August 2018
CSBC Newsletter - August 2018

  • Message from the Chair
  • LCBO Donation Box Program
  • Canadian Safe Boating Campaign 2018: What's New?
  • CSBC Victoria Symposium
  • CASBA Nominations
  • Membership Reminder
  • In Brief
Message from the Chair
I hope that all of you are now enjoying a safe and happy boating season. Recently there have been a number of minor changes to the Small Vessel Regulations and I have given a brief description of them below:

Stand up Paddle Boards will now be added to the list of Recreational Vessels and will be subject to the same safety equipment requirements as Paddleboards, Watercycles, Sealed-Hull and Sit-On-Top Kayaks.

They are required to carry*:
  • One (1) lifejacket or PFD for each person on board
  • A buoyant heaving line of at least 15 meters in length
  • A sound signaling device, and
  • A watertight flashlight or navigation lights if the vessel is used after sunset or before sunrise.

*If everyone on board is wearing a lifejacket or PFD of appropriate size they are only required to carry a sound signaling device (whistle attached to their PFD) and a watertight flashlight if the vessel is used after sunset or before sunrise.

The obvious aim of this exception is to have all those using these types of vessels wear their lifejackets or PFDs.

The other change that now affects safety equipment requirements relates to the number of required flares. Here is a list by vessel length of the current and new changes:

Vessels no more than 6 meters in length:

  • Current: Three flares other than smoke signals
  • New: Three flares not more than one of which is a smoke signal.

Vessels more than 6 meters up to not more than 9 meters in length:

  • Current: Six flares other than smoke signals
  • New*: Six flares, not more than two of which are smoke signals
 *Exception: At least three flares, not more than one of which is a smoke signal if there is also a means of two way electronic communications on board.

Vessels more than 9 meters in length:

  • Current: Twelve flares, not more than six of which are smoke signals.
  • New*: No change
*Exception: At least six flares, not more than two of which is a smoke signal if there is also a
 means of two way electronic communications on board.

Human Powered Craft more than 6 meters:

  • Current: Six flares other than smoke signals
  • New*: Six flares, not more than two of which are smoke signal
 *Exception; At least three flares, not more than one of which is a smoke signal if there is
  also a means of two way electronic communications on board.

Personal Watercraft:

  • Three flares other than smoke signals.
  • Three flares, not more than one of which is a smoke signal.

Note: Flares are not required for a vessel that is operating on a river, canal or lake on which it can be no more than 1 nautical mile (1.85 km) from shore or has no sleeping quarters and is engaged in official competition or in preparation for an official competition.

There is also a minor change to the Pleasure Craft License requirement. This is the license for the boat, not the operator. The amendment would clarify that an update to a license would not extend the expiry date of a Pleasure Craft License by an additional 10 years.

On the renewal of Pleasure Craft Licenses, which are currently good for 10 years and for which there is currently no charge to renew the license, I strongly suspect that within the next few years there will a change to a 3 to 5 year renewal period and a renewal fee will be introduced so users will help to pay for the vessel licensing program.

On a regulatory education note, this week I was talking with Graham Ketcheson, Executive Director of Paddle Canada, and he told me the following story:

“A Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) paddler recently contacted us for more clarification. He was fined $250 for not having his PFD with him on Lake Erie. He had assumed that if paddling close to shore, he was not a vessel navigating and therefore not subject to any boating laws.
Lots more education to be done!”

Graham makes an excellent point and the example that he describes is very reflective of other examples that we all hear of on a daily basis.
Keep the faith, spread the word and help all boaters to enjoy happy and safe boating adventures.

John Gullick
CSBC Chair
LCBO Donation Box Program
Many thanks to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for their support in including the CSBC in their Provincial Donation Box Program this year. The program, whereby customers can drop their loose change in boxes on the cashiers' counters, is designed to help charities and social programs such as ours. CSBC participation ran from April 29 - May 26, and the LCBO recently advised that CSBC garnered just shy of $14,000. A big thank you to all who donated – your contributions will help make our waterways safer for everyone.

For nearly three decades, the Canadian Safe Boating Council has been in the business of promoting safe and responsible boating throughout Canada. The CSBC and partner organizations have worked to decrease boating-related drownings by 40% over the past 15 years. This is significant given the phenomenal growth of boat ownership and boating activities in Canada. But tragically approximately 130 Canadians will lose their lives this year due to boating-related drownings That is why funds raised through the Donation Box Program are so important - to help the CSBC continue its work.

