Boat Registry Canada: Is the Small Vessel Register Your Best Bet?

Did you recently purchase a boat that isn’t all that big yet you’re planning on using it in a commercial capacity? Have you come into a maritime opportunity with a vessel and want to be sure that you have everything covered before you head out on the water? There have been seemingly boundless opportunities in Canadian maritime industries going back for centuries. To truly take advantage of them, the last thing you want to do is run afoul of vessel documentation rules and regulations. We can help you with all of your boat registry Canada needs, whether you need to register your vessel, get a pleasure craft license, or register in the Small Vessel Register. 

Who Can Register in the Small Vessel Register 

First, you can register a vessel in the Small Vessel Register if it’s a commercial vessel. That means you aren’t using it to have a good time, for fun, or for your day-to-day life. You’re using it for business, to make money – that’s a commercial vessel. So, you’ll qualify for the Small Vessel Register if you don’t require an official name, you don’t want a mortgage with Transport Canada, and it’s small. For the purposes of this register, it needs to have a gross tonnage of less than 15. Remember, “gross tonnage” is “a function of the volume of all of a ship’s enclosed spaces (from keel to funnel) measured to the outside of the hull framing.” 

Who Must Register in the Small Vessel Register 

The prior section covers those who could decide to register their vessels in the Small Vessel Register. YOu have to do so if your vessel’s gross tonnage is 15 or less and has an engine that’s as powerful as 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more. That goes for government-owned vessels as well. Additionally, barges and commercial river rafts (by their commercial nature) are also required to register in the Small Vessel Register. Now, you might think: “well, what about commercial vessels that are larger than that?” Those are the ones that are required to register in the Canadian Register of Vessels. 

Who Can’t Register in the Small Vessel Register 

While it’s called the “Small Vessel Register,” that doesn’t mean that every small vessel has to register within it. For example, you don’t have to register a vessel that has less than 7.5 kW/10 horsepower, nor a sailing vessel that measures less than 8.5 meters long. Human-powered vessels are also exempt, such as canoes and kayaks. As you might imagine, there are many exemptions, exceptions, and so forth. 

Boat Registry Canada

Your One-Stop Boat Registry Canada Shop 

For many years, we’ve helped Canadian vessel owners of all kinds to make the right decision about which form of registration or licensing was right for them. Now, we can put that experience to work for you. If you have any questions about how any of this works, our staff will be happy to answer them at (800) 419-9569.