Boating Safety Code


Know before you go: get familiar with New Zealand’s Boating Safety Code

Boating-Safety-CodeNew Zealand is a wonderful adventure playground with so many outdoor opportunities for you to enjoy. From fishing, kayaking, sailing to rafting… The possibilities are endless.

All boating activities are regulated by Maritime New Zealand and the regional council for each area so whether you have a kayak, personal water craft, waka, sail or power boat, you must know the rules, have the right equipment, and be a responsible skipper.

To help you stay safe while you enjoy our beautiful country, “know before you go” – read and follow New Zealand’s Boating Safety Code.

The five simple rules are easy to remember and will give you the confidence to explore and enjoy, no matter what you choose to do.

It is really important that we are prepared and that we respect the environment we are in. It can also be a good idea to attend some training such as a Marine Radio course leading to a Marine Radio licence, or a Coastguard Day Skipper’s course before setting out.

Before you go boating on our seas, lakes and rivers, get familiar with New Zealand’s Boating Safety Code.

Five simple rules will help you to stay safe, no matter what kind of boat you use:

  1. Life Jackets. Take them – Wear them.  Boats, especially ones under 6m in length, can sink very quickly.  Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time in the water.
  2. Skipper Responsibility. The skipper is responsible for the safety of everyone on board and for the safe operation of the boat.  Stay within the limits of your vessel or your experience.
  3. Communications. Take two separate waterproof ways of communicating in case you get into difficulties. We can’t help you if we don’t know you’re in trouble.
  4. Marine weather.  New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable.  Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.
  5. Avoid Alcohol.  Safe boating and alcohol do not mix.  Things can change quickly on the water. You need to stay alert and aware.

Visit AdventureSmart. It has more information about safe boating education, you can read the Boating Safety Code, and if you intend to explore the outdoors or get into the water you can also read and follow the outdoor and water safety codes. has all sorts of tips and advice to help you prepare for your boating, water or outdoor experiences.

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