Potential Impacts of Proposed Changes to Canadian Water Craft Regs.

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Tatlow, May 24, 2018.

  1. Tatlow

    Tatlow Paddler

    Aug 6, 2007
    Nanoose Bay
    I cut and pasted this from the on line Canadian Power Squadron Magazine. I wonder aloud, how many kayakers with carry flares and enough to meet the proposed requirements.

    • May 24, 2018

    [​IMG]I have been asked if I expect any changes to the boating Safety Regulations and I recently received notice of a few proposed changes to Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations that will have an effect on recreational boaters across the country and will probably be introduced by this summer.

    Stand up Paddle Boards will now be added to the list of Recreational Vessels and will be subject to the same safety equipment requirements as Paddleboards, Watercycles, Sealed-Hull and Sit-On-Top Kayaks.

    They will be required to carry:

    • One (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board*
    • A buoyant heaving line of at least 15 meters in length,
    • A sound signaling device
    • and a watertight flashlight or navigation lights if the vessel is used after sunset or before sunrise.

    *If everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket or PFD of appropriate size they are only required to carry a sound signaling device (whistle attached to their PFD) and a watertight flashlight if the vessel is used after sunset or before sunrise.

    The obvious aim of this * acceptation is to have all those using these types of vessels wear their lifejackets or PFDs.

    The other change that will affect safety equipment requirements relates to the number of required flares. Here is a list by vessel length of the current and coming changes:

    Vessels no more than 6 meters in length:

    • Current: Three flares other than smoke signals.
    • •New: Three flares not more than one of which is a smoke signal.

    Vessels more than 6 meters up to not more than 9 meters in length:

    • Current: Six flares other than smoke signals.
    • New: Six flares, not more than two of which are smoke signals. *Exception: At least three flares, not more than one of which is a smoke signal if there is also a means of two way electronic communications on board.

    Vessels more than 9 meters in length:

    • Current: Twelve flares, not more than six of which are smoke signals.
    • New: No change.*Exception: At least six flares, not more than two of which is a smoke signal if there is also a means of two way electronic communications on board.

    Human Powered Craft more than 6 meters:

    • Current: Six flares other than smoke signals.
    • New: Six flares, not more than two of which are smoke signals. *Exception; At least three flares, not more than one of which is a smoke signal if there is also a means of two way electronic communications on board.

    Personal Watercraft:

    • Three flares other than smoke signals.
    • Three flares, not more than one of which is a smoke signal.

    Note: Flares are not required for a vessel that is operating on a river, canal or lake on which it can be no more than 1 nautical mile (1.85 Km) from shore or has no sleeping quarters and is engaged in official competition or pin preparation for an official competition.

    There is also a minor change to the Pleasure Craft License requirement. This is the license for the boat, not the operator.

    The amendment would clarify that an update to a license would not extend the expiry date of a Pleasure Craft License by an additional 10 years.

    On the renewal of Pleasure Craft Licenses, which are currently good for 10 years and for which there is currently no charge to renew the license, I strongly suspect that within the next few years there will a change to a 3 to 5 year renewal period and a renewal fee will be introduced so users will help to pay for the vessel licensing program.

    John Gullick

    Manager of Government and Special Programmes
  2. AM

    AM Paddler

    Jan 30, 2006
    The requirement to carry flares is current, not proposed. See section 210 of the Small Vessel Regs. Note that it only applies if your kayak is over 6 m (19.7 feet). That rules out the vast majority of singles, though not doubles. If you're racing or training for a race, the rule does not apply.

    Confusing as it all sounds, the fact is that those who enforce the regs (Fisheries, RCMP, or local police, but not Coast Guard) are primarily looking for PFDs. If you are wearing your PFD proudly, the chances of you being stopped and your boat inspected for all safety gear is very, very remote, unless of course you are doing something so completely stupid as to attract attention in the first place.

