Whether you are a recreational power boater, sailor or canoeist; Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island offer a range of boating hot spots for every size of vessel. And, depending on the size of your boat, you can also access many of the local small islands, including Pêche, Fighting and Grassy islands. A wide selection of marinas and docks in our region offer you the choice to either dock permanently or just a spot to launch your boat for a day-long cruise on the waterways. Our region offers easy access to the popular hot spots of Crystal Bay and White Sands, and the close proximity of Detroit beckons with myriad destinations for lunch or dinner. Make sure you check the local immigration rules and regulations before you dock on either side of the international border. Visit U.S. Customs & Border Protection (Pleasure Boats) for more information.
PLEASURE BOAT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS For Canadian Citizens going to the U.S. by pleasure craft: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented enhanced security procedures for small boat arrivals and inspection of associated crew and passengers. These procedures may require physical reporting to a local CPB office within 24 hours of arrival, reporting to a designated Physical Reporting location, or using OARS (Outlying Area Reporting Station). This will be determined at the time of reporting.
For U.S. Citizens going to Canada by pleasure craft: The master of a recreational boat is the person in charge. As master of the recreational boat, you have to go to a designated telephone reporting marine site, call the telephone reporting centre at 1-888-226-7277. No one except the master may leave the boat until authorization is given by customs. Detailed information on passport requirements are available at Crossingmadeeasy.com
As of September 15, 2009 all boaters will be required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. There is no grandfather clause or age exemption – this law applies to all boaters. Powered watercraft includes watercraft fitted with any size motor – even a trolling motor. Info: boaterexam.com
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If you enjoy getting a workout while on the water, the quiet marshes of Point Pelee, Holiday Beach and Hillman Marsh offer wonderful canoe and kayak waterways. Essex Region Conservation Area (ERCA) has a wonderful map detailing canoe access and routes in our region.
ERCA's website also offers information about local conservation areas particularly suited to boating along with helpful advice.