Len's Cove Marina's Blog

Water In The Bilge Can be a Concern | Used Boat Tales

Posted by Michael Hall on Fri, Feb 05, 2016 @ 04:58 PM

We all have probably seen it, we all have probably passed that little pool of water down in the depths as “normal” heck it’s a boat that’s what the bilge is for and why we all have Bilge pumps! Most of us pass it off as rain water that got in. Sometimes the cause is more sinister.

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Tags: used boats, boat maintenance, boat repairs, cruising rideau lakes

Len Was My Grandfather | Big Rideau Lake in our Blood

Posted by Sean Horsfall on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 @ 10:34 AM


I say it ALL the time. I wear that statement as a badge of honour, and at times it feels like a security blanket. When I say that to people, I can get responses (sometimes just looks) of approval, and genuine appreciation of what that means. Sometimes there is no response, and I think the statement does not register with people. There is the rare occasion that I get what I can assume is a "I don't really care, and why are you wasting my time telling me" kind of look.

Why should you care? The short answer is because I do.

When I see grandpa's name on the door, on the website, on my cards, on Facebook, etc., it is a constant reminder of who we are, how we started, and what we stand for. My grandfather (and Grandmother Shirley) moved Doug and Steve to Portland back in May of 1958. He left a comfortable job, security, and a nice house in Toronto, for risk, back breaking manual labour, and a town of a few hundred people in rural Eastern Ontario. He took an enormous gamble, worked very hard, and succeeded in what was a very small marina on Big Rideau Lake to begin with.

Len and Shirley were social, friendly, and above all else, customer focused. They always went well out of their way to make things right for our dockage and cottage guests, and at that time almost all the work was done by them, their sons, or one or two employees. They had a vision for us to emulate of always doing the right thing for our guests, even if it was hard to. They created a culture of family, belonging, and great experiences. Even though they were simpler times they did not have a large team or today's communication tools to pull it off.

I feel the weight of Len and Shirley's (and my father Doug, Uncle Steve, Aunt Judy, and brother Colin) risks, hard work, sacrifices they all made to build a foundation for us to work with, every day. There is no way I would ever do something that would jeopardize that legacy, or taint the reputation they built. It means far too much to me.

When faced with any decision, fork in the road, or a choice on what to do, it is easy for me to look backwards, and seek the lessons they taught my dad, and the rest of us. A culture of caring flows through the veins of every Len's Cove Team member, and I see examples of it every day.

Dad remembers my grandfather saying to him: "Nothing happens until someone makes a decision. Make the right one and reap the rewards. If you make a mistake, fix it quickly and do it right going forward.”

From time to time there are challenges, errors, or bumps in the road. Nothing is perfect, and we do miss-step on occasion. It is how we react to those times that defines who we are. Did we do the right thing quickly, make it better than before, learn, and implement the learning. Did our guests leave happy, and did they want to tell someone that the experience "was great"? These are the questions I ask myself.

My dad is going to help me remember some of the great stories from the years past, and we plan to post a number of them for you to read and I hope enjoy. They will serve as entertainment, and hope will shed some light on who we are. We also see them as great training for our team to share the culture with new hires, and keep our existing amazing team focused on what is truly important. The lessons of the past guide to making great change in the future.

You may not think you care that Len Horsfall started Len's Cove. If you choose to do business with us, you will learn that it does make a difference.

I am the third generation owner of Len's Cove, and Len was my grandfather.


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Tags: Big Rideau Lake, Marina, eastern ontario

Used Boat Buying Tips | The Value of a Compression Test

Posted by Sean Horsfall on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 @ 06:30 AM

Have you ever noticed that used boats hold their value far better than used cars? We see it all the time and it is quite remarkable. It is one of the factors that helps drive up the value of boating as a recreational sport and leisure time activity. Customers often sell (or trade) their used boats for high percentages of what they paid for them. It is not uncommon for a 10 year old used pontoon boat, as an example, to be worth 50-60% of the original purchase price. Try that exercise with a 10 year old car and you might be lucky to get 15-20%.

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Tags: used boats, buying a boat

Doug and Joan's Canal Adventures | Trent Boating 2015

Posted by Doug Horsfall on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

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Tags: boating, rideau canal, canal boating

The Untold MasterCraft Story | The Power of Listening to You

Posted by Chelsea Hamre on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 06:30 AM

I’ve grown up on and around boats my whole life and I have driven anything between 13 and 40 feet, inboard and outboards, dinghies, deck boats, and towboats. The best memories have been from our towboat, a 2008 X2 MasterCraft. The interesting part of that, is how we as a family helped shape the future of towboats on Big Rideau Lake.

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Tags: Big Rideau Lake, towboats, mastercraft

The Truth About Administration Fees | Used Boat and New Boat Facts

Posted by Julia Dick on Wed, Sep 09, 2015 @ 09:29 AM

Used Boat Facts and Administration Fees
Buying a new or used boat is likely one of the most fun purchases you will make. We like to keep the focus on the fun and therefore we work hard to ensure that you can get out on the water as quickly, legally and with as little fuss as possible. Throughout the process of helping you acquire a boat, there are many different services that we provide you with. On the office side of things, there are costs associated with licensing your new boat or used boat and/or trailer. For this reason, we charge an administration fee. From time to time we have people question "being charged for them".  
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Tags: used boats, new boats, new boat pricing, used boat pricing

Is Buying a New Boat Risky? | Two Ways We Reduce Your Exposure

Posted by Timmy McNamee on Wed, Sep 09, 2015 @ 09:23 AM

Whether you’re buying a boat for the first time (new or used boat) the process can be a bit intimidating, not to mention confusing. More often than not, customers who walk through the doors of a new or used boat showroom are going to be comparing multiple brands, models, and dealerships That can be a lot of variables!. At Len’s Cove we are proud to have some of the best brands on the water. However, we understand that there are times when the situation can be difficult to decide. 

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Tags: used boats, towboats, new boats, mastercraft

Stand Up and Paddle On | Big Rideau SUP Experiences

Posted by Chelsea Hamre on Thu, Aug 06, 2015 @ 10:12 AM


It’s been about three years that my family has had a Stand Up Paddleboard on the Big Rideau Lake and since then, we’ve discovered so much more about this new trend. Going out around the bay with my cousins during the summer is a great way to create laughs and share memories. From a fun leisure activity to using it for daily exercise, there are many benefits and things you may not know about the SUP.

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Tags: Big Rideau Lake, watersports

An English Boating Life | Across the Pond to the Big Rideau

Posted by Michael Hall on Tue, Aug 04, 2015 @ 05:06 PM

Just 3 days after I was born on the 29th January 1971 while my Mother still in hospital coming to terms with what God had bestowed upon her (Yep me!) My Father walks into the ward and states “I bought a boat!” With my Sister not yet 4 years old I wish my memory could take me back to see my Mothers face!

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Tags: Big Rideau Lake, boating trips, canal boating

Boat Speed Etiquette | Are You Making your Boating Worse?

Posted by Sean Horsfall on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

The weather this summer has been perfect for cruising around the lakes and rivers.  Here on the Big Rideau Lake, we are seeing a significant increase in boating traffic - likely the highest in about 5 seasons. Visitors from the US, Ottawa, Kingston, and Quebec have increased their boat trips also into this area.

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Tags: boating, Big Rideau Lake, boat trips

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