    As far as flares go, my beef is that Transport Canada has a requirement to carry them on certain craft, a mandatory retirement date (4 years after manufacture), but no centralized process for disposing of old flares. That is left up to Power Squadron, which has to partner with the manufacturer to organize a flare collection. On this year's disposal date, my local Power Squadron collected some very old flares, some dating back to the 80s. Having old flares sitting around because there is no easy and legal way of disposing of them seems like more of a risk than having none at all.

    pls_dave likes this.
  3. pls_dave

    pls_dave Paddler

    Jun 3, 2010
    +1 to your comment regarding disposal of flares Andrew. I have flares I've paddled with since 2010 sitting in my garage with my kayaking gear ,and no clue on how to get rid of them (not a lot of options on this side of the Rockies - the fire departments want nothing to do with them...)
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    May 31, 2005
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Use them as firestarters, similar to a roadside flare.
  5. alexsidles

    alexsidles Paddler

    Jan 10, 2009
    Seattle WA
    I, for one, support the new watercraft regulations. My only concern is that they don't go far enough.

    Even on my shortest day trips — or even when I'm practicing in a pool — I always carry an entire crate of flares: smoke flares, parachute flares, 12-gauge flares, pencil flares, road flares, and professional wrestler Ric Flair. I also carry a laser flare, a laser pointer, a laser rangefinder, and I'm considering getting laser refractive eye surgery.

    I wear a PFD and a life jacket simultaneously, plus one of those life rings you see on the railings of ships, and I also stuff a neon-green pool noodle down my shirt to keep me even safer. I wear a wetsuit under my drysuit under my survival suit under my paddling jacket. Prior to setting out, I carefully sort through my clothes and burn any cotton garments I find, because cotton kills, and I don’t want it to kill me.

    I leash myself to my kayak, and I leash my paddle to my kayak, and I leash my spare paddle to my paddle, and I leash my spare spare paddle to my spare paddle along with a backup leash that runs back to my original paddle. I also leash my kayak to a spare kayak that I tow behind me. Inside the spare kayak is a life raft.

    It’s important to be able to communicate with rescue services, so I carry an iPhone, a second iPhone that I got for free when I upgraded my data plan, an old BlackBerry from a previous job, a VHF with a built-in GPS, a GPS with a built-in VHF, a pair of semaphore flags, a marine single-sideband radio with PACTOR modem that I bought from a passing sailboater, a ham radio with a fifty-foot antenna, and a CB radio. My CB radio handle is “Smokey,” which I think sounds pretty bad-ass.

    The advent of satellites has opened up even more communication possibilities in the last two decades, so I now also carry a PLB, a SPOT, a SPOT PT2, a SPOT Trace, a SPOT Connect, a SPOT X, a SPOT Gen3, a little dog named Spot who can bark really loud, an EPIRB, a LoJack, an Iridium satellite phone that works anywhere in the world, a Thuraya satellite phone that only works in the eastern hemisphere but you never know how far you might drift during an emergency, and an eighteen-inch DirecTV satellite dish.

    To keep all this equipment charged, I bring fourteen car batteries, a solar panel, and a stationary bicycle hooked up to a dynamo. If I run out of juice, I can use the shiny screen of my iPad as a heliograph to signal passing ships.

    Stay safe out there, everyone!

    chodups, Astoriadave and stagger like this.
  6. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    May 15, 2005
    cleaning the keyboard from all the coffee! oh the poor SUPers now . . . and why do swimmers get away with no requirements at all?
  7. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

    Aug 18, 2014
    South Island, New Zealand
    Has anyone thought of having a few "accidents"? Things burning down be cause the flares accidentally got into the wrong hands or "accidentally" went off at an embarrassing time? In this day & age of technology, flares would seem to be totally "old fashioned". Anyone checked the reliability rate? JKA, like to give a comment?

    The news media would love to jump on such a band-wagon, surely. Trump will tell you how to get "false news" reports circulated.
  8. Layback

    Layback Paddler

    Nov 30, 2013
    Burnaby, BC
    Hey Alex, when you're finished tying yourself in knots with your paddles, you might consider hooking up with a great monster whale.

    You could be like Ahab in Moby Dick. When the whale surfaced, there you'd be, your arm flopping back and forth, urging us to follow.

    And, follow we would. I mean, what could possibly go wrong following the safest kayaker in the world?
  9. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    May 15, 2005
    even though I'm thoroughly on side with the fear that there's never a rule that bureaucrats don't love to write, I have heard more than a few times [like andrew above] of the more sensible approach that reg checkers have taken to mainly check for pfds - CSA approved or not.

    [altho' for humour [and LAM would confirm] a local pool did require wearing pfds!]
  10. LAM

    LAM Paddler

    Dec 28, 2012