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Canadian Sailing Directions

The Sailing Directions booklets are an indispensable companion to nautical charts. They are a great tool for planning and assisting in navigation because they provide information that cannot be shown on a chart.

Click here to learn more about Sailing Directions features.

Important note

New: Updates are now included directly in the publication for easy reference. Each volume includes a new section entitled “Record of Changes” which lists all updates that are incorporated during the current calendar year.

Starting in March 2022, all Sailing Directions volumes will be available exclusively in digital format. The Canadian Hydrographic Service is proud to offer all of its nautical publications for free via digital download. Providing free digital nautical publications means easier access to up-to-date information for safer navigation. Click here to learn more.

It is the mariner’s responsibility to maintain their digital Sailing Directions file by ensuring that the latest version is always downloaded. Please check this page on a regular basis to confirm your version of the book contains the most recent updates, and download a new copy as required.

Atlantic Coast
Central Canada
Pacific Coast

(These Sailing Directions booklets are being translated into French and will be posted when they become available.)

Northern Canada

Sailing Directions Features

Oblique aerial photography of harbours and prominent features
Plans of harbours, wharves and bridges supplemental to those carried on the charts.
Voyage Planning : historical meteorological and ice conditions, climate, tidal streams, distance between ports tables, preferred routes, preferred tides or weather conditions to enter or leave port or to make passage, regulations.
Safety Information: Canadian buoyage system description, cold water survival, effect of wind on exposed persons, sailing plan, distress assistance.
Cultural and historical information: description of government, ethnicity of the population, historically significant points of interest, ecological reserves, plant and animal life.
Port Facilities: berths, anchorage, mooring, fresh water, fuel, waste oil collection, chandlery, slips, medical.
Navigation Objects: buoys, lights, radio aids, conspicuous objects (headlands, hills, churches, towers), calling-in-points, traffic lanes.
Dangers: rocks, reefs, wrecks, currents, local ice conditions, local weather conditions affecting safe navigation.
Government Agencies: Pilotage, Life Saving Stations, Customs, Search and Rescue, Coast Guard, Police.
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