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Who Is "the Operator"? Is It Ok to Let Guests Take the Wheel?

For all intents and purposes, the person controlling the navigation of the craft is the Operator. It is unwise, unsafe and legally perilous to allow unqualified passengers to "take the wheel". 

Motorized? Get the Card!

Proof of competency (as defined by federal regulation), such as a Pleasure Craft Operator's Card, is required by law:

  • Any motorized watercraft
  • Including electric trolling motors
  • Including sailboats equipped with engines
  • Regardless of boat size or horsepower
  • Regardless of age

Once obtained, federally-approved proof of competency is valid for life. 

If you are the operator of the boat, you must have proof of competency on board. Original only... photocopies don't qualify. You can be fined if you are caught without your card. 

How to Obtain the Card

The Muskoka Lakes Association strongly believes in boating education to enhance the safety and enjoyment of recreational boating and to help keep our Muskoka waters safe. We encourage you to take an accredited course from an accredited course provider. If you take the course online, the program will lead you directly into the online version of the test. 

According to Transport Canada, you make try to take the test without taking an accredited course. However, you can only do so in person under the supervision of a Transport Canada approved accredited course provider.

As soon as you past the test, you will receive a temporary proof of competency to use until your Pleasure Craft operator's Card arrives by mail. 

Apply Your Knowledge

Now that you have the card, now what? Apply your knowledge!

Unfortunately, many boaters carry the card don't take the most basic steps to avoid collision. When you are on the water, always observe right of way

The Muskoka Lakes Association is dedicated to safe and enjoyable boating in Muskoka. Review an up-to-date Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide. It's free and the latest edition is available online

Learn to become a better boater through brief and informative E-Learning modules. 

Apply safety, courtesy and the law so that everyone has a great day on Muskoka's Rivers and lakes!

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