There is nothing better than getting out on the water to explore a bit of the lake while at the cottage. For most renters watercraft is a key amenity however, something they do not get to do very often except for the 1 or 2 weeks they book at a waterfront property.

Most often the type of watercraft available is non-motorized.  These watercrafts include canoes, kayaks and paddleboats and need to include the following:

1 lifejacket for each person on board
1 buoyant heavy line at least 15m long
A watertight flashlight
A bailer
A sound/signal device

Note – these safety items are often conveniently packaged by stores such as Canadian Tire – i.e. the ‘orange safety bucket’.

Everyone who operates a power-driven boat needs proof of competency — something that shows they understand the basic rules and how to safely operate a boat. The most common proof of competency is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can get the card by taking a boating safety course in-person or online, and passing the test at the end of the course.

Those who have taken a boating safety course prior to April 1, 1999 will not be required to take another course or test. A copy of a certificate or a card issued at the completion of courses taken prior to April 1, 1999 will need to be carried on board the pleasure craft.

And remember – don’t mix speed and/or alcohol with boating. You are responsible for the safety of everyone on board and those boating around you. You must always be prepared and alert, since conditions on the water can change very quickly.