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CPS-ECP National


Our boating courses help you with

what you have to know:
  • Boating 1: PCOC (2 nights)
  • VHF Maritime Radio (2 nights)

what you should know:
  • Boating 2: Beyond the PCOC (5 weeks)
  • Boating 3: Intro to Navigation (6 weeks)
what you want to know:
  • Boat & Engine maintenance (11 weeks)
  • Weather for Boaters (7 weeks)
what you might like to know:
  • Boating 4: Seamanship (12 weeks)
  • Boating 5: Advanced Piloting (12 weeks)

Marine Information Reporting

In the course of sailing or cruising local waters, it is not uncommon for mariners to discover that their current Hydrographic Chart or Sailing Directions does not always correspond exactly to current conditions.    Some landmarks noted on the chart may have disappeared, newly submerged hazards may not be plotted, or marine facilities may have been altered from the time of publication.    The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP), in partnership with the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), has put into place a program where these observations can be reported and incorporated into the next generation of marine publications.    The program is called MAREP.

MAREP is short for MARine information REPorting. The purpose of the MAREP program is to permit CPS and the CHS to ensure the reporting of discrepancies on Charts, to update and to make qualified recommendations towards improving nautical information on Charts and other CHS publications, including Small Craft Guides, Sailing Directions, Tide and Current Tables, etc.    In this way, we can contribute to the safe enjoyment of boating by all.    It is hoped that CPS Member participation in the MAREP Hydrographic Program will lead to improved accuracy in these publications, to the benefit of not only CPS Members but the general boating public on charted waters throughout Canada.

The MAREP Hydrographic Program was established in 1971 as a joint effort of CPS-ECP and the CHS; there is a complementary program (Cooperative Charting Program) between the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Power Squadrons.    The CHS is the branch of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans responsible for charting Canada’s 131,650 nautical miles of coastline, the longest of any country in the world.    With such an enormous mandate, they welcome the participation of the volunteer reporting network coordinated by the CPS-ECP.

Under the MAREP program, mariners are requested to report any significant deviations or discrepancies from current publications that may impact safe navigation or cruising.    Examples include:

  • Submerged objects - depths;
  • Obstructions in and above the water;
  • Landmarks;
  • Private aids to navigation;
  • New marina facilities;
  • Navigable channel information, width/depth, etc.;
  • Information affecting Sailing Directions;
  • Suggestions for chart improvements.

Note that information concerning navigation aids that are observed to be off station, with lights out, or missing should be communicated directly by radio and/or telephone to the nearest Coast Guard Office immediately.    Not everything is suitable for reporting; in short, if it does not contribute to safety on the water, or as a means of location, or enhance the usefulness of the chart, it should not be reported.

How does it work?    CPS-ECP members who wish to report an observation can download and print the MAREP form and then record their observation, the date and time of their observation, the exact location, the appropriate chart number and edition, the depth of obstruction, and if relevant, a hand drawn sketch of the observation or area of concern. Then mail or fax the form to the District MAREP Officer who checks and evaluates the observation against the up-to-date District CHS publication, and if warranted, forwards the report to the regional CHS office.    Here, any reports which require immediate action are promptly handled via “Notices to Shipping” or “Notices to Mariners”. Others are filed until the publication or area is scheduled for revision.    Many reports are issued as corrections to Small Craft Guides or Sailing Directions prior to being placed on the charts.

Further details can be found in the MAREP Hydrographic Manual. As well, if you are the owner or operator of a Marina Facility, why not download and submit the Marina Report Form so everyone knows where to find you and what services you offer. You can also use the form to update your facility information if you're already registered.

The Halifax squadron has not had a MAREP Hydrographic Officer for some time, but the program is now underway in the Halifax region, an activity which is entirely appropriate for one of the most important ice-free harbors in the world.    Fundamentally, it is our collective responsibility as safe boaters to report anything that is not represented on our current charts and marine publications, and this provides an efficient way to do so    The Halifax Squadron may organize MAREP activities for the community (in warmer months!) which would not only be helpful, but could be a lot of fun as well.

With your participation, CPS-ECP can further boating safety on the water and improve safety for all boaters and shipping.

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