Boating in Fathom Five

Fathom Five National Marine Park

The waters, islands and islets of Fathom Five National Marine Park offer unique experiences for boaters to explore the clean, clear water, spectacular geological formations including cliffs and caves, hidden coves and historic lighthouses. For a safe and enjoyable day, make sure to plan ahead and are prepared for the cold, open, and often rough, water of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.    

Waves and storms can develop quickly. Boaters and swimmers should use caution and monitor weather forecasts.

Staff at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre in Tobermory can provide current information about restricted water areas, vessel permit requirements and copies of the Paddlers’ Guide.

Please note there is no mooring area for private vessels on Flowerpot Island. Paddlers can pull up their canoes or kayaks on shore.  We do not recommend that boats anchor in Beachy Cove due to commercial boat traffic and safety considerations (anchor slipping).

No access to all other islands within Fathom Five National Marine Park is permitted at any time. 

As a water-based park, Fathom Five National Marine Park offers excellent opportunities for the avid sailor or boater to enjoy beautiful clear waters and breathtaking scenery.

Boating resources

Boat launch information
  • Municipal boat launch located in Little Tub Harbour in Tobermory.
  • Tobermory Harbourmaster is located at 33 Carlton Street, Tobermory, ON 519-596-2731.
  • More information about the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula boat launch.
  • Launching at Big Tub Lighthouse is not permitted. It is a restricted area.
Recommended charts
  • 2235 (Cape Hurd to Lonely Island; Rattlesnake Harbour inset)
  • 2274 (Cape Hurd to Tobermory and Cove Island; Little Tub Harbour inset; Big Tub Harbour inset)
Marine Weather

Waves and storms can develop quickly. Boaters and swimmers should use caution and monitor weather forecasts.

Important Numbers

Please note cell service is not reliable in all areas of Fathom Five National Marine Park

  • Coast Guard Search and Rescue :1-800-267-7270
  • Park Emergencies: Dial 911
  • Parks Canada Dispatch: 519-596-2702 (Warden Service) for National Marine Park Violations, Campground Disturbance and Public Safety Emergencies

Rules and Regulations

Boating Restrictions
  • Anchoring is not permitted at any shipwreck site; use the mooring buoy, or the natural lake bed.
  • At least one person must be left on board when a boat is anchored or moored.
  • Vessels entering restricted boating areas must have the required Parks Canada permit, available at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre.
Prohibited Activity
  • Removal, damage or disturbance of any natural, cultural or scientific feature is prohibited.
  • Respect the rights of private property owners near sites such as the Sweepstakes. Tying off, mooring or accessing private land is prohibited.
  • Vessels of any sort, including SUPs, kayaks and canoes, are not permitted in the Lighthouse Point restricted area at any time.
  • Apart from Flowerpot Island, accessing, landing or tying off to any island within Fathom Five National Marine Park is prohibited.
  • Taking off or landing of a drone for recreational use is prohibited within Fathom Five National Marine Park. Please do not fly your drone in the park.
  • Commercial drone operators are required to obtain a restricted activity permit from the park.

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