Bulletin No.: 14/2000

Date (Y-M-D): 2000-10-20

Subject: Differentiation between "pleasure vessel" and other vessels

Fisheries and Oceans Canada ( DFO ) and Transport Canada ( TC ) are jointly responsible for ensuring that all vessels are subject to a regulatory framework. To this end, they work together to make certain that all vessels fall under the purview of one or other of the departments. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is mandated with the responsibility for pleasure vessels and Transport Canada is mandated with all other vessels.

The purpose of this bulletin is to assist in clarifying which vessels are in pleasure use by giving some examples and expanding on the information provided in Ship Safety Bulletin 11/99.

A "Pleasure Vessel" is a vessel used by individuals for their pleasure, recreational or sporting use and not for any commercial purpose by them such as carrying passenger(s).

A "Passenger" is any person other than:

  1. the master, a member of the crew or a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship on the business of that ship;
  2. a person under one year of age carried on a Safety Convention (foreign going) vessel;
  3. a guest on board the ship, if the ship is used exclusively for pleasure, and the guest is carried without remuneration;
  4. a person carried on a ship by reason of circumstances that neither the master nor the owner could have prevented, such as obligation to carry shipwrecked; or
  5. persons designated as special purpose personnel.

A fare does not have to be paid for a person to be a passenger.

The formal definitions of "pleasure craft" and "passenger" may be found in Section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act.

In order to more clearly illustrate the differentiation between a pleasure vessel and a non-pleasure vessel an annex providing examples of pleasure vessels is attached. This Annex is not exhaustive and should be used for guidance only.

Vessels that are rented with a Skipper/Guide without a bona fide charter party in place may well be considered to be a passenger operations.

In summary, any vessel which is not a pleasure vessel is by definition a non-pleasure vessel and comes under Transport Canada and no vessel carrying a passenger is a pleasure vessel.


EXAMPLES OF PLEASURE VESSELS (Not permitted to carry passengers)

  1. Rented vessels used for recreational purposes:
    1. Yacht;
    2. Sailboards;
    3. Personal Watercraft (PWCs);
    4. Fishing boat (fishing camp);
    5. House boat - friends invited, they don't contribute money;
    6. House boat - friends invited, they contribute money;
    7. Kayak/canoe/personal water craft tour;
    8. Kayak/canoe/personal water craft tour as part of summer camp activity;
    9. Kayak/canoe/personal water craft lesson; or
    10. Kayak/canoe/personal water craft lesson as part of summer camp activity.
  2. Boating education/training schools:
    1. Sail Boat Instruction, 10 persons or less on board (day sailing only) - contract in place for provision of sail training and affiliated with yacht clubs;
    2. Power or sail boating school — contract in place for instruction only; or
    3. Watercraft training vessels — contract in place for instruction only.
  3. Situational examples:
    1. Boat used to transport person or goods as a favour (no remuneration and no commercial purpose whatsoever).
    2. Boat used as an essential means of transportation for one person/persons (no remuneration).
    3. Boats provided with a rented cottage.
    4. Boat used for subsistence activities, e.g. fishing and hunting.
    5. Safety craft operated by yacht club with skipper and "spotter", e.g. club launch and standby vessels for races.
    6. Privately-owned and used recreational craft.
    7. Privately-owned yacht used to entertain owner's guests.
    8. Outboard motorboat used exclusively for pleasure at a cottage.
    9. Cabin cruiser, occasionally rented out by owner to third parties for them to use for weekend or weeks to cruise on their own.
    10. Pontoon houseboat rented out by owner for "U-Drive" cruising/camping vacations.
    11. Sailboat, bareboat (no crew) chartered/rented for a period of time.
    12. Any vessel converted to private/personal use without commercial component.
    13. "U-drive" rentals that are operated/navigated by individuals renting the vessels.

An explanatory bulletin as to what constitutes a charter is available on the Marine Safety Web site (http://www.tc.gc.ca/RegIntAff/CSA2001RegRefSite/menu.htm or http://www.tc.gc.ca/RegAffInt/SiteLMMC2001etrefreg/menu.htm) or from any Marine Safety office.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Differentiation
2. Pleasure Vessel
3. Commercial Vessels
James Brock
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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