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Canada's Boating Laws and Regulations | BOATsmart! BOATsmart! Knowledgebase
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Canada's Boating Laws and Regulations | BOATsmart!

Canadian Boating Laws

Sharing Canada’s Waterways

Over 10 million boaters enjoy Canada’s waterways each year. All boaters should be knowledgeable of, and abide by, the Collision Regulations and use common sense and courtesy while underway. Never c...

Maintaining Your Boat

Maintaining your Boat There’s nothing more enjoyable than a day on the water. Don’t let it get spoiled by a breakdown. As a responsible boater, you should always plan ahead and properly maintain...

Towing Rules and Regulations

Towing Towing a water-skier, wakeboarder, kneeboarder or other towable device requires the use of a spotter. A spotter is a person who observes the person being towed at all times. The spotter notifie...

Licensing Your Boat in Canada

What is a Compliance Notice? The Small Vessel Regulations require all pleasure craft that are less than 24 m in length and that are, or can be fitted with a motor, to have a Compliance Notice (boats l...

Boat Registration in Canada

Transport Canada’s Boat Registration Requirements Boat Registration is different from Vessel Licensing in that it provides proof of ownership (legal title), a unique name and official ...

Responsibilities of a Safe Boat Operator

What are My Responsibilities? As a boat operator in Canada you are legally responsible for equipping yourself, your passengers and your boat with the right equipment. You are also responsible for oper...

Distress Equipment


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Certain distress equipment is required to be carried onboard pleasure craft at all times. This is so that you have it in the event of an emergency situation like a collision, a medical emergency or a ...

Navigation Equipment

Navigation equipment (like sound signals and navigation lights) are required on all boats in Canada. Their purpose is to attract the attention of other boaters and to aid with navigation on the water....

Cardinal Buoys

The Cardinal System There are numerous marker and buoy systems in Canada. The two main ones to be aware of as a boater are the Lateral System and the Cardinal System. Let’s take a closer look at the...

Boating and Alcohol Laws in Canada

Boating and Alcohol in Canada Boating under the influence is still a serious issue on Canadian waterways. In fact, boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is still a factor in approxi...