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Pleasure Craft Operator Card 

The Pleasure Craft Operator Card, also known as a PCOC, is proof of competency under the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations. Pleasure Craft Operator Card - PCOC


We are a Sail Canada Certified Instructor for the PCOC.

As of September 15, 2009 any person operating any powered recreational boat must have proof of competency. The PCOC if one form of proof.


Proof of previous training (until 03/31/1999) such as Canadian Power Squadron or Sail Canada, (CYA) courses.

Three Sail Canada LTC/LTP standards have been approved by Transport Canada. The specific standards are Basic Power, Basic Cruise and Basic Outboard. Not all enforcement officers understand the regulations recognizing specified training in lieu of PCOC. Sail Canada continues to recommend that students acquire a PCOC card to simplify demonstration of proof of competency. This may now be done for basic graduates by simply completing the card application – no additional exam is required.

Grace period of 45 days for non-residents of Canada operating foreign boats without a recognized Competency Card.

In addition to carrying Proof of Competency aboard, you are also required to carry personal picture identification.

How to obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, PCOC:

For Canadian boaters,

 Boating License Canada - PCOC


For U.S.A. boaters,

 Boating License - Boating Safety Course USA


The Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations include items like speed limits both posted and unposted (such as shoreline speed zones), designated waters where boats are prohibited and waters where certain activities are restricted, among others.

The regulations also outline age-horsepower restrictions. These restrictions prohibit those less than 16 years of age from operating craft above specified horsepower limits. If an operator is accompanied and directly supervised in the pleasure craft by someone 16 years of age or older, the age-horsepower restrictions do not apply. These restrictions also prohibit those less than 16 years of age from operating personal watercraft regardless of whether they are accompanied or not.


How this applies to operators of pleasure craft fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes Power restrictions
Less than 12 years of age and not directly supervised** Can operate a pleasure craft with no more than 10 hp (7.5 kW)
Between 12, and under, 16 years of age and not directly supervised** Can operate a pleasure craft with no more than 40 hp (30 kW)
Less than 16 years of age Not allowed to operate a PWC***
16 years of age or older No power restrictions
* These requirements apply in all areas outside the Northwest Territories and Nunavut at this time.  

** Directly supervised means accompanied and directly supervised in the boat by someone 16 years of age or older who has a PCOC.

*** Personal watercraft

These restrictions are made under the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations and are not affected nor superseded by the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations. The Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations and Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations are entirely separate regulations and their respective requirements are complementary.


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Bruce Stott
Bruce Stott
President/Chief Instructor
Nautical Experience

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