29 Mar

Safety and the Law!

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”)

  1. One (1) life jacket or PFD for each person on board
  2. One (1) reboarding device (See Note 1)
  3. One (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (49’3”) long
  4. One (1) lifebuoy attached to a buoyant line at least 15 m (49’3”) long
  5. One (1) watertight flashlight
  6. Twelve (12) flares of type A, B, C or D, not more than six (6) of which are of type D (See Note 2)
  7. One (1) anchor and at least 30 m (98’5”) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
  8. One (1) manual bilge pump (See Note 3)
    Bilge-pumping arrangements
  9. One (1) sound-signalling device or appliance
  10. Navigation lights (See Note 4)
  11. One (1) magnetic compass (See Note 5)
  12. One (1) radar reflector (See Note 6)
  13. One (1) 10BC fire extinguisher if equipped with a motor
  14. 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.

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