Know Your Rules

Transport Canada issued the tweet above as part of safe boating week. Its very wrong.

A PCOC per the Canada Shipping Act regulations, is required to operate any pleasure craft. The link in the tweet indicates operators of any pleasure craft with a motor require a PCOC, even if the motor is not in use (ie a sailing vessel) or is a electric trolling motor. The PCOC is proof a person have the basic knowledge to operate a vessel.

So where does this tweet come from? well boats with motors greater then 10 horsepower are required to be licensed. this is synonymous with registering your car at the DMV. a boat license has nothing to do with your ability to operate a vessel, but is issued to the vessel itself.

this is why there are 9.9HP outboard motors – to avoid the licensing requirement.

Many people casually refer to the PCOC as a boat licence, much the same way you have a drivers licence. Transport Canada took the basic requirement for boat licensing, and applied it as the base requirement for a PCOC.

UPDATE: the tweet has been deleted and corrected to remove “of 10HP or more”

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