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Safety at Sea is Key for
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WHETHER IT’S performing your pre-launch checklist, ensuring you have the right safety equipment (including the need for a life raft) or taking the Pleasure Craft Operator’s
Card (PCOC) – now mandatory – all are key to having an enjoyable boating season this
year. Safety matters and it’s up to you to make is so!
It’s always a good time to remind Canadian boaters who do not already have their
Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card (PCOC) that you are now required to pass the test AND
to carry your card with you at all times when operating a powered vessel.
The ten-year, phase-in ended last summer, making a Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card
(PCOC) a universal requirement. It is not acceptable that you have a card at home –
it must be carried with the vessel’s operator and be available to show an enforcement
officer. The fines are significant for those without a PCOC card onboard.
On the other hand, owners of thousands of sailing craft, canoes and kayaks have
been spared the paperwork and government fees to register their small vessels.
Transport Minister Chuck Strahl announced in an early-March press conference that
owners of canoes, kayaks and small sailing vessels, as well as small vessels with motors
less than 7.5k W (10hp), will not have to register their vessels.
Strahl said Transport Canada would still require registration for “commercial river-rafts, government vessels and any vessels where registration is necessary for safety reasons”. But he said that the department has introduced a streamlined registration
“What doesn’t change are the safety requirements. Small vessels, such as canoes
and kayaks, their owners and users must continue to adhere to all safety requirements
under the Canada Shipping Act,” Minister Strahl stated in their release.
Also of interest to Canadian Yachting readers – who carry or tow a small vessel such
as a dinghy or a tender for their yacht – you are still able to register on a voluntary
basis. This can certainly have a safety benefit for search and rescue considerations.
Speaking of safety, please read the article on isolation transformers. Having one on
your boat may save your life one day!
In this Special Spring Launch issue of Canadian Yachting, Glen Cairns provides readers with a comprehensive 50+ tip checklist to ensure your boat is shipshape before it
splashes. Glen also provides some great insight on the need for, and use and selection
of a life raft for your boat.
Reviews include the Sabre 40 Sedan, the Grady-White 330 Hardtop and the Lagoon
560. We’ve also added a review on the Yamaha Waverunner PWC.
For the travel-seekers amongst us, Scott Williams, a frequent contributor, shares his
great adventures on the canals of Belgium; Mark Stevens reminisces again about
Ontario’s glorious North Channel; and Galley Guy Greg regales his tales about crewing on Elena in the 75th Anniversary Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, local cuisine
and, of course, his tour of the Mount Gay Distillery.
For the competitive sailors at heart, celebrate our 2010 CYA award recipients including the Rolex Sailor of the Year, Fred Eaton. Also read what’s happening at ISAF and
the possible demise of the Star class in the 2016 Olympic Games.