Current Law and Proposed Changes

Current Law in Canada

  • If your boat does not have a muffler while operating within 5 nautical miles of land, it is illegal to operate anywhere in Canada. Boats manufactured before Jan. 1 1960 are exempt. There are some other minor exemptions
  • If your boat has an exhaust diverter / Captains Choice, it must be disconnected in quiet/through-the-prop mode in a fashion that it is not possible to switch on while operating the boat.
  • All motors that exhaust through-the-prop are legal. This includes outboards, personal watercraft and inboard/outboards as long as the exhaust has not been re-directed through the transom without mufflers.
  • Exhaust that exits through the transom or side of the boat and has mufflers are legal

Regulation Enhancements Proposed by the Decibel Coalition

  • Expand the regulation to include performance standards for boat motor noise set in decibels
  • Boat manufacturers and importers must meet the standards as well as on the water owner/operators
  • Easy to understand, easy to enforce
  • Based on international measurement standards and decibel levels
    • 75dBA for shoreline sound level measurement
    • 88dBA for  stationary sound level measurement
  • Consistent with USA and EU regulations/laws

Canadian waterways are regulated by the federal government. Here are the links to the two relevant existing Canadian regulations:

Small Vessel Regulations (SOR/2010-91)

Construction Standards for Small Vessels (2010) – TP 1332 E

Here are links to US and European legislation:

Summary of US State Regulations