Boating Safety

Which Canada Boat Safety Courses Are Legit?

Multiple boats at the dock, Canada boat safety course concept.

Safety is among the most important considerations when you're on a boat in Canadian waters. Not only that, but Canada also requires all boat operators to pass a safety course before they can get their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). This card is required to operate a boat and needs to be carried with you anytime you're on the water if you're going to be in command of a vessel. 

However, not all Canada boat safety courses are the same or even legitimate, so you'll want to ensure you find one you can trust to give you the correct information and help you get your PCOC. Choosing a credible course and getting certified makes it easier to have a safe boating season

Here's what you need to know!

A man drives a boat, Canada boat safety course concept.

What to Look for in a Legitimate Course

Legitimate boat safety courses have a few things in common, and looking for those can help you spot which ones are good choices and whether there are any you should avoid. You want to ensure that getting through the course isn't just about getting your PCOC but also about knowing how to navigate safely, what to do in an emergency, and other details.

Legal Requirements

To legally operate a boat in Canadian waters, you need proof of competency and be granted a PCOC. 

One of the best ways to show that you're competent and understand the rules is to take a Canada boat safety course. You'll learn all the basics about boating and be better prepared to have a good time on the water.

Recognized Authorities

Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard are the two most prominent organizations that monitor and protect waterways and those using them. 

Familiarizing yourself with what they do, how to reach them, and the rules and regulations they have for boaters can add to your safety and peace of mind. You'll also want to make sure these organizations recognize or endorse the boater safety course you choose. 

Course Content

Legitimate boating safety courses cover all the most important content at a basic or intermediate level. 

You can expect to learn about navigation rules, what kind of safety equipment you need, how to handle an emergency, and how to respond to different situations. While covering everything that could happen while you're in control of a boat is impossible, a good course will help you feel confident in knowing the basics.

Reviews and Testimonials

Before choosing an education course for watercraft safety, look to see what past participants are saying about it. 

Reviews and testimonials can help you decide whether the course is legitimate. When you see positive feedback from other boaters, you can get reassurance that the course will teach you valuable information and will be recognized by authorities so you can use it to get your PCOC.

A graphic of a laptop showing a Canada boat safety course on the screen.

Are Online Courses Legitimate?

Absolutely! For example, online courses through BOATERexam fulfill the requirements for boater safety education to get a PCOC. 

There are many different ways to cover boating safety information. Some classes are in person, others are online, and some are a mixture of the two. Since you don't have to do anything on a boat to take the class physically, there's no reason why online options can't work. 

Remember: the delivery method shouldn't compromise the quality or legitimacy of any course, so you can take one online that works around your schedule.

What About Free Courses?

Free courses are available that can teach you some safety information, and The Royal Life Saving Society Canada also provides guides on how to be safe around the water

However, it's important to note that free courses are generally not approved by Canadian transportation authorities to qualify for the safety requirement before getting a PCOC. While you could still learn something from these courses, be careful not to spend your time on something that won't qualify for the PCOC requirements.

So, Which Canada Boat Safety Courses Are Legitimate?

Fortunately, there are some great options for getting your boater safety certification quickly, easily, and conveniently. Here are three to consider.

The BOATERexam logo representing Canada boater safety courses.


Our online courses are an excellent option for learning all about boating safety and getting your PCOC card. 

After over a decade in business, we've certified over two million boaters throughout the U.S. and Canada. Boaters can take the course entirely online, and there are plenty of engaging explanations and colorful illustrations to keep it interesting.


The Boat-Ed logo representing Canada boat safety courses.


As another good boating education option for boaters, this company provides courses for both Canada and the U.S. 

Prices vary depending on location, and you can take the course online. Boat-Ed offers a mix of animation, live-action videos, and quizzes after each section.


BoatSmart! is also a great choice for Canada-approved boater education and safety courses. 

As another online educational resource, you can complete the course and take the exam from the comfort of your home. With a fixed price and unlimited course access, you can also take the course at your leisure and get live chat support if you need it.

Get Certified in Canada Boat Safety 

Don't head out on the waterways this season until you're ready for any situation on the water. Getting Canada boat safety certified is a smart choice to meet legal requirements and protect yourself and other boaters so everyone can enjoy the water together.

While you have options, we hope you'll choose the Canada-approved course through BOATERexam! We've certified millions of boaters and work hard to deliver up-to-date coursework that keeps boaters safe every season. Choose the Canada-approved course and start learning!