Can’t Go Boating? Take a course.

Who says there’s no such thing as winter boating in Canada?  Of course, if you’re a live aboard or a west-coast boater then you’re in the water all winter.  But if you’re like most Canadian boaters, you’ve sadly put your boat away for the winter and started counting the days until launch.boating_courses_Canada-Skippers_Plan

Just because its winter doesn’t mean that you can’t still boat, in fact, this is the perfect time to take a boating course.

As boat insurance specialists, we see plenty of boats damaged because the owner didn’t know the rules or proper boating procedures.   At Skippers’ Plan we think taking a boating course just makes sense and it can also reduce your premiums.

In Canada, we are lucky to have a number of organizations that provide boating courses.

SC LogoSail Canada, Canada’s National Sailing Authority  provides a number of courses for young and seasoned sailors.  These programs are also available through your Provincial Sailing Association .

If you are planning enter a distance race or race offshore then you require Offshore Personal Survival Training  that includes both an in-class and practical curriculum.  It is a requirement to register for offshore races and is also valuable training for cruisers.

Sail Canada is accredited by Transport Canada to deliver boating safety courses and administer tests for the PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) . Local instructors offer three options: The Challenge Exam, the Refresher course and the complete course – perfect for the entire family to take together.safety_at_sea_png

In partnership with the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons (CPS) Sail Canada also offers the ROC-M (Restricted Operator Certificate Marine) licence .  The ROC-M licence entitles boaters to operate a marine VHF radio and teaches you about other electronics used in emergencies.    If you received your ROC card before the new Digital Selective Calling was introduced, then it’s wise to get your DSC endorsement. All new VHF radios are now sold with DSC function which is critical for emergency situations.

At Skippers’ Plan we look favourably on boaters who have taken the time to upgrade their boating skills and knowledge. When you are ready to renew your boat insurance policy, be sure to bring your courses to our attention.

If you don’t have the time or budget for classroom training you can also learn through online videos offered by .  Another option is attending the free training seminars offered at boat shows across Canada.

So, keep boating this winter by taking a course. Keep your boating skills honed and your knowledge current while meeting other boaters along the way.

Andrew Robertson


To discuss your boat insurance requirements call a Skippers’ Plan marine specialist at 1-800-661-7211 or email