1997 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 36th Parliament

The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


BILL M 210 – 1997


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

Section 1

1 Except as otherwise provided in this Act, a person shall not operate a motorized recreational vessel upon the waters of the Province unless that person holds a valid boat operator's certificate.


2 Exemptions:

(1) A resident of the province 16 years of age or older, who has not been previously issued a boat operators certification, may for a period of thirty (30) days following the date of purchase of a recreational vessel by the person, operate the vessel provided the following conditions are met:

(a) the vessel has been registered or licensed in the name of the person;

(b) an appropriate bill of sale for the vessel indicating that the person is the purchaser and owner of the vessel, is in the possession of the person at all times of operation.

(2) Any person while taking test-drives of recreational vessels for sale when accompanied by a licensed vessel dealer, shall be exempt during the drive from the certification.

(3) A person, while using a rental vessel, shall be exempt from the certification requirements of this section if

(a) the rental contract provides that the lessee has been instructed in the proper and safe operation of the vessel by the lessor or the authorized agent of the lessor,

(b) the lessor has complied with the terms of the rental contract, and

(c) the lessee is not currently under suspension or revocation of any boat operators certification.

(4) A non-resident 16 years or older operating their own vessel shall be exempt from certification requirements for a cumulative period not exceeding 30 days in any calendar year.

(5) A non-resident 16 years of age or older who possesses a valid certification issued by a state or province of that person's residence, shall be exempt from these certification requirements. Such exemption shall not exceed a cumulative period of 90 days in any calendar year.

Section 2

(1) No one under the age of 12 may operate a recreational vessel exceeding 9.9 horsepower (7.5 kw).

(2) No one between the ages of 12 to 16 may operate a motorized vessel exceeding 9.9 horsepower (7.5 kw) unless accompanied by an adult who holds a valid boat operators certificate.

Section 3

(1) Every person who applies for a boat operators certification under this act shall have successfully competed training under the guidelines of a

"Basic Boating Standards"

which is

"Canadian Coast Guard Approved"

Section 4

(1) A boat operators certificate shall not be issued to the following persons

(a) Any person less than 12 years of age

(b) Any person whose vessel operating right or privilege is suspended

(c) Any person whose vessel operating right or privilege is revoked.

(d) Any person who has been indicted or is a known or habitual offender of substance abuse.

Section 5

(1) As used in this section, "personal watercraft" means a vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel, rather than the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

(2) In addition to a valid boat operators certificate, the operator of a personal watercraft must obtain a personal watercraft certification which requires the successful completion of an approved course of instruction together with on-the- water familiarization.

(3) No person may operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this Province unless that person is wearing a personal flotation device approved by the Canadian Coast Guard.

(4) A personal watercraft shall at all times be operated on the waters of this Province in a reasonable and prudent manner. Maneuvers that endanger life, limb or property, or create a public nuisance shall constitute the reckless operation of a vessel.

(5) It is unlawful for the owner of any personal watercraft or any person having charge over or control of a personal watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit personal watercraft to be operated on the waters of this Province by a person in violation of this section.

(6) This section does not apply to a person participating in a regatta, race, marine parade, tournament or exhibition.

Explanatory Note

This bill provides that a person who wishes to operate a motor boat must first pass a provincially regulated certification procedure. This procedure is intended to ensure the safety of British Columbians on the various lakes, rivers and seasides found in British Columbia.

Copyright © 1997: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada