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Canadian Boating Requirements

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In about five weeks we're headed up for our annual trip to Rainy. I'm just wondering what the boating requirements are in Canada? Been going there for years and years, but never gave much thought as to what's required in the boat except to assume what we use here in MN is sufficient (but not necessarily true of course).

So, here's what I have:

Nav lights

Life jackets (US coast guard approved)

Throwable floatation device (US coat guard approved)

Fire extinguisher


Air horn

Emergency shut-off cord (for driving)

Is there anything I’m missing that is required by Canadian law?


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Well, since no replies, I took it upon myself to do some research. This is what I found, but don't take it as gospel as there are other regs for other conditions/situations.

Powered Craft up to 6 metres in length (19'8")

1 approved and properly sized lifejacket (yellow, red or orange) or PFD (personal floatation device) for each person on board

15 m (50') buoyant heaving line

1 manual propelling device [oar] OR anchor with 15 m (50') of cable, rope or chain

1 bailer OR manual pump with enough hose to pump water overboard [Not required for multi-hull vessel that has subdivided multiple-sealed hull construction.]

1 Class 5BC fire extinguisher if vessel has inboard engine OR a fixed fuel tank OR fuel-burning heater, stove, or refrigerator.

1 watertight flashlight OR 3 flares* of Type A, B or C

Sound signalling device (horn)

Navigation lights must comply with Collision Regulations [Not required unless operated at night or in restricted visibility.]

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You were very wise to do your own research. It's just as easy to google up this stuff. A very large share of the posts on this HSOforum are inaccruate, hand-me-down, opinion, guesses, conjecture, etc....

If you are asking where the fish are biting and on what, this is a great place.

If you are making a decision on what is legal and what might get you a ticket or arrested, go to the source!

P.S. Most people miss the horn requirement. Also, if you have the 50 feet of rope and an anchor, you don't need the oar.

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What's the difference between a life jacket and a PFD.

I ask because the statement appears to require jackets to be red, yellow, or orange but not a PFD.

Also, Canada requires bailing buckets even for boats with floatation built in?

With all the extra ropes and things, a smaller boat becomes a hazard in itself.


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The reg is for buoyant (read floating) rope. The MNR will cite you for the difference. Once upon a time, the larger sporting goods stores sold a Canadian boating kit that had all these things inside. They were about $20. I bought several from Reed's in Walker. It may be worth a call to see if they still ahve them.

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