Enjoyment of your boating holiday in safety is our priority.
Navigational challenges vary across British Columbia’s coastal regions. Generally, the Salish Sea region offers the least challenges, although commercial shipping lanes, ferries, tugs and fishing vessels must be respected. Charts are essential for informed and safe navigation. You are encouraged to engage in a certified boating course to prepare for a safe marine experience. The waters are largely protected, tides and currents are moderate. Marinas and harbours are abundant. With few exceptions, other boats will be nearby.
The Fjords, Islands, Passages region presents greater navigational challenges. Waters are more confined; tides and currents are locally strong enough to require proper timing and sailing skill. Safe ports are more scattered and other boats are less frequently encountered.
The Outer Reaches region presents different navigational challenges. The west coasts of Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island are exposed to the full breadth of the Pacific Ocean. Seas can be rough any time of the year. Safe ports are scattered, but usually within 50 nautical miles. Other vessels will usually be within hailing distance.
To assist you to sail safely, we provide a link to the Environment Canada Marine Weather Forecast. On the map of Canada, click on the regions outlined on the Pacific Coast. Then click on the region you are boating in or to. Another resource you may wish to use provides forecasts for wind and swells.
For Boating Safety Information, please contact:
Office of Boating Safety, Pacific Region Tel: (604) 666-2681
If you do not have your own Automatic Identification System receiver, you can view boat traffic below in real time.
We provide a link to Fisheries and Oceans Canada Chart Index. Click on the map and enlarge it until chart numbers appear. You must purchase charts. We recommend you do so in advance of your holiday.
Most ports have emergency rescue capability. VHF radio channel 16 is the emergency channel. Use *16 on your cell phone or 1-800-567-5111.
Transport Canada provides a Safe Boating Guide in English and French.