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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
While there are few yacht clubs and "marinas" in Newfoundland and Labrador there are several service centres each with a travel lift. My 36 fiberglass 5 ft draft ketch spent the winter of 2010/2011 at the service centre in Port Saunders (on the West side of northern Newfoundland.
Marine Services Centres | Fisheries and Aquaculture
Thanks Halberdier, this is very helpful indeed. The west coast of NFLD seems like a reasonable target to me. Clearly these service centres are geared toward the commercial fishing folks. Were there any special challenges in getting them to take you on? I assume you contacted them ahead of time. What about the availability of jackstands? We're a full-keeler (6 foot draft). We sit easily on the keel, so all we need is a solid base and good stands.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Don't overlook Chester/Lunenberg for wintering over. The whole area is devoted to sailing,
sailboats and there is a glut of accommodations in the off season.
Qualified trades people with less expensive real estate to rent.
I like this idea Sony. Do you have any source of info on these possible rentals? Website? Agency? I like the idea of hauling the boat somewhere, and picking up a cheap winter rental. Come this spring our boat will be our only home, which is why I'm considering wintering on board. But renting a place nearby sounds interesting to me.
 

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Mahone Bay is very large so choose a shipyard in either Chester or Lunenberg.
Google it.
Each town should have numerous B&Bs within walking distance of the shipyards.
Google it.
The towns swell tremendously in the summer by cottagers, vacationers and racers, so folks offer B&Bs, and studios as part of their yearly work. A lot of New Yorkers and Germans, rent for the summers.
Halifax airport is $about 80 of taxi away. There could be a shuttle service in high season.
 

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Might start with Chester Yacht Club and Lunenburg yacht Club. I think they close for the winter but worth a shot. Both towns are very beautiful though Lunenburg Yacht Club is not in the town itself. There are lots of services at the docks in Lunenburg but not sure how much of it is appropriate to pleasure vessels.
 

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I spent a couple months working in NFLD Mike, nice folks there and I had a great time. Too cold and wet for this old man to spend a winter there, though. Hope to see you down in the Keys one day in the near future.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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Thanks Halberdier, this is very helpful indeed. The west coast of NFLD seems like a reasonable target to me. Clearly these service centres are geared toward the commercial fishing folks. Were there any special challenges in getting them to take you on? I assume you contacted them ahead of time. What about the availability of jackstands? We're a full-keeler (6 foot draft). We sit easily on the keel, so all we need is a solid base and good stands.
Mike,

A couple of points. You had some needs posted in your OP, some of them being access to some services and a marine store and stands. Many towns in Newfoundland are strung out along the coast and it can easily be a couple of miles to a food store. Marine stores, where you can get any kind of sail related goods are damn far and few between. I know of Lewisporte Marine, Mercers in Clarenville, and a wee West Marine affiliate in St. John's, period. Stands are usually 55 gallon drums tilted with some wood stuck through the scuppers or wood blocking.

Port Saunders may have a good Marine Service Center and may meet all your needs, but I kind of doubt that they meet your needs as listed in the OP.

I have seen decent Marine Service Centers at Durrell and Fermuse. I've seen a very poor center at Burgeo. I spent a couple of winters in the MSC at Bonavista and that was an absolute disaster. No electricity, no water, no security, no help. I had to jump the fork lift to jump the travel lift which was rusted out, and only barely worked. It was me and the lift operator and I had to wait the best part of a week for him to come off a shrimp boat. I like Bonavista, the Harbor Master is a great guy and even better photographer, but he doesn't run the MSC, the undertaker does. Hell, I sold a guy a gallon of resin cause there wasn't a drop in town to be had. 25 fishing boats, and nary a quart of resin to be sold.

The point is just because they have a MSC doesn't mean it's worth a damn. It doesn't mean it has an operating travel lift.

For all of Newfoundlands wonders, it's not like here, which is good. It's also a pisser when you have to wait a week for parts to be "over night" shipped from Toronto.

The way you get around is usually some local will have a "taxi" which is an old van. They will make a daily run to St John's or someplace. You get on and take the ride. The guy out of Bonavista will stop at Mercers in Clarenville and pick up a prepaid package for $5 or $20. That saves the 2 hour trip, each way, provided you have a car. There are ways to get things done, you just gotta figure them out, and be patient.

I bought stands in Lewisporte, then shipped them to Bonavista when I stayed there, then shipped them back to Lewisporte when I moved back. Actually the stands came from Mermaid Marine in PEI, and it took two weeks to get them to Lewisporte. So I wasn't there when the boat was hauled, but the yardies are very professional and did a great job. The chances of that happening elsewhere are pretty slim, all good intentions aside.

