The pleasure craft licence number must be displayed as follows.
- Number must be placed on both sides of the bow and above the waterline.
- Number must be in at least 7.5-centimetres-high (3 inches) BLOCK
- Number’s colour must contrast with the colour of the bow.
Before you say come for boat ride in Canada show me this sticker and vests
There are two main types of flotation devices.
- Lifejacketswill turn most unconscious persons face up in the water. Standard lifejackets are keyhole-style flotation devices that are approved for use on all pleasure craft.
- Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)are designed to be more comfortable to wear than lifejackets, but they may not turn an unconscious person face up in the water.
To comply with the Small Vessel Regulations, all pleasure craft must be equipped with enough Canadian-approved lifejackets or PFDs for everyone on board. Each lifejacket or PFD must have enough buoyancy, be in good condition, and very importantly, be readily accessible! Readily accessible means you must be able to put the flotation device on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (vessel sinking, on fire, etc.). Flotation devices should not be stowed in plastic bags or in locked or closed compartments, and they should not have other gear stowed on top of them.
Flotation devices also must be the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for flotation devices is based on the person’s weight and chest size. The only exceptions to this requirement are:
- A person with a chest size in excess of 140 cm
- A child weighing less than 9 kg (20 lbs)
Pleasure craft operators should ask everyone on their boat to wear a flotation device whenever on the water, particularly in smaller boats. Although you can choose between lifejackets and PFDs, keep in mind that lifejackets offer better protection. Flotation devices can save lives, but only if they are worn!
An emergency situation (rough water, rapid onset of bad weather, or dangerous boating traffic) can occur suddenly—leaving little or no time to put on lifejackets or PFDs. Lifejackets and PFDs are very difficult to put on once you are in the water. Be a smart boater, and have everyone on board your boat wear a lifejacket or PFD at all times.
“Eighteen years of research across Canada show that the vast majority of boaters who die—whether in powered or unpowered boats—have neglected basic principles of boating safety such as always wearing a flotation device.”
SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) lifejacket
Type of lifejacket that provides the most buoyancy, is excellent for flotation, and will turn most unconscious persons face up in the water within seconds
Standard type lifejacket
Type of lifejacket that will turn most unconscious wearers face up in the water, but the turning is not as pronounced as with a SOLAS lifejacket
In Canada, There are no fees to license your pleasure craft.
- Pleasure craft licences are required for vessels used only for recreational purposes, do not carry passengers and are powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5W) or more unless they are registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels.
- Some examples of the markings on a licensed pleasure craft are 13K123456; BC1234567, 10D123456 or QC1234567.
Registered pleasure craft
- There are fees to register your pleasure craft.
- The exterior markings on a registered pleasure craft are the name of the vessel and port of registry, e.g. JOHN DOE, Toronto, ON
- The interior markings on a registered pleasure craft are the official number and registered tonnage, e.g. O.N. 123456, N.R.T. 4.52
If the ownership of a licenced pleasure craft changes, the new owner:
- Must apply to the Minister of Transport for transfer of the licence immediately.
- May operate the pleasure craft for up to 90 days without a transfer licence.
- Must carry proof on board to show his or her name and address and the date of the transfer of ownership.
An owner who changes his or her name or address must update the pleasure craft’s licence information. The owner:
- May operate the pleasure craft for up to 90 days without an updated licence.
- Must carry proof on board to show his or her new name or address and the date of the change.
The Hull Serial Number (HIN) is a unique, 12-digit number assigned to a pleasure craft that is constructed, manufactured, rebuilt, or imported to be sold or operated in Canada. The requirements for the HIN are included in the Small Vessel Regulations.
The HIN must be located:
- Where it is clearly visible when the boat is in the water and…
- On the outside starboard (right) side of the transom. If the boat does not have a transom, the HIN must be displayed on the right side at the rear of the hull.
The HIN may include a two-character country code. For example, if the country code for the above example is CA, the HIN would be CA-ABC67689B606.
The HIN also must be marked in a second location on the hull where it is:
- Beneath a fitting or item of hardware or…
- On the interior of the boat and unexposed.
It is illegal to alter, deface, or remove an HIN.
A pleasure craft licence is a document with a unique licence number belonging to a specific pleasure craft. The number allows Search and Rescue personnel to access important information in an emergency.
The law requires all pleasure craft powered by 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more engine, to have a pleasure craft licence, unless they have a vessel registration. There is a $250 fine if you are found operating a vessel without a licence. You must carry a copy of your Pleasure Craft Licence on board at all times and display the pleasure craft licence number on the bow of your boat above the waterline on both sides in block characters that:
- are at least 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) high; and
- in a colour that contrasts with the colour of the bow.
Cost: Pleasure craft licences are free and are valid for 10 years.
Clients have two submission options to choose from when requesting a new pleasure craft licence or the transfer of a Canadian-issued pleasure craft licence.