Source: Transport CanadaInformation last verified: 18/09/2010
The safety equipment Canada requires you to carry on board is based on the type and length of your boat. It must be on board, in good working order and always easy to reach so that it can be used in an emergency. You can find the length of your boat by reading the manufacturer’s product information or by measuring it yourself (from the front outside surface of the hull shell to the back outside surface of the hull shell – bow to stern).
Remember that these requirements apply only to pleasure craft and are the same whether you own, rent or borrow the boat. This includes typical boats like power boats, sail boats and personal watercraft, as well as less common boats like airboats, air cushion vehicles (hovercraft) and wing in ground effect vessels that are used only for recreation. They also apply to kiteboards.
If you want information on operating a vessel for work or commercial activities (non-pleasure craft), please visit www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety or contact your local Transport Canada Centre.
These requirements do not apply to inflatable self-propelled water toys because they are not designed for use in open water. If you do choose to operate these toys in open water, they will be treated as pleasure craft and subject to the same strict rules. Remember as well that operating a propeller-driven surfboard is against the law in Canada.
The following list of equipment is the minimum that is required. You may want to bring more equipment based on your type of boat, your water activity and the current and forecasted weather and water conditions.
Personal Watercraft (PWC)
Equipment listed in 3, 4, 5 and 11 is not required if everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket or PFD.
4. One (1) manual propelling device OR One (1) anchor and at least 15 m (49’3”) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
5. One (1) bailer or manual bilge pump
6. One (1) watertight flashlight OR
Three (3) flares of Type A, B or C
7. One (1) sound-signalling device or appliance
8. **Navigation lights
9. ***One (1) magnetic compass
10. One (1) radar reflector (See Note 3)
Sail and Power Boats up to 6 m (19’8”)
1. One (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board
2. One (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15 m (49’3”) long
3. *One (1) reboarding device
One (1) anchor and at least 15 m (49’3”) of cable, rope or chain in any combination
If boat is equipped with a motor
7. One (1) sound-signalling device or appliance 8. **Navigation lights 9. ***One (1) magnetic compass
6. One (1) watertight flashlight 7. Six (6) flares of Type A, B or C
*Only required if the vertical height that must be climbed to reboard the boat from the water (freeboard) is over 0.5 m (1’8”). **Only required if the boat is operated after sunset, before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility (fog, falling snow, etc.).
***Not required if the boat is 8 m(26’3”) or less and operated within sight of navigation marks.
Note 1 – Exception for Bailers and Manual Bilge Pumps
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 2 – Exception for Flares
Flares are not required for a boat that:
Note 3 – Radar Reflectors
Radar reflectors are required for boats under 20 m (65’7”) and boats that are built of mostly non-metallic materials. A radar reflector is not required if:
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