Toronto International Boat Show Sponsored by: Toronto Star facebook twitter sign up for our newsletter
January 12 - 20, 2013 Direct Energy Center
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More Than 140 FREE Seminars


Boating experts from around the world educate, inspire and entertain at the 2014 Toronto Boat Show, sharing their experience and expertise on everything from boating basics to spellbinding boating adventures.

Click here for the 2014 Seminar Schedule located in the Presentation Theatre and Salon 107

Click here for the 2014 Great Canadian Fish Tank Schedule, located in Mariners Marketplace

*Speakers and schedule subject to change

2014 Speaker Bios


Tania Aebi
“Maiden Voyage”

In 1985, Tania Aebi sailed out of New York, alone, on a 26-foot sailboat. She was 18. With just her cat for companionship and a sextant for navigation, she crossed the Caribbean, the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the North Atlantic, stopping in 23 countries along the way. Two and a half years later, she returned, a solo-circumnavigator at the age of 21.

Her book, Maiden Voyage, chronicles the 27,000-mile adventure. It is currently in its fifteenth trade paperback printing, it has been translated into seven languages, and portions of it have been anthologized in many collections. As Walter Cronkite put it, Maiden Voyage is “an exciting tale of an extraordinarily brave and romantic adventure.”

In 2006, twenty-something years after she cast off the lines from the lower Manhattan dock, Tania bought a boat, took her boys, aged 16 and 14, out of school for a year and set off on a new adventure. With them as crew on a 36-footer named Shangri-La, they sailed from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal, to the South Pacific. There she handed the boat and her boys over to her ex-husband, who sailed with them to New Caledonia, joint custody goes to sea.

Now, in between leading sailing adventure charters and deliveries, Tania writes, lectures and minds her homestead, gardens, and chickens in the mountains of New England while waiting for her boys to come back from college with their laundry.


Pamela Bendall
“What Was I Thinking? Offshore Sailing As A Single Woman” & “Our Oceans are in Turmoil: We Need to Care!”

In 2008, after retiring from an impressive career in the investment industry, Toronto-born Pamela (Roy) Bendall, her adorable dog Riley, and her custom-built 46 foot sailboat Precious Metal set sail on the shakedown cruise of the biggest adventure of her life - offshore cruising as a single woman.

What followed were many adventures on the high seas involving an instrument melting lightening strike and an engine room electrical fire, perfect storms, cultural revelations, heartwarming successes in her philanthropic work with children, and many meaningful life lessons that will captivate you. Pamela's voyage took her from as far north as Alaska to as far south as Peru, South America – and many exciting places in between. After over 100,000 ocean miles sailed, many of them single-handed, Pamela will be the first to admit ocean sailing is not always breathtaking sunsets and relaxed solitude. Things don’t always go as planned. You'll be inspired by her story. Prior to her decision to sail off into the sunset she had established an impressive professional, intellectual, and athletic profile. With a Masters Degree in Communication (Royal Roads University) she has worked as a Realtor, Stock Broker, radio columnist for CBC, and was a national level gymnast. She has completed four marathons, navigated the Marblehead Ocean Race from Boston to Halifax, the Victoria to Maui Yacht Race, and has sailed over 100,000 ocean miles. Her love for adventure travel has taken her to over 100 countries in the world including many majestic mountain ranges in Bhutan, Nepal and Peru. In 1996, she obtained the honor of being the first woman in Canada to win the Investment Dealers Association of Canada Award of Distinction.

Her first book, Kids for Sail (Orca Book Publishers, 1991), is about her two year ocean sail from Canada to New Zealand and Japan in the late 1980's with her former husband and two young children. When she's not sailing, writing, professional speaking, and enjoying many varieties of athletic activities, Pamela enjoys being a mother to two adult sons Sam and Charlie, two wonderful daughters-in-law Lizz and Catherine, and the grandmother to her two precious grandchildren Maddy and George.

Pamela's lively and entertaining presentation highlights many of the captivating stories and strong messages in her recently released book entitled, "What was I Thinking?" These books will be available for purchase and signing during the show. Join us and find out what Pamela was truly thinking... Visit her website at:

“Our Oceans Are In Turmoil: We Need To Care!” Our oceans are in turmoil, and Pamela Bendall believes, “They are in crisis!” From her recent 5 years, and 25,000 offshore ocean miles between Alaska, Central and South America, she has garnered astounding observations, and meaningful solutions about the lungs of our planet. Her compelling and lively presentation may make a difference to your life and the entire planet.


Robert Bériault
“How Captains Seeking Crew and Crew Seeking Adventure Can Connect”

Retired from a career in biotechnology research Robert Bériault first learned how to sail with the Georgian Bay Sailing Centre in 1998. He immediately fell in love with sailing and went on to acquire formal and practical experience. In hope of a transatlantic crossing, he searched online, and after a few failures, found years of adventure. He became a Sail Canada instructor, and he wrote the book Sailor Without a Boat: How I Sailed on Other People’s Yachts and Lived to Tell About It

Robert has sailed for fifteen years on inland waters, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Caribbean without ever having owned a boat of his own. Based on his experience finding adventure, he will entertain you with some of his sailing stories and will discuss how sailboat owners can go about finding crew for their next passage and how crew can find a shorthanded captain looking for crew. The talk will include the dos and don’ts on the part of captains and crew.


Serge Besner
“Be Weather Prepared for Ontario Lakes with Environment Canada’s New Online National Marine Guide”

Serge has the "full spectrum" of experience within the weather service. His career started more than 30 years ago, as a user of weather services, while piloting small aircraft. After joining the weather service, Serge climbed the ranks from weather technician in the high Arctic weather stations, to forecaster at the Edmonton forecast office. His forecasting experience includes Marine, Aviation and Public weather forecasting. In 2005, Serge moved to Ontario and began a new phase of his career as a Client Services Representative. Since 2009, he has been assigned to the Marine Program – a good fit with his love of fishing and boating.

Accessing the waters on Ontario lakes requires extra knowledge for the safe operation of your watercraft. Long-time users of particular lakes know the "local weather effects" and dangers on particular days, but you don't need to be a long-time user to know these effects beforehand. This presentation touches on this and other helpful hints and tips to make your outings on the water more weather/water safe. Serge will also provide details on a National Marine weather educational publication project he is managing.


