Boats, Canoes And Inflatables

Table of Contents
17.0 Boats, Canoes and Inflatables
17.1 Risks and Hazards
17.2 Responsibilities (Due Diligence) Regarding Boats, Canoes and Inflatables 
17.3 Safe Operating Guidelines for Boats, Canoes and Inflatables
17.4 Safe Loading Guidelines 
17.5 Equipment – Required and Recommended 
   17.5.1 Required Equipment
   17.5.2 Recommended Equipment 
   17.5.3 Information about Specific Equipment
17.6 Communications Guidelines for Boats, Canoes and Inflatables 
17.7 Guidelines for Motors and Fuel Handling
   17.7.1 Motors
   17.7.2 Fuelling Procedures 
17.8 Maintenance and Inspection Guidelines
17.9 Training
17.10 Safe Boat Handling Guidelines and Techniques 
17.11 Recognition of Boating Risks and Hazards
17.12 Water Survival 
   17.12.1 Risks and Hazards
   17.12.2 Prevention and Preparation 
   17.12.3 Cold Water Immersion Hypothermia
17.13 Resources


When boats are used for exploration work, it is important to select the appropriate boat and motor for the type of waters where they will be used; use the largest, safest boat available for the job. For large bodies of water, coastal areas and on cold lakes, use large boats or rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) with keels, if possible. These have much greater stability than small boats or canoes. Canoes and dugouts should be avoided. However, if required, they should only be used on small lakes and streams.

Operators should be thoroughly familiar with the characteristics and limitations of their boat and motor; they should know their personal boating capabilities and not exceed them. When working on boats in unfamiliar or hazardous waters or where navigation is difficult, a company should consider hiring certified pilots or experienced locals who are familiar with the risks and hazards of the project area.

Due to the possibility of capsizing and falling overboard, everyone who uses boats should know how to swim. Training in boat recovery and rescue skills, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other resuscitation skills is essential. If you work in cold water areas, be prepared to deal with cold water immersion hypothermia at all times and wear a personal flotation device (PFD) with appropriate thermal insulating properties.

Transport Canada sets minimum requirements and standards for the operation of pleasure craft, non-pleasure craft, and commercial vessels. These requirements are found on government websites and, where relevant, are listed within the chapter and in the resources section to enable the reader to find additional information about boating safety.