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Transport Canada’s Construction Standards for Small Vessels specify how small vessels that are equipped with a motor, are up to 24 m in length and operate in Canada, must be built. A Compliance Notice is a statement from the manufacturer or importer that a vessel is built according to the construction requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations. If you plan to sell, import, build or rebuild such a vessel, you are required to make sure it meets these construction standards. Pleasure craft that meet these construction standards should be equipped with a Compliance Notice. Compliance Notices for pleasure craft up to 6 m in length also have information on recommended maximum safe limits in good weather. Compliance Notices can be a small metal plate or label affixed to the hull of your craft. Examples of Compliance Notices are depicted on this page.
Do I need one?
Canadian boating laws require that a Compliance Notice must be affixed to all pleasure craft propelled (or designed to be propelled) by a motor and that are built in or imported into Canada in order to be sold or operated in Canada, except pleasure craft 24 m and above. Owners of pleasure craft may obtain individual Compliance Notices from the original manufacturer. You also need a Compliance Notice in order to license or register your boat. For more information visit www.tc.gc.ca.

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What information is on a compliance label?

Compliance Notices for pleasure boats less than 6 m in length provide three important pieces of information: * Recommended Gross Load Capacity: The maximum weight your boat is designed to carry including persons, motor, steering assembly, fuel, all equipment and gear. * Recommended Safe Limits of Engine Power: Indicates the maximum limit of engine horsepower based on the vessel’s gross load capacity. The maximum engine size is indicated on the Compliance Notice. * Maximum Number of Adults: The Compliance Label also indicates the maximum number of “equivalent adult persons” that your vessel can safely carry.
The Compliance Notice sets a maximum limit for each of these capacities based on safe operation in fair weather conditions. Loading your craft to maximum capacity may increase the likelihood of injury or emergency if you are forced to operate during adverse conditions. Be aware of and respect the limitations and handling characteristics of your craft. It is extremely hazardous to overload your boat. Hull identification number
All pleasure craft made in Canada, or imported into Canada after August 1, 1981 (with or without a motor), must have a Hull Identification Number (HIN). A HIN helps to find lost or stolen boats and identify boats that are subject to a recall. A HIN is 12 digits long and no character of the HIN can less than 6 mm (1/4”) in height and width. The HIN must be permanently marked on the outside upper starboard corner of the transom or as close to that area as possible.

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Licensing your pleasure craft

A Pleasure Craft License is the set of ID numbers displayed on your boat which can be used by Search and Rescue personnel to identify your vessel. A Pleasure Craft License is different than a Vessel Registration, which provides proof of ownership (legal title), a unique name and official number for your boat and the right to use your boat as security for a marine mortgage.
The Small Vessel Regulations require that all pleasure craft of all sizes equipped with one or more primary propulsion motors of 10 hp (7.5 KW) or more must be licensed, unless they are registered. The regulation applies to all boats mostly operated or kept in Canada. You can obtain a 10 year license for free from Service Canada. You must renew the license after the 10 year period has expired. If your boat is already licensed, you should make sure that it is in your name and that your contact information is up-to-date. Transferring ownership
It is mandatory to report a change of name and address to the Service Canada Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre. If selling a pleasure craft, you must transfer ownership by signing the reverse side of your vessel license and providing it to the purchaser. The purchaser is obligated to complete and sign the reverse side of the vessel license and submit it to Service Canada for transfer within 90 days. An owner may operate the pleasure craft for 90 days after the date of change of name or address, if documents establishing the date of change of name or address are on board. Owner information must be kept up-to-date, including name and address changes. Registering your pleasure craft
There are costs involved in registering your vessel, but if you plan to operate your boat in international waters registering you vessel provides the benefit of proof of ownership, in addition to the benefits noted above. In order to register you will be required to select at least 3 names for your vessel (of which one will be approved), pay a registration fee, complete an application for registry, produce evidence of ownership/title and statement of qualification for vessel registration, as well as have your vessel measured for tonnage. For more information about Pleasure Craft Licensing and registration visit
As a Canadian pleasure craft operator, you are expected to know the rules and regulations that govern Canada’s waterways. You are responsible for equipping yourself with the right equipment and for operating your boat in a safe and courteous manner. You are also responsible for ensuring the safety of your passengers and other boaters.
Safe Boating Tip
You are legally responsible for equipping yourself, your passengers and your boat properly. You are also responsible for operating your boat safely and ensuring the safety of those onboard. Boat operators and owners who do not comply with Canadian laws and regulations could be subject to fines and penalties.

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Drugs, alcohol and boating

If you drink – don’t drive. The same applies whether you’re driving a car, a boat, a PWC or any other type of motorized vehicle. Consuming alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances can significantly impair your ability to safely operate your pleasure craft. Doing so will not only put your own life at risk, but will also risk the lives of your fellow boaters.
Operating a pleasure craft anywhere in Canada while impaired is an offence under Section 253 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Charges result in a criminal record and, even for the first offence, will result in significant fines. Most provinces have fines from $600 to $2,000 and can restrict your operation of any motorized vehicle for 6 months to 3 years. Offenders can also be sent to prison. In Ontario anyone found guilty of alcohol impairment while in command of a power vessel will lose their automobile driver's licence for a least a year.
Remember: Alcohol, drugs and boating don’t mix.

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Using common sense

You are required by law to operate your craft in a safe and courteous manner. You should always choose a safe operating speed and use common sense, especially when operating close to shore. Consider the following when operating your craft: * Your distance from shore * Water and wind speed conditions * Visibility conditions * Local hazards and obstructions * The amount of boat traffic in the vicinity * Posted speed limits * The handling characteristics and capabilities of your craft * Your level of skill and experience
Almost all boating emergencies are preventable. In fact, most boating accidents are simply the result of a series of smaller things going wrong. Using common sense, such as wearing your personal flotation device instead of stowing it under a seat, can make all the difference.

