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It's our 20th Birthday! – Where were you in 1996?

Welcome to of the oldest, largest boating sites in Canada. Each year, it's estimated 12 million Canadians go boating in 4 million boats. Nearly 80% of us live less than an hour from navigable water. No matter where you want to go on the water – or just a place in your mind – you can get there by boat.

If you have lost your heart to a boat, you need to know about Regulations, Navigation and Safety before you get underway. Learning about boating will improve your enjoyment, guaranteed! We also have Cruising, Fun Stuff, Boat Handling as well as social media, news and videos (over there on the left).

How to find things:

Canadian Boating Index Government Directory Boating News

Supporting Us:

Boat Coolers & Carts Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Power Boating Canada


Pleasure Craft Operators Card
The card (PCOC) is now required for operating any powered boat. Foreign visitors and renters follow special rules. Avoid the fine! Get your training and operator card online from
Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card
Boat Licences & Registration
For boats, before you wet Her bottom. Licensing is the norm -- you get new federal licence numbers from the province, such as ON123456 in Ontario.
Minimum equipment required
For your boat in Canada depends on Her length.
Boating Laws
Including the Contraventions Act with on-the-water tickets for a number of infractions.
Government Directory
Find details about government regulations affecting boating. Includes U.S. and provincial governments.
Rules of the Road
What you need to know to avoid a collision with all the boats out there! Repeat after me: "There is no right of way"!
Entering the U.S.A. by Boat
Crossing the border, Customs decals, I-68 forms, video terminals, NEXUS, cruising permits, CANPASS. Security procedures change regularly!
Entering Canada by Boat
Foreign boaters need information on immigration, customs, tax rebates, marine radio, environmental laws, boat and operator licensing requirements, and which ports to report to.
VHF marine radio
In Canada boaters need licences to use a VHF radio: an optional licence for the radio and a mandatory licence for the operator. There is a "short" VHF channel list and an emergency "Mayday" sheet for your crew.
Alcohol & Boats
Governed by federal and provincial laws. A discussion from the Canadian boating group about drinking and boating is included.


Cruise Checklist
For those important checks before you head out. Handy enough to print out.
Small boat navigation
Using a compass for chart plotting
Electronic navigation using echarts.
WAAS navigation the most accurate electronic system.
Older systems in common use: GPS, DGPS. Loran-C (archive) was retired in 2010.
Fuelling gasoline
Safety at the gas dock (or "How I hate flying through the air!")
How to Save Fuel
Fire extinguishers
A real-life galley fire story.
Float Plan
For you to fill out and give to a friend or the Coast Guard -- just in case.
Marine Weather
Forecasts to avoid bad experiences!
MAFOR Code, Beaufort Scale
Distress signals
To use when you are in trouble -- from flares to Mayday. Waving your arms and screaming works too!
Marina security
On everyone's minds these days. Learn how to protect your pride and joy.
It can kill you. Here are the symptoms and treatment as well as how to prevent it.
CPR and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Refresher for those who have taken a course.
Drowning Prevention
A simple method that everyone should learn.
How to prevent and treat "mal de mer".
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)
How to recognize, deal with, and prevent dangerous electric power leaks from docks and boats.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning
Prevent this silent killer. The odorless gas from any fuel-burning engine, generator, heater or stove can kill.
Protecting your crew from mosquitoe bites and illnesses.
West Nile Virus
Lyme disease
Fastest growing epidemic in North America transmitted by ticks
Top Insurance claims
The most common accidents that can happen on the water.
Pat's Units Converter (PDQ Library)
Converts distance, speed, weight, volume, temperature, pressure, area, dollars. The "gas price converter" converts between U.S. dollars per gallon and Canadian dollars per litre - Canadians always pay more! Save the web page to use offline!
First Mate Must Have


