What it Means to Own a Boat in B.C.

British Colombia is dotted with picturesque lakes and rivers, not to mention the Pacific Ocean, with inviting waters just waiting for you to launch your vessel. As the owner, you should ensure that you know how your specific boat works, inside and out. However, if you don’t have a sufficiently informed perspective on what you need when it comes to your watercraft, you could be in hot water. Let’s look at the cost of owning a boat in B.C. more extensively.

Licensing and Registration

A Pleasure Craft Licence is required if you intend to operate a boat in B.C. It is required in all except for certain conditions. You can apply online or via mail with your licence application, which is free and, once received, must be kept in the vessel at all times. You will need to register your boat if you plan on international travel, like docking in the states, which will run you $250. 

The Safety of Passengers

Keeping up-to-date with federal government-required safety gear is vital to not only you as the owner, but also to anyone else who climbs aboard. Personal floatation devices (PFDs) can become costly, ranging from $30 to $80, and must be available for everyone on board at all times. If you are unsure what to do in case of an emergency, a boating course can help. It will likely cost around $50 or so, depending on the provider of the programming, and such education will improve your knowledge of precautions and skills when it comes to your watercraft. You should also schedule routine maintenance checks to ensure it is kept in good, working order, which will vary in cost.

Storage and Winterizing

Depending on the location and size of your boat, winterizing and storage are typically necessary for the off-season to ensure it does not receive any unforeseen damage. You might consider a boat trailer, storage rack, a boathouse or yacht club, or in-water moorage. You should weigh the options available to you with regard to your watercraft, its requirements, and your budget, as some solutions will charge by the foot. 

Boat Insurance

Without boating insurance, you will likely be left paying for part replacements and possible damages out of pocket. This can be costly, which is why owning a boat should also come with a tailored insurance policy for it. Working with a comprehensive insurer, such as our own highly dedicated team at Portside Insurance, allows you to customize your policy to suit your needs and greatly reduces overall costs. 

We have years of experience helping watercraft owners ensure their investment is protected. The true cost of owning a boat in B.C. cannot be decided until you are covered by the right insurer, and perhaps that’s us! Reach out to our team today to explore our policy options. 

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