From your OP it sounded like you were looking for an Ontario marina kind of experience, maybe a bit on the cheap and rough side. Lewisporte will get that done. Elsewhere? Not so much.

Don't let this put you off Newfoundland. I just want to give you a honest impression of what you are likely to run into. If you are prepared to be patient and do things differently, and I think you will, then you will be fine and have a wonderful experience.
 

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From the site listed above......

In 1973, the then Department of Fisheries began construction of 25 Marine Services Centres (MSCs) throughout the province to service fishermen and their boats.

Most of these MSCs provided haul-out/launching services and on-land vessel storage. MSCs also provided rental tools and electricity for a small fee. As well, many centres stocked parts and supplies for sale to users of the MSC.

In 1992, Government decided to lease the operation of MSCs to private companies and community groups. Private operators provided expanded services to users of the Centres and were generally more in tune with the needs of the fishermen in the area. Government was quick to recognize the benefits of private operation and, in 1997, moved to fully privatize the MSCs. Lessees were given the first opportunity to purchase their Centre.
This is a pure crock of class A #1 BS.

Some are good, some are horrible. You need to see to verify.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
...The point is just because they have a MSC doesn't mean it's worth a damn. It doesn't mean it has an operating travel lift. ... From your OP it sounded like you were looking for an Ontario marina kind of experience, maybe a bit on the cheap and rough side. Lewisporte will get that done. Elsewhere? Not so much.

Don't let this put you off Newfoundland. I just want to give you a honest impression of what you are likely to run into. If you are prepared to be patient and do things differently, and I think you will, then you will be fine and have a wonderful experience.
Thanks Hpeer. This is what I love about SN; I can get local knowledge before I get there. I'm not put off by rougher, more DIY-style marina. In fact, it's pretty much what I live with most of the time being in Northern Ontario. You'd think Thunder Bay would be a well-serviced yachtie city, but it's not. We have no chandler, things always take extra long to get here, and outside of actually driving the travel lift, I'm used to doing everything else myself (or with friends), including blocking for the winter and removing my own mast. I haven't had to jump-start the travel lift (and we do have one up here), so that's a bit beyond my comfort zone, but I don't mind a little adventure.

That said, I sure don't mind having access to services found in the typical southern Ontario marina either :). My additional needs centre around the possibility that we may want to winter on the boat, or rent a place nearby. We may be without a vehicle, hence my desire to have basic services within walking distance. But this is all very much a fluid plan. All I know is we are headed east come the Spring.

I have no doubt that Lewisporte would be the perfect place to be. My main (and really only) concern is whether it is a bit too far for us. The last thing I want is to be driven by a tight schedule.

Doing some very quick and dirty "as the crow flies" measures on Google Earth I find that from Belleville the distances are:

  • Rimouski, QC is ~500nm downstream.
  • Sept Iles is ~600.
  • Port Saunders, NF is about 950.
  • Halifax is ~1200
  • Lewisporte is ~1500
For all these I would double the distance we'll actually travel. This tells me Lewisporte and Halifax are probably too far for us this year. But perhaps planning to stop in Rimouski this season, and then go on to Lewsiporte next, may be a good scenario. That will allow us to linger at our leisure in the 1000 Islands and the Saguaney (both of which we want to spend lots of time at). Plus all the other amazing spots like Quebec City...

Hmmmm, so who's been to Rimouski? I've got a friend who went spent a winter there. I'll be talking with him later this week. But if any of you have stayed there (Halberdier, you have. Sony, I'm guessing you too), I'd love to hear about it. I will, of course, check all these places out myself. I'm just picking the brains of those of you who have treed these paths ahead of me.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
I spent a couple months working in NFLD Mike, nice folks there and I had a great time. Too cold and wet for this old man to spend a winter there, though. Hope to see you down in the Keys one day in the near future.
I love NFLD. My father was a newfie. Heck, I'm probably related to 1/2 of St. John's. My cousin owns one of the city's main pubs: O'Reilly's. I love the rugged beauty of the Rock, as well as the people (whom I can even understand most of the time).

Keep that beer cold for us Gary. We'll make it south ... eventually. And if you want to enjoy the balmy NFLD summer with us, there's a quarter berth on our boat with your name on it ;).
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Thanks Hpeer. This is what I love about SN; I can get local knowledge before I get there. I'm not put off by rougher, more DIY-style marina. In fact, it's pretty much what I live with most of the time being in Northern Ontario. You'd think Thunder Bay would be a well-serviced yachtie city, but it's not. We have no chandler, things always take extra long to get here, and outside of actually driving the travel lift, I'm used to doing everything else myself (or with friends), including blocking for the winter and removing my own mast. I haven't had to jump-start the travel lift (and we do have one up here), so that's a bit beyond my comfort zone, but I don't mind a little adventure.

