Two stroke outboard boat motor in British Columbia -- OK to use?
August 18, 2014 1:37 PM   Subscribe

What are the current regulations for or against the use of less-than-10hp two stroke boat motors in British Columbia? Is their use currently permitted?

My brother is in the Vancouver area and just got a small car top jon boat for himself and his kids. He wants to do a little fishing on small lakes with his kids.

I am in California and have a spare 5 hp, two stroke outboard motor that I can't use due to CA state emissions regulations. It's a ~20 years old Sears' GameFisher, so it is NOT one of the newer, emissions-friendly two stroke motors, though it is well maintained and still works fine. Can he use this motor in BC? I'm primarily interested in any general prohibitions against the use of two stroke outboards in inland waters, rather than lake-specific prohibitions. I looked through the official Canadian Office of Boating Safety site but didn't find a relevant regulation.

For the moment, let's ignore the practicality/impracticality of shipping this, as well as the question of gas vs. electric; assume he'll get an electric motor, too. I'm mainly interested in determining the permissible use of an older two stroke motor in British Columbian inland waters. Thanks!
posted by mosk to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
I have a 6hp 2 stroke from when I was a little kid that we use in Ontario. (I know, not the same province.) I believe the only regulation on it is there is now an age limit on boat operators.

from here
Q. What about horsepower restriction for children?
A. The table summarizes how horsepower restrictions apply:
    Age -> Power Restrictions
  • Under 12 years of age, and not directly supervised -> Can operate vessels with under 10 hp
  • Between 12 years and under 16 years of age,and not directly supervised -> Can operate vessels with under 40 hp
  • Under 16 years of age -> Not allowed to operate a PWC
  • 16 years of age and over -> No power restrictions

posted by jillithd at 1:53 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am in California and have a spare 5 hp, two stroke outboard motor that I can't use due to CA state emissions regulations.

There is no blanket ban on old "high-emission" two-stroke boat motors in California, you can still use it here, on the ocean and in some lakes. See here.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 2:00 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You can use two-stoke outboard engines in BC. There are no current laws banning two-stroke outboard engines.

The government recommends using either high-efficiency two stroke or four stroke engines, but that's advisory only.
posted by bonehead at 2:19 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, tylerkaraszewski. You're absolutely right, there is no general prohibition against their use in California, at least not yet, and I was a bit hasty with my description. However, their use is restricted on some of the lakes I like to fish, and when I switched from an 8' boat to a 13' boat a few years ago I also got a larger 15hp four stroke motor, blah blah blah. The bottom line for me is that I'm storing the two stroke in my garage but probably won't use it as I have a better motor on my boat. Its resale value in our area is marginal, too. However, I'm happy to give it to my brother if he can use it. It sounds like he can, and he'll be pretty psyched about that as my sister-in-law's enthusiasm for his boat project probably began to fade (ebb?) as soon as he came home with his boat.

Thanks, bonehead, for finding the answer for us!
posted by mosk at 2:31 PM on August 18, 2014

He still must be aware of the regulations on specific lakes. Some don't allow outboard motors at all.
Here are the regulations for BC--he should click the link for Region 2--Lower Mainland.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2014

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