Whether you are new to boating or already have some experience, we recommend you undertake safe boating education or training. A course, such as those offered by Coastguard Boating Education, will ensure that you have that essential boating knowledge to ensure your safety, as well as compliance with all maritime rules and associated legislation.
While your boat does not need to be surveyed or inspected and you do not need any "official" qualification or licence to operate a pleasure boat (other than a radio operator qualification if you own a marine VHF radio), ignorance of the rules is not accepted as an excuse.
There are many training and education opportunities available to recreational boaties, including courses that can be studied by correspondence. You should aim for a combination of theory and practical training if possible.
Coastguard Boating Education offers a wide range of theoretical and on-water practical courses nationwide, from beginner to advanced, to suit all types of boating. These include:
Joining your local coastguard is a great way to gain experience and local knowledge.
Coastguard New Zealand [Coastguard New Zealand].
For more information, or to find your nearest Coastguard Boating Education tutor:
Keeping our waters, beaches and coastlines clean [PDF: 407Kb, 2 pages]
Always wear a lifejacket and stay on top [PDF: 1.7Mb, 2 pages]
Being safe in boats [PDF: 842Kb, 3 pages]
It's all about knowing and spreading safety messages [PDF: 1Mb, 2 pages]