Boating is fun, but about 100 people die and many more get seriously injured every year in boating incidents. Most boating deaths and injuries can be avoided.
Know the Regulations
The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 is the law that, along with its regulations, governs pleasure craft. It includes the requirements that govern the conduct of all vessels. The regulations affecting pleasure craft under this law include:
- Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations;
- Small Vessel Regulations;
- Collision Regulations;
- Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations; and
- Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations.
Canada’s Criminal Code also applies to boating. Activities like operating a boat while impaired, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and operating a boat that is not seaworthy are crimes.
REMEMBER: Because boating laws change from time to time, make sure you have the most current information. If the Safe Boating Guide differs from the regulations, always follow the regulatory text. To learn more about regulations, use the direct links in the contact information and references section of this guide.
Regulations set a minimum safety standard. Following them or an even higher standard will help make every trip a safe one.
Note: As the owner or operator of a pleasure craft, you may also be required to comply with additional regulations and/or laws that are specific to a sector (e.g. the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act).
Use the guide as a starting point to safe boating
While the Boat Safety Guide offers a basic overview of boating safety, it should not be your only source of information. No matter your age or experience, you should take a boating safety course. Visit Transport Canada’s website for a complete list of Transport Canada accredited course providers.
REMEMBER: The Boat Safety Guide is not a study guide for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card course or test.
To buy a training manual for the test, contact an accredited course provider.
You will find more information about the regulations that apply to pleasure boating as well as boating safety tips on Transport Canada’s website. You may also call Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Infoline at 1-800-267-6687.