Ken Blodgett
“Tips on Cruising the North Channel”

Ken Blodgett is an avid boater and has been in the boating industry for over 35 years, starting out at Aloha Yachts back in the 1980s. He grew up in Toronto and lived in Barrie before moving to his home on Manitoulin Island 20 years ago. Since 1992, Ken and his wife Pam have owned and operated Canadian Yacht Charters, offering luxury yacht charters in the North Channel of Lake Huron. He has attended the Toronto International Boat Show as an exhibitor every year for almost 30 years, and lives in Gore Bay with his wife and twin girls, Annie and Molly.


Liza Copeland
“Cruising For Couples”, “Technical and Practical Preparations For Extended Coastal and Offshore Cruising”, “Voyaging Realities and Routines”, “Cruising With Kids Locally and Around The World”, “Current Caribbean Cruising Routes and Destinations”, “Cruising the Pacific Northwest to Alaska” & “Mediterranean Magic”

Liza is a lifelong sailor, both cruiser and racer. After marrying Andy aboard the classic yacht Ticonderoga the Copelands have explored the world, including a 6-year circumnavigation with their three children. Their Beneteau Bagheera has currently taken them 120,000 n.miles to 114 countries with another 3000nm added in 2013 cruising the Pacific Northwest to Alaska.

Liza is the award-winning best-selling author of four cruising books. Just and Still Cruising recount their world travels with Comfortable Cruising describing their voyage around North and Central America. Cruising for Cowards, co-authored with Andy, is their practical current technical and practical A-Z for cruisers whether coastal voyaging or offshore. Liza also writes for many yachting magazines, gives seminars at major boat shows worldwide and gives frequent talks for a variety of clubs and organizations. When not travelling the world she lives in Vancouver B.C.

“Cruising For Couples”: Like her readable text Cruising for Cowards, this talk is a realistic, practical A-Z of cruising for beginners to circumnavigators that has a knowledge base from Liza’s long association with other experienced cruisers worldwide. The seminar will have a particular emphasis on the dynamics of couples, crew interaction, boating skills required, setting up a user-friendly, low labor-intensive boat (particularly important when cruising into retirement), communication systems with the ‘real’ world and the crunch of cruising - living with your partner/crew 24 hours a day - all sweet harmony - yeah right!

“Technical and Practical Preparations For Extended Coastal and Offshore Cruising”: Choosing the right boat and equipment for the voyage planned within budget limitations. Size, design and outfitting (re-fitting) for blue water - rigs and sails: anchors, rodes and anchoring techniques; dinghies and life rafts; electrical systems and power management; engines and fuels. Weather and routing considerations when planning, charts & guide books; accessing weather and communication options; cruising costs and money management; insurance, boat and medical; safety equipment and strategies to practise; comfort on deck and below; stowage, spares and tools; pets and kids. Setting the date to leave the dock. . .

“Voyaging Realities and Routines”: What is it really like to be at sea? The many tips in this seminar about departure routines and requirements; routes and world weather systems; storm avoidance and storm strategies; sails, sail plans and chafe; on board safety rules and watch-keeping routines; radio nets and resources; cooking, cleaning, fishing, seasickness, guests and crew will turn a possible nightmare into positive memorable experience.

“Cruising With Kids Locally and Around The World”: Liza will share the joys of cruising with kids and grandchildren along with potential problems. She and her husband Andy circumnavigated with her three sons initially aged 2, 6 and 9 and have since entertained their grandchildren and step-grandchildren on board now aged 1-21 years. Liza will discuss demands regarding age, activities, comfort, safety and health along with social life and education; also the benefits of planning events and providing resources that will stimulate an enthusiasm of life aboard for all.

“Current Caribbean Cruising Routes and Destinations”: The Caribbean provides a myriad of cruising destinations and cultures. All sectors will be discussed including alternate cruising routes across the middle. Suggestions on boats, equipment, weather forecasting, security and communications will also be included. Liza met her husband Andy met in the Caribbean, was married aboard the classic yacht Ticonderoga and has spent many years there running charter boats, leading charters, completing deliveries and extensively cruising on their own boat both on and away from the typical Caribbean cruising routes.

“Cruising the Pacific Northwest to Alaska”: The Pacific Northwest is one of the most stunning cruising destinations in the world with its dramatic scenery, abundant wildlife and thousands of anchorages and islands. It is also Liza’s home. In this seminar she will bring to life cruising from Vancouver through Canada to Alaska with spectacular images of the region. The seminar will include an overview of the region - harbors, moorage and anchorages, boating facilities and resources, weather, piloting, facilities ashore, border officialdom, communication resources and chartering.

“Mediterranean Magic”: Join Liza as she takes you cruising across the magical Mediterranean Sea showing you its many cultures, anchorages and ancient sites along the way. With individual country details Liza will give you many tips on weather dynamics and accessing forecasts, moorage and facilities for boats, officialdom, communications, security and inland travel. The presentation also includes a discussion of the Black Sea and East Mediterranean Yacht Rally.


P.C. Scotty Cornett
“Emergencies on the Water” and “The Toronto Police Marine Unit”

Scott Cornett started working as a Toronto Harbour Police Life Guard in 1975 at Kew/Woodbine Beaches (Leuty). He started fulltime staff with the Toronto Harbour Police in 1978. In 1982, the Harbour Police and Metropolitan Toronto Police Force amalgamated. Later, Metropolitan Toronto Police Force renamed Toronto Police Service.

Scott is the longest-serving member of the Marine Unit, with 34 years’ service. It has always been his home unit. He has worked in 14 Division, 51 Division, Fraud Squad and Homicide Squad, Traffic Services (Central Traffic and East Reporting Centre), and is now serving as the Community Service Officer at the Marine Unit.


Roy Eaton
“Summer In Paradise - Georgian Bay and the Fabled North Channel”

If you have ever cruised the North Channel of Lake Huron, you've no doubt heard about the Little Current Cruisers' Net. Each morning during July and August, on VHF Channel 71 at 9 a.m., boaters throughout the North Channel tune in to hear the latest marine weather, news and events across the North Channel. The founder and Net Controller for the past ten seasons is Roy Eaton. This past summer, the Net fielded 6,052 calls from 850 different boats!

