What type of boater are you?

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For a lot of people, being at the cottage goes hand-in-hand with being in a boat. And while there are many different types of cottagers—the laid-back, sit-on-the-deck-all-day types, the frantic, obsessive worker bees, and the ones who fall somewhere in the middle—there are just as many different types of boaters. Do you recognize yourself in the following list?

The no-frills fisherman

All this boater needs is enough space to store his 40-year-old tackle box (with even older lures), a cooler with worms, a bucket for minnows, and somewhere to stash a sandwich (or two). Chances are, the no-frills fisherman’s boat is just about as old as his tackle box, and the same goes for his motor, which makes for some interesting language when he tries to start it up at the end of the fishing trip.

The pontoon partier

Yes, pontoon boats float, but they’re more like party platforms than anything else. Since, in Ontario, alcohol isn’t allowed on boats that aren’t docked, these boats don’t always manage to get away from land, but that isn’t much of a concern to their owners, for whom boating isn’t quite the top priority. Of course, pontoon boats are also great for ferrying big groups around—party or no party—but they’ve definitely got a wilder reputation.

The hardcore captain

This boater knows everything there is to know about boating—every rule, every knot to tie, and what all those coloured flags mean. She cleans every inch of her boat every time she docks, and can always land her craft exactly right—no bumps or scrapes. If you want a lesson on the finer points of on-the-water etiquette, she’ll talk as long as you let her.

The island cottager

This character really only uses his boat to get to and from his island cottage—it’s a boat, but it’s really just a stand-in for a car, so it’s not fancy (and it’s often not especially comfortable, so bring a cushion). Because once you get to your island, why would you want to leave?

The big (impractical) cruiser   

Enchanted by the romance of being on a big, beautiful cruiser, this boater has a craft that’s just a little impractical—it’s too big to fit under the closest bridge, or it’s too expensive to run very often, or there’s a lot of wasted space, but it’s all worth it because the boat is absolutely beautiful to behold. It gleams—mostly because it hardly ever gets out on the water.

The speed demon

Equipped with a ridiculous amount of horsepower, this boater has a serious need for speed—you know, driving a boat with the nose way up out of the water, with no apparent purpose other than going as fast as nautically possible. Thrilling to ride with, this boater often isn’t particularly popular with others on his lake—either because they don’t appreciate the noise or the extra wake, or because they’re simply jealous.

The casual canoeist

Canoers, kayakers, and even pedal-boaters fall into this category, and they’re often a little dismayed at the other folks on the list. For these boaters, being on the water is an opportunity for peace and quiet, which is often ruined by bigger, faster boats with different ideas about what’s fun. It’s possible to co-exist, of course, but unpowered boaters tend to be a lot happier on water where there’s no roar of motors to interrupt the sound of waves lapping at the paddles.