John Mason, Andy Devos and I were at Gordon Bay Marine and Hamer Bay Marine this Saturday to do courtesy safety boat checks (CPS Recreational Vessel Courtesy (RVCC) Program). This basically involves checking recreational boats to ensure they are in compliance with the mandatory safety equipment requirements. If they aren’t we let the owners know what what is required to be in compliance. Those boats that are in compliance are issued stickers for 2012 indicating they have been checked by the Canadian Power Squadron Courtesy Program. It might not help is they are stopped by the OPP, but at least they know they should pass, and where all the safety equipment is stowed.
We managed to ‘pass’ about a dozen boats while we were at the marinas. In general all the boats we checked met the applicable safety requirements. In a couple of cases where the boats were short of the necessary equipment they were able to pick up the equipment at the marina shops, and received their safety sticker. In many cases there was a little bit of a ‘hunt and seek’ process to find the equipment. That doesn’t bode well for an emergency where actions need to be taken quickly. But the courtesy check alerted them to this issue.
The most common ‘failure’ I saw with the boats did not relate to safety. Rather it concerned carrying their boat registration. This is a newer requirement and is similar to an auto vehicle registration. If you have it keep a copy on board. If you don’t you need to contact Transport Canada for a copy. They should be able to provide you with a copy of the registration document if you can give them your vessel’s registration number (the number on either side of the bow). If the boat is not registered in your name, perhaps a second hand boat purchase, they will require you to transfer the boat to your name and at the same time perhaps pay the necessary taxes. Regardless, if you are stopped by the OPP and aren’t able to produce a pleasure craft registration document you are liable for a fine of $250.
So better safe than sorry. Boat safe, stay safe.
Jo B – Communications Officer