The founder and Net Controller for the past nine seasons is Roy Eaton. Roy and his wife Margaret have sailed all the Great Lakes. After retirement as Principal of Manitoulin Secondary School, in 2001-2002, they sailed on a nine month cruise which took them from Little Current, Ontario, down the ICW to West Palm Beach and across to spend 3 months sailing the Abacos. Leaving their boat in Florida, they spent following winters sailing the east coast of Florida, finally crossing the Okeechobee waterway to the west coast.

Roy was the first recipient of an Honorary Membership in the Trailer/Sailors Association of America. He was awarded a Lifetime Membership in the America’s Great Loop Cruising Association and is the AGLCA harbor host for the North Channel.

In 2010, the Safe Boating Council of Canada honored Roy as Volunteer of the Year for his contributions to safe boating. That summer he was awarded Honorary Membership in the Great Lakes Cruising Club for his contributions to the boating community. In 2011, Roy was honored by his Manitoulin community with award of Senior Citizen of the Year.

The Net is also podcast at:


Mike Evans "Offshore/Distance Racing 101"

Learn about Offshore/Distance Racing with Captain Mike Evans and a group of highly experienced subject matter experts covering all aspects of offshore racing. Mike has extensive experience in offshore/distance racing and he skippered entries in every Canadian offshore/distance race in 2013 as well as events in Asia, and the Caribbean.

This is "one stop shopping" if you would like to learn about what it takes to get into this extreme sport. The seminar includes presentations on: Classes of offshore/distance races, Safety at Sea, Sail Inventory/Equipment for offshore, and all the racing opportunities coming up in Canada. The seminar includes a Q&A session.


Mike Evans and Jayne Finn
“Newfoundland Circle - Part 1”

Mike learned to sail in Vancouver, British Columbia and from there graduated to racing and cruising on the Pacific Coast. After relocating to Toronto he and Jayne met and in 1998 decided to become boat owners, purchasing a C&C 27 Mark V. They raced and cruised their C&C on Lake Ontario and loved life on the water so much moved up to Phantasia II, the 1978 Niagara 35 they currently own. Since purchasing “Phanty” in 2000 they have cruised extensively on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Georgian Bay and completed a multi-season, “Down East Circle” to Quebec, Atlantic Canada and New England.

Their “Down East Circle” Gone Sailing, series of DVDs is available through Nautical Mind books. Jayne and Mike have pictures and articles published in Cruising World and Sail magazine. Visit their web site or You Tube Channel to see and sign up for their latest news and videos,,

“Newfoundland Circle - Part 1”: In the summer of 2013 Jayne and Mike set out on a 1,600 mile journey from Lake Ontario to the West Coast of Newfoundland. They are now members of the Bay of Islands Yacht Club near Corner Brook where Phantasia is over-wintering, ready to continue a circumnavigation of Newfoundland in the coming years.

Their slide and video presentation for 2014 details the route down the Seaway and St. Lawrence River to Quebec City, sailing up the Saguenay River fiord and then crossing to Rimouski and St. Anne des Monts. They'll take you to bustling Sept Isle and cruise the remote and beautiful Mingan Archipelago and Cote Nord of Quebec. Departing from Natashquan, Quebec they cross the Jacques Cartier Strait and Esquiman Channel to enter Newfoundland's fantastic Bay of Islands, anchoring in the shadow of 2500 foot Blow Me Down Mountain. During their presentation they'll explore dramatic scenery, charming towns and remote anchorages, see whales, sea birds and dolphins in areas where few cruisers venture.


Damian Foxall
“WILD About Sports”

With 30 years of ocean and dinghy racing experience, Damian Foxall has spent most of his life on the water. In that time, he’s logged 350,000 nautical miles as a professional sailor and has participated in 18 trans-Atlantic and nine round the world events.

Damian is famous in international offshore sailing circles and came in first place in the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race with the Groupama Sailing Team. Prior to this he won the 2007/2008 Barcelona World Race on the Open 60 Paprec-Vibrac. He recently competed in the MOD 70 Oman Sail, a round-Europe Race.

He might have plenty of achievements as a sailor, but he has never forgotten that water is key to his success. His sport simply cannot exist without it. Furthermore, his sport has given him a true appreciation for the sailing environment. While his role at the Canadian Wildlife Federation is primarily to spread an environmental message to the water sport community, he hopes to encourage all of those who are connected to our amazing waters, both within Canada and Internationally, to respect it.


Ken Gillstrom “Sailing Away: Making Your Dream a Reality”, “Selecting A Cruising Boat”, “Reducing The Anxiety of Boating” and “Cruising Adventures of s/v Voyageur 10.10”

Ken Gillstrom is a Canadian Yachting Association (Sail Canada) Advanced Cruising Instructor and has the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certification. He has sailed thousands of miles, teaching sailing throughout the Great Lakes, the Canadian and US East Coasts, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. Over the past 13 years, he has presented hundreds of seminars on boating related topics. Ken and his wife, Carol, live and teach sailing on their custom designed/built aluminum cutter, Voyageur 10.10. During the past 18 months, they have logged 24,000 miles including two Atlantic crossings. By listening to Ken Gillstrom’s seminars, the would-be cruiser will be encouraged to pursue their cruising goals. This year’s series of seminars takes you from the “dream” to the “reality” of your cruising adventures. Ken’s experience and his “Safety-first” mind set will steer you away from some of the more common pitfalls so you, too, can enjoy safe and memorable cruising adventure on the high seas! You can check out their adventures and sailing courses at or Facebook “Voyageur Sailing”.

“Sailing Away: Making Your Dream a Reality”: Ken and Carol had a plan to construct a boat and sail world-wide. They are now living that dream! Share and learn from their experiences to help your dream become a reality.

“Selecting A Cruising Boat”: A look at basic design principles and how they apply to a cruising vessel:

  • Pros and Cons of various designs
  • Power /Sail, Mono-hull/catamaran

“Reducing The Anxiety of Boating”: Most boaters experience some anxiety when heading out on the water. This type of anxiety can be “healthy anxiety” as it makes us more cautious and alert. However, some people develop “unhealthy anxiety” discouraging and even preventing them from the boating experience. This clinic will look at the causes of anxiety, and the tools to help you manage them. By managing the risks associated with boating, anxieties will be reduced to a level where your boating experience will be safe and pleasurable.

