Transport Canada Regulations for Kayaks & Canoes etc.

Spring is almost here and people are getting ready to take up kayaking. Here are the Transport Canada Regulations for your new kayak or canoe. I have listed below a PDF file of these regulations for you to print off if you wish at the bottom of this page as well as a direct link to the Transport Canada site.

Paddle safe!


Human-powered pleasure craft (including canoes, kayaks, rowboats and rowing shells)



Personal Lifesaving Appliancessailboat in open water 


1. One (1) Canadian-approved personal flotation device or lifejacket of appropriate size for each person on board

Note: A personal flotation device or lifejacket carried on board a human-powered pleasure craft operated in whitewater must be inherently buoyant.

2. One (1) buoyant heaving line at least 15m (49’3”) long

3. One (1) reboarding device

Note: A reboarding device is only required if the vertical height that must be climbed to reboard the pleasure craft from the water is over 0.5 m (1’8”). 

Visual Signals
Only required if the pleasure craft is over 6 m

4. One (1) watertight flashlight

5. Six (6) Canadian-approved flares of Type A (Rocket Parachute), B (Multi-Star) or C (Hand)

Note: Flares are not required for a pleasure craft that:

  • is operating on a river, canal or lake in which it can never be more than one (1) nautical mile (1.852 km) from shore; or
  • has no sleeping quarters and is engaged in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition.

Vessel Safety Equipmentdrawing: sailboat in open water

6. One (1) bailer or manual bilge pump


Bilge-pumping arrangements

Note: A bailer or manual bilge pump is not required for a pleasure craft that cannot hold enough water to make it capsize or a pleasure craft that has watertight compartments that are sealed and not readily accessible.

Navigation equipment

7. One (1) sound-signalling appliance that meets the applicable standards set out in the Collision Regulations 


sound-signalling device

8. Navigation lights that meet the requirements set out in the Collision Regulations


  1. Navigation lights are only required if the pleasure craft is operated after sunset, before sunrise, or in periods of restricted visibility (fog, falling snow, etc.).
  2. For a human-powered vessel, this requirement can be met with a watertight flashlight
    You can learn more about the requirements for your pleasure craft by consulting the navigation lights section of the Safe Boating Guide

9. One (1) magnetic compass

Note: A magnetic compass is not required if the pleasure craft is 8 m (26’3”) or less and is operated within sight of seamarks (navigation marks).

10. One (1) radar reflector is required under certain conditions



Date modified:






PDF file of the regulations below:

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