PEI

Boating licence tests to get harder

This summer is the first that boaters in Canada are required to carry a pleasure craft operators card, and Ottawa is already planning to make the test to get that card more difficult for next year.

This summer is the first that boaters in Canada are required to carry a pleasure craft operators card, and Ottawa is already planning to make the test to get that card more difficult for next year.

The current test requires boaters to answer 36 questions, and the new test will have up to 50 questions. Still, some boating instructors say the test, which is available online, will not be difficult enough.

"It's so easy to cheat on them if you wanted to, especially the online ones," said Charlottetown sailing instructor Sarah Flanagan.

"It's not hard to go online and pull up another page that would have the answer."

While many companies in Canada offer boating lessons, lessons will not be required under the new rules, nor will any actual experience in a boat.

Robert Dupel of boaterexam.com, one of more than 25 companies that offers the on line testing, said it would be impossible to test everyone on the water.

"If anybody can find a way to train physically 12 million people in a country like Canada, with a three-month window of operation, it would be nice to know," said Dupel.

The changes come into effect in September.