder’s Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual and Marine Diesel Engines are cornerstones of any boater’s library. This year at the Toronto Boat Show he will be appearing to deliver seminars! The Nautical Mind will have his books available at the seminars, as well as at our booth, G-545.  On Saturday, he’ll be joined by John & Amanda Neal, authors of the Offshore Cruising Companion.



Reservations are now being accepted for Mahina Expeditions/ Nigel Calder Cruising Seminar Series at Toronto Boat Show

Friday, Jan. 20: Understanding and Troubleshooting Boat Electrical Systems – Nigel Calder
Saturday, Jan. 21: Offshore Cruising Seminar – John & Amanda and Nigel Calder
Sunday, Jan. 22: Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance & Troubleshooting – Nigel Calder

Click on the above links to register for any of these seminars. Seating is limited and all three seminars are expected to sell out. Seminars run 9-5 and cost is $100 each.

Nigel Calder is author of Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and Marine Diesel Engines, plus a host of other books. He is the Technical Editor or an Associate Editor of PassageMaker, Professional Boatbuilder, Sail, Ocean Navigator and Yachting Monthly magazines and a freelance consultant on marine energy issues. He and his wife, Terrie annually cruise Europe aboard their Malo 46, Nada and have spent the last 35 years cruising and writing about the East Coast of North America, Caribbean, Atlantic, U.K, and Scandinavia.

John and Amanda Neal are authors of Offshore Cruising Companion and have been helping sailors prepare for extended sailing adventures through 160 Offshore Cruising Seminars conducted since 1976. They 658,000 miles and 81 years combined experience and for the past 27 years have been conducting offshore sail-training expeditions worldwide aboard their Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III.