New Zealand is a nation of keen boaties and our coastlines, rivers and lakes provide a wealth of opportunities for them to indulge. 

A combination of practical skill, knowledge and safe decision-making will help ensure your boating experience is safer and more enjoyable.

A good place to start is to familiarise yourself with the five simple rules outlined in the Boating Safety Code. We encourage you to use these as a starting point then seek more knowledge specific to your chosen activity, including taking a boating education course such as Day Skipper.

  1. Lifejackets…Take them – Wear them
    It will increase your survival time.
  2. Skipper responsibility…Keep everyone safe – stay within the limits of your vessel (boat) and your experience.
  3. Communications…Take at least two forms of separate waterproof ways of communicating.
  4. Marine weather…Check the forecast first. If in doubt, don’t go out.
  5. Avoid alcohol…Safe boating and alcohol do not mix. Stay alert and aware.

Re lifejackets
Maritime Rules require that there is a correctly sized lifejacket for evey person on board and they must be worn in situations of heightened risk, such as when crossing a bar or in rough conditions. Some local Councils in New Zealand go further by requiring lifejackets to be worn, so if you’re planning to go boating in another area find out what the local Bylaws require. More information is available on the Lifejacket page.

As of Labour Weekend 2014 the new Auckland Council Navigation Safety Bylaw comes in to force, under which wearing of lifejackets will be compulsory in vessels of 6m or less.  Read more…

Click here for more information on the Safety Codes.