The BOATsmart! You get premium coverage at consumer direct pricing. Order yours now Lost? Need some back-ups for the cottage or boat? Order now The most asked questions by our customers Who needs a boating license? If you operate a motorized boat in Canada, you need a Pleasure Craft Operator Card PCOC or boating license regardless of your age, length of boat or engine size — even boats equipped with electric trolling motors and sailboats equipped with engines.

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Unfortunately, not all survive. Sadly, most of these deaths are preventable. In addition more than 6, unreported non-fatal By choosing to complete this study guide and obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card you have made the choice to increase boating safety and fun for all! Canadian boat operators should understand and recognize the most common causes of on-water incidents and fatalities: - Not wearing a Personal Flotation Device PFD - Person overboard falling overboard - Capsizing sinking, swamping, grounding and collisions with other vessels - Operating a vessel while impaired by drugs or alcohol Operator training and certification On April 1, the Canadian Coast Guard enacted the Competency of Operators Pleasure Craft Regulations.

These regulations have been phased in over a ten year period and require that operators obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. This law applies to all operators of powered vessels fitted with a motor, including Personal Watercraft PWCs and powered sailboats. The Regulations were set into force on April 1, Canada www. Proof of competency is required for all motorized vessels including Personal Watercraft PWCs , powered sailboats and small vessels with electric trolling motors.

There are no exemptions for motor type, length of boat or age of vessel operator. Federal law requires your original Operator Card to be carried on board - A photocopy of your Pleasure Craft Operator Card is not acceptable.

Replacement cards can be obtained from BOATsmart! Canada by calling toll free or visiting www. Non-residents Pleasure craft operator competency requirements apply to all non-residents operating their nonCanadian or foreign-registered craft in Canadian waters for more than forty five consecutive days.

Safe boater training Boaters lacking in experience should take a boating safety course. A boating safety course is a valuable, life-saving tool that will: 1 Teach you to be aware of the acts, code and regulations that govern actions on Canadian waterways 2 Teach you how to respond in emergency situations 3 Ensure you understand your responsibilities as a pleasure craft or PWC operator 4 Teach you how to properly and safely operate your pleasure craft or PWC To learn more about official boating safety courses and to find a course in your community visit: www.

Visit www. Obtaining a pleasure craft operator card Boaters can obtain their Operator Card by achieving a mark of at least 75 percent on the BOATsmart! Canada Challenge Exam. Once obtained, your Pleasure Craft Operator Card is good for life. Boaters can take the official exam online at: www.

Canada testing centres in your community contact BOATsmart! Canada toll free at or visit www. Canada exam consists of multiple choice questions that are designed to test your boating knowledge and skill. Although it is strongly recommended, operators are not required to attend a boating safety course before attempting the exam.

Operators 16 years of age and older are also allowed to operate a PWC provided they have obtained proof of competency. Supervision provisions If an operator is accompanied and directly supervised in the pleasure craft by a person 16 years of age and older, the age and horsepower restrictions do not apply.

However, any person that is operating the craft must have proof of competency on board. A Compliance Notice is a statement from the manufacturer or importer that a vessel is built according to the construction requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations.

If you plan to sell, import, build or rebuild such a vessel, you are required to make sure it meets these construction standards. Pleasure craft that meet these construction standards should be equipped with a Compliance Notice. Compliance Notices for pleasure craft up to 6 m in length also have information on recommended maximum safe limits in good weather.

Compliance Notices can be a small metal plate or label affixed to the hull of your craft. Examples of Compliance Notices are depicted on this page. Do I need one? Canadian boating laws require that a Compliance Notice must be affixed to all pleasure craft propelled or designed to be propelled by a motor and that is built in or imported into Canada in order to be sold or operated in Canada, except pleasure craft 24 m and above. Owners of pleasure craft may obtain individual Compliance Notices from the original manufacturer.

You also need a Compliance Notice in order to license or register your boat. For more information visit www. What information is on a compliance notice? Compliance Notices for pleasure boats less than 6 m in length provide three important pieces of information: - Recommended gross load capacity: The maximum weight your boat is designed to carry including persons, motor, steering assembly, fuel, all equipment and gear.

The maximum engine size is indicated on the Compliance Notice. The Compliance Notice sets a maximum limit for each of these capacities based on safe operation in fair weather conditions. Loading your craft to maximum capacity may increase the likelihood of injury or emergency if you are forced to operate during adverse conditions. Be aware of and respect the limitations and handling characteristics of your craft. It is extremely hazardous to overload your boat.

A HIN helps to find lost or stolen boats and identify boats that are subject to a recall. The HIN must be permanently marked on the outside upper starboard corner of the transom or as close to that area as possible.

A Pleasure Craft License is the set of ID numbers displayed on your boat which can be used by Search and Rescue personnel to identify your vessel. A Pleasure Craft License is different than a Vessel Registration, which provides proof of ownership legal title , a unique name and official number for your boat and the right to use your boat as security for a marine mortgage.

