The Best Destinations for Boating in Canada

Canadian vessel documentation

Canada features great places for boaters to experience the great outdoors. If you are a boat owner, make sure you have the proper Canadian vessel documentation onboard. Doing so will make it just that much more rewarding to see Canada by boat. 

You should have a pleasure craft license (PLC) and registration onboard to make it easier to sail and see the beautiful north. Also, operators of boats with motors need to obtain a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC).

What You Should Know about Canadian Vessel Documentation for Boats

To see the best destinations in Canada, again, you need to make sure you are carrying all the right information. Therefore, you need to review in-depth the Canadian vessel documentation you will need. 

Canadian vessel documentation

Pleasure Craft License (PLC)

You can obtain a PLC from Transport Canada online. This document is also required if you buy a boat for transfer of ownership. The PLC is actually a number that you place on either side of the bow of your boat in block letters, at least 3 inches or 7.5 centimeters high. The document is free, so if you have a boat with at least a 10 horsepower or 7.5kW motor, it is well worth getting. If you don’t carry a PLC on board, you are assessed a $250.00 fine.

Pleasure Craft Operator’s License (PCOC)

Don’t forget to include a pleasure craft operator’s card (PCOC) as part of your Canadian vessel documentation. You need this card to operate boats with any size motor on Canadian waters. The PCOC, which should be carried on board, shows proof of competency.

Pleasure Craft Registration

Boats with a 10hp motor or 7.5kW motor must also be registered. Registration allows you to give your pleasure craft a unique name, use the boat as security for marine lending, or fly the Canadian flag on board. It also offers an extra measure of safety. 

According to OttawaLife Magazine, search teams use a boat’s name as well as the PLC number to locate boats and their owners during search-and-rescue events. Even if your boat comes with a smaller-sized motor, the registration shows proof of title.

Once you make sure you have all the required Canadian vessel documentation, you can embark on your voyage to the following destinations. Counting down the destinations by popularity, the last and best lasting is saved for last.

6. Shuswap Lake – A Boater’s Paradise in British Columbia

This boating attraction, sitting in Northern Okanagan in British Columbia, is the ideal place to fish, relax on your boat, and enjoy the scenery. The expansive shoreline is home to beaches, scenic mountain views, and waterparks.

5. Muskoka Lakes

National Geographic lists the Muskoka lake district, which is 2 hours away from Toronto, as one of Canada’s top weekend getaways. The area features almost 8,700 miles of shoreline, an array of historic villages, and countless lakes and waterfalls. Bordered by Algonquin Provincial Park to the east and the Georgian Bay Island National Park on the west, the region will cause any boater to think they have arrived in paradise.

4. Saskatchewan’s Spirit Lake

Huffington Post Travel listed Spirit Lake in Saskatchewan as a top 10 choice among Canada’s popular shorelines. White snowy sand dunes give the lake a sense of privacy. Located close to the town of Canora, the site is a great watery haven for any boating aficionado. 

3. Crystal Crescent in Halifax, Nova Scotia

While Nova Scotia is home to several spectacular boating sites, Crystal Crescent, in Halifax, is one of the most popular. A boardwalk links the attraction’s three small beaches. Sitting at the mouth of Halifax Harbor, Crystal Crescent boasts white sands and relaxing shorelines.

2. The 1,000 Islands – St. Lawrence River

You can embark on this 1,000-island boating getaway from Gananoque, Brockville, or Kingston, or from any of the numerous marinas along St. Lawrence’s River’s northern shore. While the locale is known as the 1,000-island area, you can find double that number at this boating site. Travel to fishing spots, summer celebrations, hiking paths, and specialty restaurants. You can either spend the night on your boat or find a place to stay during your vacation.

1. The Great Lakes

A number one boating destination, the Great Lakes include the Lakes Superior, Huron, Erie, Michigan, and Ontario – a grouping of expansive freshwater bodies of water. A variety of boats are seen on the waters – boats that are owned by boaters of varying experiences and skillsets. Boating on the Great Lakes is as close to boating on the sea as you can get. 

While Lake Superior fits the needs of yachting enthusiasts, the other shores invite smaller boats of varying designs. Not only can you visit countless ports, but you can also enjoy the amazing scenery. If you want to spend some extra time on your boat, you will be able to do so on the Great Lakes.

As you can see, Canada has some great boating sites in all parts of the country. That is why it is imperative that you have the proper Canadian vessel documentation onboard your ship. Speed up the documentation process by contacting a third-party processor for Transport Canada. Call 1 (800) 419-9569 or the Canadian Vessel Registry now.