December 2020
CSBC Newsletter - December 2020
In This Issue

  • Message from the Chair
  • CASBAs
  • The Mystery Sailor
  • CSBC Symposium 2021
  • Pirates Come Ashore for Boat For Hope 2020
  • Office of Boating Safety Consultations
  • Boats We Love
  • In Brief 
Message from the Chair
When I last wrote to you in the Spring, the COVID Pandemic still had many unknowns and that probably still applies today. We all spent the summer season leading a different life than we have ever known or been used to. What this equated to, in relation to boating, was an exceptional increase in boating….all levels from human-powered to sail and power. Transport Canada has reported that they have issued almost double the number of Pleasure Craft Operator Cards since May than they did in 2019. With families and individuals choosing to be on the water as an acceptable manner of social distancing, there is also the need to ensure these new boaters are safe on the water. The need for awareness and education escalates as more boats launch in our waterways. The five key Boating Safety Messages of the CSBC (noted below) are more important now than ever. You can play an important role in assisting the CSBC in delivering these messages through either your renewed Membership or a new Membership in the CSBC. Your support is not only supporting the CSBC, but it is delivering key messages to people who already are living in a different world; we can help them live safely in that world.
I know you have read all about the success of our first Virtual Symposium on October 1 in the Fall News Splash, but I would like to add my personal thanks to the committee led by Director Lawrence Jacobs, to our presenting sponsor Stearns/Coleman and to the Port of Vancouver for their support. With the theme of Shared Waterways – the Way Ahead, it was timely, especially with the number of new boaters hitting the waterways this past summer.
My personal thanks to the four recipients of Certificates of Merit noted also….Mal Blann, Cheryl Gallagher, Ron Kroeker and John McMullen. The CSBC is driven by volunteers and partners who “pitch in”….thank you, as we cannot do it without you.
Since mid-September, I have attended six different meetings/conferences all related to Boating Safety with probably a different twist to each one. This keeps the CSBC, and my host organization CPS-ECP, involved and current on what is happening in both Canada and the United States. All events have been virtual. Starting on September 25, the following are the organizations I interacted with at Board meetings, Annual Meetings, Seminars and Symposiums: the U.S. National Safe Boating Council; the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; the Canadian Safe Boating Council; the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons; the Canadian Marine Advisory Committee (CMAC - Transport Canada) and the CMAC Standing Committee on Recreational Boating (TC).
There was certainly a lot to be gleaned from all of the above and I am not really allowed that much space to summarize all that happened, but I will try and give you some highlights….and in no particular order.
  • Statistics – no matter which meeting, the cruel reality is that the accident and fatality statistics are still there and up front for all to realize. The increase in human-powered craft is now becoming a contributing factor to these statistics. The U.S. is reporting the highest numbers since 2011 due to the sudden increase in interest in boating this year.
  • The first bullet obviously leads to discussions on lifejacket wear, harmonization, who should wear them, maintenance of inflatables, mandatory wear and a wide range of variable issues regarding lifejackets
  • Sharing waterways…..not only the theme of the CSBC Symposium, but appearing in many discussions. Big boats, little boats, jet-powered boats, human-powered vessels, rental boats and probably equally or more important in many ways, marine life
  • The environment is now a leading issue in many discussions. The effect on our waterways and all those that belong on or in the waterways especially the marine life.
  • A page from the environment book is the derelict and abandoned vessels issue….a worldwide problem. It is being addressed more today than before at the National, Provincial and State levels. Proactive measures are becoming key in some areas.
  • Education cannot be stressed enough. It is a discussion and action item almost everywhere I go. It is not just the education of those using our waterways, it is the education of the instructors also to ensure the proper message is being received.
  • Boating under the Influence (BUI) has been aggressively attacked in recent years with programs such as Operation Dry Water. There has been great success with these programs and hopefully they have curtailed future misuse.
  • Electronic Visual Distress Signals are more actively being discussed. Legal in the U.S. with conditions, their use is still in the investigative stages in Canada.
  • Paddle sports or human-powered craft continue to be a discussion point with reference to much of what is written above…statistics, education, shared waterways etc. The latest issue is now the propeller-driven surfboard-type vessels
  • Cold Water Immersion is applicable to most of our boating waterways in Canada and U.S. Possible interventions are always being discussed and of course, the promotion of the CSBC Cold Water Workshops is always relevant.
  • Discussions on user fees for the Pleasure Craft Licensing (PCL) system and the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) system
  • The impact of the high waters in the Great Lakes is an ongoing discussion.
  • The importance of Social Media has been stressed everywhere as to how to get the message out there in today’s evolving world.
As you can see, much of the above includes the elements of the CSBC five key Boating Safety messages:
  1. Wear your lifejacket
  2. Boat sober
  3. Take a boating course
  4. Be prepared – you and your vessel
  5. Beware of cold water risks.
In one of the presentations at the Standing Committee on Recreational Boating, the Office of Boating Safety talked about continuing to build partnerships with stakeholders. They are emphasizing Education and Outreach. The CSBC is often referenced as one of those partners and we certainly are advocating education and outreach. As I mentioned at the beginning, join us and become a part of a National Team.
Last year at this time I closed with remarks from the new Chair of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, Assistant Commander Game Warden Cody Jones, the Boating Law Administrator for Texas. This year in his closing remarks, his final statement is applicable to you, me, the CSBC and all of the partners we work with……..“We make a better boating world”.
Stay safe and keep well.