As a boat operator you are responsible for the safety of your passengers. You should explain what their responsibilities and duties are in the event of an emergency, and instruct them on safe behavior while underway.
Instruct your passengers on the following: * How to operate the craft in case of emergency * The location of the craft’s emergency kit * How to rescue a person overboard * How to properly use an approved PFD or Lifejacket
Be sure that your passengers understand they should: * Always wear an approved PFD or Lifejacket * Be aware that the effects of sunlight, motion, waves, wind and sound can impair their judgment * Keep close to the centreline of the boat and as low as possible when moving around the boat * Keep hands and feet inside the craft when departing or returning to the Dock * Refrain from consuming alcohol while onboard

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Assisting fellow boaters in distress

Pleasure craft operators are required by law to come to the aid of fellow boaters in distress: * When operating your craft you are required to maintain a look-out for signals that indicate a fellow boater is in distress or need of assistance * If you are involved in a collision, you are obligated by the Criminal Code of Canada to stop and offer assistance to the other boater * If you identify any persons found at sea and in danger of being lost, your are required by the Canada Shipping Act 2001 to help that person, so long as it doesn’t put your own craft and passengers at risk

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Lending your pleasure craft or pwc

As a pleasure craft owner, both you and the person operating your boat are responsible any time you lend your pleasure craft or PWC. You should ensure that: * The person borrowing your craft understands boating rules and is a responsible person * The person borrowing your craft has a Pleasure Craft Operator Card * He or she is wearing an approved PFD or Lifejacket
You should also review the following: * Any local hazards or obstructions * Navigation and right-of-way rules * The location of safety equipment onboard your craft
The handling characteristics of your craft

everal major acts and regulations govern pleasure craft operators in Canada and ensure the safe use and enjoyment of Canada’s waterways. Marine acts, regulations and code have the force of law and apply to all pleasure craft operators.
Canada’s boating regulations, acts and code are: * The Criminal Code of Canada * The Canada Shipping Act 2001, including the: 0 Small Vessel Regulations 1 Collision Regulations 2 Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations 3 Charts & Nautical Publications Regulations 4 Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations * The Contraventions Act
Violating Canada’s boating laws and regulations could not only cause personal and public injury, but can also result in fines, penalties and imprisonment.

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Canada Shipping Act 2001

The main provisions for recreational boating in Canada are contained in the Canada Shipping Act 2001 and the Criminal Code of Canada.
Persons visiting from outside Canada and operating power-driven vessels licensed or rented in Canada are required to follow Canadian laws and regulations. When traveling abroad and operating pleasure craft licensed or registered in another country, Canadian citizens are required to obey the laws in the host country.
Boating laws change from time to time. As a safe boater, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the most current information. Visit www.BoatSmartExam.com for links to the most up-to-date regulations.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), provincial and municipal police forces and other authorized local authorities enforce the laws that apply to recreational boaters in Canada. Enforcement officers may inspect your vessel and monitor your activities to ensure that you’re carrying the proper safety equipment and operating your craft in a responsible manner.

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Canada Shipping Act 2001

The Canada Shipping Act 2001 establishes a framework of rules and regulations and is the “umbrella” act under which all boating regulations are developed in Canada. It incorporates international and federal laws and regulates all vessels operating on Canadian waterways.
Safe Boating Tip
The Canada Shipping Act 2001 requires every pleasure craft operator to help other boaters in distress, so long as it does not put themselves, their passengers or their craft at risk.

he Small Vessel Regulations outline the minimum mandatory safety equipment that must be aboard your boat, safety precautions to follow before and while boating and construction standards for building a pleasure craft. To be capable of saving your life, and to satisfy the regulations, your pleasure craft’s required safety equipment must be in good working order. As the owner or person entrusted by the owner, you are violating the Small Vessel Regulations if you operate a pleasure craft that does not have all the required equipment on board, or if it is not in good working order. The same applies if you loan it, you should check your vessel and safety equipment before every trip. The Small Vessel Regulations apply to five key areas, including: Construction Standards, Safe Operating Rules, Required Safety Equipment, Required Maintenance and Registration and Licensing.
Safe Boating Tip
The offence “Careless Operation of a Vessel” is part of the Small Vessel Regulations. This means no person shall operate a small vessel in a careless manner, without proper care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons.

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Charts and nautical publications regulations

Charts and nautical publications provide the information necessary in order to safely navigate Canada’s lakes, rivers and waterways. Marine charts are a “road map” of Canadian waterways, indicating safe navigation routes, the location of markers, buoys and local hazards. Marine publications and documents include “Notices to Mariners”, “Sailing Directions” and “Tide Tables”. The Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations require that pleasure craft operators have onboard at all times the most recent editions of: * The largest scale charts for the area that they navigate * The required publications for the area that they navigate * The required documents for the area that they navigate
Marine Charts are published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and are available for purchase at your local marine dealer or on the internet.

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Vessel operation restriction regulations

The Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations impose standardized speed limits and shoreline speed zones. The regulations also limit where certain types of boats may or may not be permitted to operate in Canada. Many of the regulations contained within the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations are local in nature. Boaters should check locally for speed restrictions and Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations for detailed information on speed restrictions.
Boaters are responsible to be knowledgeable of waterway restrictions and to respect the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations when boating in Canada. Boaters should always abide by both posted and un-posted speed limits and be aware of universal shoreline speed limits that may be in effect. Various provinces including Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, have universal shoreline speed restrictions. These un-posted restrictions require boaters to operate at 10km or less when 30m or closer to any shoreline. Boaters should check locally for speed restrictions and Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations for detailed information on speed restrictions.

The Contraventions Act enables local authorities to write tickets for offences that result in a fine but not a criminal record. Examples include: * Disregarding speed limits * Careless operation * Operating without the prescribed safety equipment
Typically, fines under the Contraventions Act range between $100 and $200. Fines depend on the type of infraction and the number of violations. You should check with local authorities to determine how the Contraventions Act is applied in your province.
For example
Most local law enforcement agencies have adopted a zero tolerance policy when determining fines when it comes to each person onboard not having a Canadian approved PFD or Lifejacket that is an appropriate fit and in good condition. In participating provinces, this contravention could cost you over $200 for each violation! Fines* for the most common offenses include: * Operating a vessel in a careless manner: $250 * Speeding: $100 * Boating without your Operator Card: $250
*Not including administrative charges.

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Collision regulations

The Collision Regulations stipulate the rules preventing collisions on the high seas and inland waterways. As such, the Collision Regulations govern the following: * Navigation * Right-of-way rules * Look-out rules

Safe Boating Tip
The Collision Regulations, Rule 5 requires that all pleasure craft operators must maintain a proper look-out by both sight and hearing at all times.

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Criminal code of canada

The Criminal Code of Canada enables law enforcement authorities to charge boat operators for criminal offences. For example the Criminal Code of Canada: * Requires that a pleasure craft operator must stop and offer assistance to another craft when he/she has been involved in a collision * Prohibits vessels from being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public * Prohibits false emergency signals or messages * Prohibits operators from interfering with marine signals and navigation aids * Requires that a person other than the operator must keep watch of any person being towed (such as a water-skier) * Prohibits the towing of water-skiers after dark or before sunrise * Prohibits the operation of a vessel which is known to be in unseaworthy condition
Prohibits the operation of a vessel while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or controlled substances

Unfortunately, drinking and boating is still a significant concern on Canadian waterways. In fact, alcohol is a factor in more than 40% of boating related fatalities.
Safe Boating Tip
There’s no excuse: You should never consume alcohol while boating. Always keep the "Water on the Water and the Beer on the Pier!”
Alcohol can have a number of negative effects: * Diminished judgment and ability to process information - If you are operating a boat, being impaired by alcohol will make you less attentive * Slower reaction and reflex response times * Reduced motor skills, peripheral vision and balance, putting you at greater risk of falling overboard * Poorer depth perception, vision and focus * Inner ear disturbances, which makes it harder to distinguish the water surface if you fall in * Accelerated hypothermia, since alcohol lowers the body’s resistance to cold

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Boating and alcohol What Are The Risks?

