Cruising Lake Ontario and Canada
— Aboard “Portage,” our Skipjack 262 —

Dear Skipjack,

Skipjack 26 image; PortageWe thought you might be interested in how we got along cruising our new Skipjack 262 this past season… GREAT You might ask why we chose a boat primarily designed for ocean fishing for ambitious cruising. We have been boaters (both sail and power) for over forty years, and know what constitutes a good boat. Generally we have found typical cruising boats in this size range to just be miniaturized or scaled down big boats in layout, and in practicality, they don’t work as well.

  • Strong hull – safety and confidence
  • Bow rail – heavy duty and high – keeps you on board. Not typical decorative, flimsy and low type found on almost all other boats of this size.
  • Non-skid that works – not glossy patterned stuff others use that becomes slippery when wet.
  • Ample storage available for real world cruising needs. Example: rolled up Zodiac, emergency life raft, second anchor/line, tools, oil, fenders, grills, hose, power cord, etc…
  • Hull heavy enough to accommodate one of the best engines available – a Volvo Diesel. Advantages: safety, reliability, and economy.
  • Helm on low bridge allows ample room in cabin for good sized berth, ample head and galley, large dinette, plenty of storage – need all of these for a comfortable cruising boat – no doll house proportions as on most regular 26’ so called cruising boats.

Skipjack owners Ed and Daren CarrollOcean fishing boats are generally built to withstand more than the typical lake oriented cruising boats. That’s important to us, since we do use the boat in big water and not dockside partying. The true test: This past summer we spent two months aboard “Portage”, and found her to be everything we expected. That’s saying a lot because we’ve owned several much larger and other fine quality boats such as Black Fin and Tiara.

“Why did we chose a boat primarily designed for ocean fishing for ambitions cruising?”

Skipjack trip Lake Ontario mapOur trip started on Lake Ontario on the N.Y. shore. We then Cruised to Kingston, Ontario and on to Ottawa, Ontario via the beautiful Rideau Canal System. Gorgeous country, mostly hand operated locks, and great people. Tied up in the downtown area of the beautiful capital of Canada, Ottawa, and stayed there four days. Then we turned eastward on the Ottawa River and on to Montebello, Quebec where we enjoyed a very beautiful resort. On our way to Montebello we soon left the Ottawa River and entered the St. Lawrence Seaway which we shared with mammoth ocean freighters; this was a thrill in itself. In old and beautiful Montreal, we also tied up right in the downtown area and had a wonderful time.

Continuing norhteasterly, we headed for Sorel, Quebec. At Sorel we headed southerly on the Chambly River to the Chambly Canal to historic Chambly, Quebec. We toured Fort Chambly, once held by the American colonies and commanded by Benedict Arnold (while he was still fighting brilliantly on our side). Then continued south on the Richilieu River and Canal System to St. Jean, Quebec where we stayed a few days (bad weather, high wind and hail, etc.). We entered the northern section of Lake Champlain, a gorgeous lake between New York’s Adirondack and Vermont’s Green Mountains. We cruised there for about three weeks, and Sept. 10th we left the boat at a large marina in covered storage for the winter.

Next year we will continue south via the Champlain section of the Erie Canal to Albany, N.Y., then down the Hudson River through Long Island Sound, up the New England coast to our summer home in Southwest Harbor, ME. We towed the 262 Skipjack with our dodge 1-ton club cab dually pick-up for about 3,500 miles. She towed with absolutely no problem. Pass the Word to the crew at Skipjack to keep up the great work, and thank them for building us such a great little boat. Very satisfied customers!

Ed and Karen C.

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