Frequently Asked Questions about Boating in British Columbia

With thousands of lakes and an ocean at your doorstep, we don’t blame you for getting bitten by the boating bug. Before you head out and explore our beautiful province we thought it would be a good idea to answer some frequently asked questions about boating in British Columbia

Where can I go boating in British Columbia?

There are so many prime boating destinations across this province! If you’re looking for some travel inspiration, Discover Boating is an excellent resource for finding new waterways, rivers and lakes in BC. Keep in mind that certain lakes that are part of provincial or national parks may not permit powered boating. Make sure you check the rules before heading out on the water!

Do I need to wear a lifejacket?

YES! By law you are required to have an appropriately sized lifejacket that is Canadian Approved for each person on board your boat. It’s not legally required to wear it but you would be crazy not to. Just like your seatbelt, your lifejacket or floatation device will not save your life if you do not wear it. For more information on lifejacket sizing and requirements, check out this lifejacket sizing guide.

Where are the best places to fish in BC?

British Columbia is often called an angler’s paradise. Many of the lakes in the province are stocked for recreational fishing and there are over 750,000 kilometres of streams and waterways to be fished. Check out this interactive map that provides all the detail needed about the various fishing locations across British Columbia. Remember to review the various sport fishing regulations that apply across the province before casting your lines.

Can I go boating with my driver’s license?

In order to go boating in British Columbia, operators are required to have a proof of competency on board, otherwise known as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or boat license. These regulations have been in effect since 2009 and were established to ensure that all boaters in Canada are well versed in boater safety and the rules of the water. To get your PCOC, take a Transport Canada approved boating safety course.

Do I need boat insurance?

Boat insurance is not legally required for boaters in British Columbia, but it is highly recommended, especially if the value of your boat exceeds $5,000. For more information on insuring your boat in BC, click here.

Did we miss a question? Get in touch with us and we’ll add it to our list!

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