By John Cooper
In response to Lake of Bays wants Ministry to restrict floating accommodations , April 12, 2022.
The DOT registered, licenced, yacht, that experience suggests, is likely 50 feet, that you show in your publication, is being confused, by some, with the barge and houseboat category, that have started to show up, to remain “stationary” for protracted periods, in some jurisdictions.
The registered yachts, as the one illustrated by you, are not in Muskoka: for the most part, our waters are too small for this category of vessel. But, from what we see, “local” boats are becoming larger!
The Trent Severn waterway, where I was located for 58 years, in addition to the Great Lakes, are where these “live-aboard” yachts are located. Often these “biggies” will anchor in a quiet bay, usually overnight, while they are enroute to wherever. So, we often saw two or three anchored in our bay. Experience has always been that they are well behaved; they always moor in the middle of the bay; they want their privacy too! Short term rental behavioural problems “n’exist pas” with these biggies!
Conversations with the Trent system lockmasters, over the years, reveal yachts, or sailing vessels, with registrations from around the world! The north shore of a significant stretch of the Severn River is in Muskoka. The councilor for this area is Steven Klinck.
What are the problems?! Only one! On an inland system like the Trent, with many narrow stretches, wake problems abound! They are usually in a hurry, and big boats make big wakes! Sadly, most in this category simply don’t care; it surely is not that they don’t realize that they are kicking up 5, 6, or 7 foot wakes; they know! Dock, shoreline, smaller boat damage and canoe, kayak and swimmer disruption, and danger, is commonplace!
The wakes are a product of the boat size and weight, hence water displacement. The large wakes experienced in Muskoka by boats 20 to 30 feet are often artificially generated by water filled ballast tanks, to enhance the enjoyment of those being towed or “wake skating”, with the growing collection of devices being towed or being wake propelled behind the boat.
Safe Quiet Lakes did a deputation to Gravenhurst Council to talk about their efforts through education to deal with speed, wakes and noise, all increasing problems, as our waterways become more crowded. More OPP enforcement is required, but simply not available!
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