That said, I sure don't mind having access to services found in the typical southern Ontario marina either :). My additional needs centre around the possibility that we may want to winter on the boat, or rent a place nearby. We may be without a vehicle, hence my desire to have basic services within walking distance. But this is all very much a fluid plan. All I know is we are headed east come the Spring.

I have no doubt that Lewisporte would be the perfect place to be. My main (and really only) concern is whether it is a bit too far for us. The last thing I want is to be driven by a tight schedule.

Doing some very quick and dirty "as the crow flies" measures on Google Earth I find that from Belleville the distances are:

  • Rimouski, QC is ~500nm downstream.
  • Sept Iles is ~600.
  • Port Saunders, NF is about 950.
  • Halifax is ~1200
  • Lewisporte is ~1500
For all these I would double the distance we'll actually travel. This tells me Lewisporte and Halifax are probably too far for us this year. But perhaps planning to stop in Rimouski this season, and then go on to Lewsiporte next, may be a good scenario. That will allow us to linger at our leisure in the 1000 Islands and the Saguaney (both of which we want to spend lots of time at). Plus all the other amazing spots like Quebec City...

Hmmmm, so who's been to Rimouski? I've got a friend who went spent a winter there. I'll be talking with him later this week. But if any of you have stayed there (Halberdier, you have. Sony, I'm guessing you too), I'd love to hear about it. I will, of course, check all these places out myself. I'm just picking the brains of those of you who have treed these paths ahead of me.
Mike
Couple of comments. You will not come close to doubling the distances that are listed. From Belleville to the mouth of the river it is pretty much straight-line distance with a really serious current helping you. You could spend a few days in the Thousand Islands but you are used to much nicer places in Lake Superior and the North Channel. Not much after the TI to Montreal. Quebec City is wonderful. There is a marina (with a lock) just below the Heights and easily walkable. The Saguenay is gorgeous but in total there are not too many places to stop, either anchor or marina. We stayed one night in Rimouski and the marina is fine for an overnight but cannot comment on a longer stay. Travelling slowly from Belleville to Rimouski might be a week or so plus stops to be tourists.

Can's comment on what it is like going along the north shore of the St Lawrence other than that it is quite chilly apparently. We went south shore with stops at Gaspe, Magdalens, Port-aux-Basques and then along the south shore of the island. You could spend forever cruising there.

My suggestion would be to overwinter in Newfoundland if you would like to do another summer of cruising there or at Baddeck if would be going south in spring 2016.
 
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Hummm. This got me thinking (never a good thing). I've got my boat on the Delaware. I could go up the Hudson to the lakes and then turn East, go down the St Lawrence and so forth.

Interesting!
 

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Hummm. This got me thinking (never a good thing). I've got my boat on the Delaware. I could go up the Hudson to the lakes and then turn East, go down the St Lawrence and so forth.

Interesting!
Great idea, if not necessarily original...

:))

Let Cheryl Barr be your guide, her books are a wonderful resource...






 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Mike
Couple of comments. You will not come close to doubling the distances that are listed. From Belleville to the mouth of the river it is pretty much straight-line distance with a really serious current helping you. You could spend a few days in the Thousand Islands but you are used to much nicer places in Lake Superior and the North Channel. Not much after the TI to Montreal. Quebec City is wonderful. There is a marina (with a lock) just below the Heights and easily walkable. The Saguenay is gorgeous but in total there are not too many places to stop, either anchor or marina. We stayed one night in Rimouski and the marina is fine for an overnight but cannot comment on a longer stay. Travelling slowly from Belleville to Rimouski might be a week or so plus stops to be tourists....
OK, you've got me seriously considering Lewisporte again. One way or another, we're going to NFLD.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Hummm. This got me thinking (never a good thing). I've got my boat on the Delaware. I could go up the Hudson to the lakes and then turn East, go down the St Lawrence and so forth.
Cool! We could share beers and swap lies in person ;). What's your timing? We'll likely get moving from Belleville by mid/late June. Love to connect for real Hpeer.
 

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Mike
one other thing to consider is that as well as the current moving you along, there are a couple of overnights (Gaspe to Magdalen, Magdalen to Port-aux-Basques) that also speed you on your way. Newfoundland is really not that far from Lake Ontario (we even did the other way around and went up the St. Lawrence.
 
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Old soul
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Mike
one other thing to consider is that as well as the current moving you along, there are a couple of overnights (Gaspe to Magdalen, Magdalen to Port-aux-Basques) that also speed you on your way. Newfoundland is really not that far from Lake Ontario (we even did the other way around and went up the St. Lawrence.
Yeah ... but you guys travel a lot faster that we do. But I'm listening.
 
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