The sound of water gently lapping against the hull of your boat is as relaxing as you can get. In Ontario we’re blessed with many lakes and rivers from the St. Lawrence to Lake Superior to everything in between. Now more than ever it’s important that you know the laws and rules of Ontario’s waterways and have safety front of mind at all times. And it’s important to make sure you have the correct coverage to protect you and your loved ones and your watercraft in the event of a claim.
Here are 5 things to consider to keep you, your family and friends safe this boating season.
1. Pleasure Craft Licensing.
Make sure your boat or watercraft is properly licenced. Any vessel powered by 10 horsepower or more must have a pleasure craft licence. Having proper licence is important because it is used by law enforcement and search and rescue organizations in emergency situations. For a lot of great information check out Transport Canada’s Questions and Answers page about pleasure craft licences.
2. National Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program
In Ontario these regulations require all operators of a pleasure craft fitted with any type of motor and used for recreational purposes to carry proof of competency on board. A Pleasure Craft Operator Card is the most common proof of competency for this program. These cards can be obtained after passing an accredited boating safety test.
3. The Right Equipment for the Right Boat.
Make sure you have the right equipment for the watercraft you have. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what equipment you should have, but with a little time and research you can prepare yourself. Check out Transport Canada Guidelines for boat equipment.
4. Boating and Alcohol
Simply put boating and alcohol do not mix. Boaters caught drinking and boating in Ontario face similar consequences to those for drinking and driving. These can be 2,7 or 30 day driver’s licence suspensions, ignition interlock or, in worst cases, criminal charges. When you drink and boat you are gambling not only with the lives of you and your family, but other boaters and swimmers lives as well. Know the laws.
5. Boat Insurance Protection You can Rely On!
Having fun on Ontario’s waterways is a great way to spend the summer. No one wants to think about what accidents can happen. That’s why you need the right protection for your boat. Do you use your boat for fishing (Ontario Fishing Licence information) or do you have sleeping quarters? Do you keep your boat in the Great Lakes or do you travel down the St. Lawrence? Do you have a large inboard engine or a small outboard? Do you have a sailboat or a powerboat?
Each of these factors can have an impact on your insurance. That’s why at Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd. we take the time to understand not only what kind of boat you have, but also how, where and how long you will use it. We can provide higher liability limits to protect your family in case the worst happens. For a free no obligation quote for your boat please visit our Watercraft Page.
Have questions or comments, please let us know below.
Thanks for reading and have a safe boating season!