1.Drinking and boating is a criminal offence
Operating a vessel anywhere in Canada while impaired is illegal and is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. It is illegal to operate a vessel in Canada with a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.08 mg. It is also a criminal offence to fail or refuse to comply with a demand from an enforcement officer to submit a blood sample, which can be punishable by fines and penalties. Enforcement officers have the power to request ID, ask for proof of competency, ask pertinent questions and go on board.
If you’re caught operating a boat while currently prohibited for a previous drinking and boating offence you may be additionally charged. At minimum you can be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for a minimum of one year for the first offence.
2. Fines and penalties
Convictions, even for the first offence, may result in heavy punishment. Persons who commit an offence are subject to penalties and fines. Not only can you be charged for impaired operation of a vessel, you can also be charged if you are just having a drink while operating a vessel.
3. Consuming alcohol
Provinces and territories have their own rules that determine when alcohol can be consumed or how it can be transported onboard a boat. For example, in Ontario, alcohol can only be consumed under the following conditions: * On a vessel with permanent sleeping accommodations and permanent cooking and sanitary facilities * While the boat is at anchor or is secured to the Dock or land
4. Transporting alcohol
It is illegal to transport alcohol on a vessel unless the alcohol is in a container that is unopened and the seal unbroken, or unless the alcohol is packaged in baggage that is fastened closed, or is not otherwise readily available to anyone in the vessel. In a boat, beverage alcohol and alcohol containers must be stored in a closed compartment.
5. Boater fatigue
Boater fatigue is a combination of the hot sun, wind and noise, vibration and boat motion that can quadruple the effects of alcohol on boaters. In other words, the effects of alcohol are up to 4 times greater when on a boat than when on land. Alcohol also slows your swallowing and breathing reflexes, making you more likely to drown if you fall overboard.
6. Alcohol and dehydration
Alcohol contributes to dehydration. Heat and sun can cause boaters to become dehydrated as the body tries to cool itself by sweating. If you’re dehydrated you will feel the effects of alcohol more quickly. Even mildly dehydrated people will absorb alcohol more quickly into their system and will have a higher blood alcohol concentration than a non-dehydrated person. Another concern with dehydration occurs when a person falls overboard: Dehydration causes the body to lose fluids which can lead to stomach cramps while attempting to swim and stay above water. Consuming alcohol and not wearing a Lifejacket or PFD can be a deadly combination.
The Small Vessel Regulations defines a pleasure sailing craft (sailboat) as any vessel that is under the power of sail. Sailboats operating with an engine or propelling machinery are considered to be motorized vessels and are subject to the navigation rules and regulations that apply to “power-driven” craft.

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What is a personal watercraft?

Personal Watercraft (PWCs) are equipped with an inboard engine and are propelled by an internal jet-propulsion system. Because of their size and method of propulsion, PWCs have unique handling characteristics when compared to traditional motorized craft. For example, you cannot steer a PWC unless throttle power is applied.

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The hull

The “hull” is considered to be the portion of the boat that rides both in and on top of the water. The hull does not include any masts, sails, rigging, machinery or equipment. Several types of hulls can be found on both powerboats and sailing craft: * A Planing Hull is designed to lift (or “plane”) onto the surface of the water as the boat gains speed. Most small powerboats use planing type hulls. * A Displacement Hull is designed to travel through the water using propulsion. Larger vessels are typically designed with Displacement Hulls because of their size.
A Pontoon Hull utilizes two or more pontoons to create lift and flotation. Pontoon hulls typically have flat decks and may be fitted with or without a cabin.

The shape or configuration of a boat’s hull greatly affects its performance. Operators should be able to identify the design of a hull and recognize the unique handling characteristics of each: * Round-Bottom: Typical to sailboats and canoes, round-bottom hulls are not as stable and tend to “roll” in waves. You should be cautious when loading, entering and exiting a round bottom boat as it may roll easily. * Flat-Bottom: These vessels are generally designed for slow speeds and calm water. Flat bottom boats tend to be less stable than other hull types in rough water. * Deep “V” Bottom: The most common type of power-boat hull, these boats move through rough water at higher speeds and have a smoother ride than flat bottom or round bottom boats. * Multi-Chine Hull: Multi-hull craft, such as catamarans, are very stable but can be more difficult to manoeuvre.

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Definitions

Bow
The forward part or front section of a boat is called the “Bow”.
Stern
The rearward part or rear section of a boat is called the “stern”.
Transom
The “transom” is the stern cross-section of the boat. Port To the left side of the pleasure craft when in the boat looking forward.
Port
To the left side of the pleasure craft when in the boat
looking forward.
Starboard
To the right side of the pleasure craft when in the boat looking forward.
Waterline
In respect of a pleasure craft, means the waterline at the recommended maximum gross load capacity.

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Definitions

Draft
Draft is defined as the depth of water that a boat needs in order to float freely. A boat’s Draft is measured as the distance from the waterline to the lowest point of the hull. If a vessel is equipped with an outboard motor or stern drive, the Draft is the distance from the waterline to the lowest point on the engine.
Freeboard
Freeboard is the distance from the waterline to the lowest point on the Deck or “topside” of the hull.

Length
A boat’s length is defined as the distance from the tip of the Bow to the farthest point on the stern (measured in a straight line). If the boat is equipped with a swim platform it is not considered to be part of the boat’s overall length.
Beam
A boat’s Beam is the width of a boat at its widest point.

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Outboard engine

An outboard engine is fixed to the transom (stern) of a boat. The operator steers the craft by moving the entire engine and drive assembly. Outboard engines come in a variety of engine sizes and configurations.

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Inboard/outboard engine

An “inboard/outboard” engine is mounted within the hull of the craft. The lower unit, which consists of the propeller and drive assembly, is mounted on the transom at the stern of the craft. In an “inboard/ outboard” configuration, the operator steers the craft by moving the lower unit left or right.
Inboard engines
An “inboard” engine is one where the motor and a significant portion of the drive assembly are mounted within the hull of the craft. With this design, only the propeller and propeller shaft extend outside the hull. The operator steers the craft by moving a rudder which is affixed at the stern of the craft behind the propeller. Many popular wakeboard style boats use “inboard” engines.

