In keeping with my recent hunger to learn “stuff” (see my previous post on obtaining my crossbow hunting certification) today I went after yet another online certification.
I took the online course from BOATERexam.com to obtain proof of competency to operate a powerboat in Canada. Yup, got my new boat licence.
Let’s Get Certified
Now before you wonder why I didn’t already have that boat licence certification, let me clarify, I did. Well, I had the first proof of boat operator competency card, issued when it first became a requirement for boaters to have a competency card. At that time I didn’t take a course, just wrote an in-person boating test, paid my money and got the boater certification, what at that time worked as proof as a pleasure craft operator card.
Well, that certificate, although as far as I know, would still be accepted, but it wasn’t the most current one, and I doubt I would be able to obtain a replacement boaters licence card if I was to lose it.
So I decided why not spend a snowy January afternoon and go through the current process and take the online boater exam to get an up-to-date pleasure craft operator card.
It wasn’t a bad experience at all, in fact kind of interesting. The way the program is structured you need to go through the various modules, pass a short quiz after each module, and then pass a final exam at the end. I did…passed em all, and got the OK.
How It Works
•The exam is fifty multiple choice questions and takes on average sixty minutes to complete.
•You need 75% or 38/50 to pass.
•The exam has a time limit of one hour and fifteen minutes
•Each question has a time limit of one minute and thirty seconds
•If you fail on your first attempt you can try again at no additional charge after a mandatory 24 hour waiting period.
•If you fail on your second attempt you will need to retake the entire online course at no additional charge.
•You must take the exam within one year of passing the course.
•Once you pass the exam you can immediately print a temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
•Your permanent Pleasure Craft Operator Card will arrive in approximately four weeks.
The online boaters exam and course is comprised of some common sense, along with a review of the boating regulations and legal requirements, boating laws, boating navigation, equipment, and boating safety. There are sections in the boater licence training on navigation, navigation lights and buoys, boat traffic in channels, shipping lanes etc. Some of it has no application for me on our cottage lake, but you never know.
As boat numbers increase on the lake, boating navigation may become something a person needs to know something about, and ya never know when you might decide to head out on the ocean.
The online line boating exam is set up to require you to spend a minimum of three hours on the modules and end of chapter quizzes before you write the actual boaters exam. Then you have a time limit to complete the final pleasure craft operators licence exam. However, you do have some control over the modules, you can stop for lunch for example.
The boating exam education modules were interesting, illustrated, and you can listen and/or read them, your choice. I read along with the recorded version.
When I finished the online training part of the boaters exam, I went right into the online boater exam and passed!! Now it is just a matter of waiting for them to mail me my pleasure craft operator licence. It should be here in plenty of time for boating season.
To be honest, by taking the course as part of the boaters exam, although I certainly picked up some boating info I didn’t know, I wouldn’t take this boating course and then set off for England on our pontoon boat. But I might go as far as a boat trip down the coast to Florida…Just gotta convince Wendy.
Do You Need a Boating License?
All operators of powered watercraft used for recreational purposes within Canada now require a Boating License.
As of September 15, 2009 all boaters are now required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. There is no grandfather clause or age exemption – this law applies to all boaters. Powered watercraft includes watercraft fitted with any size motor – even a trolling motor.