Boating in Canada Archive

2002 Canadian Boating News

Canadian Boating News News Archive

General Interest:

Sedna IV to sail the Northwest Passage

Jul/02: Jean Lemire plans to sail the three-masted sailing ship "Sedna IV" to educate the public about the effect of humans on our planet. His planned six-month voyage from the Magdelend Island on the Atlantic coast through the Northwest Passage of the Arctic Ocean to Vancouver on the Pacific coast. He will record the impact of global warming on the North and produce 5 documentaries during the truip, which is funded largely by the National Film Board of Canada and TéléQuébec.

New federal boating regulations being prepared

Jul/02: The new Canada Shipping Act 2001 (Bill C-14) has already ben passed, but will not become law until regulations have been developed. Transport Canada will develop regulations for shipping; the Coast Guard will develop regulations for pleasure boats. Boating organizations in Canada have been trying to follow developments.

It is expected there will be many changes that will take place over the next few years. Some say that regulations could cover all boats 24 metres or less, further divided into three classes: up to 6 metres, over 6m, and over 12m. It also appears that the government is considering regulating pleasure or commercial vessels of the same size with the same rules.

There may also be rules determined by area of operation rather than size or type of boat (small, commercial craft may be restricted to cheltered waters). Additional safety equipment could be requred for boats operating further from shore. [Boats move!] Other factors could be the age of the boat or the operator's experience.

Something new called "safety inspectors" (Section 195) will have wide-ranging power. Another sections deals with boat construction standards and would require all boats to have a compliance plate of some kind. Stay tuned.

Eating Fish in Lakes

Jun/02: New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation advisory for Lake Erie:
Due to PCB contamination, women of childbearing age, infants and children under the age of 15 are advised to eat no more than one meal per week of chinook salmon less than 19 inches, burbot, freshwater drum, lake whitefish, rock bass and yellow perch and to 1 meal/month of all other fish from Lake Erie. Other people should eat no more than one meal per week of any Lake Erie fish species. (Quoted from:

Police fail to respond to boat theft

Click for detailsJul/02: When a custom canoe became separated from a boat near Midland, Ontario, thieves made off with it before they could retrieve it in their dinghy. Although Ontario Police, Marine Unit, and Coast Guard were told about the "small dark blue powerboat with a red canoe lashed across the deck" heading to Midland, and with others in the area calling in sightings on the VHF, not one agency investigated. Pirates rule. (More)

Rideau and Trent canals closed

Jun/02: Many boaters braving the wet spring weather have been caught between locks on the Rideau and Trent Waterways. June 15, almost all of the Rideau Canal from Kingston to Ottawa was closed due to unsafe currents and high water and re-opened June 25. Call the Canal Office for information. (Rideau Canal)

Local newspapers reported that Gunnar Seigh, a 46-year-old American, had rowed in a 5 metres boat from Kingston Mills to Long Island (most of the canal). His journey stopped at the lock near Manotick village. Along with tent, supplies and his dog, he carried a wind-up grammophone to play 78s to entertain people he met - even one amazed wedding party on the riverside. Now there's one couple that will never forget their wedding day!

90% reduction in toxic waste going into the Niagara.

Jun/02: Remedial actions on numerous hazardous waste sites taken by New York State and U.S. EPA have reduced potential inputs of certain hazardous pollutants to the Niagara river by approximately 90 percent. This is one of many findings released today by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in its assessment of federal, state and provincial governments' activities toward restoration of the Niagara River. See for more.

Ontario Hydro sinks sponsorship of yacht

May/02: Ontario Energy Minister Chris Stockwell has ended Hydro One's sponsoship of a 14 metre racing yacht. The three-year deal with Team Defiant for $360,000 was deemed "excessive". Hydro One chief executive Eleanor Clitheroe, an avid sailor, member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Toronto) and wife of a boat builder, approved the sponsorship deal. Clitheroe has been in the news recently due to her large salary and allowances ($2.2 million in 2001) for the running the pubic utility.

Alcohol & Boating accidents

Alcohol is increasingly recognized as a factor in many boating fatalities, but the association between alcohol and death has been based on assumptions that drinking drivers cause accidents. Recent research to determine the association of alcohol use with risk of dying indicates that a passenger has the same increased risk of being injured or killed as the boat operator, if both have been drinking. Even a slightly elevated blood alcohol level can greatly increase risk of dying in a boating accident: .05% (legal for driving a car) can increase your risk of dying 4 times; .10% by 10 times; .25% by 50 times - for passenger and operator.

Accoding to Dr. Gordon Smith, who co-authored the report, most deaths are due to drowning and the majority of those involve falling overboard. Only about half the fatalities involve operator error, and about half of all deaths occur when he boat is not even moving.

The study found that 30%-40% of boaters admitted to drinking while boating. While a designated driver may work for driving on land, it doesn't work on the water. A drinking passenger is still at risk of falling overboard, drowning or other risks. Having a sober driver gives passengers a false sense of security, but this research shows they are fooling themselves.

Search for " Drinking and Recreational Boating Fatalities " in the Journal of the American Medical Association (19Dec/2001) Research by Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the University of North Carolina.

Great Lakes Water Levels Increase (May02)

Monthly mean water levels on each of the Great Lakes rose by more than anticipated from March to April. The level of Lake Ontario is above average, while levels on the other Great Lakes remain below average. Water levels on all lakes are higher than they were one year ago.

For more, see the Environment Canada "Levels News" and our own water levels resources.

Changes to U.S. Border Crossing after 9-11

Apr 2002: I-68 Canadian Border Boat Landing Program To Resume from the U.S. Immigration and Naturization Service (INS). Canada Customs has also reinstated the CANPASS system, a telephone reporting system for boaters travelling from the U.S. to Canada. (Last September, the I-68 Program and the CANPASS program were suspended.) U.S. border news Read about I-68 suspension.

Powerboat TV

Apr 2002: PowerBoat TV can now be seen on SpeedChannel (SPD) Saturday 8:30 am, with repeat broadcasts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 am as well as Monday afternoons at 4:30 pm (Eastern Time). New Episodes begin airing April 6, 2002. This popular show began on The Sports Network (TSN) in 1990. PBTV focuses on recreational and performance boats, products, boating profiles and destinations.

Quiet emission-free engines for PWCs

Jan 2002: The new four-stroke engines are 50% quieter, and virtually emissions-free. They are also 30% more fuel efficient than previous two-stroke watercraft. One manufacturer claims its new engine will reduce annual operating costs by more than $1000 -- if that's USD we're talking quite a saving! The price tag is somewhat higher, but the acceptability on the water from other boaters (and might I add law-makers) might make it worth it. Spewing less poison into the water is certainly a bonus. For your next outboard check them out.

Marine Security and the FBI

Jan 2002: U.S. law enforcement officials are asking the marine community to report any instances of unusual modifications of any boat, which could result in hidden compartments, excess fuel capacity, or underwater changes which might result or aid in carriage of fuel or cargo not normally carried. Persons outside the U.S. may call the American Embassy or call FBI in Washington, DC (202) 324-3000.

OMC bought by Bombardier

Jan 2002: Outboard Motors Company nearly went bankrupt a year ago. OMC's engines assets were purchased by Canadian-based Bombardier Corp., which rolled out it's first engines in the fall. BMC engines are built in a plant in Wisconsin.

Canadian Boating News News Archive