The Small Vessel Regulations require that certain safety equipment be carried onboard at all times. The type of equipment required varies according to the type and size of craft being operated (specific requirements are listed in Appendix A).
The Small Vessel Regulations also require that safety equipment carried on board must be in good working order and be maintained and be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions (including maintenance of fire extinguishers to ensure they are fully charged) so that equipment functions properly when needed. All safety equipment should be stored in a location on board the craft where it is readily accessible for immediate use.
There are four types of safety equipment required for operation on Canadian waterways: Personal Safety Equipment; Boat Safety Equipment; Distress Equipment; and Navigation Equipment.
Safe Boating Tip
The right safety equipment provides peace of mind - And if something goes wrong, it can save a life. Make sure your equipment is working properly, is easily accessible and can be operated by everyone onboard.

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Personal safety equipment

Boaters are required to carry personal safety equipment onboard at all times. This equipment includes: * Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) & Lifejackets * Buoyant Heaving Line * Emergency Kit
Safe Boating Tip
More than 90 percent of all persons who drown while boating were not wearing a personal flotation device. Remember: Your flotation device only works if you wear it! PFDs should be worn by ALL boaters in and around water - not just when operating or riding in a vessel.

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Approved flotation devices

Wearing an approved, properly fitted flotation device greatly reduces the risk of accidental drowning. In fact, Canadian Coast Guard statistics show that boaters wearing an approved flotation device are 5.5 times less likely to drown. Pleasure craft operators and their passengers should wear an approved Personal Flotation Device or Lifejacket at all times while onboard a boat.
There are three main types of flotation devices approved for use in Canada: * Lifejackets * Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) * Inflatable PFDs
Flotation devices should bear a label or stamp indicating approval by Transport Canada. PFDs can also be approved by the Canadian Coast Guard. The approved status of Lifejackets and PFDs is void if the flotation device has been damaged, altered, or repaired or if the label or stamp indicating approval is illegible. If ripped or damaged, they should be replaced immediately.

Lifejackets can be found in both “Standard” and “Small Vessel” styles, and are typically bulkier and more uncomfortable than Personal Flotation Devices. Manufactured with increased flotation in the front of the jacket, Lifejackets are designed to turn an unconscious person face up in the water. * SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) Lifejackets offer the best performance and will turn an unconscious person face up and out of the water in seconds. * Standard Lifejackets feature a high degree of buoyancy and turning ability but are typically uncomfortable. * Similar in design, Small Vessel Lifejackets are also designed to turn an unconscious person face up but are not as buoyant and have less turning ability.
All Lifejackets are red, orange or yellow in color and are available in both adult and youth sizes. Lifejackets should be fitted to the size of person wearing the device. Both Standard and Small Vessel Lifejackets are reversible and feature a “keyhole” or “vest” design.
Lifejackets should fit slightly loosely in order to allow water under the front of the jacket so that it can function properly. All zippers, fasteners, buckles and straps should be adjusted to ensure a proper fit. Be sure to choose a Lifejacket that has been approved for use in Canada.

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Personal flotation devices

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are more comfortable and less restrictive than Lifejackets. PFDs are designed to keep a person afloat but are NOT designed to turn an unconscious person face up in the water. As such, they are not as safe as
Lifejackets.
PFDs come in keyhole, vest, coat and coverall designs. Child, youth and adult sizes are available and should be fitted to the size of the person wearing the device.
Safe Boating Tip
More than 90 percent of all persons who drown while boating were not wearing a personal flotation device. Remember: Your flotation device only works if you wear it! PFDs should be worn by ALL boaters in and around water - not just when operating or riding in a vessel.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) should fit snugly but not restrict the free movement of arms and legs. Lifejackets should fit slightly loosely in order to allow water under the front of the jacket so that it can function properly. All zippers, fasteners, buckles and straps should be adjusted to ensure a proper fit.

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Inflatable pfds

Some PFDs are inflatable – A carbon dioxide cartridge is used to inflate the PFD. Once inflated, the PFD is able to keep a person afloat. Inflatable PFDs are becoming more popular because they allow for unrestricted movement and are more comfortable in hot weather. Inflatable PFDs come in various styles including waist pouches and vests and those that automatically inflate, versus more basic styles that require manual inflation.

Keep the following in mind: * Inflatable PFDs are only approved for use by persons 16 years or older that weigh more than 36 kilograms * Inflatable PFDs must be worn at all times while on deck or in the cockpit of an open vessel * Inflatable must be readily available to persons below deck on vessels equipped with cabins
Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use on Personal Watercraft (PWCs) or white water activities

When choosing a PFD or Lifejacket, you should consider the following: * Choose a PFD or Lifejacket that suits the type of activities for which it will be required * Check the label or stamp and confirm the PFD or Lifejacket has been approved for use in Canada * Verify that the PFD or Lifejacket is appropriate for your size and weight * Check that it fits snugly but allows for freedom of movement * If purchasing a PFD or Lifejacket for another person, ensure that it meets the criteria for that person
Safe Boating Tip
If you are in a smaller open vessel (such as a small fishing boat), other boaters may find it difficult to see you. Choosing a brightly coloured flotation device will help make you more visible to others.

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Children’s pfds and lifejackets

Many Lifejackets, although certified for use, may not properly protect a child and/or float them face up. Choose a PFD or Lifejacket that has been specifically designed for use by children to ensure their safety.
A children’s PFD / Lifejacket should have the following: * A label or stamp indicating that it has been approved for use in Canada * An extra large collar to support the child’s head * A safety strap that fastens between the legs to prevent the jacket from slipping over the child’s head * A grab strap located on the collar * Reflective material and a safety whistle Children should be encouraged to wear a PFD or Lifejacket at all times - both on the boat and when they are near the water. Be sure that children understand how to properly fit and use their PFD or Lifejacket.
The PFD or Lifejacket should always be properly fitted to the child. Never try and make do with a flotation device that is “close” to the right size and never purchase a larger size than appropriate in the hope that the child will “grow into it”.
Safe Boating Tip
A child's head is heavier than his/her body, and this uneven weight distribution means he/she will not float well in a face-up position and may panic easily. Also, diapers, when wet, will adversely affect the performance of flotation devices.
Remember
A PFD or Lifejacket should never be used as a substitute for adult supervision.

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Testing pfds and lifejackets

PFDs and Lifejackets should be tested for buoyancy at the start of each season and on a regular basis throughout the season. To test a PFD and/or Lifejacket, perform the following procedure: * Put on and properly fit the PFD or Lifejacket * Wade into chest deep water * Bend your knees and float onto your back * Ensure the PFD or Lifejacket keeps your chin above the water and permits proper breathing
Safe Boating Tip
Even though your flotation device has a label indicating that it is approved for use in Canada you should still test it - even if it is new. By testing your flotation device on a regular basis you’ll be sure it will keep you afloat when you need it most.
Children should also test their PFDs and/or Lifejackets to ensure proper fit and buoyancy. Have your child follow the same procedures as above in a controlled environment under parental supervision.