“Cruising Adventures of s/v Voyageur 10.10”: Having sailed 24,000 miles in the last 18 months, Ken and Carol Gillstrom will share their adventures cruising the East Coast of Canada and the US, the Caribbean, two Atlantic crossings, the UK, Portugal, the Madeira and Canary Islands , Cape Verde and their return to the Caribbean.


John Gullick: Boating University Seminars
“Boat Buying Basics: How To Buy Your First Boat”

John Gullick is a boating safety educator and Manager of Government and Special Programmes, Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons, responsible for government relations and the management of two national programmes mandated by Transport Canada, Office of Boating Safety and Industry Canada, and CPS special projects.

As a volunteer he is also:

  • Co Chairman, Recreational Boating Advisory Committee to the National Canadian Marine Advisory Council
  • Symposium Co-Chair and a Past Chairman, Canadian Safe Boating Council
  • Race Coordinator and Past Chair of the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival
  • Past President of the Trent Severn Antique and Classic Boat Association
  • Member of the Trent Severn Water Flow Management Advisory Committee


Capt. Craig Hamilton
“Docking and Close Quarters Manoeuvring”

Docking a boat can be stressful, frustrating, and at times, dangerous. Whether you are new to boating, or an experienced skipper wishing to hone your skills, this seminar is for you!

Craig Hamilton, Master instructor at, is an expert boat handler and experienced yachtsman whose specialty is teaching simple solutions that can bring immediate results to docking and manoeuvring challenges. Single or twin engine, power or sail, Craig will explain how to control your vessel for a safe and controlled docking - even in the wind!

Craig is an RYA Yachtmaster, trained and certified in Falmouth England. He holds multiple instructor and examiner certifications and teaches recreational power and sailing courses across Ontario. Craig has skippered both power and sailing vessels up to 80 ft on the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, North Sea, Panama Canal, Great Lakes and the Eastern Caribbean. Additionally, Craig spent five years as a charter yacht captain in the British Virgin Islands on sailing vessels up to 65 ft.

In 2011, Craig launched, a recreational boating program based in Ontario that provides boaters with onboard instruction on their own vessel. When not on the water, Craig teaches boating certifications, including the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, VHF Radio, Toronto Harbour License and Marine Basic First Aid courses.

Learn how to take the stress and guesswork out of docking your boat in confined and windy conditions! Please join Craig for this insightful discussion on docking and close quarters manoeuvring.


Derek Hatfield
“Derek Hatfield and Spirit of Canada - Racing Single Handed Around The World”

Derek Hatfield and the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges team have represented Canada in three single handed around the world races and have become Canada’s most experienced and successful offshore racing team. The team will be at the Toronto Boat Show to talk about his three races around the world and introduce Canadian sailors to the team’s offshore training endeavour utilizing the Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure (formerly Amer Sport 1) that will take aspiring blue water sailors offshore in a very safe and challenging way. The team’s newest member, Chris Stanmore-Major, will also be on hand to talk about his two races around the world during the 2009 Clipper Round the World Race and the 2010 Velux 5 Oceans.


John Hosty
“Buoyage - An Easy Guide”, “Knot Tying - The Ones You Really Need” & “Sailboat Docking”

“Buoyage - An Easy Guide”: In these days of GPS, electronic charts, radar and other devices it is easy to forget the simplest tool of all, the international buoyage systems. This session will test your knowledge of channel markings around the world and offers an easy to remember approach.

“Knot Tying - The Ones You Really Need”: While there are many knots that have been developed through the years, there are only five that are really necessary to safely handle your boat and its rig. This hands-on session gives you the opportunity to learn how to tie; stopper knot, reef knot, sheetbend, fender knot, bowline and how to prepare a towing bridle.

“Sailboat Docking”: Sailboats are big, clumsy and very difficult to maneuver under power, but only if you don't use the right techniques. Lead by somebody who has made most of the mistakes, this session will show you how a sailboat moves, techniques for springing off dock, approaching stern first, bow first with the wind on and off the dock all in close proximity to other boats.


Michael Leahy
“The Great Lakes – Sailing The Sweet Water Seas”

On those cold Sunday winter afternoons, do you dream about cruising the Great Lakes? Exploring hidden anchorages? Visiting small harbours? Or just running free before the wind with nothing but an empty horizon as far as the eye can see?

If so, this seminar is for you. Get an overview of this vast lake system. Discover some little-known facts that make the Great Lakes such a terrific cruising ground. Get an idea of the planning that is involved including navigation, weather, provisioning, safety and legal/insurance issues that you will deal with. And most of all, leave with some new thoughts and ideas of this incredible natural resource that is right at our doorstep.

Michael Leahy has spent nearly 30 years sailing and exploring the Great Lakes. In addition to a career in public and private education, he joined the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and became a 2Coxswain. He was later promoted to Vice-Commodore responsible for unit training. Inter-agency activities included joint training exercises with police and Coast Guard marine units and participation in the maritime security plan for the G20 Summit in Toronto, ON. He has his Master's license and for years has sailed, taught navigation, weather, written course material, led training exercises and conducted seminars.

He is publisher of Great Lakes Sailing, a web-based ( publication that provides readers with a comprehensive listing of ports-of-call around the Great Lakes basin and a selection of articles that cover a broad range of topics that matter to all boaters - both power and sail.


Andrew Leyzack


Glenn MacDonald


Fred Oliff


Carol Robinson

Andrew Leyzack, Glenn MacDonald, Fred Oliff & Carol Robinson
“The Chart Makers”

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is charged with the task of measuring and describing the physical features of Canada's navigable waters and their marginal land areas. We provide clients with up-to-date, timely and accurate Hydrographic publications necessary for safe and efficient navigation for boaters of all varieties. Join us and follow how data is collected in the field using cutting edge technology then transformed into the nautical charts that responsible boaters use to navigate safe passage throughout the waterways of Canada.

