The following table contains a summary of boating offences and applicable fines under current Canadian regulations.



Failure to carry a required Proof of Competency *


Speeding in excess of 10 km/h within 30 metres (100 feet) of shore **

$125 to $500 (or up to 6 months' imprisonment)

Violations of age and horsepower restrictions ***


Operating a personal water craft (PWC) when under 16 years of age


Open liquor onboard


Operating a vessel in a careless manner without consideration for other people, boat traffic, or potential hazards, or exceeding boat capacity

$250 plus surcharges

Water-skiing towing offences ****


Improper fuelling procedure


No registration numbers on hull


No sound signalling device


No watertight flashlight or distress flares


No fire extinguisher


No bailer or manual pump


No paddle or no anchor with chain/rope


No buoyant heaving line


Insufficient number of or improper size of Transport Canada approved life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs)

$200 per missing or improper lifejacket or PFD

*    Currently, anyone born after April 1, 1983 must carry proof of competency when operating a powered vessel. As of September 15, 2002, anyone operating a powered vessel that is under 4 m (13.3 ft) in length must carry proof of competency. After September 15, 2009, operators of all vessels must carry their proof of competency.

**   Within 30 metres of the shoreline, a 10 km/h speed limit is in effect on all waters within Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario as well as on selected lakes and rivers in other provinces, whether or not speed limit signs are posted. There are some exemptions to these restrictions; they include:

  • water skiing, where the towboat follows a course perpendicular to the shoreline when leaving or returning;

  • where buoys or signs designate that another speed is permitted;

  • in rivers less than 100 m wide; and

  • in waters where the regulations prescribe another speed limit.

***  Under the Boating Restriction Regulations children less than 12 years old may only operate powerboats with motors under 10 hp (7.5 kW) while unaccompanied by an adult. A person who is between 12 and 16 years old may only operate boats powered by no more than 40 hp (30 kW) while unaccompanied by an adult. These regulations also specify that no-one under 16 years of age may operate a personal watercraft. There are no power restrictions on boaters 16 years of age or older.

**** Towing activities are not allowed in the period from one hour after sunset to sunrise. Under the Small Vessel Regulations, the rules governing water-skiing also apply to other towing activities such as barefoot skiing, tubing, knee boarding, wake boarding, and parasailing. The regulations require that a spotter be on board to monitor the person being towed. The regulations also require the following:

  • There must be a seat available for each person being towed - This is required in case recovery is necessary. Thus, only personal watercraft that are designed to carry three or more people can be used for towing water-skiers;

  • Towing activities are not allowed from one hour after sunset until sunrise and

  • A vessel towing water skiers or others cannot be remotely controlled.

Transport Canada Accreditted is accredited by Transport Canada to deliver boating safety courses and administer tests for the issuance of Pleasure Craft Operator Cards (PCOCs), including replacement cards, under the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations. PCOC card

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