PFDs and Lifejackets are designed to save lives. As one of the most important pieces of safety equipment onboard your craft, they should be maintained and cared for as follows: * PFDs & Lifejackets should never be used as cushions, bumpers or Fenders. They may become damaged and less effective in an emergency. * PFDs & Lifejackets should be air dried out of direct sunlight and away from a direct heat source. * When not in use PFDs & Lifejackets should be stowed onboard your craft in a dry, well ventilated area. * Store PFDs & Lifejackets in a location that is easily accessible by both the operator and passengers - and never in the proximity of gasoline or chemicals. * Inspect your PFDs & Lifejackets regularly. If ripped or damaged, they should be replaced immediately.

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Cleaning pfds and lifejackets

Keeping your flotation device clean will prolong its useful life and save you money. To clean a PFD or Lifejacket: * Use mild soap and water * Rinse thoroughly * Never dry-clean or use strong detergents, gasoline, or chemicals/solvents * Air dry out of direct sunlight and away from direct heat sources

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Putting on a flotation device in the water

Practice the following procedure for putting on your flotation device while in the water: * Find a supervised area in which to practice the procedure * Spread the flotation device open with the inside facing up and out of the water and the neck facing towards you * Extend your arms through the arm openings * Lift your arms above your head * Lie backwards and pull the flotation device around your upper body * Fasten the zipper, straps, buckles and/or ties to ensure a snug fit
Remember
Although you should know the procedure for putting on a PFD or Lifejacket in the water, it is highly recommended that you wear an approved PFD or Lifejacket at all times while onboard your pleasure craft. If you find yourself in an emergency situation while not wearing a PFD or Lifejacket, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury or death.

A Buoyant Heaving Line is equipped with a buoy or float at one end. It is designed to be thrown to a person who has fallen overboard or is in the water and in need of help: * The Small Vessel Regulations require that Buoyant Heaving Lines be at least 15 m in length and be appropriate to the size of your vessel. * Some Buoyant Heaving Lines are light and therefore can be difficult to throw longer distances. You should practice throwing a Buoyant Heaving Line before an emergency situation arises. * Using a water safety throw equipped with a throw container (a weighted plastic shell at one end) will enable you to throw the line with less difficulty and ensure it does not become tangled. Choose a water safety throw that has an integrated handle, is brightly coloured and easy to grasp. * A Buoyant Heaving Line should be readily accessible in case of emergency.

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Emergency kit

Pleasure craft operators should carry an emergency safety kit onboard at all times. The kit should be stored in a watertight plastic bag and be easily accessible in case of emergency. The kit should include: * Emergency rations * Drinking water * A First Aid kit * Waterproof matches * A waterproof flashlight * A knife * A whistle
Dry clothing

ou are required to carry boat safety equipment on your vessel at all times. Different sizes and types of boats are required to carry different equipment. Refer to Appendix A for a complete list of required equipment for your craft. Boat safety equipment includes: * Bailing Devices * Manual and Electric Bilge Pumps * Anchor * Manual Propelling Devices (Oars / Paddles) * Axe * Repair Kit * Life Ring * Fire Extinguisher * Re-boarding Device
Safe Boating Tip
Would you be able to find your boating safety equipment in an emergency? It’s a good idea to store all your safety equipment in a duffle bag or container. Keeping it together and accessible ensures you’ll find it when you need it most!

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Bailing device

A bailing device is used to remove water from inside a boat: * Bailing devices are usually home-made plastic or metal scoops * A bailing device can be made from cutting the top off a bleach bottle * The Small Vessel Regulations require that bailers have a volume of at least 750 ml and an opening that is at least 65 cm2 in area, and be made of plastic or metal * Purpose-built bailing devices can also be purchased from your local marine retailer, and are more effective than home-made devices
Buckets
If operating a powered craft 12 m in length and longer, you are required to carry a minimum of 2 buckets each with a 10L minimum capacity. If operating a powered craft over 20 m in length, you are required to carry a minimum of 4 buckets, each with a 10L minimum capacity. Buckets can be used to fight fires and dispel water from your craft, and should be fitted with a lanyard of sufficient length to reach the water from the location in which it is stored.

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Manual and electric bilge pumps

Manual Bilge pumps
Similar in look to a bicycle pump, a manual Bilge pump utilizes a pumping chamber, a water intake hose (or chamber) and a discharge hose to dispel water. If using a manual pump, you must ensure the discharge hose is long enough to reach from the bilge to over the side of your boat.
Electric Bilge pumps
Some pleasure craft are fitted with electric Bilge pumps. Typically located in the engine compartment and controlled from the pleasure craft’s Cockpit, electric Bilge pumps are designed to remove water from the hull of a vessel. Certain models are equipped with an automatic switch and turn on automatically if the water level in the Bilge begins to rise. Even if your vessel is equipped with an electric Bilge pump, you should always carry a manual pump or bailing device as a back-up.

If operating a pleasure craft 9 m in length or longer you are required to carry an anchor. An anchor can be used to secure your boat in case of a breakdown or anchorage due to poor weather.
Anchors are available in various styles and types: * “Fisherman” anchors are a non-burying type with one arm that penetrates the bottom. * Fluke anchors have two large flat services that bury into the bottom and once set well can provide a significant amount of holding force. * Plough anchors function like a farmer’s plough and typically work well in all types of bottoms, although they are harder to set. * “Bruce” or Claw anchors are popular for small boats and are similar in design to plough anchors but set more easily. They also tend to not release easily due to changes in wind and tide.
Choosing the right anchor depends on the size and weight of your boat and the characteristics of the waterway bottom (i.e. sand, rock, mud). Boaters should refer to manufacturers' recommendations for anchor styles and weights. Larger anchors are recommended for adverse conditions and those equipped with a shackle pin should have a locking device.
The Small Vessel Regulations require that an anchor be fitted with at least 15, 30 or 50 m of cable, rope or chain in any combination. The length depends on the size of your vessel.
Remember
The inboard end of the Anchor Line should be securely fastened to the Bow of your craft. The outboard end of the Anchor Line should be securely fastened to the anchor.

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Manual propelling device

Manual propelling devices, such as oars or paddles, can be used to manoeuvre your craft in the case of a breakdown. Most vessels are required to carry paddles or oars with oar locks. If operating a vessel less than 8m in length you may use an anchor with a minimum of 15 m of rope, cable or chain in place of a paddle or manual propelling device.

