Disclaimer

Operators of any powered pleasure craft in Canada must possess a “Pleasure Boat Operators Card”.  Operators of VHF radios must possess a VHF radio operators license.  If blind, arrangements can be made to have either exam read aloud.

Navigating alone on the water without sight is very difficult to undertake and potentially dangerous.  One must always consider that their vessel will come into contact with all manner of obstacles, both above and below the water.  Speed, stability and flotation must always be taken into consideration.  Anyone without sight considering operating a vessel on the water independently should think about the safety of others first and their own safety second.

Larger heavier vessels can cause significant injury and damage if driven into either people or things, and should not be operated by people without sight unless in the company of a qualified sighted co-pilot.  Only vessels that can be easily turned, stopped, and are of a light-weight construction should be considered for independent operation, and only then if the operator is capable of hearing perfectly what is around him/her, and at speeds that are no faster than if one were walking.

A person without sight operating a light-weight vessel on the water at slow speeds using a silent means of propulsion are no more dangerous to the public than if they were walking on the sidewalk.  Still, care should be given never to operate a vessel independently without sight around swimmers or other pleasure boaters.  Just as those who sail by themselves never place their boat on autopilot when sailing within proximity to other vessels, a person without sight should never trust their technology to navigate safely around others using the water.