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On the Water


Some advice for boaters, specifically in the Campbell River area. Note that any advice is general, and may not be applicable in your situation. Also, consult the latest regulations for any updates.

When should you call Coast Guard for help?

Marine Distress Flares

Automatic Identification System

Why doesn't Red Right Returning work for Discovery Passage?

Digital Charts and Chart Plotting

  • OpenCPN, open source chart plotting software. (link to external site)

  • OpenCPN's Instructions for installing OpenCPN. (link to external site)

  • Unfortunately, unlike the US and other countries that allow boaters to download charts for free (because it reduces accidents), Canada still charges for electronic charts. If you are taking the Boating course, we will provide the password to open an electronic copy of the CPS practice chart. The zipped file is 2.5megs, and will download immediately, without further confirmation. Immediately download zip file. Check your download folder after clicking the link.
    Once you have unzipped the chart, 999601.KAP, move it to the folder where you want to store your charts. Then start OpenCPN and select the wrench icon to access the defaults. Select the Display tab, and in General, put a checkmark in Show Chart Outlines (this makes it easier to locate the chart boundaries). Now select the Charts tab, and in the Loaded Charts tab, add the folder where your chart is located. Click Okay at the bottom. Returning to the main window, scroll until you find the Nanaimo area, and you should see the red outline of the chart. You may have to zoom in (use the plus key or mouse wheel), quite a bit to see the chart contents.(Remember that this is not a real chart, it has had things, including islands, added, removed and shifted around.)

    (If you think that Canadians should also be able to get free copies of already produced charts, to enhance marine safety, you might want to let your MP know.)

Sail Plans

Saving Money when boating

Charts and Publications

Cold Water Shock

Sharing the channels

Collision Regulations

Tidal Currents