Discussing Boating Muskoka
Barrie, ON – An article discussing boating Muskoka was recently published in What’s Up Muskoka, a local newspaper catering to area visitors and residents . The article summarized the time-honoured debate over on the issue of the ‘noisy boat’. (http://www.whatsupmuskoka.com/sitepages/?aid=9821&cn=PREVIOUS EDITIONS&an=What’s Up Muskoka 2015) .
As with all debates, there are two strong factions: those who champion the natural peace and beauty of the area, minus the call of the powerboat, and those who enjoy boating Muskoka with watercraft of all types and sizes. As providers of boat insurance in Ontario, we at Northstar Marine Insurance are supporters of the Ontario marine industry but we are also believers in conservation. As such, we place ourselves firmly in the middle of the debate over the nature of the Muskoka Lakes and boating in Muskoka because we see valid arguments on both sides.
Boating Muskoka: The Boating Culture
Ontario boaters have long enjoyed the expansive playground of Muskoka’s big three lakes: Lakes Rosseau, Muskoka and Joseph. From the days the Steamships brought visitors to Windermere House to the Seadoos that now carry fun-loving riders over the waves, Muskoka has been central to boating in Ontario. Today, tradition lives on. During a day boating on Lake Muskoka you may be lucky enough to see the RMS Seguin, a steamship originally built to deliver mail on the lakes, regally gliding between islands. You will see Seadoos wave jumping, and families waterskiing. A little further on you may see a paddle board or a canoe traveling the shoreline of a quiet bay. Boating Muskoka is alive and well, where old and new are side by side, lending the area its memorable charm. Boating is a major draw to the area, helping the tourism industry that keeps Muskoka thriving. For Ontario Marine Insurance providers like Northstar Marine Insurance who rely on the health of the Ontario marine industry, seeing an active pleasure boat culture is exciting.
Boating Muskoka: The Debate over Noise
That being said, while pleasure boating is of vital importance to Muskoka, we can’t lose sight of what makes the area a great place to boat. For over one hundred years, visitors have left urban centres for the healing beauty of the area. Its lakes, forests and clean air continue to draw generation after generate of those seeking peace and serenity. The escape to Muskoka, the ‘get away from it all’ destination relies on its natural character to give life blood to the tourist industry. It is of vital importance to reach a balance between the ‘natural’ Muskoka and the ‘Muskoka as playland’ if the area is going to continue thriving. We may be members of the Ontario marine insurance industry which relies on the health of the pleasure craft industry, but we are also avid supporters of efforts to maintain our waterways and natural spaces.
Boating Muskoka: What can be Done
The best way for the parties on either side of the debate to approach middle ground is to follow those rules and regulations that are laid out to protect the interests of both Ontario boaters and non-boaters. For example, make sure your boat is compliant with exhaust system design. Follow the rules of the waterway; if you are traveling the Moon River, slow down to the specified speed rating. This protects the shoreline from heavy wake, keeping the area beautiful for future boaters and visitors.
The traditional greeting of waving to fellow boaters is the kind of spirit that fosters respect. As providers of Ontario boat insurance, at Northstar Marine Insurance we are firm believers that with respect comes safety. We all benefit when the lakes are safe for whatever type of activity floats your boat!