Canada’s vast coastlines, breathtaking bays and huge lakes provide wind-powered sports enthusiasts a lifetime of adventure. Our beautiful waters can also be very harsh and you must be prepared for high wind, waves and strong currents. Make sure you arm yourself with the proper skills needed for any situation.
if your sailboat has a motor. all of the legal requirements and safety precautions applicable to power boats also apply to your sailboat.
Rules of the Road
Understanding and obeying the rules of the road for sailboats is critical due to the potential for collisions, especially with high-speed power boats. As well, make sure you understand aids to navigation which are buoys and day beacons that govern passage through congested channels.
Before heading out in the water this summer:
- Take a safe boating course and make sure all your gear is in good shape.
- Check the weather forecast and be prepared for it to change. Bad weather and high seas can be very hazardous, even for the experienced sailor.
- Know the waters you are sailing. If you don’t have a map, inquire about conditions or hazards, including rocks and strong currents.
- The water can be very cold and can render you hypothermic in minutes. Ensure you’re up-to-date on your lifesaving skills.
- Wear your lifejacket or PFD. About 90% of people who drown in recreational boating incidents are not wearing a flotation device. It’s the best insurance you can have.
Photo: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (banner); NWTT/Terry Parker