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British Columbia is a paradise for boaters, however you like to enjoy the water. Its 26,700 kilometres of coastline and thousands of lakes make British Columbia an essential destination for holders of Canada’s Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), commonly known as a “boating license”.
With secluded inlets, majestic fjords, and hundreds of islands, the scenic British Colombia coastline is justifiably popular among recreational boaters, and the temperate BC climate makes it possible to boat year-round.
The shallow inlets and coves of Desolation Sound are much warmer than other areas in the province, making it a beloved ocean boating spot.
The Gulf Islands and Broughton Islands are ideal vacation destinations with many opportunities for sailing and cruising between charming seaside villages, forests, beaches, fishing waters, anchorages, marinas and Provincial Parks.
An abundance of marinas and smooth waters ideal for swimming or water skiing make Okanagan Lake another popular holiday destination. The many vineyards on the lake’s shores add to the attraction.
Lake Cowichan is a recreational boating hotspot that is great for water skiing, wake boarding and windsurfing. It also has beautiful sandy beaches if you prefer to take it easy. Meanwhile, Shuswap Lake is known as the houseboat headquarters of Canada.
Fishing enthusiasts are well served at Atlin Lake—the largest natural lake in BC—and Harrison Lake, that have an abundance of trout and whitefish.
You can get your British Columbia Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)—commonly called the British Columbia “boating license”—by passing the Transport Canada boating safety test. To prepare for the test and meet the PCOC competency requirements, you should take the Transport Canada-approved boating safety education course at Aceboater.com. Ace Boater offers a specially designed boating safety course that you can complete at your own pace and on the device of your choosing. After only a few hours of boating safety training with Ace Boater, you can take the official Transport Canada final test online, print your temporary boating card and get out on the water!
In Canada, anyone operating a powered pleasure craft is required to carry proof of competency. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) proves the holder knows how to operate a pleasure craft safely. Successfully completing the Ace Boater course ensures you have essential boating knowledge that could save your life, or that of your friends. This includes knowing how to read the water, nautical charts, and buoys, how to avoid collisions, and how to react in emergency situations. On the water, it is important to know the correct terminology because you may need to make decisions quickly. It is vital that those aboard can understand one another easily to avoid accidents. Becoming certified permits the PCOC holder to operate all types of motorized recreational vessels on Canadian waters, from houseboats to personal watercraft, from sailboats with electric motors to wakeboard boats.
Yes, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) that you will receive when you successfully complete the Ace Boater course is valid in all Canadian provinces and territories. Additionally, if you want to go boating in the United States of America, the PCOC is recognised as meeting the boating education standards of the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Completing the Ace Boater course qualifies you for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), commonly known as the “boating license”; it is required for anyone operating a motorized vessel. The PCOC is valid for life and there are no renewal fees. Find out more about the Canadian Boating License.
On the other hand, the Pleasure Craft License (PCL) is required for all recreational vessels with an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more. The PCL is a document that attributes a unique license number to each vessel. The pleasure craft licensing system allows Search and Rescue personnel to access your information at any time in the event of an emergency. You must display your pleasure craft license number above the waterline on both sides of the bow, as far forward as practical, and where it is easy to see. The numbers must be in block letters, at least 7.5 cm (3”) high, and in a colour that contrasts with the background. You do not need a pleasure craft licence if a boat is registered.
If you want to learn about boating safety and qualify for your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, Ace Boater is an excellent choice. With Ace Boater you can study at your own pace and you get unlimited retries of the boating exam. The first chapter is free and once you have passed the exam, you are certified for life; you can even download and print a temporary card so you can go boating while you wait for your real card to arrive by post.
The Ace Boater online course is available 24/7 and can be accessed from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Ace Boater provides phone, email and chat support. At Ace Boater, our policy is, and has always been: “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!
Take advantage of our group discounts for family and friends. Register together and get a discount for the online boating course!
You can either call us at 1-800-607-2329, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find if you got your card through our school (aceboater.com or Canadian Safe Boating School). If you are sure that we issued your card, just order your new Pleasure Craft Operator Card online.
You may use the guide as an aid while you study online. You may also consult it while taking the final test (open-book exam). We strongly recommend that you purchase our printed version of our safe boating guide at the same time as the online course and exam. We will mail it to you, shipping included. Order your printed study guide online.
There is no minimum age for taking the exam to obtain the bc pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), but some restrictions may apply even if you have your boating license:
Even a child who gets the card at age 10 is not required to retake the course at age 16. The card is good for life.
A free online study guide for BC is available through Aceboater.com. It is the ideal reference guide for those who simply want to brush up on their knowledge.
Aceboater has devised a comprehensive boater practice test for any boaters who wish to check their knowledge or understand their level of comprehension. The test is very well structured and you can try it as often as you wish. TRY our boating license practice test NOW!
In BC, you need a pleasure craft license if you are driving a boat with an engine of 10hp or more. A Pleasure craft license (not to be confused with the boating license) is a unique identification number which must be displayed on both sides of the bow. Get more info on the pleasure craft license.
The way to transfer boat ownership in BC is the same as for every other province in Canada. To transfer a licence to your name in BC, you must submit the following documents:
For more information on transferring a boat in BC go to Buying or selling a boat in BC.
The Canadian Register of Vessels is the official register of all registered or listed vessels, vessels under construction and bare-boat charters. It contains information on each vessel, such as ownership and mortgage details, vessel characteristics, such as tonnage, construction material and type. Get more info about boat registration in BC.