The Small Vessel Regulations require that all pleasure craft of all sizes equipped with one or more primary propulsion motors of 10 hp 7. The regulation applies to all boats mostly operated or kept in Canada. You can obtain a 10 year license for free from Service Canada. You must renew the license after the 10 year period has expired. If your boat is already licensed, you should make sure that it is in your name and that your contact information is up to date. If selling a pleasure craft, you must transfer ownership by signing the reverse side of your vessel license and providing it to the purchaser.

The purchaser is obligated to complete and sign the reverse side of the vessel license and submit it to Service Canada for transfer within 90 days. An owner may operate the pleasure craft for 90 days after the date of change of name or address, if documents establishing the date of change of name or address are on board. Owner information must be kept up to date, including name and address changes. Registering Your Vessel There are costs involved in registering your vessel, but if you plan to operate your boat in international waters registering you vessel provides the benefit of proof of ownership, in addition to the benefits noted above.

For more information about Pleasure Craft Licensing and registration visit www. You are responsible for equipping yourself with the right equipment and for operating your boat in a safe and courteous manner. You are also responsible for ensuring the safety of your passengers and other boaters.

Consuming alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances can significantly impair your ability to safely operate your pleasure craft. Doing so will not only put your own life at risk, but will also risk the lives of your fellow boaters. Operating a pleasure craft anywhere in Canada while impaired is an offence under Section of the Criminal Code of Canada. Charges result in a criminal record and, even for the first offence, will result in significant fines.

Offenders can also be sent to prison. You should always choose a safe operating speed and use common sense, especially when operating close to shore. Consider the following when operating your craft: - Your distance from shore - Water and wind speed conditions - Visibility conditions - Local hazards and obstructions - The amount of boat traffic in the vicinity - Posted speed limits - The handling characteristics and capabilities of your craft - Your level of skill and experience Almost all boating emergencies are preventable.

In fact, most boating accidents are simply the result of a series of smaller things going wrong. Using common sense, such as wearing your flotation device instead of stowing it under a seat, can make all the difference. You are also responsible for operating your boat safely and ensuring the safety of those onboard. Boat operators and owners who do not comply with Canadian laws and regulations could be subject to fines and penalties.

You should explain what their responsibilities and duties are in the event of an emergency, and instruct them on safe behaviour while underway. Lending your pleasure craft or PWC As a pleasure craft owner, both you and the person operating your boat are responsible any time you lend your pleasure craft or PWC. Marine acts, regulations and code have the force of law and apply to all pleasure craft operators.

Persons visiting from outside Canada and operating power-driven vessels licensed or rented in Canada are required to follow Canadian laws and regulations. When traveling abroad and operating pleasure craft licensed or registered in another country, Canadian citizens are required to obey the laws in the host country. Boating laws change from time to time.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police RCMP , provincial and municipal police forces and other authorized local authorities enforce the laws that apply to recreational boaters in Canada. It incorporates international and federal laws and regulates all vessels operating on Canadian waterways.

As the owner or person entrusted by the owner, you are violating the Small Vessel Regulations if you operate a pleasure craft that does not have all the required equipment on board, or if it is not in good working order.

The same applies if you loan it. Boaters should check locally for speed restrictions and Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations for detailed information on speed restrictions. The Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations require that pleasure craft operators have onboard at all times the most recent editions of: - The largest scale charts for the area that they navigate - The required publications for the area that they navigate - The required documents for the area that they navigate Marine Charts are published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and are available for purchase at your local marine dealer or on the internet.

The regulations also limit where certain types of boats may or may not be permitted to operate in Canada. Many of the regulations contained within the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations are local in nature. Boaters are responsible to be knowledgeable of waterway restrictions and to respect the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations when boating in Canada.

Boaters should always abide by both posted and un-posted speed limits and be aware of universal shoreline speed limits that may be in effect. Various provinces including Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, have universal shoreline speed restrictions. These un-posted restrictions require boaters to operate at 10km or less when 30m or closer to any shoreline. This means no person shall operate a small vessel in a careless manner, without proper care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons.

Fines depend on the type of infraction and the number of violations. You should check with local authorities to determine how the Contraventions Act is applied in your province. For example Most local law enforcement agencies have adopted a zero tolerance policy when determining fines when it comes to each person onboard not having a Canadian approved PFD or Lifejacket that is an appropriate fit and in good condition.

Collision Regulations The Collision Regulations stipulate the rules preventing collisions on the high seas and inland waterways. As such, the Collision Regulations govern the following: - Navigation - Right-of-way rules - Look-out rules Criminal Code of Canada The Criminal Code of Canada enables law enforcement authorities to charge boat operators for criminal offences.

It is illegal to operate a vessel in Canada with a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.


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