What is a Pleasure Craft and How Can You Get a Licence For it? Here’s How

what is a pleasure craft

If you’ve looked through Canadian documentation requirements for vessels, you might have asked yourself what is a pleasure craft and why does it have to be licenced. If that’s the case, we are here to answer your questions.

What is a Pleasure Craft?

In accordance with Transport Canada’s boating documentation guidelines, a pleasure craft is a vessel exclusively used for recreational purposes. This is an administrative designation that serves to determine which vessels don’t need to get registration in order to operate in Canadian waters. Instead of registration, these are to receive a pleasure craft licence. What is a pleasure craft licence? Well, the identifying document for these kinds of vessels. However, it is worth noting that not every single recreational boat in Canada has to get the licence, though, so how do you know if you have to? Well, if you have a pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more that is maintained or operated in Canada, you will need to apply for a licence.

Apply For a Pleasure Craft Licence

So, what is a pleasure craft licence and how can you get one? Well, all you need to do in order to get your own licence for your pleasure craft will be to apply for one. As part of this process, you will need to provide some contact information about yourself (or the owner, if you are acting on their behalf), as well as information about the boat itself. This will involve some sort of proof of ownership, most likely a bill of sale. Once you go through this process, you will eventually receive your pleasure craft licence with its pertinent data. Once you receive your licence, you will have to make sure you display the number on the hull of the boat according to the corresponding guidelines in place.

Keep Your Licence Valid

Now, if you have a pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more, even if it is a personal watercraft, that is maintained or operated in Canada, you will need to obtain the corresponding licence. This way, you will be able to operate it without having to worry about having to register the vessel. Now, keeping this up to date once you get it will be very important in order to maintain its validity. Did you recently change your address or the vessel’s hailing port? Do you need to update one of the vessel’s specifications? Remember that your pleasure craft licence will need to be updated in order to reflect this. 

what is a pleasure craft

Apply for Vessel Documentation

The National Vessel Documentation Center is your one-stop shop for all your vessel documentation needs here in Canada. Whether you need to register a commercial vessel, licence a pleasure craft, or update existing documents, you will find all the corresponding forms and applications here on our site, as well as a platform with which to submit them to Transport Canada. Should you need help with this at any point, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by way of our contact hub. Our team is ready to assist you with anything you might need.