Canadian Safe Boating Course

Transport Canada has made changes to the online exam process and study guide. The old Boater Exam boating license course and test was discontinued on April 15th, 2011. Take the NEW Canadian Online Boating Course! The course material below remains as a resource for all who boat on Canadian waters—particularly experienced boaters who already have their Pleasure Craft Operator Card.


In 1997, power boating surpassed swimming as the specific recreational activity accounting for the most water-related deaths. Deaths from pleasure power boating rebounded to 73 fatalities, up from 59 in the previous year.  These statistics do not reflect the number of life altering injuries and the high dollar loss values incurred as a result of powerboat accidents.  Young males between 18 and 24 years continue to have the highest preventable water-related death rate of all age groups.  In the majority of all powerboat accident related drownings, the lack of use of personal floatation devices (P.F.D’s), was cited as a causal factor.

Statistics from 1996, which are based on an estimated total of approximately 50,000 personal watercraft, reflects an alarming rate of 15 deaths per 100,000 watercraft.  Risk-taking behaviour was cited as the most common singular factor in PWC fatalities.

The increase in use and popularity of PWC’s indicated an imminent need for strengthened boat operator training and regulations.

Your enrollment in this Safe Boating Course shows that you want to be part of the solution. This course will provide you with an easy to follow “common sense” approach to power boating.. Plus all preparatory tools to enjoy power boating safely!

Do You Know how to Boat Smartly?

Know the safe boating "Rules of the Road"

  • No children under 12 years of age can operate a powerboat with more than a 10 hp motor.
  • Youths 12 to 15 years of age may only operate a boat with a motor over 40 hp if accompanied and directly supervised by someone 16 years of age or older.
  • Minimum age for operating a personal watercraft (sea-doo, jetski) is 16 years of age.
  • New small vessel safety equipment and safety precaution requirements for boaters include a new “careless operation of a vessel” offence which requires boaters to travel safely and avoid putting themselves and others at risk.
  • Operators of powerboats must have proof of operator competency.
    • As of September 1999, this applies to any person born after April1, 1983.
    • As of September 2002, this applies to any person operating a powerboat less than 4 meters, including personal watercraft (PWC).
    • As of September 2009, this applies to all operators of all powerboats and PWC’s

Get trained on Boating Safety.

Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card! It's the Law!

Know before you go
Avoid danger by taking a few minutes to check

  • Weather forecast
  • Local hazards
  • maps and charts
  • PFD’s
  • first aid kit, tool kit, tools and spare parts
  • sufficient fuel
  • safety equipment in working order
  • does someone know where you are going and when to expect you back

Wear your life jacket!

Less than 5% of all drowning victims were wearing a life jacket or PFD (personal floatation device).  Less than half of the people who wear a PFD, wear it properly.

Wear the right gear

Good sunglasses, appropriate clothing, and the necessary paddles, whistles and flares are the right gear too.

Boat Sober!

Don’t drink and drive in your boat.  Alcohol is involved in 36% of all preventable water-related fatalities and over half of all power boating accidents.

Drive your powerboat or PWC responsibly

Look before you act, stay low, drive at moderate speed and be aware of changing weather conditions and time of day.

Learn to swim

Never dive into shallow water

Don’t go in the water alone

Always swim with a buddy.

Always supervise young children near water

Play and swim in supervised areas only

Back to Top