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Boat cleaner becomes own sails manager

Published on

Cathy Dobson

Sarnia’s Sarah Wighton hopes the local boating community gets onboard with her new business venture.

Wighton launched The Boatkeeper this month, just as area marinas and yacht clubs began filling up for the season.

“I love boating, I love working outside and I like cleaning,” said Wighton, 31.  “I don’t cut any corners and, because I’m a boat owner too, I know where the dirt hides.”

Wighton has worked in the restaurant business for the past 11 years and said she was looking for something customer-oriented that allowed her to be her own boss.

The Boatkeeper is essentially housekeeping on the water with a few extras. Wighton will do general interior cleaning with special attention to the galley and bathroom, shampoo and vacuum carpets, wash windows and provides a laundry and linen service.

On the exterior, she’ll clean everything above the rub rail, she said.  All products used are environmentally friendly if there is potential for them getting into the water.

Wighton has invested in a new shampoo machine, a blower for quick drying and cleaning equipment and products. Her rates start at $40 per hour.

For instance, a 40-foot luxury boat that sleeps eight will take an estimated eight hours to clean, shampoo and detail at the start of the season, at a cost of $320.

The Boatkeeper is fully insured and free estimates are available.

Wighton’s website ( outlines her extra services such as Stormwatch, which entails checking the boat after a major weather event to ensure it’s secure with no damage.

The summer is just getting under way and already 10 boaters have signed on for regular weekly cleanings, she said.

The Boatkeeper can be reached by calling 519-330-2113 or emailing [email protected].



A Thursday evening farmers’ market is coming to the village’s waterfront starting June 25, says Tracy Ranick who is co-ordinating the project for the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation (SLBDC).

Fifteen vendors offering produce, meats, baked goods, flowers and crafts will locate along the service road directly under the Blue Water Bridge each Thursday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

“It’s a great venue for us with excellent foot traffic and drive-by visibility,” said Ranick.

Her organization hosted a farmers’ market on Sundays at Sarnia Bay Marina in recent years but found there wasn’t room to grow.

“We’re looking forward to being in Waterfront Park where there will be opportunities to cross-promote with business in Point Edward,” said Ranick.

“There’s going to be a real community feel to it, and we hope to have entertainment and demonstrations.”

The new venture, called The Point Edward Moonlight Farmers’ Market, is still taking inquiries from potential vendors.  Contact Ranick at the SLBDC at [email protected] for an application.

Got an interesting business story?  Contact Cathy Dobson at 226-932-0985 or [email protected].

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