Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: St Lawrence
Thanked 51 Times in 48 Posts
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I've been a lake Ontario sailor for a long time. At different times I've kept my boat in Toronto, Port Dalhousie and Ganonoque (currently not on the Lake, I'm further down river).
You do not need a blue water boat for lake ontario. In most cases you don't even really need a blue water boat for blue water...
Based on your budget you could get a very nice Grampian 30. I had one I kept on Lake Ontario but sold it a few years ago when I bought my bigger boat.
I would focus on Canadian brands, as most of them were made in the Toronto area with local conditions in mind. A lot of the American built recommendations you get might not be very plentiful around Toronto, except Hunter.
A few things to keep on mind. The Trent Severn Canal is maintained to 6.5 ft. The Murray and Rideau canals a maintained to 5'
What ever you get, I recommend less than 5 feet, or every time you head to the Thousand Islands you'll have to take the outside route past Main Duck, not fun.
I would think a CS 30 would also be a good option.
Beware of much older designs like the Alberg 30, which are fantastic boats, but I think would be really cramped below for a family of 4.
I currently have a 35 and have promised myself many times I will never own a bigger boat. Big boats are a serious PITA in the tight docks on the East end of the lake and thousand Islands.
The more spacious 30's will be fine for 4. The Grampian 30 only has one private cabin for mom and dad, but three beds in the Salon. Quarter birth, side birth and drop down table for the kids, one of them is a double, so up to 4 kids.