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Things you should know before you get out on the water.
LICENCE AND INSURANCE
Depending on the size of your motor, you may need to register it for a vessel licence — all boats powered by a motor 7.5kW (10HP) or more must be licenced and the licence number clearly marked on both sides of the bow. Pleasure boats 5m (16ft 5in) long or under, powered by an outboard motor 7.5kW (10HP) or more, must carry a plate stating the maximum load and kilowatts recommended for it. Learn more about licencing and insurance.
PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR CARD
Everyone who operates a power-driven boat requires a boating licence called the Pleasure Craft Operator Card. The PCOC is proof of a basic knowledge of boat handling, as well as the rules and regulations covering recreational boating in Canada.
Before you set off on any boating voyage, ensure you have all the necessary and legal safety equipment aboard, such as lifejackets, PFDs, heaving lines, bailers, fire extinguishers, flares, and emergency and first aid kits. Also you will want to familiarize yourself with the Canadian Buoyage System, internationally used navigation aids. It is a criminal offence to operate a pleasure craft under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances, and boaters must follow all posted speed restrictions.
You can trailer or cruise your boat into Canada. Customs officers stationed along highway border crossings and at harbours issue permits, which must be returned upon departure. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has full details on what you need to know if you are crossing the border and entering Canada by pleasure craft. Consult the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) site for details on entering the US by pleasure craft.
MARINE WEATHER CONDITIONS
Get all the latest marine weather conditions in and around Ontario.
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