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Axe

Those operating large vessels (longer than 12 m in length) must carry at least one axe onboard at all times. An effective fire-fighting tool, an axe can be used to chop into a wall that is concealing open flames. An axe can also be used to cut a towline in an emergency. A vessel that sinks while it is being towed can bring down the towing vessel along with it. An axe can be used to cut the tow line and prevent the towing vessel from sinking.
Spiked axes are preferred and should be readily accessible in case of emergency. Do not leave an axe exposed to the elements.

Although not considered to be mandatory equipment, boaters should always carry a repair kit including essential tools and spare parts. Tapered wooden plugs, underwater sealing compounds, patch kits and duct tape can all be used to stop hull leaks. In addition, a basic toolset including wrenches, sockets and driver, spare nuts and bolts, cotter-pins and spare spark plugs should be carried onboard at all times. Ensure that tools and spark plugs are the appropriate size for your craft.

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Life ring

A life ring (sometimes called a life buoy) is a circular shaped device that can be used to rescue a person who has fallen overboard.
The ring must be circular in shape, have an outside diameter of either 610 mm or 762 mm, and carry a sticker indicating that it has been approved by Transport Canada. A life ring must be at attached to a line of at least 15 m in length and be appropriate to the size of your vessel. To be approved, a life ring must have no tears, perforations or rot and the gridlines must be secure and in good condition.

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Re-boarding equipment

A re-boarding device, such as a ladder, is designed to allow easy re-boarding of your vessel from the water. The Small Vessel Regulations require that all craft carry an effective re-boarding device if the freeboard of the craft is greater than 0.5 m.
Suitable re-boarding devices include: * A portable ladder * A built-in transom or swim platform ladder * A sling * A rope * A qualified re-boarding device cannot be part of the propulsion unit
Re-boarding devices should be appropriate to the size of the vessel

Fire extinguishers are required onboard any vessels with a motor and any one of the following: * Closed compartments where portable fuel tanks may be stored * Closed living and cooking spaces * Permanently installed fuel tanks * Enclosed engine compartments
Though not all motorboats are required to carry a fire extinguisher, it is highly recommended that a fire extinguisher be carried on all boats. Boaters should mount a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location where it can be quickly retrieved in case of emergency.
Safe Boating Tip
Fire extinguishers must be approved by the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC), the Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or the US Coast Guard (USCG).

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Requirements

Extinguisher Rating System:
Fire extinguishers are rated using a system of letters and numbers: * Class A: Designed for use on combustible solid materials such as wood and paper * Class B: Designed for use on combustible liquid fires including gas, oil and grease * Class C: Designed for use on electrical fires
The number preceding the letter designation identifies the size of fire the extinguisher is capable of putting out. For example, a Class 3 extinguisher can extinguish a larger fire than a Class 2 extinguisher, and so on.
The Small Vessel Regulations require that Class BC extinguishers be used on pleasure craft in Canada. However, the use of a Class ABC fire extinguisher is recommended. Ensure that the fire extinguisher you choose meets the requirements for the size and type of your craft. (See “Required Safety Equipment”). Even if your craft is equipped with an automatic extinguishing system, you must carry the required portable extinguishers.

SAFE BOATING TIP
Fire extinguishers must be approved by the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC), the Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or the US Coast Guard (USCG).

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Flares

Flares and pyrotechnic devices are used to signal distress and need of assistance.
You may be required to carry certain types of Flares onboard depending on the size and type of craft and the body of water in which you are operating. For example, you are required to carry Flares if operating in any ocean or if operating in a waterway where you may be farther than 1 mile from shore.
You are not required to carry flares if you are operating on a river, canal or lake on which at no time your vessel can be more than one nautical mile from shore.
Flares should always be stored in a watertight container and located in a cool, dry area easily accessible in case of emergency.

All flares and pyrotechnic distress signals must be approved for use by Transport Canada and are valid for only four years from their date of manufacture. Flares or other pyrotechnic devices are explosive – they should always be used with caution and kept out of the reach of children. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions located on the packaging or casing before using a Flare or pyrotechnic device.
It is illegal to test or discharge a Flare if it is not being used for an emergency situation. Only dispose of Flare in an approved manner – Contact your local law enforcement agency, fire department or the Canadian Coast Guard for disposal procedures.
Safe Boating Tip
Always check the date of manufacture and read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a flare.

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Types of approved flares

There are four types of flares approved to signal your need for help:
1) Type A: Parachute Flare * Easily seen from water, land and air * Must emit a red light
2) Type B: Multi-star Flare * Easily seen from water, land and air * Must emit a red light
3) Type C: Hand-held Flare * Not as easily seen from afar but effective for marking your position * Must emit a red light
4) Type D: Smoke Flare * Highly visible during daylight hours * Must give off orange smoke

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Watertight flashlight

Most vessels are required to carry at least one watertight flashlight onboard at all times. In an emergency, a flashlight can be used as an illuminating device or to send a distress signal. Batteries must be in good condition in order for the flashlight to be recognized as an approved piece of boating safety equipment.
Safe Boating Tip
You can signal distress or your need for help by flashing SOS - Three short flashes, then three long flashes, followed by three short flashes. In addition, a watertight flashlight qualifies as navigation lights on non-powered vessels as wells as sailboats less than 7m in length.

Sound-signalling devices serve several important functions: * To signal distress or your need of assistance * To alert other boats of your position in poor visibility * For navigation purposes
Boaters should be aware that various sound signals exist to attract attention and indicate a vessel’s intention which can include altering course to port and starboard; departing a dock; using astern propulsion; when at anchor and during periods of restricted visibility, such as fog and snow. For more information on various sound signals please see Module 4, 5 and 7.
The Small Vessel Regulations require that all vessels carry some form of sound-signalling device such as a whistle or horn. Approved sound-signalling devices and appliances must be audible for a minimum of 0.93 km.
Types of sound-signalling devices include: * Mechanical (floatless) whistle * Horn * Portable compressed-air horns * Bell
Pleasure craft less than 12 m in length are required to carry at least one sound-signalling device or other means of making an efficient sound signal. Refer to Appendix A to determine the type and quantity of sound-signalling devices and appliances required for your size of craft.
Safe Boating Tip
It’s good practice to attach a Fox 40 floatless whistle to your PFD or Lifejacket and those of your passengers. By doing so, you’ll be able to signal for help if you become stranded in the water.
Sound-Signalling Devices vs Appliances
A sound-signalling device can be a pealess whistle, compressed gas horn or an electric horn. Pleasure craft 12m or greater in length must have a fitted whistle which is considered to be a sound-signalling appliance. Boats over 20m must also be fitted with a bell. Check the Collision Regulations for the technical standards these appliances must meet. The bell may be replaced by other equipment having the same respective sound characteristics, provided that manual sounding of the prescribed signals shall always be possible.

