Is Your Boat Fully Equipped?

Published on July 24th, 2012 by Rodney

A few weeks ago, Nina and I decided to visit Alta lake in Whistler for a day of trout fishing. It is a lake that we have visited for several years now. We enjoy it for a couple of reasons – The good fishing for trout at various sizes and the calmness due to the absence of speed boats.

When we arrived at the launch around early afternoon, a RCMP officer and a conservation officer were getting ready to launch their boat. I decided to wait for them to finish as we had plenty of time. Once their boat was in the water to do their patrol, I eagerly approached them with our freshwater fishing licences and my pleasure craft licence just to demonstrate what a law abiding citizen I am.

Once the licences were checked and I was about to happily walk away to get our boat ready, the conservation officer started to do a check list.

“Do you have your life jacks?”
“Do you have a sound signal device like a whistle?”
“Um, no…”
“Do you have a watertight flashlight?”
“Uh, no…”
“How about a 15m buoyant heaving line?”
“Yes but it’s in the car…”
“Finally, you need a bailer.”
“Yeah, we don’t have one of those either.”

The officer explained that these items are needed for our boat, which is measured 10′ in length and has an electric motor on it. The required items are listed in the boater exam, which I have conveniently forgotten since taking it a couple of years ago. Without these items while we were operating the boat, we could have been facing a potential fine of $300! The officer “suggested” that we should obtain those items before heading out and enjoying the day, so I took a detour to the hardware store and purchased what were needed for our trip. Although it was a slight convenience, the fault was ours for not following the rules after all.

This is a good reminder that you should be well prepared before you start your boating trip this summer, both for the safety and avoiding a large fine from enforcement, which seems to be stepping up on their patrol this season. If you have not taken your boater exam and obtained your pleasure craft licence, please do that first by going to this website! You can find a list of all the required items for your boat on this page.

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