Whether you’re looking forward to buying your very first boat or want to update the family cruiser, here are some important tips from Transport Canada:
1. When buying a brand new boat. Ensure a declaration of conformity (DoC) is available from the seller. Sellers are required to file a DoC with Transport Canada for each model of all new boats to be sold in Canada. A copy of the DoC must be supplied to the buyer at the time of initial purchase. A DoC is an attestation to the minister that the boat complies with all required construction standards. Make sure it has a hull serial number, which is placed on every boat sold in Canada after demonstrating that it meets the relevant construction standards. Hull serial numbers can be found on the upper starboard side area of the transom. Most boats that are powered by a motor must also carry a Canadian Compliance Notice, which means they met Transport Canada’s construction standards at the time they were built.
2. When buying a used boat. You want to ensure that it meets the construction requirements that were in force when it was built. One option is to hire a marine surveyor to examine the boat, who will give you a fair opinion on its current condition and will let you know what changes will need to be made to bring the boat up to standard.
3. Know the rules for trailers. A trailer is considered a motor vehicle. This means that different requirements apply to a trailer from those that apply to your boat. If you plan to buy a trailer, contact your provincial or territorial transportation office to learn about any requirements that need to be considered.
4. Dispose of your old boat properly. Wrecked, abandoned and hazardous boats are a growing problem in many communities across the country, because they can cause risks to navigation and bring harm to people and the environment. That’s why, starting in the summer of 2019, new rules under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, a key measure under the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, will require boat owners to dispose of their old boats responsibly – you could receive a monetary penalty or a significant fine if you don’t.
5. Think of your current boat’s retirement plan. Here are some options if you want to get rid of your old boat: ask the retailers where you’re shopping for a new boat if they take old ones in trade; look for a boat recycling facility in your area; search for charities or companies that may want your old boat; or ask the nearest landfill operator if they accept old boats.