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Navigation lights

Navigation lights are essential for operating during periods of restricted visibility or at night. Navigation lights make your craft visible from all angles and must be displayed one hour prior to sunset and remain on until one hour after sunrise. Navigation lights should also be exhibited during periods of reduced visibility such as during fog or heavy rain conditions.
Non-powered craft
If your craft is unable to display navigation lights and you are operating during nighttime (or during a period of reduced visibility), then you must have a watertight flashlight, lantern, or spotlight (emitting a white light) ready for use in order to signal your location to other craft, and prevent a collision.
Safe Boating Tip
Before heading out on the water, check the condition of your flashlight and its batteries. Make sure you’ve got fresh batteries and your flashlight is ready to use!

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Passive radar reflector

A passive radar reflector is a metallic device that is used to identify the position of your boat to other vessels equipped with radar. A radar reflector must be mounted on vessels that are less than 20 m in length and are constructed of non-metallic materials (such as fibreglass). The passive radar reflector should be mounted or suspended at least 4 m above the waterline.
A passive radar reflector is NOT required if: * You are operating on a waterway where no other vessels are using radar * It is impractical to mount on your vessel * Traffic conditions are limited * You are operating during daylight hours * You are operating in good weather conditions and calm waters
If the use of radar reflector is not essential for safe operation of your craft

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. Take care to properly maintain your vessel and equipment. You should also inspect your boat and equipment on a regular basis and become familiar with basic repairs. Doing so will ensure your safety and
that of your passengers.
Being properly prepared and maintaining your equipment will also alleviate unnecessary burden on search and rescue organizations such as the Canadian Coast Guard. You’ll also save time and money by reducing the chance of costly breakdowns.
Remember
The Criminal Code of Canada requires that you maintain your boat and equipment in seaworthy condition. It’s the law.

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Pre-season maintenance

Use the following as a checklist for pre-season maintenance: * Check the hull and Bilge for any damage includingcracks and leaks * Check the condition and operation of the outdrive, including:
- Shafts
- Propellers
- Prop
- Nuts and pins * Check the operation and condition of all systems including:
- Fuel, electrical and cooling systems * Check the condition of hoses and lines and replace worn, broken or cracked lines * Check the condition of the throttle control * Check all electrical connections - Clean and tighten any corroded or loose connections * Check the condition of all navigation lights * Inspect and clean the engine’s flame arrestor with soap and water * Check and replace engine oil if necessary * Check and replace air and fuel filters if necessary * With the engine running, check the operation of all gauges and alternator for charging capacity * Check the condition of the battery. (A fully charged battery should hold its charge for 24 hours)
If unfamiliar with maintenance procedures, you should take your boat to an authorized marine dealer for service.

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Winterization and storage

When preparing to winterize your craft be certain to read your owner’s manual. If you are unsure of the appropriate winterization procedure for your type of boat, visit your local marine dealer for advice and service. The following is an overview of winterization and storage procedures: * Use an environmentally-friendly marine detergent or algae remover to clean the hull of your craft. Empty the Bilge of any excess water and clean it using soap and water (or a marine-grade Bilge cleaner). Cleaning the hull and bilge will remove any dirt, oil, fuel or marine life that may damage the hull over prolonged exposure. * Drain and flush the engine’s cooling system. * Drain the engine’s fuel system. * Clean (or replace) the fuel filter. * Remove the spark plugs and fog the engine cylinders with a rust inhibitor. * Lubricate all moving parts.
Clean off any excess grease, lubrication, dirt or marine life.

Transporting your boat safely isn’t difficult - It’s a matter of choosing the right towing equipment, using common sense when loading and unloading your craft and knowing the techniques for driving safely with a trailer.
When choosing a trailer there are a few things you should consider. Be sure to select a trailer that will properly support the weight and size of your boat. Your trailer must also meet provincial and local laws with respect to licensing, registration and operating lights.
Safe Boating Tip
Towing and launching your boat safely takes both patience and know how. Be familiar with the proper techniques for safe towing, and practice driving and backing up in a controlled environment before out on the road.

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Choosing a trailer

First assess which style of trailer best suits your needs:
Bunk style
A bunk style trailer uses two or more bunks (typically constructed from wood) to hold and support the weight of the craft. Bunk style trailers are best used for small boats and PWCs. However, bunk style trailers can be difficult to use on shallow boat ramps. The bunks must be fully submerged in order to properly launch or retrieve your craft.
Roller style
A roller style trailer uses a series of rollers to hold and support the weight of the craft. Roller style trailers can be used for all types and sizes of craft with well constructed, deep-V fibreglass or welded aluminum hulls. Roller style trailers are easier to use on shallow boat ramps.

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The right choice

Once you have determined which style of trailer is right for your needs, consider the following: * Is the width and length of the trailer suitable for the width and length of your craft? * Is the weight capacity of the trailer suitable for the weight of your craft? The weight of the boat (including the engine and all fixed equipment) should not exceed 80% of the trailer’s weight capacity. The remaining 20% of load capacity should be reserved for equipment and fuel. * Do all the operating lights work properly? * Are the wheel bearings properly greased and able to operate smoothly? * Does the coupler (located at the front end of the trailer) match the size of your vehicle’s hitch ball?
Is the trailer equipped with mandatory “closed-loop” safety chains?

Vehicle capacity
The towing capacity of your vehicle should be considered before trailering any craft. Check your owner’s manual to determine the manufacturer’s recommended gross towing weight for your vehicle. The gross towing weight is the maximum weight you can safely tow and includes the weight of the craft, the engine, the trailer, and all fuel and equipment that is loaded in the boat. The maximum gross trailer weight and the tongue load should not exceed that specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Trailer brakes
Every provincial jurisdiction has its own laws pertaining to trailer brake requirements. For example, some provinces allow towing up to 50% of the net weight of the tow vehicle before brakes are required. Check with local and provincial authorities to determine if your trailer needs to be fitted with trailer brakes.
Trailer hitch
In order to use a trailer, your vehicle must be fitted with a trailer hitch. The hitch should be installed by a reputable dealer and should be suitable for both your vehicle and size and type of trailer. Ensure your hitch is equipped with a ball that matches the size of coupler on your trailer.

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Towing your craft

Attaching the trailer to your vehicle: * Before attaching the trailer to the vehicle, ensure that the trailer is properly balanced (See “Weight Distribution and Driving” current page). * Position the vehicle or trailer so that the hitch ball is directly below the trailer’s coupler and lower the trailer. * Securely fasten the tongue latch and lock the trailer coupler using a cotter pin or lock. * Using tie down straps, securely fasten the boat to the trailer. * Attach the winch cable and/or winch safety chain to the Bow eye of the boat (if so equipped). * Ensure that the trailer’s safety chains are securely fastened to the hitch. Chains should be long enough to accommodate tight turns but short enough so that the tongue of the trailer cannot touch the road if it becomes dislodged from the hitch. * Fasten the trailer’s lighting harness to your vehicle.

