Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 47

Why Should I Take a Boating Course?
A question that I get asked a lot is "Why should I take
a safe boating course?"
Let me start by asking you the following question: Would
you start driving a car before taking a course and/or driving
lessons? The answer is probably no and for good reason.
When it comes to operating a boat, especially a power boat,
personal watercraft or sailboat, I often ask the same question
and the answer I get is usually very different. Most people believe that operating a boat is much easier that operating a car
and I would respectfully suggest that this is far from the truth.
Let's think about it and follow the comparison. When you
do the written portion of your driver's test you have to be
able to identify a large number of signs. The same is true
for travel on the water. I counted up the number of different
signs, markers, lights and flags that are noted in Transport
Canada's Safe Boating Guide and there are over 60. Add
to that which side of the boat you keep certain markers on
changes depending on the direction of the water flow and
you have to know how to determine that.
Let's go even further. You are required to carry up-to-date
charts, the water version of road maps, on board. To be able
to use them you also need a magnetic compass and an understanding of the symbols that are noted on the chart. There are
literally pages of those. In fact there is a whole book dedicated
to charts, their symbols and how to read them.
Now let's look at the operation of the vessel itself. Power
boats, personal watercraft, sailboats and paddle boats all perform differently, just like cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles. When you turn the steering wheel on a boat it is the back
end of the boat that moves first, not like the front end of a
car. When you take your foot off the gas in a car you can still
turn left or right with no problem. The same is not true in a
boat. So much so in some cases that, without power to drive
forward motion, the boat or personal water craft will not turn
at all. Cars have brakes; boats don't and rely on reverse thrust
or friction to slow the boat down.
Most cars also contain all the required safety equipment already built in. The same is not true of boats.
Different types and sizes of boats require different safety

equipment on board, in good repair and accessible. You need
to know what that equipment is and how to maintain it. For
the most part seat belts are the same but lifejackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are not. Today PFDs are purposely designed for different types of on-the-water activity
and you need to know how to choose the right one for what
you do and how to maintain it.
Last but not least, let's consider weather. It is true that in a
car you have to consider adverse weather conditions, especially
heavy wind or rain, but in most cases you are protected from
those conditions and can carry on to your destination. The
same is not true on the water. Slight changes in the weather can
call a halt to what started out as a fun day on the water. Even too
much sunshine can have adverse effects and you need to know
when to recognize that and how to do something about it.
Are you beginning to get the picture? I have not yet
talked about Cold Water Shock due to unexpected immersion or the dangers of carbon monoxide.
The body of knowledge that is required to pass the test for
your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) now has 257 key
learning points and that covers only the basic level of knowledge that is really needed to understand fully and enjoy a safe
boating experience for you and your family and guests.
Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) offer a
range of classroom and home study online courses and seminars that cover everything from basic boat safety, handling and
navigation to advanced navigation, offshore cruising, local and
global weather, marine electronics, marine maintenance, distress signalling and much more. Go to: www.boatingcourses.ca.
Courses are usually offered during the winter and early spring
months so you can enjoy year-long boating experiences, learn a
great deal and make many new friends that share your passion
for boating.
It is said that knowledge is power and when it comes to
boating you can never have too much of it. That knowledge
can give you the confidence to really enjoy your boating experience and it can give others confidence in your abilities as
a safe boat operator. The best trip is always a safe return trip.
www.canadianyachting.ca

47

THE PORT HOLE

John Gullick, AP
Manager, Government and Special Programs


http://www.boatingcourses.ca http://www.canadianyachting.ca

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting October 2017

Vantage Point: First Time Charter Vacation
Club Profile: Beaconsfield Yacht Club
Travel Destination: Cowichan Bay
Boatbuilder Profile: A Trip to Iconic Italian Yachtbuilder Riva and Lake Como
Charter Destination: Our Top 5 Caribbean Destinations
The Port Hole
Charter Destination: Antigua; A Beam Reach for Paradise
Sail Review: Elan GT5
Power Review: Jeanneau Leader 10.5
Crossing The Line: Boatonomics for 2018
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Cover1
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Cover2
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 3
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 4
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 5
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Vantage Point: First Time Charter Vacation
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 7
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 8
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 9
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Club Profile: Beaconsfield Yacht Club
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 11
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 12
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 13
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 14
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 15
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Travel Destination: Cowichan Bay
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 17
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 18
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 19
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 20
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 21
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Boatbuilder Profile: A Trip to Iconic Italian Yachtbuilder Riva and Lake Como
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 23
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 24
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 25
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 26
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 27
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Charter Destination: Our Top 5 Caribbean Destinations
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 29
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 30
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 31
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 32
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 33
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 34
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - The Port Hole
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 36
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 37
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 38
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 39
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 40
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 41
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 42
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 43
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Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 46
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 47
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Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 50
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Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 53
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 54
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 55
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 56
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 57
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Charter Destination: Antigua; A Beam Reach for Paradise
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 59
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 60
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 61
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 62
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 63
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 64
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 65
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 66
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 67
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Sail Review: Elan GT5
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 69
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 70
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 71
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 72
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 73
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Power Review: Jeanneau Leader 10.5
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 75
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 76
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 77
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 78
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 79
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 80
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 81
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Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 92
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 93
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 94
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 95
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 96
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - 97
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Crossing The Line: Boatonomics for 2018
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Cover3
Canadian Yachting October 2017 - Cover4
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