Do You Need a Boat Operator Card?

All operators of powered watercraft used for recreational purposes within Canada now require a Boat Operator Card. As of September 15, 2009 all boaters are now required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. There is no grandfather clause or age exemption – this law applies to all boaters. Powered watercraft includes watercraft fitted with any size motor – even a trolling motor. Get Your Boat Operator Card Online!

Safe Boating Guide

The Boating Committee of the Davis Lake Cottage Association has put together a comprehensive, yet concise guide to safe boating. View a copy of the Davis Lake Cottagers Association Safe Boating Guide 2010. The LKO appreciates the DLCA making their guide available to the public. This fourteen page guide is an excellent reference for boating rules, regulations and requirements for all types of lake craft. Make sure all your boat operators are familiar with the details.

Canadian Coast Guard Regulatory Requirements

All operators of pleasure craft fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes are now required to carry their Pleasure Operator Card (POC) at all times while operating a pleasure craft.

How can you obtain an Operators Card?
 You must pass a standardized test under the authority of Coast Guard Canada. You must be at least 8 years old to obtain an Operators Card.
 For more information visit The Canadian Coast Guard at

The latest edition of The Safe Boating guide, used as a study resource for the test is also available there. There are sites (some Canadian Tire Stores among others) that provide “walk-in” testing opportunities from time-to-time. The failure rate has been reported at as much as 60% at these events – so go prepared!

Province-wide Shoreline Speed Restrictions

Ontario has adopted province-wide restrictions limiting speed to 10 km/h within 30 m (98’ 5”) from shore on all waters within their boundaries, except for:

  • Waterskiing, where the boat follows a trajectory perpendicular to the shore
  • In rivers less than 100 m (328’ 1”) in width, or canals or buoyed channels
  • In waters where another speed is prescribed under a schedule to the regulations

Reference Sites