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New Regulations

On April 1, 1999 a series of new boating regulations came into effect that have important changes, especially with respect to safety equipment, operator competency and age restrictions.  Everyone using boats (includes canoes, sailboats etc., as well as power boats) at your cottage should familiarize themselves with the new regulations which are contained in the Safe Boating Guide booklet distributed free by the Canadian Coast Guard (1–800-267–6687) and usually available at most marinas.  Some of the more relevant new regulations pertaining to most boats in our area include:

Equipment Requirements

Previously approved boat cushions are no longer acceptable as a PFD (personal flotation device) and a DOT approved PFD or lifejacket of appropriate size is now required for each  person on board. 

A 15 metre floating heaving line is required on all watercraft as well as a watertight flashlight and sound-signaling device (this includes canoes, kayaks, and rowboats).

Operator Proficiency

Regulations governing operating proficiency and age restrictions have been introduced which eventually affect every powerboat operator.

Beginning in the year 2000, children and youths born after April 1, 1983 require proof of operator competency to operate any powerboats by passing an approved test.  Proof of passing the test must be carried onboard.

By September 15, 2002 all operators, regardless of age, operating powerboats under 4 metres in length will need proof of operator competency and by September 15, 2009 all other powerboat operators will require it.  Check with the marinas for information on courses and testing locations and times in our area.  Also, list of course providers is available from the Coast Guard - follow link below.


Age / Horsepower Restrictions

  • As well as and distinct from course/proficiency requirements are age restrictions limiting the operations of power craft:
  • Children under 12 years of age and not directly supervised by a person 16 years of age or older are restricted from operating anything over 10 h.p.
  • Youths over 12 but under 16 years of age are restricted from operating anything over 40 h.p. without adult supervision
  • Operators of all personal watercraft (PWC) must be 16 years of age or older


  1. Obey all navigation rules and regulations.
  2. Stay clear of less maneuverable craft. Take particular care in passing other boats in narrow channels
  3. Proceed at safe speeds and do not exceed posted speeds.  Be sure your wake will not disturb others.
  4. Take particular care when under way near swimmers and small boats.
  5. Do not drink and operate a boat.
  6. Properly light your boat at night and proceed with caution, at a safe speed.
  7. Consider wearing a lifejacket or PFD when using a boat.


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This site was last updated on December 1, 2006 .