With the ice off the lake, many of us start thinking about getting the boat in the water in the hopes of enjoying being on the lake once again. Before you launch take time to make sure you have the required equipment and that your boat has been properly serviced and is safe to operate. Here are a few things you should be reviewing prior to the start of the boating season.
Do you have the Mandatory Equipment on Board?
The following mandatory equipment is required for all water craft up to 6 metres (19 feet 8 inches):
Appropriate sized life-jackets or personal flotation device (PFD) for everyone on board
paddle OR an Anchor with 15 metres of line
bailer or Hand-pump
sound Signaling Device
Depending on the type of water craft or condition of use the following items are required.
If used after dark or in fog or rain: Navigation lights
If there’s an inboard motor or filled fuel tank: Fire extinguisher class 5BC
If there’s any motor: Waterproof flashlight, or 3 approved flares
If motor is 10 hp or more: A vessel license, with number on side of the vessel
Who Needs a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
The answer is everyone! And this includes children. And even if it’s just a small trolling motor.
There are options, depending on your situation. Most people get a “Pleasure Craft Operator Card” by taking a course online or in-person, then passing the short exam.
If you took a boating safety course before 1999, or if you have a professional marine certificate, that works too.
Or if you rent a boat, you just need to receive the renter’s training and complete the rental checklist! Read More
Make Sure You and Your Kids Know the Rules.
One size does not fit all when it comes to watercraft operation.
* Supervisor must be 16 years of age or older
The OPP consider the use of lifejackets or PFD the singular most important thing you can do to save lives. About 86% of people who drown in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a lifejacket or PFD. No matter your favourite activity or style choice, there’s a flotation device ideally suited for you. Don’t be caught unprepared should the unforeseen occur.
Lifejackets and PFDs only work when you wear them.
Wear your lifejacket/PFD!
If you’re not a strong swimmer
If the water is cold
If the lake is wavy or rough
If you’re boating alone
And always ensure children under 14 wear a lifejacket or PFD
Every boat, no matter the size, needs a lifejacket / PFD for every person on board, including the right combination of children and adult sizes.
Lifejacket or PFD - What is the Difference?
A lifejacket or life vest denotes a certain type of PFD, though many people use the terms interchangeably.
Standard PFDs or lifejackets are the Inherently buoyant: Other than putting it on properly, you don’t need to activate a standard PFD in any way for it to provide flotation.