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Weight distribution and driving

Establishing a proper hitch weight is essential for safe trailering. As a rule of thumb, 5-10% of the total loaded weight should be on the tongue. Too light of weight will result in "fish-tailing" (swaying from side to side). Too much tongue weight could exceed the trailer hitch specifications and may affect the handling or your vehicle. Adjust the tongue weight by shifting equipment in the boat, or move the position of the winch on the trailer (which will position the boat closer to the front or farther to the rear of the trailer). Depending on the trailer, the axles may also be moved to adjust weight
distribution.
Always be aware of the added length and weight of the trailer when driving: * Accelerate slowly * Turn using a wider radius to allow for the trailer * Drive at a slower speed than normal * Allow for greater braking distance
Use extra caution if driving conditions are impaired by environmental factors such as high wind, heavy rain, fog or icy conditions

When launching your boat:
1. Make a visual check of the launch area: * Is the ramp deep enough to launch your craft? * Are there any overhead wires or obstructions?
2. Remove all tie-down straps and unplug the trailer lights from your vehicle
3. Ensure the Bilge drain plug is properly installed
4. Put all gear and safety equipment onboard the craft
5. Ensure the winch is connected to the Bow of the craft
6. Attach a Bow and stern line to the craft
7. Slowly back the trailer into the water until the motor becomes submerged
8. Test the operation of the motor by starting it and allowing it to warm up
9. Shut down the motor and continue backing the trailer into the water until the boat begins to float
10. Use the Bow and stern lines to guide the boat off the trailer - Remove the vehicle from the ramp

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Loading your craft

* Secure the boat at the Dock * Back the trailer into the water until it is two-thirds submerged * Turn off your vehicle and engage the emergency brake * Position the boat on the trailer using the Bow and stern lines - Do not drive your boat onto the trailer * Attach the winch line to the Bow-eye of your boat * Pull the boat up onto the trailer using the winch * Ensure the boat is properly seated and balanced on the bunks or rollers * Once the boat is in position, lock the winch and attach the winch’s safety chain (if so equipped) * Remove your vehicle and trailer from the ramp * Once parked, attach the trailer lights and ensure they are working properly * Remove the boat’s Bilge drain plug * Secure the boat using tie-down straps (secure to the transom) before departing

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Trailering Tips

1 Weight distribution
All trailers tow best when they are level. Because most of the weight on a trailer is over its axles, a boat will generally sit level without gear in it. When loading gear, be sure to distribute weight evenly and secure gear so that it will not shift during driving.
2 Safety chains
Trailers are equipped with safety chains that attach the tongue to the trailer hitch. When attaching the trailer to your vehicle you should cross the chains to form a cradle. If the coupler becomes dislodged from the hitchball, it will drop into the cradle and not drag on the pavement.
3 Driving with a trailer
Keep in mind that you’re driving a vehicle that’s much longer and heavier than it was before. You’ll notice reduced acceleration, longer stopping distances, and blind spots in your mirrors. When driving with a trailer you’ll also have to use a much wider turning radius. The wider turning radius becomes evident when rounding sharp corners. Your trailer will not turn in the same arc as the tow vehicle. You’ll need to make a much wider swing to avoid curbs, road signs etc. Also be aware of the extra length required when changing lanes or passing. Watch your mirrors closely to make sure there’s enough room to move over, and always use your indicators.
4 Braking
Give yourself plenty of braking room when towing, especially on downhill grades. Always remember to keep your distance. Look farther ahead than usual and anticipate your and others’ actions. When towing, your stopping distance will increase significantly. Don’t tailgate. Also be aware that after retrieving a boat from the launch ramp the trailer brakes will be wet, temporarily reducing their effectiveness.
5 Backing up
Backing up a trailer can be challenging. The best advice is to plan ahead and limit the amount of backing up you will have to do. Leave yourself plenty of room, and if you have to turn while backing up, back to your left side (driver’s side) if possible. This way you’ll be better able to see the trailer’s movements.
Remember: The trailer will go in the opposite direction of the tow vehicle when backing up.
Techniques for Backing Up
Place one hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. Watch your mirrors. Move slowly. If you want the trailer to move right, move your steering hand to the right. If you want the trailer to move left, move your hand to the left. Use your side mirrors to position the trailer. An alternative method is to turn so that you can see through the rear window and watch the trailer. Try both methods and decide which is most comfortable for you.
Always back up slowly
The faster you go, the more difficult it becomes. Another tip to remember when backing up: If the trailer heads in the wrong direction, stop, pull ahead and try again. This is much easier than trying to correct your mistake, which leads to a zigzag
pattern that is difficult to manage.

Safe boating is more than just a matter of operating your craft in a responsible manner. Knowing the waterways on which you’re traveling and being able to locate potential hazards is also vital for your safety.
You can refer to a Marine Chart or Nautical Publication to determine the location of waterway hazards for the area in which you will be operating. You can also talk to local operators and marinas who are familiar with the waters to gain valuable insight. Ask about specific hazards that you may encounter and any dangers that should be avoided. You should also determine the location of any ports of assistance in case of emergency.
Operators should check navigational references, such as marine charts, to determine the location of safe harbours or shelter that can serve as safe havens in the event of foul weather. Places of shelter can include marked areas for mooring, bays and docakge areas protected by breakwaters.

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Understanding local hazards

Before out on the water you should familiarize yourself with any local water hazards or dangerous conditions that may impede the safe operation of your craft. Failing to do so could increase the risk of injury or loss of life to you and your passengers.
Local water hazards can include: * Low head dams * Rapids * Currents * White water * Tides * Sudden winds * Overhead cables * Underwater cables * Bridges * Rapid build-up of high wave conditions

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Using marine charts and nautical publications

A marine Chart is a map of a body of water. Charts are primarily used to aid in navigation. Charts depict: * Depth * Underwater Hazards * Location and character of charted shipping routes * Aids to Navigation including lights, buoys and markers * Traffic routes * Adjacent coastal areas and landmarks around a body of water * Navigational hazards * Places to take shelter in the event of foul weather
The Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations require that operators carry the latest and largest scale versions of the following: * Local Marine Charts
The Required Publications and Documents (Such as “Current Atlases” and “Tide Tables”) You may be exempt from these requirements if your vessel is under 100 tons and powered by oars, or if you have substantial knowledge of the local waterway. Marine Charts and Nautical Publications are published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

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