Conscientious mariners understand the importance of up to the minute water level information as it pertains to safe navigation. Measuring current water level information against chart datum, combined with having up-to-date nautical charts and sailing directions on hand, provide the mariner with the tools needed to enjoy their time on the water responsibly. The Tides, Currents and Water Levels branch of the Canadian Hydrographic Service will be on hand to provide water level information important to boaters and waterfront property owners.

Andrew Leyzack is a graduate of Humber College's Hydrographic and Land Survey Technologist program. Andrew has been surveying for over 25 years, with varied experience in topographic, cadastral, offshore/industrial and hydrographic surveys for nautical charting. He is a Commissioned Canada Lands Surveyor, employed as an Engineering Project Supervisor with the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Central and Arctic Region, Bayfield Institute, Burlington, ON.

Glenn MacDonald is a multi-disciplinary hydrographer with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. Presently, his hydrographic work focuses on tides, currents and water levels.

Fred Oliff grew up around the water as his grandparents had an island cottage at Pointe au Baril. His lifetime has been spent boating - first for fun and then for work (anyone need sailing crew…anyone?). He returned to university in the late 80s with his first visit to the Arctic for his bachelor’s thesis. He started with CHS in 1992 and his second trip to the Arctic was aboard CCGS Sir John Franklin in 1993. He has worked on all of the Great Lakes except Superior. He returned to the Arctic in 2004 aboard CCGS Henry Larsen. His Arctic trip in 2005 came to a crashing halt with a fall down stairs on Nahidik on the Mackenzie River. The UNCLOS Arctic tours in 2008 and 2009 aboard CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent, included a winter trip in February 2009 to Inuvik and other western Arctic communities. His last Arctic trip was to CFB Alert in August, 2013. He is now serving as Sailing Directions Officer, Central & Arctic Region.

Carol Robinson holds a M.Sc from the University of Toronto and a M.LIS from the University of Western Ontario. Her research areas include sea level variation in Arctic Canada and the management of geo-spatial information. Carol has over 25 years’ experience in surveying and cartography and has been working in the Tides, Currents and Water Levels section of the Canadian Hydrographic Service since 2000.


Lori Mason
“Women & Boating - Confidence on The Water”

Lori Mason has been boating since she was four on both power and sailboats. She has blue- water miles delivering and chartering as well as freshwater racing and cruising. Lori spends a lot of her free time messin' about in boats, including her first boat rebuild -- an antique and classic Tancook Whaler Schooner that won second place in a Wooden Boat Show. She has just finished building a tugboat, Hoot. Lori has been delivering boating safety seminars for over 20 years. For her work, she was the recipient of the Top Individual Dedicated to Safe Boating CASBA Award in 2000. Lori was involved with The Store Mason's Chandlery from 1978 until 2012, and is now retired in Prince Edward County.


Herb McCormick
“Around the Americas”

The former editor-in-chief of Cruising World magazine and yachting correspondent for the New York Times, Herb McCormick is an accomplished offshore sailor who has raced and cruised from above the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and countless places in between. An award-winning journalist, his recent books include One Island, One Ocean, a first-person account of the historic Around the Americas expedition, a circumnavigation of North and South America via the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn, and As Long As It's Fun, a biography of voyagers Lin and Larry Pardey. He lives in his hometown of Newport, RI, with his daughter, Maggie.

“Around the Americas”: In June of 2009, the 64-foot cutter "Ocean Watch" set sail from Seattle with a crew of sailors, scientists, journalists and conservationists on a quest to learn more about the health and well-being of the world's oceans. Thirteen months, and 28,000 nautical miles later, they returned to the Pacific Northwest after a voyage "Around the Americas" via the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn. The journey's premise was simple: the continents of North and South America are a single island surrounded by a common ocean, and what happens in any one place ultimately affects us all. But while that notion was straightforward, what the crew ultimately discovered during their travels was anything but.


Wally Moran
“Sailing South - First Timers' Guide to the ICW”, “ICW (Part 1): Tips and Techniques”, “ICW (Part 2): Destinations, Anchorages and Problem Areas” & “Forbidden Paradise - Cruising Coastal Cuba”

Wally will have just completed his 21st ICW passage prior to his arrival at the Toronto International Boat Show. Following the show, he will sail to the Bahamas and through to Cuba. There, he will cruise the south coast of that amazing country and back around to Havana, completing a circumnavigation of the island begun in 2008. This trip will be the basis of a made for TV documentary on Cruising in Cuba (

When he's not sailing, he writes for SAIL Magazine and Waterway Guide among others, and has produced several videos for The Sailing Channel, including "Forbidding, Forbidden Cuba", and "Sailing South, the First Timer’s Guide to the ICW", which is based on the Toronto Boat Show presentation. Both videos will be available for purchase at the show.

Wally particularly enjoys answering the questions of fellow cruisers at his seminars, helping them on their way to their own sunsets in paradise. Those heading south in the fall of 2014 will be especially interested in learning more about the ICW regatta going south to Miami that he will be leading for SAIL Magazine.

Wally blogs his cruising adventures at and those wishing a sneak preview of what cruising the ICW is really like can view an entertaining video at Those interested in seeing more of Wally's view of Cuba can view photos and video at


John Neal & Amanda Swan Neal
“Voyaging Preparation”, “Storm Avoidance & Ten Survival Tactics”, “Selecting an Ocean Cruising Boat” & “Diesel Engine Essentials”

"Offshore Cruising Seminar" (fee applies, click here for outline & details)

John Neal was born on the banks of Africa's Blue Nile River. At the age of 22 his love of adventure and travel fueled a desire to sail to the South Pacific from Seattle aboard his 27' sloop. Log of Mahina chronicled his voyage and adventures and became a best seller. To answer the question he was frequently asked, “How can I do what you did?” he conducted his first of now 146 Offshore Cruising Seminars in 1976. In 1990, to meet the demand for hands-on offshore instruction, John established Mahina Expeditions with the goal of sharing his knowledge of ocean voyaging in a safe and supportive environment. John has conducted 171 sail-training expeditions aboard his Hallbery-Rassy 42, Mahina Tiare II & his Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III, sailing 322,000 miles in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Patagonia, Antarctica, Atlantic, Scandinavia and the Arctic. John holds a USCG 100 ton Master’s License.

