Canadian Charts

After receiving an inquiry from a customer in Vancouver, BC, I spent a couple hours looking for appropriate Canadian chart options.  The Canadian Hydrographic Service maintains the navigational charts for coastal waters and makes them available through third-party resellers.  This is a similar arrangement as NOAA has in the U.S.  However, NOAA makes available it’s resources online at no charge and without restriction.  Recent charts are available in electronic format for use on electronic equipment and all charts up to the year 2000 have been digitized and are available in JPEG format for easy download.  CHS on the other hand, requires a licensing arrangement to use their chart images, which amounts to a one-time $50 fee and 15% of the retail price of the chart portion of the final product.  This means about $60 for the first print of a particular product and $10 thereafter.  Not practical for MaraMAPS customers as each chart tends to be unique.  I guess I will have to rely on NOAA charts for the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.

Below is the chart that my customer eventually selected, from a 1923 chart of the Inside Passage between Seattle and Anchorage, via the Strait of Georgia.

chart vancouver victoria island strait georgia

Strait of Georgia, British Columbia

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Electric Boats

Electric boat technology began over a hundred years ago.  ELCO is one of the most well-known electric boat companies producing launches and power boats to over 100 feet long.

Vintage Elco Launch

Gas-powered boats took over the recreational market in the middle of the 20th century.  With concerns about global warming and improvements in electric generation and storage, the selection of electric boats is greater than ever.

I would categorize electric boats as Fishing/Personal, Pontoon/Deck, Launch/Day boat, Houseboat and Other.

Fishing/Personal electric boats are really an outgrowth of electric trolling motors being used as the main power source.  The boats are 6′-12′ long, 4′-6′ wide and hold 1-4 persons.  Some are modified “pedal boats” with the pedals removed.

Electric "Pedal-style" Boat

Pontoon/Deckboats are larger, about 8′-15′ long and hold as many as 8 persons.  Some use trolling motors while others have the electric motor installed inboard.

Electric Pontoon

Launch/Day Boats use a variety of hull types, from flat bottom to modified V-hulls, and are usually designed from the ground up with electric motor(s).  Launches were the original electric boat design over a hundred years ago.  Using the same basic hull but reconfiguring the deck allows the look of a more modern runabout.

Electric Launch

Houseboats, being relatively large, usually rely on an alternate power source.

Electric Houseboat

Other designs include powerboats built for speed, combustion engine boats modified to use electric motors, sightseeing boats and water taxis.

Electric Speedboat

Electric Water Taxi

Most of the boats have top speeds between 6 and 10MPH and will provide power for 6-8 hours before requiring a charge.  Hybrids include gas/diesel generators, solar cells and sails as alternative power sources.

My favorite category is the Launch/Day boats because my favorite boating activity is slow cruising, enjoying the sights with friends and a drink.  Modern launches have evolved to cater to just this type of boater.  They include tables for refreshments, canopy for shade, even a head for more convenience.  Duffy Boats of Newport Beach, CA, seems to be the most popular of the launch style of electric boats.  Their boats are comfortably design with the cruise party in mind, so, unfortunately for MaraMAPS, wouldn’t benefit from my custom boat tables.  Aequus Boats, a French company, designed a V-hull similar to American downeast lobster boats, with solar cells on the roof and even a cabin.  Edison Marine builds mahogany runabouts similar to early 20th century Chris-Crafts.

There are electric boats available in styles to meet most preferences as long as the propulsion capabilities suits the expected use.

Aequus Electric Day Boat

Edison Mahogany Electric Runabout




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Sunnyland Boat Festival

The Sunnyland Annual Boat Festival was held March 25-27 in Tavares, FL.  This event is the most popular classic boat show during the winter months, as you can guess.  The weather was perfect, sunny and highs in the 80s.  Yours truly volunteered to help on the docks as boats came and went.  There were a couple hundred boats in water and almost as many on land.  The variety is impressive.  Launches almost 100 years old to fiberglass boats from the ’60s.  The week before, the Classic Race Boat Association held a meet and there were several boats participating in the Sunnyland Festival.  There were also Jersey Skiffs.  These speedboats are mostly engine with a small area in the back for the driver and passenger.  Other associates included the Amphicar Organization, Glasspar Club, the Florida Antique Outboard Motor Club and participants from the Central Florida Woodie Car Club.  As Tavares is America’s Seaplane City, there were seaplane rides available throughout the day.

Notable displays included boats owned by country music stars Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, and one of the boats used in the film On Golden Pond.  My favorite style boats are those with large deck areas as one of my favorite pastimes is cruising slowly enjoying the views with drinks and snacks with guests.

The city of Tavares is very welcoming.  They help with all aspects of preparation and have improved Wooten Park to better accommodate the boats and crowds.  There were two new buildings right on the edge of the park, one with a restaurant, including outdoor seating, and a snack bar.  For those looking for other diversions, there was an hourly shuttle boat running to Mount Dora, local center of antique stores.

Below are pics of my favorites.

Boat With Large Deck Area

Another Boat With Large Deck Space

Boat Used in On Golden Pond

Garth Brooks' Boat

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MaraMAPS Updates!

Am busy creating standard charts and maps for those wishing to order without identifying a custom area.  The standard charts and maps will represent some of the most popular boating areas, coastal, inland lakes and rivers.  Let me know if there is an area in your state that should be included.

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