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Transport Canada Approved

We've been making smart boaters for more than 17 years. BOATsmart! is Canada’s largest Transport Canada Accredited Course Provider and we’re proud to be trusted by more Canadian boaters. Your BOATsmart! Card is also accepted in more than 40 U.S. states. We’ve got you covered.

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Kempenfelt Bay, ON

"Amazing Job!"

“Wow, you guys have done an amazing job! Way more interactive and interesting than 8 years ago when I first took the boat exam. I am very impressed.“

Billy Allen

Pro Wakeborder

BOATsmart! courseware on a tablet.

Watch, Listen & Learn

From anywhere, on any device at any time.

Our animated and narrated Boating Safety Course is perfect for all ages. Study from your Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop and switch between devices at any time. BOATsmart! automatically tracks your progress so you can study at your own pace.

Manitoba Boating License Requirements

WHAT IS A PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR CARD?

To operate a motorized boat in Manitoba, you must get your BOATsmart! Pleasure Craft Operator Card (also called a Boating License). The Manitoba Boating License is a federally mandated boating competency card. It can be used to operate a recreational motorized boat anywhere in Canada. It must be carried on boat your boat at all times however, unlike your driver’s license, the PCOC can not be suspended or revoked.

WHERE CAN I GET MY MANITOBA BOATING LICENSE?

You must take the Transport Canada Approved BOATsmart! Course and pass the Boating Safety Test, to get your Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Take the test from home, online. Once you pass the open-book Test you can print your Temporary Card right away and go boating. Your Official BOATsmart! Card will arrive in the mail within 4 weeks at no charge.

HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO GET A BOATING LICENSE IN MANITOBA?

Although there is no minimum age to obtain your Canadian Boating License, there are age and horsepower restrictions that apply to boaters who are less than 16 years of age. For more information on the engine horsepower restrictions that apply to young boaters, see below. 

AGE AND HORSEPOWER RESTRICTIONS

No children under 12 years of age can operate a powerboat with a more than 10 horsepower engine.

Youths, aged 12 to 15 may only operate a boat with a motor up to 40 horsepower unsupervised.

Operators must be at least 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski or Sea Doo.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY BOATING LICENSE?

Study for your Boating License test online from home, with the fully narrated and animated course. The online BOATsmart! Study Guide is approved by Transport Canada, and takes about 3 hours to complete. Once you complete the course and pass the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test, you can print a temporary card immediately. BOATsmart! then mails the permanent card within four weeks.

CAN I GET REFRESHER LESSONS AFTER TAKING THE BOATING COURSE?

It’s important to keep up-to-date on boating laws and regulations in Manitoba, including boating safety equipment requirements, boat licensing requirements, and collision regulations. BOATsmart! has got you covered, with a free BOATsmart! Knowledge Base that includes everything you need to know about boating safety in Manitoba. Boaters in Manitoba can also purchase the printed BOATsmart! Study Guide. Keep a copy at the cabin, or on your boat to reference the latest regulations. The BOATsmart! Study Guide is available online and at Canadian Tire.

DO I NEED A LICENSE TO RENT A BOAT IN MANITOBA?

Boat operators in Manitoba must obtain their PCOC, or complete an official rental boat safety checklist in order to legally operate a rented motorized boat in Canada. To ensure you’re confident on the water obtaining your boating license is ideal, and will ensure you have the knowledge you need to stay safe on the water. Since a rental checklist won’t teach you what to do if your boat runs aground or you fall into icy water, it’s a good idea to get certified.

Boating and alcohol in Manitoba

MANITOBA’S BOATING AND ALCOHOL LAWS

The fines and penalties for operating a boat under the influence of alcohol in Manitoba are the same as those for operating a motorized vehicle. It is illegal to operate a vessel in Manitoba while consuming alcohol. While underway, open alcohol cannot be transported on any type of boat in Manitoba. Alcohol may only be consumed on board vessels equipped with a galley (kitchen), head (bathroom) and sleeping quarters, and only consumed while at anchor. 

Manitoba’s boating and alcohol regulations are enforced by the RCMP and local municipal police forces. For more information on boating and alcohol regulations in your province, contact the Manitoba Provincial Police. 

PENALTIES FOR DRINKING AND BOATING

Boating and Alcohol offences in Manitoba are the same as those for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. There is NO difference between drunk driving & drunk boating.

A boat operator’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level cannot exceed 80 mg. This is the legal alcohol limit in Manitoba.

A drunk boater may have their driver’s license suspended for a minimum of 1 year.