Amanda Swan Neal grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and sailed to Vancouver as a teenager aboard a 38’ sloop she helped her parents build. Upon returning to New Zealand, she became a sailmaker for Hoods and transferred professions to rigging with Noake’s Rigging in Sydney, Australia then Southern Spars in NZ. In 1990 she completed The Whitbread Around the World Race (now The Volvo Race) as rigger aboard Maiden, the first all-women Whitbread boat. Amanda’s 280,000 miles of international sailing include two Sydney-Hobart Races, numerous international regattas and seven Cape Horn roundings intermixed with a ten year involvement in tall ship sail-training. Upon meeting John in 1994 she joined Mahina Tiare for the Cape Horn and Antarctic expeditions. She is author of The Essential Galley Companion and since 2005 has written the monthly Galley Essentials column in 48 North magazine. Amanda enjoys introducing women to the joys of the cruising lifestyle and her personal interests include Celtic step dancing, photography, triathlon training and sewing. She holds a NZ Commercial Launchmaster’s license.

Amanda and John spend seven months at sea sailing 10,000 miles annually. When not at sea, they enjoy winter kayaking from their island home near Victoria. Their website is:

Magazines Contributed to: Blue Water Sailing, Australian Yachting, Cruising World, Yachting World (UK),Cruising Helmsman (Australia), 48 North, Latitude 38, SAIL and Practical Sailor.

Books Authored: The Essential Galley Companion (Amanda), Log of the Mahina, Mahina Tiare, Pacific Passages (John), Offshore Cruising Companion, Offshore Expedition Companion, Storm Survival Tactics (John and Amanda)

Books Contributed to: World Voyage Planner, World Cruising Survey by Jimmy Cornell, Surviving the Storm by Steve Dashew, Voyager’s Handbook by Beth A. Leonard, Sharks of Tropical and Temperate Seas, R.H. Johnson, Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die by Chris Santella.

Areas of Experience: Caribbean, Mexico, Atlantic including Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Cape Horn (six roundings), Antarctica, Brazil, Uruguay, Pacific including Galapagos, Easter, Pitcairn, Fr. Polynesia, Cooks, Samoa, Tonga, Wallis, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Alaska, British Columbia. Europe including the Med, Ireland, England, Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Spitsbergen, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

“Voyaging Preparation”: Prepare your boat and yourself for extended cruising, whether on the Great Lakes or to the Caribbean, Europe or the South Pacific. Topics include: selecting the best possible boat within your budget, refitting/outfitting for offshore, piracy and security worldwide, engine & electrical systems, navigation, cost of cruising, insurance, seamanship and communication options. Based on John and Amanda’s combined 602,000 miles and 75 years combined experience. A free handout details this seminar.

“Storm Avoidance and Ten Survival Tactics”: Survival becomes critical when storm avoidance is no longer an option. With thousands of miles and decades of experience in the high latitudes of the Pacific and Atlantic including six Cape Horn roundings and the Queen’s Birthday Storm, John & Amanda outline the ten survival tactics you need to know, including some radical new findings. A concise 25 page text is available illustrating and detailing this seminar.

“Selecting an Ocean Cruising Boat”: John Neal details 20 key points to consider when purchasing a boat for extended coastal or offshore passage making, based on his 322,000 miles and 39 years of teaching and voyaging. Drawing on his extensive and objective knowledge of boats and builders worldwide, he has helped over 10,000 sailors find their ideal boats. Detailed free lecture notes are included.

“Diesel Engine Essentials”: A dependable engine and knowledge of systems is key to your safe and enjoyable cruising. John and Amanda Neal will show you how to save money, avoid disasters and extend the life of your engine with an overview of how engines work plus preventative maintenance and troubleshooting insights gleaned from their combined 75 years of worldwide offshore experience. A free handout highlights the essential components of this seminar.


Catalin Obreja
“Topics in Marine Meteorology and Blue Water Cruising”

Following the graduation of “Mircea cel Batran” Naval Academy, Constantza, Romania in 1987 Catalin worked as a naval architect for Constantza Shipyards, Romania then as a watch keeping mate on various types of merchant ships. In the 90s he worked as a hydrographer for various mapping companies.

Following his studies at McGill University, in 2000 he started a career in meteorology with Canadian Meteorological Service where he worked as a forecaster until September 2012, providing aviation and public forecasts.

Presently he is a Nuclear Program Officer with Environmental Protection Operations Directorate, Ontario.

Catalin offers thirty years of marine activities experience, ten years of competitive sailing, twelve years of forecasting experience for a variety of areas (tropical, desert and arctic ) and a wealth of interdisciplinary scientific and engineering exposure.

Outside “work” Catalin instructs Marine Meteorology and Navigation for the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron. During the summer months he is involved in competitive sailing as a coach and trainer. Occasionally and time permitting he designs and builds sailboats.

Catalin is also a ski patrol instructor with Canadian Ski Patrol as well as a ski instructor and he instructs people belonging to a large spectrum of ages and backgrounds, children, teenagers and adults.

“Topics in Marine Meteorology and Blue Water Cruising”

  • Geostrophic wind, gradient wind and Buys-Ballot’s law
  • Atmospheric stability and introduction to Thermal Wind
  • Motion of synoptic features (Highs and Lows) with an introduction to Fronts
  • Weather Maps: Analyses and Prognostic
  • Waves
  • Analysis, Diagnostic and Prognostic the fundaments of weather forecasting


Lin and Larry Pardey
“The Adventures That Shaped Our Lives”, “The Unstoppable Cruising Boat”, “Storm Tactics”, “Cost Control While You Cruise” & “The Paperwork of Cruising”

“After voyaging tens of thousands of engineless miles under sail, penning more useful marine books than Hiscock and Moitessier combined, and receiving more awards for their pursuits than Tom Hanks has for his, Lin and Larry Pardey are entitled to their well-earned nautical opinions.” — Herb McCormack, editor-at-large, Cruising World

Lin and Larry Pardey have been called, ‘the enablers’. Their books and videos have encouraged sailors of all ages to stop dreaming and start doing. The knowledge they share has been earned during the four plus decades they have been voyaging together, years during which they completed both east-about and west-about circumnavigations on board their own self-built, engine-free cutters, Seraffyn and Taleisin. During their most recent east-to-west voyage, they sailed below four of the great Southern Capes, including Cape Horn. An avid racing sailor from the age of 17, Larry worked as first mate on the 140-ton, 85-foot schooner Double Eagle, voyaging on her to Hawaii and along the coast of Mexico before meeting Lin. Larry, along with Leslie Dyball, won first on handicap in the exceptionally stormy 1974 Round Britain two-handed race. Lin and Larry have delivered more than two dozen boats across oceans and raced on their own and on other peoples’ boats. To date, Lin has sailed almost 205,000 miles and Larry has accumulated over 220,000 miles at sea.

