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Boating Safety at Friday Harbour

As warm weather arrives and the boating season kicks off, Friday Harbour invites you to the start of something extraordinary.

Friday Harbour Marina is at your service with attentive concierge service available seven days a week, assistance to and from your vessel upon arrival and departure, docking and fueling assistance, and navigation advice. Friday Harbour Marina also monitors channel 68 on the VHF and will provide docking assistance both when you depart and arrive back at your slip, so be sure to check in at the HMB upon arrival.

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There’s always more fun to be found on a boat, but there is also more responsibility. To help get you started and get set up for a smooth summer open, we’ve put together a list of essential safety tips when operating a pleasure craft.

The Canadian Safe Boating Council identifies five key steps to safer boating:

1. Always wear a Canadian-approved flotation device or lifejacket of appropriate size.

Even if you are an experienced swimmer, you can’t assume you’ll have time to put a lifejacket on in the event of an emergency. Please ensure your guests are aware of the location of the lifejackets at all times!

2. Don’t drink and boat – boat smart and boat sober!

Leave the beer on the pier, and the water on the water – drinking and boating is just as illegal as drinking and driving.

3. Take a boating course

In order to legally operate a motorized pleasure craft in Canada, you must be able to provide proof of competency. A Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) issued by a Transport Canada accredited course provider, is required as proof and provides you with the knowledge and understanding required to keep yourself, your passengers, and fellow boaters safe in both routine and unexpected situations. Your Friday Harbour Marina team will be happy to provide hands on instruction on the usage of your boat.

4. Be prepared

Have a co-captain who is familiar with the boat and has their PCOC, who can safely operate the boat if needed. This person can also be the lookout who can help keep an eye out for other boats, swimmers, kayaks, and canoes. As well, make sure you have the required boating safety equipment for your vessel that is in good working order. There is a basic list of equipment required for different sized vessels, which can be viewed here. Please note that you can visit the Harbour Master Building to purchase all of the safety equipment, and we will be happy to go through the list of required equipment for the size of your boat with you.

5. Be aware of water risks

Understanding weather and water conditions is important when it comes to safe boating, as conditions can change quickly especially on hot and humid days. Safe boating is more than just knowing how to safely operate your boat and having your required safety equipment – you need to understand local hazards. Refer to marine charts for the waterways where you’ll be operating, locate local hazards and preferred navigation channels, and fill out a trip plan to let someone know where you will be boating, when you are expecting to arrive home, and who else will be on board, before departing. We recommend you download “Intellicast” and “storm”, which are two apps that can help you interpret the weather for immediate updates.

6.  Friday Harbour Resort’s Harbour is a No Wake Zone.

Please be respectful of your speed coming in and leaving the harbour. Remember you are responsible for any damage caused by your wake.

The little things matter when taking in the peaceful serenity of Lake Simcoe on the water. Friday Harbour Resort welcomes you to the start of something extraordinary.

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