Prep, Check, Know Maritime NZ Campaign


Safer Boating NZ and Maritime NZ have produced a helpful 'Safer Boating Guide' for everyone intending to take a boat out this summer.

In the lead up to Safer Boating Week (12-19 October), Maritime NZ is encouraging boaties to 'Prep, Check, Know' to get ready for the coming busy summer months.

The presenters of the popular TV3 fishing show Big Angry Fish, Milan and Nathan, are the faces of this and other Maritime NZ Safer Boating Week campaigns, featuring in videos and images to support safe and responsible boating behaviour.

Prep your boat

Maintain your boat, and give it an annual check.

  • Ensure the bung is in good condition
  • Check the hull for damage
  • Ensure bilges are clean and dry
  • Test steering for stiffness
  • Clean the fuel filter and check fuel lines for leaks
  • Charge your batteries
  • Test your electrical equipment and lights are working
  • Check for fuel smells and ventilate your boat before starting your engine
  • Check the outboard, pull cord, kill switch, throttle and gear shift are all working
  • Start the engine and ensure cooling water is flowing
Check your gear

Check you have the essential safety equipment before you go.

  • Lifejackets: One suitable fitted lifejacket for everyone on board
  • Communication equipment: Two ways to call for help - distress beacons (EPIRB or PLB), VHF radio, cell phone in a waterproof bag and flares
  • Navigation: Charts, plotter, GPS, depth sounder and navigation lights
  • Alternative power: A spare outboard motor or oars
  • Bailing system: A bucket, bailer or bilge pump
  • Anchor: Suitable anchor with 3-6m chain. Attach to a non-floating rope and secure to the boat
  • Fire extinguisher: Store within reach of the deck or cockpit
  • First aid kit: Basic kit for minor accidents or injuries
  • Torch: Spare bulb and batteries
  • Throwline: for person overboard
  • Fuel: take 1/3 to get there, 1/3 to return, 1/3 in reserve
Know the rules

Ensure you know the rules of the road on the water, and check your local bylaws to make sure you understand what the requirements are in your area.

  • Skippers are responsible for the safety of their boat and passengers. You can be prosecuted so learn how to boat safely
  • Take an online Day Skipper course with Coastguard Boating Education
  • Drivers must be 15 years and over to operate a power boat
  • Give way to essels on your starboard side. If you are on the right, you're in the right.
  • Keep a good lookout at all times, especially at speed
  • Go less than 5 knots within 200m of the shore or near a dive boat, and within 50m of swimmers and other boats. Observe the 5 knot rule
  • If towing you need an observer - that's 3 people when water skiing or wake boarding
  • Fly an 'Alpha' dive flag if swimming or snorkelling (or diving) from your boat, to let other boaties know there are people in the water
  • Display the correct lights at night so you can be seen
  • If you can hear and see a large ship, get out of their way fast
  • Download MarineMate free for local bylaws nationwide.

Other campaigns will be underway before and during Safer Boating Week to make sure those intending to be on or under the waves understand signal beacons, weather forecasts, dive flags, and other essential safety messages.

Go to the Maritime NZ website for information and resources for you and your family on the water this summer.

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