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Navigation Equipment (whistle-lights-radar-compass-charts)

Boat license

Sound-Signalling Devices or Sound-Signalling Appliance 

The sound-signalling device or the sound-signalling appliance is intended to signal and alert other boaters of your presence in restricted visibility, and/or in an emergency situation. Boats under 12 m (39’4”) without a fitted sound-signalling appliance must carry a sound-signalling device


Navigation Lights 

The navigation lights installed on the pleasure craft show which type of boat is on the waterWhile navigating at night or by restricted visibility, when you encounter another pleasure craft, the colour of the lights which are visible from the other pleasure craft will help you determine who has priority. You must be aware of the mandatory navigation lights that are required from sunset to sunrise. Navigation at night without navigation lights is dangerous to the other vessels in your immediate area.They must also be used in reduced (poor) visibility (ex: fog). Before heading out, make sure your vessel has the proper navigation lights, and that all lights are in working order. Other vessels depend on your navigation lights to avoid collisions. Navigation lights and shapes vary based on the type and length of your boat, and the distance in which navigation lights can be seen is dependent on the size of the vessel. See Rule 22, set out in the Collision Regulations for more information.


Radar Reflector 

A radar reflector can enhance your safety on the water, but only if it’s big enough and well placed on your boat. Reflectors help larger vessels spot smaller boats on their radar screens, which is often the only way to see you. When buying a reflector, there is no substitute for size — so buy the biggest one that is practical for your boat. Height is also very important, so keep this in mind as well. Reflectors should be placed above all superstructures and at least 4 m (13’1”) above the water if practical. There are all kinds of reflectors of varying quality on the market, so shop carefully before buying.


Magnetic compass

A magnetic compass will help the operator of a pleasure craft to find directions. The compass is essential to navigation especially when visibility is reduced.  A magnetic compass is influenced by the proximity of metallic and/or electrical devices, which could provide inaccurate information.  Furthermore, it is important to keep magnetic screwdrivers, key chains, flashlights and any other magnetic materials at a distance from the compass


Charts are graphic representations depicting areas of water, depicting the depths, underwater hazards, traffic routes, aids to navigation and adjacent coastal areas. They are intended primarily for mariners to assist navigation; and are published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They are used as navigational aids.


Topographical Maps

Topographical Maps are maps of the land area depicting natural and artificial features of the land, including elevation contours, shorelines, rocks, land features above water, and planimetrical features.  They are primarily intended for the use of the general public on land, and are published by Natural Resources of Canada and some provincial authorities.  These maps are sometimes used where there are no “Charts” available but do not depict underwater dangers, navigational aids, the channels, nor the anchor zones.

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