About the Study Guide

This Online Study Guide has been approved by Transport Canada strictly on the basis that it meets the requirements of the Standard for Pleasure Craft Operator Card Testing over the Internet (TP 15080E) and the Boating Safety Course and Test Syllabus (TP 14932E). This approval does not represent confirmation of authorship by the course provider. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pleasure Craft Operator Card

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Navigation lights help you and other boaters determine which is the give-way vessel when encountering each other at night. Here are common navigation lights.

  • Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (also called combination lights) because they are visible to another boat approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a boat’s port (left) side; the green indicates a boat’s starboard (right) side. A boat less than 20 metres (65.6 feet) in length may combine the sidelights in one lantern that should be carried toward the stern at the centreline of the boat.
  • Sternlight: This white light is seen only from behind or nearly behind the vessel.
  • Masthead Light: This white light shines forward and to both sides and is required on all power-driven vessels. (On power-driven vessels less than 12 metres (39.4 feet) in length, the masthead light and sternlight may be combined into an all-round white light; power-driven vessels 12 metres in length or longer must have a separate masthead light.) A masthead light must be displayed by all vessels when underway. The absence of this light indicates a sailing vessel because sailboats under sail display only sidelights and a sternlight.
  • All-Round White Light: This single white light that can be seen by other vessels from any direction. This light serves as an anchor light when sidelights are extinguished.