If you’ve purchased a boat, or trying to decided if you should get into boating, you will definitely have questions about the laws and regulations surrounding licensing and boat ownership in general. In this post I will try and give you a an idea of whats involved. When you purchase a boat, it will most probably fall into the category of pleasure craft.
So what is a pleasure craft?
Simply put, a pleasure craft is a vessel that is used for pleasure. Ie: a personal boat you use for leisure. This may include a vessel that is both powered by a motor or human-powered.
Do I need a license to operate one?
yes, anyone who operates a pleasure craft that is fitted with a motor (regardless of power output) needs to have proof of competency, the most common being a pleasure craft operators card.
Carrying proof of competency?
If you operate a pleasure craft fitted with a motor (regardless of power output) for recreational purposes in Canadian water outside of the northwest territories or Nunavut you must have proof of competency onboard.
You can prove that you are competent to operate a pleasure craft by meeting one of the following criteria.
- You have received a minimum mark of 75% on an accredited boating safety test and have received a pleasure craft operators card.
- You have successfully completed a recreational boating safety course in Canada before April 1, 1999 and have a boating safety course completion card or other means to prove completion.
- If you rent a pleasure craft, you can prove competency by completing a rental-boat checklist. This is valid only for the period of the rental.
If you are not a resident of Canada you can prove competency if you happen to have a Canadian pleasure craft operator cards (that would be handy) or you have been issued the equivalency in you state or country.
Where can I apply for a pleasure craft operator card?
Here is a list of accredited course providers, you can take the course online or in person.
What are the age and horsepower restrictions?
-If you are under the age of 12 years and have no supervision you may operate a boat with up to a 10 hp engine.
-Between the ages of 12 and under 16 with no direct supervision, you may operate a boat with an engine of up to 40 hp.
-Under the age of 16 years old regardless of supervision you may NOT operate a personal watercraft.
-There are no restriction over the age of 16 years .