In 1996, Larry received the International Oceanic Award from the Royal Institute of Navigation, presented by the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, for meritorious voyaging using traditional navigation methods. During the same year, Lin received the Ocean Cruising Award for being the person who has “done the most to foster and encourage ocean cruising in small craft and the practice of seamanship and navigation in all branches.” In 2000, both were inducted into the Cruising World Hall of Fame. In 2009 the Cruising Club of America awarded Lin and Larry their prestigious Far Horizon Award. In 2012, Yachting Monthly UK included the Pardeys were the only non-British sailors included in their list of 25 Yachting Heroes. More recently Sail Magazine included them in their list of 40 Sailors Who made a Difference.

Lin and Larry’s articles have appeared in: Cruising World, Sail, Good Old Boat, Wooden Boat, Practical Sailor, Yachting World, Yachting Monthly, Classic Boat (UK), Cruising Helmsman (Australia), Boating New Zealand, South African Yachting, Nautica Brazil, and Yacht (Germany) .

Their books and video programs have been published in the United States, England, and New Zealand; and been translated into German, Russian, Italian and Japanese.

Lin and Larry recently sailed through the Line Islands then south to New Zealand. Lin’s most recent book, Bull Canyon, a Boatbuilder, a Writer and Other Wildlife received three literary awards including the WILLA Cather Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Their lives and exploits have been described by Herb McCormick in his biograph, As Long as It’s Fun, the Epic Voyages and Extraordinary Times of Lin and Larry Pardey which will be launched at the Toronto and Chicago Boat Shows in January 2014.

“The Adventures That Shaped Our Lives”: Every life has defining moments. Join Lin and Larry to share the most momentous adventures in their long lives together. From the blowing sands of the Sahara desert, to the desolate waters off Cape Horn you’ll see how their philosophy, Go small, Go simple, Go now has worked to keep them ever interested in exploring under sail. Along the way you’ll learn tips and lessons you can use to make your own voyaging more successful and enjoyable.

“The Unstoppable Cruising Boat”: One well-known journalist wrote, “Cruising is fixing your boats in a series of exotic locations.” Preventing this from becoming your reality requires two steps; adjusting your attitude, then taking a careful look at how you outfit your boat. Lin Pardey will discuss the difference in attitude between cruisers she has known who never once changed their sailing plans due to gear problems and those who felt their cruises or budgets were ruined by gear failures. A careful analysis of ways to assure you do not have to change your sailing plans because of gear failures, the benefits of non-integrated systems, essential spares you should carry, simple techniques you can use to overcome breakdowns and planning your yearly refit are among the topics that are covered in this seminar.

“Storm Tactics”: “Storms, raging winds, breaking seas, how will I cope?” Everyone who goes to sea asks this question. Too many answer it by saying, “I’ve got the latest in weather forecasting technology, so I’ll avoid bad weather. This is wishful thinking. You need a plan, you need the right equipment and you need practice to bring your boat and crew through heavy weather with their confidence intact. This seminar will help you create that plan and overcome the fear of strong winds. You will be shown Cape Horn tested methods to help any type of boat, classic or modern, ride out extreme weather. Even if you think running or lying-ahull are effective storm tactics for you and your crew, the Pardeys’ will prove you still must learn to heave-to. Gear selection will be discussed along with hints so you can to create a sea-anchor using gear you already have on board. There will also be a discussion that will help you put storms into prospective. Ways to prepare you and your boat for rough weather. The goal of this seminar is to help ensure rough weather becomes an interesting incident in your life, not the end of your cruising dream.

“Cost Control While You Cruise”: No matter what your budget, the potential duration and pleasures of your cruise could be determined by how you spend your “Freedom Chips.” Lin Pardey will provide ways you can keep your costs in control, save money on boat maintenance, re-provisioning, entertainment yet still have a unique and satisfying adventure. Highlighted are ideas for visiting the most expensive places in the world on a cost conscious budget, why you don’t have to choose the cheapest destinations to save money, why your dinghy, anchor gear and on-board bathing facility choices determine how much cruising costs. The potentially cost doubling, cruisers Venus fly-trap, will be revealed as well as current cruising budgets.

“The Paperwork of Cruising”: Head off cruising and the paperwork of your life definitely should be less complicated. There should and will be less paperwork if, and it is a big if, you do some careful but relatively simple planning before hand. Lin will discuss some of the important and often overlooked documents you will need on board, starting with papers to prove you own and have the right to operate your boat. She’ll include vital passport information plus safe economical ways to transfer and carry money. Mail handling, paying bills, insurance coverage and email considerations are also covered.


Scott Parent
“Decision Day: Solo Stand Up Paddle Across Georgian Bay”

I was raised close to the waters of Georgian Bay. I have long paddled on the Great Lakes, as well as, many rivers of Alberta as a tandem canoe paddling guide. Iʼve lived in different regions of Canada and spent a decade exploring, climbing and paddling in the Canadian Rockies. I now live close to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, Lake Huron where I can enjoy immediate access to some of the best open water and coastal paddling in the province all seasons. I am also a Brand Ambassador for Bluwave paddleboards. I have been using Fathom Five National Park and surrounding waters to expand upon expedition style SUP adventuring.

On Aug 1 2011, I completed the first unassisted solo SUP crossing of Georgian Bay from Lions Head to Sans Souci via Western Islands. My story was first told on Watershed Sales Wordpress, and made waves after being published in Mountain Life Magazine Summer 2012 edition.

Canada is a wild place to explore and Stand Up Paddling is a great way to access many of our remote locations.


