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Find the right boat for your summer lifestyle

There are few better places to be in Muskoka than at the helm of a boat. The key is finding the right boat for your Muskoka lifestyle.

If you’re new to boating, there are many aspects to consider when buying a boat to enjoy with your friends and family, says Steve Tait, VP of Sales for Maple Leaf Marinas (MLM).

“First, you have to consider where you’re boating, and then how you like to boat,” says Steve. “Are you going back and forth to the cottage? Using your boat for fishing or water sports? Do you live for weekend cruises that allow you to explore other lakes and perhaps larger waters like Georgian Bay?”

Once you answer these questions, Steve suggests considering your budget and skill level. All of the boats within the MLM Dealer inventory are premium brands, but their selection is accessible to all lifestyles, budget and skill levels.

There’s a reason boating experts typically advise you to buy where you boat, as these are the people who understand the bodies of water in the area and boating experience on your waterways. MLM is the largest owner and operator of marinas and boat dealerships in Canada. The 100-percent Canadian-owned-and-operated company now has 20 marinas, including Gordon Bay Marine, Walker’s Point Marina, Port Sandfield Marina, Spirit Bay Harbour and Huntsville Marine.

“We have the ability to put you into a boat that accommodates your lifestyle,” says Steve. “We have 26 brands to choose from, with a sales team that are well versed in not only our brands, but also on our waterways.”

The MLM experience
MLM’s goal is to help every boater enjoy “The Ultimate Boating Lifestyle,” from matching you with your perfect boat to servicing your boat under the care of their trained, expert technicians and giving you a first-class experience at each marina.

“Through our distinct marinas, dealerships, and marine resorts, our mission is to be your go-to source, trusted guide, and reliable support system for experiencing Ontario’s waterways,” says MLM President Dave Rozycki. “We not only assist you in finding the ideal boat that complements your lifestyle, but we also remain by your side, offering comprehensive servicing and unwavering support to keep you on the water.”

Cruise comfortably
In addition to understanding the type of boat that is ideal for you, Steve says it pays to select a model that helps you want to spend more time on the water.

“Day cruising has never been more comfortable,” he says. While a day on the water always has its perks, many premium cruiser models are going the extra mile to make each ride more enjoyable.

“One of the most enjoyable interiors I’ve seen is on the Cobalt CS22,” Steve notes. While traditional boat vinyl can retain the heat of the mid-summer sun, the CS22 is upholstered in Fresno Chill Vinyl – an anti-microbial, anti-fungal fabric that is resistant to stain and mildew. “It looks and feels like leather but stays a full 15 to 20 degrees cooler than traditional boat seats.”

Fish fearlessly
When fishing, your comfort and safety are paramount, which is why the latest premium fishing boats are designed for greater stability than ever before.

“Grady-White’s hull design is a great example,” says Steve. Ranked number one in each of the eight marine studies conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, Grady-White’s SeaV² hull delivers a smooth, steady ride, whether you’re fishing in Georgian Bay or a smaller lake on a windy day.

“The SeaV² hull tracks as if it’s on rails, slicing through waves effortlessly with a sharp point of entry for better performance and fuel efficiency.”

You also can’t go wrong with a Boston Whaler, especially when boating around rough waters and rocky shoals. Known for it’s unsinkable boats, thanks to its Unibond hull construction, Boston Whaler offers the safest boating experience, whether fishing, cruising or both.

“You could cut a Boston Whaler in half and still make it to shore,” says Steve. “It’s an amazing option, especially on choppy open waters.”

Entertain effortlessly
If you want to wow your guests while out on the water this summer, Steve suggests looking for models that go beyond the standard conveniences like comfortable seating, wet bars, and built-in coolers.

“What makes a luxury boat stand out is what’s added,” says Steve. This can include additional seating and conveniences. But it can also mean added atmosphere and ease of use.

“A prime example would be Cobalt’s R8,” says Steve. It’s an ideal family boat, he notes. It has a deep cockpit, greater freeboard and a more spacious interior, with larger bow and cockpit areas. Its design is perfect for water sports, cruising, or swimming.

“But check out its latest innovations,” he says, pointing to its patent-pending E-step – a flip-up swim step that extends into the water with the touch of a button.

“With this innovation, your kids, friends, and guests will be able to climb into the boat from the water with ease. Then when everyone’s aboard, you can retract the step and continue your ride.”

Buy locally
Whether you’re a seasoned boater or new to boat ownership, the best place to get your feet wet – pun intended – is at your local marina.

“At Maple Leaf Marinas, we love helping boaters find the best boat for their lake and lifestyle,” Dave says. With marinas dotting Ontario’s cottage hubs, from Lake Muskoka to Georgian Bay, to Pointe au Baril, the MLM team can tailor your purchase to the waterway you boat most, whether you’re fishing, day cruising or taking in the sunset from your favourite inlet.

“Our size is to your advantage – with 26 different brands and 20 unique locations, we can help you find the boat that fits you 100 percent.”

TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE

www.MLMarinas.com

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