Before You Launch Your Boat

Before You Launch Your Boat bb3 Sep 8, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

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Know Your Boating Laws

Federal, Provincial, and local laws are designed for your safety. Make sure you are aware of the regulations that apply to the bodies of water where you boat.

As of September 15, 2009, all boat operators, regardless of age, are required to have a pleasure craft operator card.

Canada maintains unique requirements for boat operator competency, as well as vessel age and horsepower restrictions. Before boating on Canadian waters, call Transport Canada at 1-800-267-6687 (in Canada only). Or visit the Canadian Boating Safety website at Canadian Boating Safety website at for information on laws and regulations.

Pack The Right Gear

Before going on the water, check local boating laws to make sure your boat has the necessary equipment required for its size, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and sound-producing devices.

Having the proper equipment can be the difference between life and death. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards suggest you have the following items on your boat to help you prepare for emergencies such as severe weather, accidents, or mechanical breakdown:

  • Appropriate radio equipment
  • First-aid kit
  • Charts of local area and a compass
  • Personal items (sunscreen, medicines, sunglasses)
  • Food and water
  • Additional clothing (warm clothes, hat, foul-weather gear)
  • Anchor and extra line
  • Tool kit for repairs
  • Paddles
  • Bailer or bilge pump

Learning Center Forum Topic

How do you prepare for boat season?
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