To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, the government offers free admission to Canada's national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas - including free lockage for recreational boats in the historical canals.Parks Canada
The Rideau Waterway
UNESCO World Heritage Site from Ottawa, Ontario (Canada's capital) to Kingston on Lake Ontario - the best cruising, fishing, history and scenery. Read Pat's "Rideau Canal Cruising Guide". Don't miss our videos.
The Trent-Severn Waterway
386 km. of canals, rivers, and 45 locks from Trenton on Lake Ontario to Lake Huron - prefect for power cruising and touring.
Canadian Canoe Museum, and Peterborough Locks
The Great Lakes
Great boating in the largest area of freshwater on earth.
Thousand Islands National Park, also known as the 1000 Islands [sigh].
Pat's Island Photos.
Small Circle Cruise Planning
Cruise canals, lakes & rivers of New York, Ontario, Quebec, Vermont
Small Circle Cruise Diary
Cruising British Columbia
B.C.'s protected waters offer breathtaking scenery, solitude, marine life, mountains, and fiords.
St. Lawrence to Lake Champlain by Kayak
Paddling voyage from Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, Richelieu River, to Lake Champlain
Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP)
This boating-made-simple is expanding fast
Canadian Yacht Clubs & Boating Associations
Useful reference for boating groups across Canada.
Buying a boat
It's fun but it's not easy! To avoid all the mistakes most boat buyers make, read "Buy a Boat with Confidence" written by boater Doug Dawson – before you shop. Don't buy a lemon!
Why you should buy a boat in Canada
Things to consider if you think boat deals are better in the U.S.A.
Buying a Boat in the USA (Importing a boat and trailer)
Our collection of boaters' experiences will help you do it more easily.
Survey a Boat (Yourself)
A checklist to help you look at boats and keep your head when you've lost your heart! Then hire a marine surveyor before you make any offers.
"The Name Game"
Favorite Boat Names
Christening and De-naming ceremonies
Removing a vinyl decal
Cruising South
Cruising south to the ICW, Florida and Bahamas. Even how to make a rum pot and cruise planning with Google Earth
Cruising with Pets
Should you do it? How to survive it!
How to do things around the boat
Basic boating hints
Spring checklist
Winterizing (eastern Ontario)
Outboard motors
Fishing in Ontario
Provinces regulate fishing, so this is general.
Aquatic Environment, Water Quality
Invasive species, virus and chemicals in fish, holding tanks, Clean Marine, sewage into snow, solar boats
Biodiesel, Drinking water, parasites
How to Clean a boat
Environmentally Friendly Boat Cleaning
Knots, flags, and other collected information.
The wonderful birds whose mournful call is heard across Canada's fresh water lakes in the summer.
Zebra mussels & Invasive Species
Invasion of the Great Lakes by Invasive Species. I'm going to have a Zebra mussel appetizer - with garlic!
Taxes and fees
Boaters pay many fees and taxes (We aren't all rich, eh!)
Boating Statistics
This is our collection of statistics about boating accidents, drownings, and the boat industry.


General e-Lessons Dawson's e-Lessons will help you dock, tie up, ramp, anchor, splice lines and tie knots. You and your crew will learn the practical side of boating in a condensed lesson that will teach you exactly what you need to know to handle your boat. Learning Boat Handling and Docking Browse, order and download these terrific booklets from Boating with Dawsons, a long-time affiliate of Boating in Canada!
Here is a list of some Dawson's e-Lessons about docking:
Dock a Boat like a Pro
Docking a sterndrive
Docking Twin Sterndrives
Docking Twin Sterndrives Advanced
Docking a Single Inboard
Docking Twin Outboard
Docking Twin Inboard
Docking your boat
Docking Single Outboard
Docking your Sailboat
Houseboat Docking
Houseboat Docking Single
    O/B or I/O
Docking While Cruising


Boat Shows & Events
Boat shows, poker runs, tall ships
Poetry for Sailors
Includes the The Irish Blessing.
Boating and Sex
Article republished with permission.
Sex lives of Canadian boaters
Survey of boater "habits" from 2008
Boating cartoons favorites
Includes all my favorites
Boating Humour collection:
Celsius & Maple Leafs  :  Pirate Joke  :  Sailing Story
Teaching Sailing  :  Sailor Math  :  Boat Shoes
The Perfect Storm: The Condensed Script
For those who haven't time to see the movie!
How to Identify a Canadian Boater!
Just a little northern humour.
The "Laws" of Boating
Laugh, so you don't cry!
Canadian Boating Quiz
Sail your brain! Can you identify all Canada'a provinces and territories
Online Boating Games
Links to other sites for kids (large and small) on a rainy day
Canadian Boating Scavenger Hunt
A fun game for your boating social for the kids (or adults?)
Apps for Sailors
Software for Android and iPad/iPhone/iTouch - navigation, information resources, weather, charts, tides
Media stuff
Animated photos, calendar, music, loon calls ...
Boating photography
How to make those memorable photos while bouncing around.
Canadian Boating News Blog
Important Canadian boating news. Subscribe to our feed or read the archives.
Social Media & Forums
G+   Google Plus: Boating in Canada
  Twitter: @BoatingInCanada
Collected Flotsam
Knots, Bowline video, flags, music, geography, ...
Time and Clocks
Current Moon Phase
Join the SETI Project
Analyze radio telescope data to find extraterrestrial life!
Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card


Creative Commons License Pat's Boating in Canada by Pat Drummond is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

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