Joe Gatfield
Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)
As we announced in the last newsletter the CASBAs for 2020 are postponed until January 2022. Nominations are still being accepted and a promotional video regarding the CASBAs will soon be posted to the CSBC website.

If you’d like to know more about the CASBAs and get a flavour for some of our award winners from previous years, you can read the February edition of our previous years’ newsletters on the CSBC website.

The Mystery Sailor
Which CSBC Director is this?

Answer at the end of the Newsletter.
CSBC Symposium 2021
Planning has started for the next CSBC Symposium, to be held in September 2021. The working theme is: Welcome to new boaters: how can we help? Mark your calendars, and plan to join us!
Pirates Come Ashore for Boat For Hope 2020
With thanks to Rick Cassels, CSBC Director, and Tri-City News
Over the past 21 years the Boat For Hope event has taken thousands of special needs kids, and their support systems, out on the waters of Vancouver for a day of pirate activities, returning to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club for a land portion called “Treasure Island”. A park area offers food, entertainment, music, engagement with the kids and a host of other activities. The event has raised close to $2.5 million to help Variety – the Children’s Charity support the kids beyond this one day event.

This year COVID restrictions threatened to scupper the event. But pirates are nothing if not resourceful, and turned into landlubbers for a day! Rick Cassels and his organizing committee worked with the Coquitlam Centre management, the Mayor of the City of Coquitlam, the Fraser Health Authority and the marine community in Vancouver to turn the September 13, 2020 event into a drive-through in which the kids and their families stayed in their boats (cars) and went through a course just like they would if they were out on the water, with different pirate activities at each Treasure Island and the ever-popular water fight. Over the course of the day around 400 kids in 200 family cars were able to enjoy the pirate activities, a concert, snacks and “loot”.

After the event was over, the pirates snuck back to their ships, and were last seen sharpening their cutlasses to be ready for next year. If you’d like to make a donation to this worthy cause, go to
Editor’s note: during CSBC Board deliberations, Rick has always been the most collegial of colleagues, but now that we have seen his fierce pirate alter ego (above), we may just do what he says a whole lot more in future!
Office of Boating Safety Consultations
Transport Canada (TC) Office of Boating Safety (OBS) wants to hear from stakeholders, especially those with a particular interest in pleasure craft, on the changes under consideration to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Program and the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program. TC is inviting members of the boating community to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the Pleasure Craft Licensing and the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Programs on the Let’s Talk Transportation consultation webpage. The forum will remain open until January 15, 2021.

Pleasure craft licensing considerations for pleasure craft owners

TC OBS is considering changes to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Program to increase safety, environmental protection and improve service delivery through the following regulatory amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations (SVR):
  • bringing grandfathered pleasure craft licenses (with no expiry date) into a five-year validity regime
  • reducing the ten-year validity period for licenses (PCLs) to five years ensuring that ownership information is updated more often
  • expanding the application of the SVR to include:
  • all pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more, including personal watercraft, which are principally maintained or operated in Canada; and
  • all pleasure craft (including all power-driven and sail-alone vessels) above 6 metres in length, with the exception of human-powered vessels (e.g. kayak, canoe).
  • reducing the timeframe for vessel owners to report a name or address change from 90 days to 30 days, and specifying 30 days for the buyer to notify a sale or transfer of a vessel ensuring that updated information is available in the same boating season
  • providing TC the authority to cancel a PCL if the licence holder does not comply with regulatory requirements. 
  • introducing a service fee of $15 for pleasure craft licenses thereby reducing the cost borne by taxpayers for providing this service.

Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program considerations for course providers

TC OBS is considering changes to the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program through amendments to the Competency Operator Pleasure Craft Regulations (COPCRs) to ensure that course providers continue to provide excellent boating safety training to recreational Canadian boaters. The proposed changes include:
  • strengthening course accreditation requirements
  • setting course accreditation to a five year renewal period
  • providing TC the authority to suspend or revoke course accreditation if a course provider does not comply with regulatory requirements
  • providing TC the authority to cancel a Pleasure Craft Operator Card if it is deemed to have been obtained under fraudulent circumstances
  • repealing the provision for the Rental Boat Safety Checklist as being accepted as proof of competency
  • introducing a $5,000 accreditation fee to course providers every five years and a test materials access fee of $8.50 for each Pleasure Craft Operator Card issued.

Going forward, all online consultations led by TC’s Marine Safety and Security (MSS) will be accessible through a centralized page on the Let’s Talk Transportation
Boats We Love
Conceived during the initial dark days of the COVID-19 restrictions, this is an ongoing series in which CSBC Directors and project leaders share what they love about boats and boating. We are all a community, committed to staying safe on the water together.
Alain Roy, CSBC Director

My passion for boating and sailing led me to becoming involved as a Board member of the Canadian Safe Boating Council and working in the pleasure-craft sector. Through our hectic daily lives, my spouse and I are aiming to make our dream come true: to sail around the world. Our project is to travel all over the world with our sailboat while offering stays on board throughout the journey.

A major step was taken with the purchase of our boat, the Louve des mers, a 2006 Lansart 47 (14.5 m). We chose it mainly for the safety considerations reflected in its aluminum hull, its performance level and its safety equipment. An aluminum sailboat is very sturdy and allows us to envisage going anywhere, even navigating the Northwest Passage or Cape Horn. In addition, its huge carbon mast, its sliding keel (2.5 m / 3.5 m) and its large sail surface provide us with very interesting capabilities and will permit us to move away quickly from depressions and rough weather if needed. Our choice was also made on the basis of the boat’s self-sufficiency in both energy (solar panels and wind turbine) and water (desalination equipment) as well as the very large capacity of its diesel and water tanks (450 and 430 L respectively). It is a large, completely self-sufficient vessel that rarely needs to head for a marina and allows us to receive guests on board.

Since March 2019, we have been sailing in the Caribbean. In the summer of 2020, we moved the boat from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Antigua, where we took it out of the water for the hurricane season and for cleaning and maintenance. As we look forward to the great day we set sail, we are pursuing our training, getting further acquainted with the boat and carrying out improvements. You can get more details on our project and our sailboat on our French-language Web site or Facebook page: la louve des mers autour du monde.
Ian Campbell, CSBC Director

There is nothing like a beautiful sunset to cap off a great day of boating! Looking back on a great season on the water, my 22-foot centre-console fishing boat performed admirably. It is what is known as a ‘bay’ or a ‘flats’ boat in areas down south, which means it is well suited for the big and small waters of Ontario’s lakes and rivers. The great all-around visibility from the control station is appreciated in all situations, but especially so from the standing position when in choppy conditions or traffic. Equipped with a 250 HP outboard motor, electronic chart plotter, sonar and VHF marine radio with digital select calling, this boat is equally at home cruising out on the open water or casting a fishing line in the shallows. Being in an open boat though means being exposed to the weather- so wearing the right protective gear is a must, including wearing a correctly fitted and approved lifejacket or PFD and attaching the lanyard to the engine’s emergency cut-off switch.

Here’s to a safe and happy boating season next year!
In brief
After several years during which Transport Canada’s boating safety programs and resources had been reduced, we are glad to see the renewal of the program, including the consolidation of program elements under a strengthened Office of Boating Safety, a return to active prevention activities and restaffing of regional boating safety officers back to the 2011 levels. Effective promotion of boating safety across Canada calls for all of us to work together, and the CSBC looks forward to working with the revitalized Office of Boating Safety and other partners to make boating the best it can be.

The Halifax Boat Show will be held from February 4 - 7, 2021 at Halifax Exhibition Park. For information visit

Transport Canada is currently working on Regulations Amending the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (VORR 2019). The draft proposal can be found at the following link VORR consultation. They are currently holding pre-Canada Gazette, Part I consultations until December 21, 2020. These proposed regulations amending the VORR are targeted to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in winter 2021, with a targeted publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II, for fall 2021, at which time they would come into force. For comments, please send directly to Heidi Craswell at

And the Mystery Sailor is …….Alain Roy!