Pleasure Craft Operations & Boat Registrations

The Office of Boating Safety is responsible for overseeing regulations, standards and policies, enforcement and technical services for recreational vessels. It encourages safe boating practices and compliance with regulations. For more information on operating a pleasure craft, consult this Pleasure Craft Guide from The St. Lawrence Seaway.

Pleasure Craft Operator Cards are mandatory.

Pleasure Craft Sample Card

If you operate a boat with a motor and use it for recreation, you need proof of competency, which shows you have a basic understanding of how to operate your boat safely and know what to do in an emergency. Proof of competency is required with all motor types (including electric trolling motors) and even when the motor is not in use (such as when sailing).

The fine for not having your card is $250.

Welland Canal

Pleasure craft tolls are $200 and can be purchased through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Cash is no longer accepted as payment for tolls at Canadian locks. Effective July 15, 2019, the St. Lawrence Seaway implemented a pleasure craft schedule for transients through the Welland Canal.

Upbound Transients from Port Weller to Port Colborne are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Downbound Transients from Port Colborne to Port Weller are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Reservations can be made on the St. Lawrence Seaway website.

Commercial Navigation Status generally extends from late March to late December.

Marine Traffic's map tracks ships and monitors vessel movements in real-time.

Canada Border Services Agency

Boaters are responsible for their own customs and immigrations matters.
For general information, please visit the CBSA website.

To check in with Canadian customs upon arrival, please call 1-888-226-7277.

Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue

Sugarloaf Marina is home to Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue (POCOMAR). For water emergencies, reach POCOMAR on Channel 16 VHF Radio, dial *16 on a cell phone or call 1-800-267-7270 for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary

Clean Marine

Developed by Boating Ontario, Clean Marine Eco-Rating Program is an environmental program that allows marine business to follow best environmental practices to reduce the prevent water, air and land pollution associated with recreational boating activities in Ontario.

Sugarloaf Marina has been independently evaluated and rated for its eco-efficiency performance. We are rated a 5 Green Anchor Gold Rating. The award of this Gold Green Leaf Eco-Rating indicates that the marina has made a significant commitment to environmental improvement.

Useful Links

Great Lakes Cruising Club                                    

Boating Ontario                

Discover Boating 

Discover Boating Beginner's Guide                  

Nexus Border Crossing                                         

Port Colborne Power & Sail Squadron

Ontario Fishing Licence Options

Ontario Family Fishing Events

Boating Glossary

Weather Links

Environment Canada - Port Colborne

Environment Canada - Weather Radar Ontario

Environment Canada - Marine Forecasts and Warnings

Marine Information Portal - Lake Erie and Lake Ontario


New Boaters

For new boaters, be sure to check the latest marine weather forecast before leaving the dock or launch ramp. The average depth of Lake Erie is only 62 feet, meaning the water warms up quickly and kicks up quickly.

The world of boating has a unique vernacular, and its important that you understand the differences between sailing words and land lubber words before you head out on the water. Visit the Useful Links tab on this page for access to a glossary of terms.