Marine recreational activities

Click here for some tips on how to stay safe during the fireworks.

Our port is home to a beautiful coastline and waterways that encourage marine recreational activity. Recreational boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, dragon boating, and stand-up paddle boarding are some of the activities enjoyed in our waters.

Boating safety

Know the rules on the water to keep yourself and others safe

Out on the water, there’s traffic, rules to follow and hazards to watch out for. The “rules of the road” for Canada’s waterways help everyone stay safe. It’s not only polite – it is the law, set out in Canada’s Collision Regulations, which applies to every vessel and operator on all navigable waterways from sail boats to large commercial vessels.

For more information, visit Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.

Boating safety at the Port of Vancouver

The Port of Vancouver is a busy harbour. Follow these safe boating practices to keep yourself and others safe:


  • Watch out for larger vessels: large, deep-sea vessels have limited visibility – don’t assume they can see you
  • Never cross a tugboat and its tow: tow cables are often submerged and not visible


  • Listen for aircraft: float planes landing and taking off need plenty of space
  • Attend to signals from other vessels: five or more short blasts of a ship’s whistle means “danger – stay clear”. Monitor VHF 16 and 12


  • Be prepared to move out of the way: large, deep-sea vessels can’t move quickly, especially in narrow channels. Even if you have the right-of-way, you must yield to them
  • Report incidents: contact our Port Operations Centre at 604.665.9086. In an emergency, and to report impaired boating, call 911


Safe boating guides

Download one of our safe boating guides made especially for recreational boaters:

Burrard Inlet [PDF]
– Exercise caution in busy port areas, including the First and Second Narrows, where tide and wind conditions may cause turbulent seas, as well as approaches to Coal Harbour and Aircraft Operations Zones.

Fraser River [PDF]
– Narrow channels on the Fraser River can make navigation challenging for deep-sea vessels and working tugs. Take caution when passing and keep wake to a minimum.

Review our Port Information Guide for all practices and procedures at the Port of Vancouver, and subscribe to our marine operations email list to be notified of changes.

Recreational anchorages

Anchorages for recreational boaters are available in Vancouver’s False Creek, Port Moody inlet or in Deep Cove:

False CreekVisit the City of Vancouver’s Anchoring pagefor information about the city’s anchorage rules and permit requirements. 

Port MoodyVisit the City of Port Moody’s Anchorage page for information about itsDesignated Anchorage Area that provides boaters with a safe, reserved anchorage space in the inlet of Port Moody.

Deep CoveVisit the District of North Vancouver’s Designated Anchorage Area page for information about the requirements to use its safe, reserved anchorage space. 

Pump-out locations

Please pump. Don’t dump. Boat sewage is a source of fecal bacteria that harms the environment and puts public health at risk. Boaters are responsible for using pump-out services at area marinas. See pump-out locations in Vancouver, or additional pump-out locations in the wider region.

Additional resources

Fact sheet: Maintaining marine navigational safety and security [PDF]
FAQ: Sharing the water with large commercial ships [PDF]
Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide [PDF]
Boating BC – Safe Boating [PDF]