Capt. Steven Parry
“Charter in the Mediterranean: Croatia and the Greek Islands"

Steven Parry is the Charter director of Montreal based Poseidon Charters. He works as a skipper and flotilla director in the Adriatic and Aegean Sea, May through October each season. He is a Royal Yachting Association Commercial Captain who has spent 23 years exploring the Mediterranean and enjoys sharing stories, advice and knowledge of sailing the wine dark sea.


James Raffan
“Meet Paddle to the Sea: North America's Most Famous Canoeist”

James Raffan is one of Canada's most travelled and accomplished canoeists and storytellers. Born in a canoe on the Mighty Speed River near Guelph, Ontario (his mother has a slightly different version of this), James has spent most of his life canoeing, thinking about canoes, making canoes or writing about canoes. He is author of a more than a dozen bestselling books including Wildwaters, Summer North of Sixty, Emperor of the North, Bark, Skin and Cedar, and Fire in the Bones, his acclaimed biography of paddler and filmmaker Bill Mason (

“Meet Paddle to the Sea: North America's Most Famous Canoeist”: It may be that the smallest artifact in the Canadian Canoe Museum but it is the best known. Paddle to the Sea, a children's story about the Great Lakes conceived and created by Holling Clancy Holling and brought to life by Bill Mason, has captured the imaginations of children of all ages for generations. In retirement, he now lives in the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. In a special and very unusual public appearance, Paddle will be attending the Toronto Boat Show with Canadian Canoe Museum Executive Director, James Raffan, who will be showing how Paddle's spirit came to be, how it lives on and how a carved representation of a First Nation person in a birch bark canoe captured the hearts of so many people.


Diane Reid
“One Girl's Ocean Challenge”

Diane Reid is the first Canadian woman ever to compete in the Mini Transat Race. It’s a gruelling 4000 nautical mile solo race from France to Guadeloupe. The Mini 650 is the largest offshore racing fleet in the world and they’re only 21 feet long racing under some of the toughest conditions. With very strict class rules, they compete under incredibly intense conditions. No satellite connection with the outside world means that they sleep for only 20 minutes at a time, complete their own weather routing without complex electronics and drive their racing machines as fast as they can for 24 hours a day for weeks on end. Come and hear Diane’s story of racing in the 2013 Mini Transat race and the race just to get to the start line!


Paul & Sheryl Shard
“Cruising in Europe and the Mediterranean” & “Outfitting and Provisioning for Cruising”

International cruising sailors Paul and Sheryl Shard are award-winning filmmakers, sailing authors, and the fun-loving hosts of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series that airs across Canada on Travel and Escape channel and Cottage Life. They have been sailing internationally for 24 years and have documented their global adventures sailing to over 60 countries and colonies on 5 continents. Through their television and video productions, seminars, book, informative blogs and magazine articles they have introduced thousands of people to the joys of the boating lifestyle. Paul and Sheryl helped design the Extended Cruising course for the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons and help instruct the course on their brief visits home. They are currently cruising in the Eastern Caribbean aboard their Southerly 49 sailboat, Distant Shores II.

“Cruising in Europe and the Mediterranean”: If you're dreaming of cruising or chartering in European and Mediterranean waters, this seminar by award-winning filmmakers and sailing authors, Paul and Sheryl Shard, will cover the top destinations in the Med, the UK, Scandinavia, and the French Canals. Topics to be discussed include best seasons to cruise, navigational challenges, attractions and boating highlights. The Shards' have been cruising for 24 years and 11 years have been spent cruising in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. They share this experience through beautiful images and an entertaining presentation style.

“Outfitting and Provisioning for Cruising”: If a long-term cruise aboard your own boat is in your plans for the future, don't miss this highly informative seminar with Paul and Sheryl Shard, authors of the best-selling book, "Sail Away! A Guide to Outfitting and Provisioning for Cruising" and hosts of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series. The Shards have been cruising internationally for 24 years and have a wealth of information to share. Topics include safety and navigational equipment for offshore and coastal cruising, provisioning in foreign ports, communications, and the cost of cruising, to name a few.


Joe Watson and Yvonne McTeer
“The Long Way South: Exploring Eastern Canada First Morrisburg to New Brunswick” & “The Long Way South: Exploring Eastern Canada First New Brunswick to Nova Scotia”

“The Long Way South: Exploring Eastern Canada First Morrisburg to New Brunswick”
Joe Watson and Yvonne McTeer sailed the waters of Georgian Bay, Ontario for 12 years, on their Grampian 30 sailboat “Modaki”. Over this time a dream to explore further afield grew.

In the summer of 2012, Joe and Yvonne set sail from their home port of Owen Sound, Ontario. They traveled thru the 44 locks of the Trent-Severn Waterway and out the St Lawrence River, taking advantage of the tides and currents. On a side trip up the Saguenay River fjord they were greeted by Beluga and Minke whales. Sailing around Gaspesie they explored many of the small fishing villages and bought lobster right off the fishing boats. Then crossing over to Shediac, New Brunswick, the destination of that years journey. During the voyage they met many wonderful people who shared their lives and became friends. In this talk Joe and Yvonne explore from Morrisburg, Ontario to Shediac, New Brunswick.

“The Long Way South: Exploring Eastern Canada First New Brunswick to Nova Scotia”
In part two of their voyage Joe Watson and Yvonne McTeer continued on the success of last years adventure by exploring the Canadian Maritimes.

In the summer of 2013 Joe and Yvonne launched their boat, Modaki, in Shediac, New Brunswick. From there they travelled to Prince Edward Island, and started to collect sea glass. Waiting for a weather window they then crossed to Iles de la Madeleine. In the Bras d’Or Lakes, Cape Breton they explored many anchorages. A pod of 75 Pilot whales greeted them in Nova Scotia. Sailing down the eastern shore of Nova Scotia they got as far as historic Lunenburg. Modaki is stored for the winter in Mahone Bay. Along the way they were enamoured by the culture and hospitality of the maritimes.


Tony Palabrica
“Antifouling 101”

Tony Palabrica joined Interlux in 2000 bringing 15 years in the yacht industry. Tony lives in the Midwest and is very familiar with the Great Lakes. Among his favorite pastimes is sailboat racing both fully crewed and short-handed sailing.