Toll-free: 1-800-563-6348
Blog Posts

Ontario Boating Rules and Regulations

With the summer coming to a close, many boating enthusiasts will be eager to get out onto the water one last time. Living on Georgian Bay means we have the luxury of enjoying some of the most spectacular recreational boating in the world. Making sure you are up to date with current boating laws and safety regulations, as well as following some basic safety tips, will help close out another safe boating season.

Boating Safety Regulations

In many ways, operating a boat is similar to driving a car. There are numerous laws, regulations and local rules covering such things as speed, right of way, lights, signals and collisions. Boats also need to be registered and licensed.

Boating regulations passed by the federal government require anyone operating a power-driven boat in Canada to prove they are competent. This means they understand the “rules of the road” for Canada’s waterways and how to operate a boat safely. As outlined by Transport Canada, the most common proof of competency is to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). In many cases, operators will take an accredited boating safety course to gain basic boating safety knowledge and obtain a PCOC.

Personal Injury in a Boating Accident

Accidents can happen on the water. Boats travelling at high speeds may collide with swimmers or other vessels and may cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers alike. In the unlikely event that you are injured because of a boating mishap, you need to be aware of significant differences between car accident and boating accident laws in Ontario.

The first important difference is that no-fault benefits are not available for boaters. Instead, anyone injured in a boating accident is restricted to seeking damages against the at-fault party. Furthermore, there is a limit to the amount of money that will be paid out as a result of a boating accident.

In Ontario, liability for personal injuries that occur while boating are governed by the Marine Liability Act. Among other things, this Act and its accompanying regulations set out the rules regarding the apportionment of liability for personal injuries and fatalities, the limitation period as well as the maximum amount payable for any distinct occasion involving a ship. Currently, for a ship with less than 300 gross tonnage, the maximum is $1,000,000 for loss of life or personal injury, regardless of the number of people injured and making claims.

Contact Ontario’s Injury Lawyers

If you have been involved in a boating accident, one of our experienced  Ontario personal injury lawyers would be happy to speak with you regarding your rights and potential remedies. Contact us online for a free legal consultation or by phone at 1-800-563-6348.

This blog post is presented for information purposes only. The information contained in this post should not be construed as legal advice from Ferguson Barristers or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal advice on any matter. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on any such content or information without seeking appropriate legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Please note that we are only able to provide legal advice to clients of Ferguson Barristers. You may contact us about becoming a client. Any unsolicited information sent to Ferguson Barristers may not be protected by attorney-client privilege.

Get a Consultation*

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

*Please note: Sending an email to us will not make us your lawyers. You will not be considered a client of the firm until we have agreed to act for you in accordance with our usual policies for accepting clients. Unless you are a current client of FDT LLP, please do not include any confidential information in your email. No information you send us can be held in confidence and no information we provide to you can be treated as legal advice unless and until we have agreed to act for you.