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  1. #1
    Pro-pulsion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ontario, Canada

    2009 Canadian Boating Regs

    Canadian Boating Regulations For 2009

    On September 15, 2009, all boat operators will need PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operators Card) or other proof of competency to operate any boat with a motor.

    Age restrictions:

    • Operators under 16 cannot operate personal watercraft (PWC).
    • Operators under 12 are restricted to 10 hp (7.5kw) unless supervised by someone 16 or older.
    • Operators 12-16 years old are restricted to 40 hp (30kw) unless supervised by someone 16 or older.
    The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require operators (as described above) of pleasure craft fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes to carry proof of competency or risk fines up to $250. Electric trolling motors, canoes or dinghies with motors (even when rowed), and PWCs are considered motorized craft; sailboats, dinghies, canoes and kayaks without motors are not. Regulations are being phased in. On September 15, 2009 all boaters will have to carry proof of competency. "Pleasure Craft Operator Card" attests that the cardholder has received a mark of 75% on a written test.

    License Numbers On The Hull:
    You must display the licence number on both sides of the bow in block characters that are at least 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) high, in a colour that contrasts with the color of the bow.

    Safety Equipment:

    All boats are required to carry safety equipment. What exactly must be carried depends on the type and size of boat (usually expressed in length from bow to stern.) All equipment should be checked regularly, be well maintained, and replaced if necessary. Since this covers all vessels in the pleasure craft description, the focus here will be personal watercraft.

    Personal protection equipment

    1. One (1) Canadian-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket of appropriate size for each person on board
    2. One (1) buoyant heaving line no less than 15 m (49’3”) in length

    Distress equipment
    3. A watertight flashlight
    Three (3) Canadian-approved flares of Type A, B or C

    Navigation equipment
    4. A sound-signalling device or a sound-signalling appliance

    Boat safety equipment
    5. One (1) manual propelling device (for example a paddle of some description)
    An anchor with no less than 15 m (49’3”) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
    6. One (1) bailer
    One (1) manual water pump fitted with or accompanied by sufficient hose to enable a person using the pump to discharge water from the bilge of the vessel over the side of the vessel
    7. One (1) Class 5BC fire extinguisher
    The equipment listed in 5, 6 and 7 is not mandatory if all people on the PWC are wearing a Canadian approved flotation device of the appropriate size.

    Pleasure craft propelled by oars and pleasure craft 8 m (26’3”) or less in length within sight of navigational marks do not require a compass.

    This information was provided by Transport Canada and can be found at:

    U.S. Regulations

    Because the regulations vary from state to state, the list would be massive and take a lot longer than I am able to afford right now. Having mentioned this, here are some links that offer the various regulations.

    I hope this helps to inform anyone new to PWCs, I had an accident when I used to run stand-up with a person that chose to ignore common sense and went for the rush. We were close to tagging each others ski and I warned him to keep his distance. Afterward we were jumping the wake of his uncle’s boat; apparently I landed hard and took a spill. It happens but to this day I don’t believe it did happen that time.

    I remember hearing the sound of exhaust at WOT right in my face and thought I had snapped the gas while still holding the handlebar when I fell off. As I pulled myself out of the water and re-boarded my ski I had a ringing in my left ear. I thought I blew the ear drum from the exhaust burst as I touched my ear to notice I was bleeding. I raised my hand higher and realized it wasn’t my ear that took the damage, it was the side of my head just above the ear which required 6 stitches and 3 months of severe migraines.
    He didn’t fall back and was right behind me on the ascending slope of the wake.

    The end result was, he on his Kawi ZXi 1100, landed on me taking me out. Do yourselves a favor and keep your distance. The reality is that PWCs already have a limited tolerance among boaters, let’s try to bring our sport up and be responsible, carry the right gear and don’t become another reason for tighter regulations and higher negative statistics. Thanks for reading guys.

  2. #2
    canuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    The wet left coast.
    I haven't been able to figure out the requirement for a flashlight since PWC's can't be operated at night. Flares yes but what good is a flashlight going to do during the day. I carry one anyway so I'm legal.

  3. #3
    Pro-pulsion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    The purpose is to have something that can output a concentrated brightness to catch attention. I decent bulb will show a fairly intense spot of light when compared to the reflection of the waves. Also it shows something out of the ordinary which is another attention grabber.

    I too carry everything. I know people are going to say "obviously" but, when they say sealed flashlight, they assume that we know it must be able to float as well. It's one of those hidden understandings they do not mention. If I remember correctly, there is a company that makes a sealed flashlight similar to the Maglite with a steel construction which obviously does not float.

    Another good light signalling tool as an additional option, is a small vanity mirror to reflect the sun. I like the ones in the camo facepaint kits, they're perfect in size and are plastic. Just keep in mind that the mirror will not pass as part of the required equipment.

  4. #4
    SeaGoat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Jacksonville, N.C.
    A flashlight is also a godsend if you breakdown and are stuck out there and it gets dark on you. It happens.

  5. #5
    Moderator two2curupt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck View Post
    I haven't been able to figure out the requirement for a flashlight since PWC's can't be operated at night. Flares yes but what good is a flashlight going to do during the day. I carry one anyway so I'm legal.

    There is no law in Canada stating PWC's can not be operated @ night..
    It is strongly recomended you don't unless you have bow and stern Nav lights installed..

    I used to run mine @ night with my GPS.. & NAV lights. But I would not go much over 10 mph for obvious reasons

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