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Recreational boating

We are responsible for promoting safe recreational boating on the water (sea, river or lake).

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.

Our four key safety messages are based on common factors in recreational boating deaths:

  1. Wear a lifejacket – take the correct sized lifejacket for each person on board, and wear them.
  2. Check the marine weather – check the latest marine forecast and tides before you go out. If in doubt, don't go out.
  3. Carry emergency communications – have at least two types that will work when wet. Keep them on you.
  4. Avoid alcohol– it impairs your reaction times, ability to cope if something goes wrong, and survival time if you end up in the water.

Our safety messages are part of the Boating Safety Strategy, which uses a mix of education and legislation to reduce the key risk factors in recreational boating deaths.

More information and free resources

Enjoy safe boating with your family and your mates – order your free safe boating pack now.

This free pack contains information and material – covering preparation and planning, handling emergencies, rules and regulations, safe operation and seamanship PLUS local information – a booklet, sticker and cellphone bag, along with boating education and other safety information.

Click here for a free safe boating pack.

Smartphone apps for boaties

Check the latest weather and boating information using the free MetService Marine and MarineMate smartphone apps.

MetService Marine and MarineMate mobile apps.

For free boating safety resources, email: with your details to request any of the following:

To learn more about safe boating, check out the courses on the Coastguard Boating Education website.