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FAQs: Boating Rules of Alberta

To operate your boat in Alberta, you have to understand some necessary regulations. Always remember that some of these regulations are applicable in Canada.

Can I Become A Driver of a Boat in Alberta Without A License?

No, you must have a card known as “Pleasure Craft Operator.” To drive a power-driven vessel in Alberta or Canada, you have to produce a competency proof. This card becomes a proof that you have a good understanding of boating rules and safety operations on a watercraft. To get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, you have to pass an accredited test for boating safety at our office.

Do you need a boat license? Visit and get the necessary information.

Can I Operate A Boat Without Licensing/Registering It?

No, you have to follow the rules and regulations of your state to license/register your boat. A boat of certain power/size needs license or registration. Pleasure crafts powered by engines of 10 hp (7.5 kW) or more should be registered or licensed to operate in Canada and other states.

Make sure to display the license number of a pleasure craft:

  1. On two sides of a bow

  2. Above the watermark

  3. Choose block letters to write the number (almost 3-inch or 7.5 centimeters) high

  4. Use contrasting colors to write the number on a colorful vessel

Is There Any Age Restriction to Operate A Vessel?

Yes, each state has specific age restrictions to operate a boat. These restrictions are necessary for the protection of children. A person under 16-years of his/her age can’t operate a pleasure craft.

Children under 12 years are not eligible to operate pleasure crafts with over 10 hp (7.5 kW) without any supervision.

Kids between 12-year and 16-year of age can’t operate pleasure crafts with over 40 hp (30 kW) without supervisions of an adult.

People 16-year old can operate a private vessel, regardless of administration.

Can I Operate My Boat After Drinking Alcohol?

No, it is an offense to operate a boat in an impaired situation. Convictions (even for the first time) may have heavy punishments. Penalties may range from $1,000 fine to a ban of three years for operating watercraft. If your blood contains 80 milligrams of liquor per 100 milliliters of your blood, you may face these fines:

  1. First offense: almost $1,000 fine

  2. Second offense: imprisonment of 30 days

  3. Third offense: imprisonment of 120 days

One can consume alcohol on board in these conditions:

  1. The boat has stable sleeping facilities

  2. The boat has stable cooking facilities

  3. The boat has stable toilets

  4. The boat is secured or anchored beside a dock

Consult the provincial authorities of Alberta like RCMP to know complete rules

Do I Follow Speed Limits on A Vessel?

Yes, while operating your vessel in the water, you have to pay attention to speed limits.

Vessels Operations Control Regulations of Canada administered jointly with different municipalities and provinces. They have special restrictions for speed and other operations of small boats. There are power limitations, speed limits, and other regulations to operate a vessel and waterskiing.

The government of Alberta requires you to observe a specific speed limit of 6 mpg (10 km/h) within 100 ft (30 meters) of the coast. These limits are for Alberta waters. These provisions are not applicable in rivers (less than 300 ft) 100 meters in width, buoyed channels and canals, waterskiing, where towboat drops off and launches skiers by heading away from or in the coast.

To get more information on boating rules, including where to buy marine batteries to keep your boat running smoothly, you can visit government and sailing websites. Regulations may vary in each state. Feel free to protect your investment with boat insurance.


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