We intend to apply for participation in the Donation Box Program next year. We also welcome donations at any time of year; learn more at
Canadian Safe Boating Campaign 2018: What`s New?
A big change this year is one of the CSBC 5 key messages. With the pending legalization of cannabis and the fact that prescription drugs can also cause impairment on the water, the CSBC message Don’t Drink and Boat is being changed to Boat Sober. This broader statement also is a positive one, like other CSBC key messages, e.g. Wear Your Lifejacket, Be Prepared. The visuals for Boat Sober have also been updated to include specific visual reference to alcohol, prescription drugs and cannabis.
Over the past dozen years, the CSBC has undertaken annual benchmark research into the effectiveness of our safety outreach. The studies have been conducted in the late spring by Ipsos Reid to measure the effectiveness of Safe Boating Awareness Week, which for many years was the CSBC’s only boating safety outreach campaign. We now run 5 focused campaigns ( ), to keep boating safety top of mind throughout the boating season. So recently the study has been ‘changed up’ to alternate between the original spring study and late summer research to gauge the effectiveness of all the CSBC’s Campaigns running throughout the boating season.

The last early season research was done in 2016, and a new early season study was completed this spring The findings are strong: overall awareness of the CSBC campaign messages has trended upwards from 71 % of boaters being aware of messages in 2016 to 74 % for this year. And one quarter of boaters are ‘ highly aware’ , i.e. aware of 5 or more CSBC advertisements promoting safe and responsible boating.

The spring research also included a study of safe boating behaviour and attitudes. We have seen shifts upwards in key behaviour areas that include less drinking and boating, more lifejacket wear and a desire to get more information and knowledge through taking boating courses.

In early September an end of season study will be undertaken to measure the overall effectiveness of all the campaigns the CSBC has promoted during the 2018 boating season and their effect on boater behaviours.

These studies are proving that the CSBC is making a difference with Canadian boaters. We are crafting memorable messages that resonate with the boating public, and providing a mechanism to effectively deliver those messages across a wide variety of delivery platforms. And it is not being done in isolation. It is the cumulative efforts of the CSBC national campaigns along with our boating safety partners across the country that are changing boating behaviours for the better.
CSBC Symposium in Victoria
Come and join us October 4 – 6, 2018 at the Laurel Point Inn in Victoria for two and a half days of interesting presentations, networking opportunities and enjoyable activities with others like you who care about boating safety! The full agenda has now been posted at, where you can also find registration and hotel details. Book your room right away – our reserved block booking expires on August 17, and as a popular hotel, the Laurel Point Inn is almost full for this period.

And bring a warm jacket with you – we will be going whale-watching with Orca Spirit Adventures, included in your conference registration. See you in Victoria!
CASBA Nominations
Have you discovered a boating hero yet, as you’ve been out on the water this summer? Nominate them for a Canadian Safe Boating Award (CASBA)! Nominations close on October 15, 2018, and individuals and organizations can qualify in one of several categories:
  • STEARNS Rescue of the Year
  • Top Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety
  • Safeguarding the Environment
  • Marine Professional of the Year
  • Visible PFD/Lifejacket Wear in Advertising
  • Marine Industry Award
  • Best Boating Safety Initiative
  • Best Media Contribution to Boating Safety
  • Special Recognition Award.

For more information and a nomination form, go to

And mark your calendars to attend the CASBA awards gala at the Westin Hotel in Toronto on January 20, 2019. It’s a wonderful evening of celebration and fellowship. With your help, we will acknowledge the heroes who work tirelessly to improve and innovate in the boating safety community, and/or lead the way in environmental stewardship.
Membership Reminder
Have you renewed your CSBC membership for 2018? If you’re not already a member, why not join us and help support our work? Go to to learn more about our membership benefits, including a reduction of 30% on the full-line of Coleman Canada products – including Stearns PFDs, Sevylor inflatables and Coleman outdoor gear.

In 2018 we are also offering a discount on organizational memberships – 2 years for the price of one. Your organization can renew, or join, in 2018 for $500, which will cover your 2019 membership as well. Individual memberships are available for $75 a year.
In brief
The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons/Escadrilles Canadiennes de plaisance National Annual Conference and AGM will take place at the Marriott Hotel in Ottawa from October 17 - 20, 2018.

The fall Canadian Marine Advisory Council meetings will take place in Ottawa from November 13 -15, 2018. Registration at

Congratulations to the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee on their successful 200 th Anniversary event, held on Quidi Vidi Lake, St. John’s, Newfoundland, on August 1. The Regatta is the oldest organized sporting event in North America. For more information, go to