Age & Horsepower Restrictions

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12 YEARS OF AGE & UNDER

Can operate a boat without supervision so long as the engine is not more than 10 horsepower and they have proof of competency. Boaters 12 years of age and under are not allowed to operate a PWC under any conditions.

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12-16 years of age

Can operate a boat without supervision as long as the engine is not more than 40 horsepower and they have proof of competency. They are not allowed to operate a PWC under any conditions.

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16+ YEARS OF AGE

Can operate a boat or PWC without supervision or horsepower restrictions so long as they have proof of competency.

A Boatsmart Canada pleasure craft operator card

ALL OPERATORS

All boat operators in Manitoba regardless of age are required to obtain and carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or face a $250 fine.

Manitoba's Boating Fines

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Failure to carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card

$250

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Operating a Personal Watercraft (PWC) under 16 years of age

$250

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Violation of age and horsepower restrictions

Up to $500

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Operating a vessel in an unsafe manner

$500

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Insufficient number of Transport Canada Approved lifejackets or PFDs. Fine is applicable for EACH missing or improper lifejacket or PFD.

$200

General Boating Manitoba FAQs

WHO ENFORCES MANITOBA’S BOATING LAWS?

Both the RCMP and local municipal police detachments patrol Manitoba’s waterways and enforce boating regulations. 

Boating Emergencies:
Call 911 for emergencies on the water, like a boating accident or drowning.

DO I NEED A MANITOBA BOATING LICENSE TO OPERATE A COMMERCIAL BOAT?

Commercial boat operators are subject to different rules and regulations than those who operate recreational boats. Be sure that you’re familiar with the rules and regulations that apply in Manitoba, for the type of boat you’re operating, before you head out on the water.

How To Get a Boat License in Manitoba

DO I NEED A PLEASURE CRAFT LICENSE? 

All motorized boats and PWCs in Manitoba powered by 10 horsepower or more are required to have a Pleasure Craft License. The number must be displayed on both sides of the bow, above the waterline, as far forward as possible, in block letters at least 7.5cm high that contrast with the colour of the boat.

HOW DO I GET A PLEASURE CRAFT LICENSE?

You can obtain a 10 year license for free from Service Canada. There are two ways obtain the license:

Option 1: Apply for a free Pleasure Craft License online.

Option 2: Download a paper application form and mail the completed form to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre at the following address:

Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre
P.O. Box 2006
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 5G4

REGISTERING YOUR BOAT

Registering your boat is different than obtaining a Pleasure Craft License for your boat. There are added benefits to registering your boat.

BUYING A NEW OR USED BOAT IN MANITOBA?

Buying a boat in Manitoba? Whether it’s a brand new boat from a dealership or a used vessel, you’re required to obtain a Pleasure Craft License. You are also required by law to ensure you carry on board all of the required boating safety equipment for the type and size of vessel. 

DO I NEED BOAT INSURANCE IN MANITOBA?

No, boat owners are not required to have boat insurance in Manitoba. However, there are benefits to insuring your boat including 3rd party liability, replacement and accidental damage coverage. Boaters who obtain their license with BOATsmart! automatically qualify to save up to 25% off boating insurance.  

A Pleasure Craft License or ‘boat license’ is a document and a set of I.D. numbers for your vessel. The document must be on board your boat at all times and the numbers must be displayed on the bow of your boat at all times.

Welcome to the Land of 100,000 Lakes

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Manitoba Boating Destinations

Manitoba boaters have the boating lifestyle down to a science. Known as the ‘Land of 100,000 Lakes’, there’s no shortage of boating destinations to choose from here. If you’re in search of some top-notch spots to cast off, check out Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park with its Caribbean-blue waters, or Whiteshell Provincial Park, which boasts over 200 lakes. To find your nearest boat launch and get on the water today, use Discover Boating’s list of local marina’s and boat ramps.

Feeling adventurous? Check out West Hawk Lake. This 115 metre deep lake was created by a meteor, and has become a really popular scuba diving location in Canada. For a more relaxing day on the water, Glad Lake and Goose Lake are both prime fly fishing spots. Just be sure to check out Manitoba’s Fishing regulations before you head out, and make sure you pick up a Manitoba fishing license!

Your next Manitoba boating adventure awaits! Get your Canada Boating License and hit the water today.

Helpful resources for boating in Manitoba

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25% off your boat insurance

Get certified with BOATsmart!® and save up to 25% on you annual policy premiums – for life. BOATsmart! Assure® is a new way to buy boat insurance. You get premium coverage at consumer direct pricing.

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NISSAN WHOLESALE PRICING

BOATsmart!® Cardholders automatically receive no-haggle dealer cost pricing on Nissan vehicles. That’s exclusive wholesale pricing for you.