Boating Atlantic 2019

Boating Safety

Boating Safety

Transport Canada Marine Safety’s Office of Boating Safety encourages boaters to explore Canada’s waterways responsibly. All recreational boaters are expected to know the rules that govern their safe enjoyment of Canada’s waters, including mandatory safety equipment, the safe operation of vessels and the protection of the environment.

To operate a motorized boat in Canada, you need proof of competency to show that you have basic boating safety knowledge. The most common form of proof of competency is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can get one by taking a boating safety course and/or passing a boating safety test from a Transport Canada accredited course provider.

In addition, all recreational boats with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must have a pleasure craft licence. Pleasure craft licences are free and are valid for 10 years. Information about licensing of recreational boats can be found here

For more information on recreational boating regulations, visit  A copy of the latest Canadian Safe Boating Guide is available for download at

Some important regulations:


If you are boating in Atlantic Canada, the following regulations apply
• All pleasure craft equipped with a toilet must have a holding tank for sewage
• Discharge in inland waters including the Bras d’Or Lake is prohibited
• Boats at sea can discharge if they are three miles offshore and moving at their fastest
feasible speed
• Sewage can be discharged ashore at pumpout facilities
• The full regulation can be viewed at


In the Nova Scotia there is a shore line speed restriction on the rivers and lakes including the
Bras d’Or Lake.
No person shall operate a power-driven vessel at a speed in excess of 10 km/h (6mph) within 30 metres (100 feet) of the shore.

The restriction does not apply to

(a) a vessel that is operated for the purpose of towing a person on water skis or on any
other sporting or recreational equipment, if the vessel follows a course away from and
perpendicular to the shore; and

(b) in respect of a power-driven vessel that is operated
(i) in rivers that are less than 100 metres in width or in canals or buoyed channels, or
(ii) in any waters referred to in Schedule 6 of the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations in respect of which a maximum speed is set out.

The full regulation can be viewed at