Boaters in Ontario know that the season here can be all too short. But Doug Pemberton found a solution that lets him be out on the water in all conditions, from ice-out to freeze-up.
Doug lives at his lakefront Muskoka property all year round and wanted to extend his boating season as much as possible. He enlisted The Cove Marina to find the right vessel: they introduced him to a Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220.
“The first thing that attracted me to the boat is that it is an all-season boat,” recalls Doug, who made the purchase this year. “This allows me to get a couple of months extra each year on the water, which is huge for me. It’s fabulous on the lakes here.”
Even in the heart of boating season, high winds can whip the lakes into a chop. But the Ocean Pro runs smooth and true through the water in all conditions. A deep-V hull and a sharp bow allow the boat to cut through the waves and smooth the ride, even on rough days. On days with a mild swell, Doug says, the boat runs as smooth as a new car on fresh asphalt.
Hewescraft vessels are designed for strength and durability. The hull is a 100 percent all-welded structure, featuring thick channel supports and box beam construction for increased structural integrity. The heavy gauge welded aluminum provides 10 times more strength than fibreglass.
Using aluminum rather than fibreglass has added benefits. It’s lighter, providing higher fuel efficiency on longer trips as well as making it easier to tow when traveling by road to new locations.
Doug’s Ocean Pro is a 22-foot model. It has a hard-shell enclosed cabin, offering riding comfort in all conditions.
“I can shut the door to keep out the weather, which gives me the opportunity to get November and December boating in.”
Entertaining ability While not an avid angler himself, Doug often hosts friends who love to fish and wanted to provide them with a great experience.
It was another reason he chose to buy the Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220: it’s designed to be an open-water fishing boat. The boat features a live well to store freshly-caught fish – or to keep refreshments cold – as well as under-bow storage, a raised gunwale rail to keep water out of the cockpit, an easy-drain deck, and a ski bar with two rod holders.
The ski bar provides towing abilities, another must-have when living on the lakes in Muskoka. The covered hull includes seats that fold down to make a bed, if you need a rest or decide to have a sleepover on the water. Added seats toward the stern give the craft additional style and comfort.
“The options for fishing, skiing, and recreational riding are all there for us,” says Doug. “It encompasses everything my guests and I could need on a boat.”
The Ocean Pro can fit up to eight people, but Doug’s favourite guest is his dog Maui.
“The most important thing is my dog Maui loves it,” he says. “I’ve got a couple other boats she doesn’t like to jump in and out of, but this one she jumps right in, and she loves it.”
Great service breeds loyal clients
The Cove Marina was founded over 30 years ago, with an aim to deliver the highest quality products to its customers. Along with high quality products comes great customer service, says Doug.
Because his preferred motor – a 250 hp – was on back order, The Cove set him up with an available 175 hp to make sure he could get the most from his new boat this summer.
The Cove will be swapping out the 175 for his 250 as soon as it becomes available from Yamaha.
“The Cove is fantastic. They put the smaller motor on for me, so I didn’t have to wait all season for the boat to be ready,” he says.
Doug has been a client of The Cove for 10 years, buying five boats from them.
“They’ve been fabulous,” says Doug. “Customer service has always been fabulous. They’ve always taken care of my needs and made me feel special.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN