The Canadian Government requires certain things to operate a boat. The first and foremost is the PCOC Card which we’ve had for a few years. Then, depending on the boat length, there are specific requirements based on size. Since our boat is 38′ here are the minimum requirements by law:
Sail and Power Boats over 9m and up to 12m (29’6” – 39’4”)
- One (1) life jacket or PFD for each person on board
- One (1) reboarding device (See Note 1)
- One (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (49’3”) long
- One (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m (49’3”) long
- One (1) watertight flashlight
- Twelve (12) flares of type A, B, C or D, not more than six (6) of which are of type D (See Note 2)
- One (1) anchor and at least 30 m (98’5”) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
- One (1) manual bilge pump (See Note 3)
- One (1) sound-signalling device or appliance
- Navigation lights (See Note 4)
- One (1) magnetic compass (See Note 5)
- One (1) radar reflector (See Note 6)
- One (1) 10BC fire extinguisher if equipped with a motor
- One (1) 10BC fire extinguisher if equipped with a fuel-burning cooking, heating or refrigerating appliance
Note 1 – Reboarding Device
A reboarding device is only required if the vertical height that a person must climb to reboard the boat from the water (freeboard) is over 0.5 m (1’8”).
Note 2 – Flares
Flares are not required for a boat that:
- is operating on a river, canal or lake in which it can never be more than one (1) nautical mile (1.852 km) from shore; or
- has no sleeping quarters and is engaged in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition.
Note 3 – Bailer and Manual Bilge Pump
A bailer or manual bilge pump is not required for a boat that cannot hold enough water to make it capsize or a boat that has watertight compartments that are sealed and not readily accessible.
Note 4 – Navigation Lights
Navigation lights are only required if you operate the boat after sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility (fog, falling snow, etc.).
Note 5 – Magnetic Compass
A magnetic compass is not required if the boat is 8 m (26’3”) or less and you operate it within sight of navigation marks.
Note 6 – Radar Reflector
Radar reflectors are required for boats under 20 m (65’7”) and boats built of mostly non-metallic materials. A radar reflector is not required if:
- the boat is used in limited traffic conditions, daylight and favourable environmental conditions, and where having a radar reflector is not essential to the boat’s safety; or
- the small size of the boat or its operation away from radar navigation makes it impossible to install or use a radar reflector.