Just like for vehicles on our roadways, there are rules that apply to the lights that must be displayed by boats.
These lights provide critical information to the operators of other vessels when they see you. Depending on the lights required to be displayed on your boat based on its length and type of propulsion, the information that these lights provide to others can tell them whether you are at anchor or underway or engaged in some other activity, whether you are a power-driven vessel or not, what your heading is, etc. Other vessels around you make collision avoidance decisions based on the information available to them, that's why it is so important that the information your navigation lights are giving them is the correct information.
If you are caught by the police not showing lights or showing improper lights, you will likely be fined. Worse yet, if the information your navigation lights are providing is incorrect and an accident occurs as a result of this, there could be serious repercussions.
a red light on the port side and a green light on the starboard side.
a white light placed at the stern of the boat.
a white light projecting towards the front of the boat.
a white light projecting all around the vessel.
All law enforcement agencies (Police) and some government agencies must display an all-around blue-flashing beam engaged in duties in Canadian waters.
is a navigation light used for towing. It's a yellow light placed at the forward end of a towing vessel or vessel being towed.
According to the Collision regulations, an operator of a power driven vessel of less than 12 metres in length, and underway, may display, from sunset to sunrise:
According to the Collision regulations an operator of a power driven vessel of more than 12 metres in length, and underway, may display, from sunset to sunrise:
The operator of a sailboat operating under sails at night shall, from sunset to sunrise, display:
A sailing vessel may exhibit at or near the top of the mast, two all-round lights in a vertical line: the upper one red and the lower one green. These lights are shown along with the sidelights and sternlight.
For sailboats operating under motor power:
A vessel engaged in fishing, other than trawling, shall display:
A vessel when engaged in trawling, which means dragging a dredge net or other fishing apparatus through the water, shall display:
At anchor, the operator of a pleasure craft shall display, from sunset to sunrise, in the fore part, an all-around white light. A powerboat anchored at night must display an all-around white light.
Navigation lights are also required for human-powered vessels (canoe, kayak) or for a sailing pleasure craft of less than 7 metres in length not under power. When underway, the operator shall, from sunset to sunrise, display, if practical, sidelights and a sternlight, but if the operator cannot, he/she must have at hand, a flashlight or lighted lantern emitting a white light which must be lit in enough time to prevent a collision.